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Camping With The Scouts: What To Take On Scout Camping Trips


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Arliene Salley



When it comes to outdoor adventures, few experiences compare to camping with the Scouts. Whether you’re a seasoned scout or a new recruit, camping trips provide an excellent opportunity to bond with fellow scouts, learn essential survival skills, and create lifelong memories. But before you embark on your scouting adventure, it’s crucial to be well-prepared with the right gear and equipment.


Scout camping trips are all about embracing the great outdoors and relying on your resourcefulness. From setting up camp to cooking meals, staying safe, and enjoying the beauty of nature, being adequately equipped is crucial for a successful and enjoyable experience.


In this article, we will guide you through the essential gear you’ll need for a Scout camping trip. We’ll cover the necessary camping equipment, cooking supplies, clothing, first aid kits, navigation tools, hygiene items, and safety preparedness. Additionally, we’ll offer some optional items that can enhance your experience and make your camping trip even more memorable.


So let’s dive in and ensure that you’re fully prepared for your next Scout camping adventure!


Essential Gear

When it comes to Scout camping trips, having the right gear is essential to ensure comfort, safety, and convenience. Here are the must-have items that every scout should pack:

  1. Tent: A sturdy and waterproof tent is crucial for providing shelter during your camping trip. Look for a tent that is easy to set up and spacious enough to accommodate the number of scouts in your group.
  2. Sleeping bag: Choose a sleeping bag that is suitable for the weather conditions you’ll be camping in. Look for one with a temperature rating that matches the expected temperatures, ensuring a good night’s sleep.
  3. Sleeping pad or air mattress: A comfortable sleeping surface is vital for a restful night’s sleep. A sleeping pad or air mattress can provide insulation and cushioning against the hard ground.
  4. Backpack: Opt for a durable backpack with plenty of compartments to store your personal items and essentials. Look for one with adjustable straps and back support for added comfort during long hikes.
  5. Headlamp or flashlight: A reliable light source is necessary for navigating in the dark. Choose a headlamp or flashlight that is compact, lightweight, and has a long battery life.
  6. Multi-tool: A versatile multi-tool comes in handy for various tasks, such as opening cans, cutting ropes, and repairing equipment. Look for one with a knife, pliers, screwdriver, and other essential tools.
  7. Water bottle: Stay hydrated by carrying a sturdy water bottle that can be refilled throughout your camping trip. Look for one with a large capacity and a leak-proof design.
  8. Firestarter: Being able to start a fire is crucial for cooking meals and providing warmth. Pack a reliable firestarter, such as waterproof matches, a butane lighter, or a fire starter kit.
  9. Extra clothing: Pack extra layers of clothing, including warm and waterproof options, to prepare for changing weather conditions. Don’t forget extra socks and gloves to keep your extremities dry and comfortable.
  10. Personal hygiene items: Remember to pack travel-sized toiletries, such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and toilet paper, to maintain cleanliness and hygiene during your camping trip.

These essential items will help you navigate the challenges of a Scout camping trip and ensure that you are prepared for any situation that may arise. Now that you have your essential gear packed, let’s move on to the next section – camping equipment.


Camping Equipment

Having the right camping equipment is crucial for a successful and enjoyable scouting adventure. Here are some essential items you should include in your camping gear:

