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What To Take On A Cub Scout Camping Trip


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Jeni Mcgough



Embarking on a camping trip with the Cub Scouts is a thrilling adventure that combines the beauty of nature with the camaraderie of fellow scouts. Whether you are a parent helping your child prepare for their first camping experience or a Cub Scout leader planning an exciting outdoor activity, it’s crucial to be equipped with the right essentials to make the trip safe, enjoyable, and memorable.


From the picturesque landscapes to the bonding moments around the campfire, a Cub Scout camping trip offers numerous opportunities for personal growth and learning. It teaches valuable outdoor skills, fosters teamwork and independence, and provides a chance to connect with nature in a meaningful way.


While each camping trip is unique, there are some essential items that every scout should pack. In this article, we will explore the must-have items for a successful Cub Scout camping adventure. Whether you’re a scout or a parent/guardian assisting your child, this guide will ensure you have all the necessary gear and supplies for a fun-filled and safe experience in the great outdoors.


Before diving into the specific items to pack, it’s important to consider the weather conditions and duration of the camping trip. This will help determine the appropriate clothing, gear, and supplies to bring along. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to check with the Cub Scout organization or your scout leader for any specific guidelines or recommendations for the trip.


Now, let’s dive into the essential items you’ll need to pack for a Cub Scout camping trip, ensuring that you’re well-prepared for a fantastic outdoor adventure!


Packing Essentials

When preparing for a Cub Scout camping trip, having the right essentials is crucial for a successful and enjoyable experience. These essentials include items that are necessary for basic survival, as well as those that contribute to the overall comfort and convenience of the trip. Here are the must-have packing essentials:

  1. Tent: A sturdy and weather-resistant tent is essential for providing shelter during the camping trip. Choose a size that comfortably fits all occupants and ensure it is easy to set up and take down.
  2. Sleeping Bag and Sleeping Pad: A warm and comfortable sleeping bag is essential for a good night’s sleep. Choose a bag suitable for the weather conditions and consider bringing a sleeping pad or air mattress for added comfort.
  3. Backpack: A sturdy backpack is necessary for carrying personal belongings, snacks, and other essentials during the hike or exploration activities.
  4. Headlamp or Flashlight: Ensure you have a reliable source of light for navigating the campsite at night. A headlamp or flashlight is essential for safety and convenience.
  5. Water Bottles and Hydration Pack: Staying hydrated is crucial during outdoor activities. Bring reusable water bottles or a hydration pack to ensure you have a sufficient water supply.
  6. Multi-tool: A versatile multi-tool can come in handy for various tasks such as cutting ropes, opening cans, or repairing gear. Opt for a quality multi-tool with essential tools like a knife, pliers, and screwdrivers.
  7. Fire Starter: While fires may not always be allowed or necessary, having a reliable fire starter, such as waterproof matches or a fire starter kit, is essential for emergencies or for cozy campfire evenings.
  8. First Aid Kit: Accidents happen, especially in the great outdoors. A well-stocked first aid kit is essential for treating minor injuries and ailments. Make sure it includes bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relief medication, and other essentials.

These are the basic essentials that should be included in every Cub Scout’s packing list. However, it’s important to tailor your packing list to the specific needs and requirements of the camping trip. Consider the length of the trip, weather conditions, and any specific activities planned to ensure you have all the necessary items to stay safe and comfortable throughout the adventure.


Clothing and Personal Items

Proper clothing and personal items are essential for staying comfortable and prepared during a Cub Scout camping trip. The right clothing will protect against the elements and ensure mobility for all the activities planned. Below are some key items to include in your packing list:

