More Scouting Myths

"I was told a few years ago that we should not use lint [as a fire starter] because some of the new fibers in fabrics can give off fumes when burnt."

Do your own test. Dry a load of white cotton T-shirts or cotton terry towels--clean lint screen--how much lint is there?

Dry a load of permanent press/wash n wear cotton/poly shirts and blouses--clean lint screen--how much lint is there?

If your results are like mine, lots of lint from the cotton loads; very little lint from the mainly polyester loads.

Conclusion, lint does not come from synthetic fibers, only from the natural fibers. Therefore there should not be a concern in using dryer lint for making the egg carton fire starters."

"We’re not allowed to use liquid fuel stoves anymore."

This was an easy one. It’s specifically addressed in the Guide to Safe Scouting. It says in Chapter VII, “Use compressed- or liquid-gas stoves or lanterns only with knowledgeable adult supervision and in Scout facilities only where and when permitted.” So unless your Council or Troop has established a written policy concerning this topic, they are allowed for use at Scout functions with adult supervision.

A handout from the GSLAC 2007 Pow Wow (passed out by a local troop that prefers charcoal cooking) stated that pressurized gas "Usually means only adults will cook", is "Not a good idea for Webelos Scouts", and claimed that charcoal was "Safer than wood and pressurized gas fires."

  • With charcoal, there is always the question of how many coals to use to create just enough heat.
  • It is much easier to control temperature with a gas flame. Simply turn a knob.
  • Leave No Trace encourages the use of pressurized fuel instead of charcoal or wood (see
  • Each cooking method has its advantages and disadvantages. However, Troop 760 uses pressurized fuel for most cooking, because it is faster, cleaner, easier to use, and better for the environment.
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