  1. Camp stove or cooking system: A reliable camp stove or cooking system is essential for preparing meals. Look for one that is lightweight, portable, and fuel-efficient. Additionally, pack extra fuel canisters to ensure you have enough for the duration of your trip.
  2. Cookware and utensils: Pack a set of lightweight and durable cookware, such as pots, pans, and cooking utensils. Opt for non-stick options for easy cleaning. Don’t forget to pack plates, cups, bowls, and eating utensils for each scout.
  3. Campfire cooking equipment: If you plan on cooking over an open fire, include items like a grill grate, cast iron skillet, and cooking tripod. These tools are perfect for creating delicious campfire meals.
  4. Camping chairs and table: Make your campsite more comfortable with collapsible camping chairs and a portable camping table. These items provide a place to relax, eat meals, and enjoy campfire conversations.
  5. Campsite lighting: In addition to individual flashlights, having campsite lighting can make navigating around the campsite easier. Consider bringing lanterns or string lights to illuminate the area.
  6. Groundsheet or tarp: A groundsheet or tarp placed under your tent can provide additional protection against moisture and help prolong the lifespan of your tent. It can also be used as a shelter or for various other purposes.
  7. Campfire tools: Pack essential campfire tools like fire gloves, firewood saw or axe, and fire starters. These tools will help you safely build and maintain your campfire.
  8. Campsite organization: Keep your campsite tidy and organized by using storage bins or hanging organizers for your equipment, food, and personal items. This will help minimize clutter and make it easier to find what you need.

By having the right camping equipment, you’ll be well-prepared to set up a functional and comfortable campsite. As you plan your scout camping trip, consider the duration of the trip, the number of participants, and the specific needs of your group to ensure you pack the necessary camping equipment.


Next up, let’s explore the cooking supplies you should bring along to satisfy your hunger during your scouting adventure.


Cooking Supplies

One of the highlights of Scout camping trips is enjoying delicious meals in the great outdoors. To ensure you can cook a variety of meals and satisfy your hunger, it’s important to pack the right cooking supplies. Here are some essential cooking supplies to include:

  1. Cooking utensils: Pack a set of utensils specifically for cooking, such as a spatula, tongs, grilling tools, and a can opener. These tools will make meal preparation and cooking much easier.
  2. Cutting board and knives: Bring a durable cutting board and a set of knives for slicing and chopping food. Choose knives with blade covers for safety.
  3. Food storage containers: Pack a selection of food storage containers to keep ingredients and leftovers fresh. Look for containers that are lightweight, leak-proof, and stackable for easy storage.
  4. Cooking oil and spices: Don’t forget to bring cooking oil, such as olive oil or vegetable oil, for cooking and seasoning your meals. Additionally, pack a small selection of spices and seasonings to add flavor to your dishes.
  5. Campfire grill or griddle: If you plan on cooking over an open fire, bring a campfire grill or griddle. This allows you to cook meats, vegetables, and other delicious campfire meals easily.
  6. Cooking pots and pans: Bring a variety of pots and pans in different sizes to accommodate different recipes and cooking methods. Look for lightweight, non-stick options for easy cooking and cleaning.
  7. Aluminum foil and ziplock bags: Aluminum foil is versatile and can be used for cooking, wrapping food, and creating makeshift cooking utensils. Ziplock bags are handy for storing leftovers and keeping food fresh.
  8. Cooking fuel: If you’re using a camp stove, make sure to pack enough fuel canisters to last the duration of your trip. It’s always a good idea to have some extra in case of emergencies.

Having the right cooking supplies will enable you to prepare delicious meals and enjoy the full camping experience. Consider the types of dishes you plan to cook, dietary restrictions, and the number of participants when packing your cooking supplies.


Next, let’s take a look at the clothing and personal items that you should pack for a Scout camping trip.


Clothing and Personal Items

When packing for a Scout camping trip, it’s important to consider the weather conditions and activities you’ll be participating in. Here is a list of essential clothing and personal items to bring along:

  1. Appropriate clothing: Pack a variety of clothing suitable for the weather conditions, including t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, pants, shorts, and underwear. Choose moisture-wicking fabrics that dry quickly and layer clothing for versatility.
  2. Sturdy footwear: Invest in a pair of comfortable, supportive hiking boots or shoes. Make sure they are broken-in prior to the trip to avoid blisters. Pack extra pairs of socks to keep your feet dry and cushioned.
  3. Rain gear: Don’t forget to pack a waterproof jacket or poncho and waterproof pants to keep you dry during rainy weather. This is especially important if you’ll be hiking or participating in water activities.
  4. Hat and sunglasses: Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat that provides shade and sunglasses to shield your eyes from harmful UV rays.
  5. Swimwear: If there will be water activities or swimming opportunities, pack swimwear. Choose quick-drying options for added convenience.
  6. Personal hygiene items: Pack a travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and any other personal hygiene items you may need. Bring a towel or microfiber towel for drying off.
  7. Sunscreen and insect repellent: Protect your skin from sunburn and insect bites by packing sunscreen with a high SPF and a reliable insect repellent that is effective against mosquitoes and ticks.
  8. Medications: If you take any prescription medications, be sure to pack them in a secure and easily accessible container. It’s also a good idea to have a basic first aid kit for any minor injuries or illnesses.
  9. Extra essentials: Pack extra batteries for your flashlight or headlamp, a portable charger for your electronic devices, a small backpack or daypack for day hikes, and a reusable water bottle.

Having the appropriate clothing and personal items will ensure that you are comfortable and prepared for the duration of your Scout camping trip. Remember to pack based on the expected weather conditions and the activities you’ll be participating in.


Next, let’s discuss the importance of a first aid kit and the essential items it should contain.


First Aid Kit

A well-stocked first aid kit is an essential component of any Scout camping trip. It ensures that you are prepared to handle minor injuries and common ailments that may occur during outdoor activities. Here are the essential items to include in your first aid kit:

  1. Bandages and dressings: Pack a variety of adhesive bandages in different sizes, sterile gauze pads, and adhesive tape for securing dressings.
  2. Antiseptic wipes and ointments: Include antiseptic wipes or solution to clean wounds and prevent infection. Also, pack antiseptic ointment and antibiotic ointment to apply to cuts and scrapes.
  3. Pain relievers: Include over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen for mild pain or headaches.
  4. Allergy medication: Pack antihistamines or allergy medication for any allergic reactions or insect bites. Make sure to check with participants for any known allergies.
  5. Tweezers and scissors: Have tweezers available for removing splinters, ticks, or other foreign objects. Scissors are useful for cutting medical tape or clothing.
  6. Disposable gloves: Include a pair of disposable gloves for handling wounds and preventing the spread of germs.
  7. Emergency blanket: Keep an emergency blanket in your first aid kit to provide warmth in case of hypothermia or shock.
  8. Burn ointment and burn dressings: Pack burn ointment or gel and sterile burn dressings for treating minor burns.
  9. Tweezers and scissors: Have tweezers available for removing splinters, ticks, or other foreign objects. Scissors are useful for cutting medical tape or clothing.
  10. Insect repellent and sting relief: Include insect repellent to prevent insect bites and a sting relief solution or gel for soothing any bites or stings that occur.
  11. Emergency contact information and first aid manual: Keep a list of emergency contact numbers and a first aid manual in your kit for quick reference.

Regularly check your first aid kit before each camping trip to ensure that items are not expired or running low. It’s also a good idea to have at least one designated person knowledgeable in first aid procedures within your group.


With a well-stocked first aid kit, you’ll be better equipped to handle any minor injuries or health concerns that may arise during your Scout camping trip.


Next, let’s explore the navigation tools that are essential for orientation and safe exploration in the great outdoors.


Navigation Tools

When venturing into the wilderness during a Scout camping trip, having reliable navigation tools is crucial for orientation and safe exploration. Here are some essential navigation tools to include in your camping gear:

  1. Map and compass: Pack a detailed topographic map of the area where you’ll be camping. Also, carry a compass and learn how to use it to navigate and orient yourself in unfamiliar territory.
  2. GPS device or smartphone: Consider bringing a GPS device or smartphone loaded with a navigation app that works offline. These can be useful for tracking your location and planning routes.
  3. Whistle: Bring a whistle to attract attention in case of emergencies or to communicate with fellow scouts during outdoor activities.
  4. Markers and flagging tape: Use markers or flagging tape to mark your trail or important locations to ensure you can find your way back to camp.
  5. Outdoor watch: If you have access to an outdoor watch or smartwatch, use its features like an altimeter, barometer, and compass to aid in navigation and monitor weather conditions.
  6. Binoculars: Pack a pair of binoculars for observing distant landmarks, wildlife, or any points of interest during your camping trip.
  7. Field guide: Consider carrying a field guide specific to the region you’ll be camping in. It can help you identify local flora, fauna, and geographical features.