  • Weather-Appropriate Clothing: Pack clothing suitable for the expected weather conditions. Layers are essential for adjusting to temperature changes throughout the day. Include items like t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, pants, shorts, a light jacket, a hat, and extra socks.
  • Sturdy Footwear: Comfortable and durable shoes are a must for outdoor activities. Opt for closed-toe shoes or hiking boots to protect your feet from rocks, uneven terrain, and potential hazards.
  • Personal Hygiene Products: Don’t forget to pack essential personal hygiene items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, towels, and toilet paper. Consider travel-sized options to save space and minimize waste.
  • Insect Repellent and Sunscreen: Protect yourself from insects and the sun’s harmful rays. Carry insect repellent to ward off mosquitoes and other bugs, as well as sunscreen with a high SPF to prevent sunburn.
  • Extra Set of Clothes: It’s always a good idea to pack an extra set of clothes in case of unexpected changes in weather or accidents that may result in wet or dirty clothing.
  • Personal Identification and Medications: Carry identification documents, such as a Scout ID or medical information, if necessary. If you or your scout have any medical conditions, make sure to bring any necessary medication or medical supplies.
  • Scout Uniform: Many Cub Scout camping trips involve scout ceremonies or events where the official scout uniform may be required. Check with your scout leader to confirm if bringing the uniform is necessary for the trip.

Remember to pack personal items and clothing that align with the principles and values of the Cub Scouts. Emphasize comfort, functionality, and practicality, ensuring that all items are appropriate for the outdoor environment and the activities planned.


By packing the right clothing and personal items, you’ll be well-prepared to fully enjoy the camping experience while staying comfortable and ready for any adventure that comes your way.


Camping Gear

When it comes to camping gear, having the right equipment is essential for a successful and enjoyable Cub Scout camping trip. This gear will help you navigate the outdoors, set up camp, and cook meals. Here are the key camping gear essentials:

  • Camp Stove or Cooking Equipment: Depending on the camping trip and cooking requirements, bring a camp stove or other cooking equipment such as a portable grill or Dutch oven. Make sure to also pack fuel or propane canisters if needed.
  • Cooking Utensils and Cookware: Include essential cooking utensils like a spatula, tongs, pots, pans, plates, bowls, cups, and utensils for eating. Opt for lightweight and durable options suitable for outdoor use.
  • Cooler: If you plan on bringing perishable food or beverages, a cooler is a must. Make sure to pack ice or ice packs to keep your items properly chilled.
  • Camp Chairs and Folding Tables: While not absolutely necessary, camp chairs and folding tables can provide comfort and convenience at the campsite. They are perfect for relaxing, eating meals, or playing games.
  • Sleeping Pad or Air Mattress: To ensure a comfortable night’s sleep, consider bringing a sleeping pad or air mattress. These provide extra cushioning and insulation against the ground.
  • Campfire Tools: If campfires are allowed, bring necessary tools such as firewood or fire starters, matches or a lighter, and a sturdy fire grate or tripod for cooking over the fire.
  • Portable Water Container: Depending on the availability of water sources, bring a portable water container to ensure a sufficient supply for cooking, drinking, and cleaning.
  • Campsite Cleanup Gear: Dispose of trash responsibly by bringing garbage bags, recycling bags, and cleaning supplies like biodegradable soap and wipes. Keep the campsite clean and leave no trace behind.
  • Campsite Lighting: Ensure you have enough lighting to navigate the campsite at night. Consider bringing lanterns or LED lights for ambient lighting and headlamps for individual use.

Remember to check with your Cub Scout leader or the specific camping trip guidelines for any additional gear or equipment recommendations. Depending on the trip’s activities and location, there may be specific gear required or restrictions on certain items.


By packing the necessary camping gear, you’ll be equipped to set up a comfortable campsite, prepare meals, and create lasting memories in the great outdoors.


Cooking and Food Supplies

Good food is an essential part of any camping trip, and being well-prepared with cooking and food supplies is key to ensuring everyone stays nourished and satisfied during the Cub Scout adventure. Here are some essential items to pack for cooking and food:

  • Non-Perishable Food: Pack a variety of non-perishable food items such as canned goods, granola bars, trail mix, dried fruits, and nuts. These foods are easy to store, require minimal preparation, and can provide quick and convenient meals and snacks.
  • Staple Ingredients: Bring staple ingredients like oil, salt, pepper, and basic spices to add flavor to your meals. Consider small containers or travel-friendly options to save space.
  • Fresh Produce: Depending on the trip’s duration and availability, pack fresh fruits and vegetables that can last without refrigeration, such as apples, oranges, carrots, and cucumbers.
  • Campfire Cooking Supplies: If campfires are allowed, don’t forget essential campfire cooking supplies like aluminum foil, skewers for roasting marshmallows, and a campfire cooking grate or tripod.
  • Cooking Utensils: Include utensils such as spatulas, wooden spoons, cutting boards, and knives for food preparation and cooking. Opt for compact and durable options suitable for outdoor use.
  • Dishwashing Supplies: Pack biodegradable dish soap, a scrub brush or sponge, and a collapsible basin for washing dishes. Follow Leave No Trace principles and dispose of greywater responsibly.
  • Food Storage Containers: Bring containers or resealable bags for storing leftovers, snacks, and food items to keep them organized and protected from pests.
  • Camping Meal Plan: Consider creating a meal plan in advance to ensure you have enough food for the duration of the trip. Plan simple and easy-to-prepare meals that cater to the preferences and dietary needs of the group.
  • Utensils and Plates: Don’t forget to bring plates, bowls, cups, and utensils for each camper. Opt for reusable options or environmentally friendly alternatives to reduce waste.

