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The Electronics Badge


Gadgets for scouts take two forms - those technological objects of desire such as GPSes, multitools, and solar chargers and creations made using a scout's skills from available materials to make life, typically on camp, simpler, more sophisticated or just plain fun.

Camp gadgets are constructions made on camp to make life easier. The most common is probably a grease trap, but they can be as sophisticated as materials, free time and imagination allow:

A wash stand courtesy of instructables.com
Wash Stand
A wash stand makes the washing up less arduous as it raises the washing-up bowl up so you don't have to squat over it on the floor.
It consists of a fairly strong support lattice, often of staves, that holds a bowl full of water, which is surprisingly heavy (20l of water weighs 20kg), at waist height and often includes a drying rack to stack washed items so they don't have to be dried by tea towel.
makeshift shower, courtesy of Glen Lusset Scouts
Camp Shower

On a hot summer's camp a camp shower can sometimes make the difference between harmony and all-out war between scouts sharing a tent full of body odour.
A water container is supported above head height, ideally somewhere where it can catch the sun all day. Below it is an old bucket or bowl with holes in. A fancy release method, be it some sort of tap or a tipping mechanism, is the hardest part. Pulling on a string or lever releases the water, which pours through the holes, showering the user.

A grease trap helps cut down on the amount of runny waste that you need to get rid of at camp. It is a gadget that separates out the water from the fat and starch left over from washing up the frying pan or the remnants of pasta from last night.
It consists of an old bowl or bucket with holes in the bottom that you fill with grass, twigs or ferns and part bury in a hole in the ground. When you pour in greasy or filthy water the grease gets caught on the plant material whilst the water soaks away through the bottom. The vegetation can then be burnt on the fire or thrown away.

A recent addition to the gadget spectrum is the iPhone app. Here is a selection of cool ones:

Mammut logo
The Mammut Packing List iPhone app is a practical aid to help you plan some unforgettable outdoor adventures with your friends. Compile your packing list, share it with your friends and then start packing. The team works together to gather all the necessary equipment, making sure that nothing is forgotten. Once you've ticked off all the items on the list, the tour can begin!
Northface logo
The North Face Trailhead iPhone app finds trails, hikes, bike routes and more based on your location. You can even search by activity and length. Whether you’ve selected an existing trip or started a new one, Trailhead tracks your route, distance, speed and elevation in real-time. When you’re done exploring, you can post your trip to Facebook, Twitter or EveryTrail.com.
WhatKnot logo
The What Knot To Do iPhone app is your pocket guide to 70 must know knots in six categories. With this App you’ll always have just the right knot at the ready, with clear step-by-step tying instructions to meet any and every outdoor need.
Coleman logo
The Coleman Lantern iPhone app lets you choose from 10 different lanterns that fill your campsite with bright, white light. And if you’re not camping, the Coleman® Lantern is great for finding things in your car, walking at night, reading, and for anywhere else you need more light
Coleman logo
The Coleman Camping Cookbook iPhone app helps you prepare meals during the busy summer camping and cook out season. Based on top-rated recipes by Coleman®, the Cookout Cookbook & Meal Planner application allows users to find the perfect meal based on food type, category, and ingredients. Rank your favourite recipe for cubs, best dessert or ideal recipe for camp.

Augmented Outdoors Peaks logo
The Augmented Outdoors Peaks iPhone app lets you simply hold the iPhone camera in the direction you're interested in and voila! You instantly get the name, location and altitude of the peaks you're looking at. You can even Twitter your location with the built in integration. This app needs all the goodies in a 3GS iPhone to work. Whether hiking or trekking, this is a really clever app to have along on your trip.
Animal Tracks logo
The Animal Tracks iPhone app helps you identify that wildlife track you find as you wander along on your expedition. It features a database with 7 search-able track categories fully illustrated by size and shape for quick selection plus illustrations of both fore and hind feet, with a complete description of track measurements, gait patterns used trail widths and animal life cycles. However, its price ($6.99) may mean only avid trackers would consider it worthwhile.