Before your camping trip, familiarize yourself with the navigation tools you’ll be using. Study the map, practice using the compass, and become familiar with any technology or apps you plan to rely on.


Remember, navigation tools are only helpful if you know how to use them effectively. Keep them accessible and refer to them whenever needed to ensure a safe and enjoyable exploration of the outdoors.


Next, let’s discuss the importance of maintaining hygiene and sanitation during your Scout camping trip.


Hygiene and Sanitation

Maintaining hygiene and sanitation is essential to keep yourself and your camping environment clean and healthy during your Scout camping trip. Here are some guidelines to follow for proper hygiene and sanitation:

  1. Hand hygiene: Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before handling food or after using the restroom. If water is scarce, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
  2. Campsite cleanliness: Keep your campsite clean by disposing of waste properly and ensuring all trash is securely stored. Use designated trash bags and receptacles and follow Leave No Trace principles.
  3. Food safety: Practice proper food handling and storage to prevent foodborne illnesses. Keep perishable foods cold in a cooler with ice or ice packs, and separate raw meats from other food items to avoid cross-contamination.
  4. Water purification: If you’re unsure about the safety of the water source, it’s important to purify it before drinking or using it for cooking. Use water purification tablets, filters, or boil water for at least one minute.
  5. Personal hygiene: Maintain personal cleanliness by regularly bathing or using wet wipes if access to showers is limited. Change into clean clothes and underwear as needed to stay fresh.
  6. Proper waste disposal: Dispose of human waste properly by using designated toilets or digging cat holes at least 200 feet away from water sources. Follow the principles of Leave No Trace and pack out toilet paper or use biodegradable alternatives.
  7. Cleaning and sanitizing: Clean and sanitize cooking utensils, dishes, and food preparation surfaces with biodegradable soap and hot water. Rinse them thoroughly and allow them to air dry.
  8. Personal care products: Use biodegradable or environmentally-friendly personal care products to minimize their impact on the environment. Dispose of them properly and avoid polluting water sources.

By following these hygiene and sanitation practices, you’ll help maintain a healthy and clean environment while minimizing your impact on nature. It’s important to educate your fellow scouts about these practices and lead by example.


Next, let’s discuss the importance of safety and emergency preparedness during a Scout camping trip.


Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Ensuring safety and being prepared for emergencies are paramount during a Scout camping trip. It’s essential to be proactive and take appropriate measures to minimize risks and handle unforeseen situations. Here are some key aspects of safety and emergency preparedness:

  1. Emergency contacts: Have a list of emergency contact numbers readily available, including local emergency services and the contact information of an adult leader or responsible adult.
  2. Emergency plan: Develop an emergency plan that outlines the steps to take in different scenarios, such as severe weather, injuries, or getting lost. Review this plan with all members of the group.
  3. First aid knowledge: Ensure that at least one person in the group is trained in basic first aid and CPR. This individual should be able to administer first aid and provide assistance in case of injuries or medical emergencies.
  4. Weather monitoring: Stay informed about the weather forecast for your camping area. Be prepared for changes in weather conditions and seek shelter if necessary during severe weather events.
  5. Fire safety: Follow fire safety protocols and regulations for your campsite. Keep fires contained in designated fire pits, extinguish them completely before leaving, and never leave fires unattended.
  6. Communication devices: Carry communication devices such as cell phones or walkie-talkies to stay connected with your group and call for help if needed. Ensure the devices are fully charged and have a backup power source.
  7. Navigation and landmarks: Familiarize yourself with the surrounding area, landmarks, and trail markers to avoid getting lost. Stay on designated paths and inform someone about your intended route.
  8. Wildlife safety: Research the local wildlife and understand how to safely interact with animals in the area. Keep a safe distance, store food properly to discourage wildlife encounters, and carry bear-resistant containers if necessary.
  9. Emergency supplies: Carry essential emergency supplies, including a whistle, flashlight, extra batteries, a space blanket, and a small survival kit with items like a knife, compass, and fire starter.
  10. Group supervision: Always practice the buddy system and have designated meeting points. Ensure that scouts are supervised by responsible adults or leaders during activities to prevent accidents or incidents.