Remember to practice proper food safety measures during the camping trip. Keep perishable items properly refrigerated, cook foods to the recommended temperatures, and wash hands thoroughly before handling food.


With careful planning and packing, you can ensure that meals are delicious, satisfying, and easy to prepare during your Cub Scout camping adventure.


First Aid Kit and Medications

In any outdoor adventure, safety should always be a top priority, and having a well-equipped first aid kit is crucial. The unpredictable nature of the wilderness makes it essential to be prepared to handle minor injuries and ailments. Here’s what you should include in your Cub Scout camping trip first aid kit:

  • Bandages and Dressings: Pack a variety of adhesive bandages, gauze pads, and adhesive tape to treat minor cuts, scrapes, and burns.
  • Antiseptic Wipes and Hydrogen Peroxide: Include antiseptic wipes and hydrogen peroxide to clean wounds and prevent infection.
  • Pain Relief Medication: Bring over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to manage minor aches and pains that may occur during the camping trip.
  • Allergy Medication: If you or any scouts have known allergies, ensure you have the necessary allergic reaction medications, such as antihistamines or epinephrine auto-injectors (e.g., EpiPen).
  • Hand Sanitizer: Keep hand sanitizer handy to maintain cleanliness when soap and water are not readily available.
  • Tweezers and Scissors: To remove splinters, ticks, or perform minor medical procedures, include a pair of tweezers and medical scissors in your first aid kit.
  • Emergency Blanket: Pack an emergency blanket, also known as a space blanket, to provide warmth and protection in case of unexpected cold weather or emergencies.
  • Personal Medications: If you or your Cub Scout require any prescription medications, ensure you have an ample supply for the camping trip, along with the necessary instructions for taking them.
  • Emergency Contact Information: Include a list of emergency contact numbers, medical insurance details, and any other relevant medical information specific to you or your scout.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with the contents of the first aid kit and know how to properly use each item. Consider taking a basic first aid course or refreshing your knowledge on basic first aid techniques before the trip.


Remember, the first aid kit is meant to address minor injuries and provide temporary relief until professional medical help can be sought. In the event of a serious injury or medical emergency, it’s imperative to contact emergency services immediately or seek appropriate medical assistance.


By being prepared with a comprehensive first aid kit and any necessary medications, you can ensure the safety and well-being of everyone on the Cub Scout camping trip.


Navigation and Safety Equipment

When venturing into the great outdoors, it’s important to have the necessary navigation and safety equipment to ensure a safe and enjoyable Cub Scout camping trip. These tools will help you navigate unfamiliar terrain, stay on course, and handle unexpected situations. Here are the essential navigation and safety equipment:

  • Map and Compass: A detailed map of the area, along with a reliable compass, is essential for navigating your way through the wilderness. Familiarize yourself with how to read a map and use a compass before the trip.
  • GPS Device or Smartphone: While not a replacement for a map and compass, a GPS device or smartphone with GPS capabilities can provide additional assistance in navigation. Download offline maps or navigation apps for areas with limited or no cell phone coverage.
  • Whistle: Carry a whistle to alert others in case of an emergency. A whistle’s high-pitched sound can carry over long distances and is a universal distress signal.
  • Flashlight or Headlamp: Ensure you have a reliable source of light for navigating in low light or dark conditions. A flashlight or headlamp is essential for safety and visibility at night.
  • Emergency Shelter: Pack an emergency shelter, such as a lightweight tarp or bivvy, in case you need to seek temporary shelter from inclement weather or unexpected circumstances.
  • Fire Extinguisher: If campfires are allowed, bring a compact fire extinguisher to quickly and effectively extinguish any accidental fires.
  • Personal Floatation Device (PFD): If your Cub Scout camping trip involves water activities or boating, make sure you have appropriate-sized PFDs for each participant. Safety should always come first when near or on water.
  • Extra Batteries: Don’t forget to pack extra batteries for your electronic devices, such as flashlights, GPS devices, or other battery-powered tools. Ensure they are fully charged before the trip.
  • Emergency Contact Information: Carry a list of emergency contact numbers, including local emergency services, scout leaders, and relevant individuals who should be notified in case of an emergency.

