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Are You Smarter Than a Boy Scout?

Scoutmasters wrote the book on camping, and built an army of pack-toting teens. But do the troops truly rule when it comes to outdoor skills? We pitted three Scouts against three average readers to find out.

7. Cooking

Game On
Teams must prime and fire up an MSR SimmerLite stove, then cook an edible flapjack using pancake mix, shortening, and a nonstick frypan. The white-gas SimmerLite requires some know-how, and the Scouts properly pump the fuel bottle and insert the fuel line but cannot get fuel to flow. Minutes evaporate as Adam retries the same sequence without success. The Scouts’ frustration grows as they peek over at the adults. Instructions to the stove lay unopened beside them.

In 5 minutes, 24 seconds, Team BACKPACKER presents a lightly browned cake, ready for syrup. David examines the Scouts’ stove and identifies the problem. "You needed to snap this catch arm into place for the fuel to flow," he says. Readers: 4, Scouts: 3

By the Book
Inexplicably, The Handbook relegates flapjacks to car-camping fare. But backpackers can make perfect pancakes using a nonstick pan like the MSR Flex Skillet.

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