By prioritizing safety and being prepared for emergencies, you can have a successful and worry-free Scout camping trip. Regularly review and practice your emergency plan, stay informed about the conditions around you, and be aware of any specific safety considerations for your camping location.


Finally, let’s explore some optional items that can enhance your Scout camping experience.


Optional Items

In addition to the essential gear and equipment, there are several optional items that can enhance your Scout camping experience. While not essential, these items can add comfort, convenience, and entertainment to your trip. Here are some optional items to consider:

  1. Campfire cooking tools: Upgrade your campfire cooking experience with additional tools like a Dutch oven, pie iron, or campfire grill. These items allow for more creative and delicious campfire meals.
  2. Hammock: Bring a hammock to relax and unwind in between activities. Hanging a hammock between trees provides a comfortable and serene spot to rest and enjoy the surroundings.
  3. Camping chairs and table: While not essential, having portable camping chairs and a table can enhance the comfort and convenience of your campsite. They provide a place to relax, eat meals, and play games.
  4. Outdoor games: Pack lightweight and compact outdoor games such as a frisbee, football, or card games. These items can provide entertainment during downtime or in the evenings.
  5. Camera or smartphone: Capture memorable moments by bringing a camera or using your smartphone’s camera. Document your adventures and create lasting memories.
  6. Field guides and nature books: For nature enthusiasts, consider bringing field guides or books that help identify local flora, fauna, birds, or other wildlife. This can provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of the natural surroundings.
  7. Extra campsite comforts: Depending on the duration and location of your camping trip, you may want to bring additional comfort items such as a camping hammock, portable camping shower, or even a portable camping toilet.
  8. Outdoor education materials: If you’re working towards merit badges or specific scouting achievements, consider bringing relevant outdoor education materials or study guides to enhance your learning during the trip.

Remember to consider the weight and space limitations of your backpack when deciding on optional items. Prioritize the essentials first and then choose a few optional items that will add value and enjoyment to your Scout camping experience.


With the right gear, equipment, and optional items, you’ll be well-prepared and well-equipped to make the most of your Scout camping adventure.


As you prepare for your next Scout camping trip, use this guide to ensure you have everything you need. Safe travels, enjoy the great outdoors, and make memories that will last a lifetime!



Embarking on a Scout camping trip is an exciting adventure that allows you to connect with nature, develop valuable skills, and create lifelong memories. By being well-prepared with the right gear and equipment, you can ensure a successful and enjoyable camping experience.


In this article, we have covered the essential gear you’ll need for your Scout camping trip, including the necessary camping equipment, cooking supplies, clothing, first aid kit, navigation tools, hygiene items, and safety preparedness. We have also discussed optional items that can enhance your camping experience.


Remember to prioritize safety, practice proper hygiene and sanitation, and be prepared for emergencies. Follow Leave No Trace principles and respect the environment around you. Educate yourself and your group on the rules and regulations of the camping area to leave it better than you found it.


As you pack for your Scout camping trip, consider the specific needs of your group, the expected weather conditions, and the activities planned. Keep in mind the weight and space limitations of your gear, prioritize the essentials, and add optional items that will enhance your comfort and enjoyment.


Finally, immerse yourself in the scouting experience, bond with fellow scouts, and embrace the great outdoors. Take the time to learn new skills, explore nature, and appreciate the beauty of the natural world.


Now that you have all the information you need, it’s time to hit the trails, set up camp, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Happy scouting!