It’s Sunday night after a fun but exhausting weekend of camping. But before you collapse on the couch follow the 612 post-campout checklist. You’ll be glad to have everything put away properly and have everything clean and ready for use at the next campout.
1. Dry your tent and gear.
Just say no to mold. Put your tent up to dry right away, preferably outside or in the garage. Do the same with your sleeping bag, rain jacket, boots and anything else that might still be damp.
You are responsible for the tent. If it shows unnecessary wear or mold you will be charged for repairs.
2. Wash your clothes
Don’t take your backpack or bag to your room. Instead, head straight for the laundry room. Your parents will thank you, and so will your clothes.
Why? First, if there are any bugs in the clothes they get washed (killed). If you rubbed around in some poison ivy, this washes away the oil the plant deposited on the clothes.
3. Put away food
What do you do with leftover food from your patrol box? Hopefully the answer isn’t to simply leave it in there. Gross! There might be a gallon of milk, cheese, bread, mustard, ketchup, mayo, etc. It’s time to put the food away or in the refrigerator.
4. Take a shower
Your clothes are getting cleaned, but what about you? That foul smell — yeah, it’s probably you. Soap up from head to toe, paying special attention to areas with hair and also ankles. Just like your clothes, you are trying to get rid of any fleas, ticks, chiggers or poison ivy/oak oils on the skin. As ankles are the closest uncovered area to the ground, they seem to be especially sensitive to bites, scrapes and plant oils.
5. Apply bite treatment, if needed
Insect bites are a common side effect of a fun Scouting adventure.
6. Care for those feet
See peeling skin around your toes or the bottoms of your feet? That may be athlete’s foot, especially if you were recently in a shower used by other Scouts. Find over-the-counter treatment for athlete’s foot. This will keep the rest of your family from getting infected. Blisters? Treat them with moleskin padding.
7. Watch for fleas and ticks
Dogs aren’t the only mammals subject to those creepy crawlies known as fleas and ticks. You have two options, One is to grab a flea or tick comb to comb through your own hair. The second is to have a parent do the check. Grab ticks with tweezers behind the head and gently and slowly pull it out of the skin along the line of its body. Then dispose.
8. Have a headache?
If you came home with a headache or you’re overly tired, don’t rush for the aspirin just yet. Instead, drink some water. One of the first signs of dehydration is a headache. You might also notice the dark yellow to orange color of your urine for a second clue.
9. Organize those advancement records
Make sure all advancement records were recorded in your Scout Handbook and that you received correct credit for the nights of camping.
At last, you’re done. Everything is taken care of, and you can plop in front of your favorite app or the TV. But wait: Is your homework done?