Basic Camping Gear – Scouts

Being prepared is the scout motto! Having the right gear for camping in the wilderness is critical. These items represent the basic equipment that each scout should own and take responsibility for.  The scout handbook discusses this is detail in  Chapter 9 of the Scout Handbook

For each item, there are 3 suggested choices depending if you would like to get good quality at a good value, prefer to buy the best possible equipment to last for years to come, or just looking to get inexpensive entry level item.

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What Why Value Choice Premium Choice Cheapest
Sleeping Bag The most important item! Staying warm when temperatures drop is critical.
Sleeping Pad Insulates you from the ground to ensure a warm sleeping bag.
Backpack Being prepared means being self-sufficient in carrying all of your gear with you. A backpack is essential to making the scout independent. (Plus it's a great way to keep all the gear in one place.) However, a backpack is best selected in-person. Comfort is important when buying a pack if the scout is to safely carry a heavy load (20-30 lbs.)
Headlamp See in the dark while leaving hands free
Water Bottle It's critical to stay hydrated and have potable drinking water nearby. Minimum 1 liter bottle is required, however 2 or 3 liters is better. For backpacking, 3 liters is recommended. Perhaps get 1 with a narrow mouth for drinking (wide mouth is easier to fill and for use in cooking.)
First Aid Kit An absolute requirement. Each scout needs to have a first aid kit at all times.
Mess Kit If a scout want to eat, a mess kit is required. The choice is much up to personal preference balancing between size/weight, completeness, cost. Minimum plate/bowl, spoon/fork/spork,insulated cup (e.g. hot chocolate).
Whistle In case of trouble, a whistle can notify other scouts. Sometimes, a combination whistle/fire starter is a good value.