Before embarking on the Cub Scout camping trip, familiarize yourself with the functionality and proper usage of the navigation and safety equipment. It’s also essential to educate all participants on safety guidelines and protocols specific to the trip.


By being well-prepared with navigation tools and safety equipment, you can navigate the wilderness with confidence, ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone on the Cub Scout camping trip.


Optional Items

In addition to the essential items for a Cub Scout camping trip, there are also optional items that can enhance the experience and provide additional convenience and comfort. These items are not necessarily essential but can be valuable additions to your packing list. Here are some optional items to consider:

  • Camp Games and Activities: Bring along some camp games, such as a frisbee, football, or playing cards, to keep everyone entertained during downtime at the campsite.
  • Binoculars or a Telescope: If the camping trip offers opportunities for wildlife observation or stargazing, consider bringing binoculars or a telescope for a closer look.
  • Campsite Decorations: Add a touch of fun and creativity to the campsite by bringing festive decorations such as bunting, string lights, or flags to create a welcoming and spirited atmosphere.
  • Camping Chairs or Hammocks: While not essential, camping chairs or hammocks can provide extra comfort and relaxation at the campsite, allowing you to unwind and enjoy nature.
  • Field Guides and Nature Books: For educational purposes and to enhance the scouting experience, consider bringing field guides or nature books that can help identify different plants, animals, and wildlife species.
  • Camera or Binoculars: Capture memories and enjoy the beauty of nature by bringing a camera or binoculars to observe and document the surroundings and wildlife.
  • Inflatable Mattress: If you prefer additional cushioning and comfort while sleeping, an inflatable mattress can provide a more luxurious sleeping surface compared to traditional sleeping pads.
  • Portable Camp Shower: For longer camping trips or locations without shower facilities, a portable camp shower can provide a refreshing way to stay clean and fresh during the trip.
  • Outdoor Projector and Screen: Transform your camping experience by bringing an outdoor projector and screen, allowing you to enjoy movies or slideshows under the stars.

When considering optional items, take into account the size and weight restrictions of your gear, as well as the specific guidelines or limitations provided by your Cub Scout leader or the camping site. Avoid overpacking and prioritize the essential items before adding optional items to your list.


Remember, the focus of a Cub Scout camping trip is on outdoor activities, learning, and building friendships. Choose optional items that align with these goals and contribute to a fun and memorable experience for everyone involved.



Preparing for a Cub Scout camping trip requires careful planning and packing to ensure a safe, enjoyable, and memorable experience in the great outdoors. By having the right essentials, you can embark on your adventure with confidence, knowing that you have everything you need to thrive in the wilderness. From the necessary camping gear to clothing, food supplies, first aid kits, navigation tools, and optional items, each item plays a crucial role in ensuring a successful trip.


Remember to tailor your packing list to the specific needs and requirements of the camping trip, considering factors such as weather conditions, duration, and planned activities. Check with your Cub Scout leader or organization for any specific guidelines or recommendations before finalizing your packing list.


As you embark on your Cub Scout camping trip, embrace the beauty of nature, cultivate a sense of adventure, and foster teamwork and independence. Take advantage of the learning opportunities that arise from being in the wilderness and connect with fellow scouts, forming bonds that will last a lifetime.


By being well-prepared and equipped with the right essentials, you can fully immerse yourself in the wonders of nature, embrace the spirit of scouting, and create cherished memories that will inspire and shape you for years to come. So gather your gear, pack your bags, and get ready for a thrilling and unforgettable Cub Scout camping adventure!