Every Packing List Starts With the 10 Scout Basic Outdoor Essentials
You’re going on your first camping trip. What should you bring? Every packing list starts with these 10 items, and they’re called “essentials” for a reason. Then you’ll want to add other items depending on the outing.
- Download a checklist for a warm-weather outing
- Download a checklist for a cold-weather outing
- Download a checklist for a paddling trip
- Download a checklist for a bicycling trip
THE 10 SCOUT OUTDOOR ESSENTIALS
The Scout Basic Essentials call for the following. These items can help you stay comfortable, safe and prepared:
1. A pocketknife or multitool can be handy in a wide variety of situations. It’s useful for tasks as large as building an emergency shelter or lighting a campfire with poor fuel, or as small as repairing a damaged backpack. Keep you knife sharp and clean, and don’t forget to first earn your Whittling Chip (for older Cub Scouts) or Totin’ Chip (for Boy Scouts).
2. A first-aid kit can be a lifesaver. Literally. A few items will allow you to treat scratches, blisters and other minor injuries. They should also allow you to provide initial care while waiting for help for more serious injuries.
3. Bring extra clothing to match the weather. Multiple layers are better than a single massive jacket, because layered clothing is adaptable to a wide range of temperatures.
4. Rain gear is very important. Rain can come in a hurry, and getting your clothes drenched is more than just uncomfortable, it can lead to hypothermia, a potentially fatal condition.
5. A flashlight, headlamp or a rugged penlight is important for finding your way in the dark. Bring extra batteries, too.
6. Trail food is good for maintaining your energy. Bring more than you think you’ll need in case you get stuck (or lost) in the woods.
7. Water can prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Use a lightweight, unbreakable container with a secure lid.
8. Matches and/or a fire starter may be used to light fires for heat, or for signaling for help. Store matches or lighters in resealable plastic bags.
9. Sun protection might include sunblock, sunglasses, lip balm and a wide-brimmed hat.
10. A map and compass are probably the most important tools you can carry in case you get lost.
It’s a good idea to bring a daypack for your Scout Essentials, so you can grab it and go if you’re hiking during the campout.
You should also pack clothing matched to the season. Check the weather for where you’re going to camp. It might be warm where you live, but the temperatures might be dropping where you’re going.
Here are some items you may need at night, depending on the outing:
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad
- Ground cloth
Here are some hygiene and toiletry items you may want to pack, depending on the outing:
- Dental floss
- Waterless hand cleaner
- Small towel
- Toilet paper
- Trowel for digging cathole latrines
COOKING AND EATING
Here are some cooking and eating items you may want to pack, depending on the outing:
- Mess kit
- Large plastic cereal bowl or kitchen storage bowl
- Cup or insulated mug
- Water treatment system
- Backpacking stove with fuel
- Large pot and lid (2.5- or 3-quart size)
- Small pot and lid (1.5- or 2-quart size)
- Lightweight frying pan (10 to 12 inches in diameter)
- For melting snow, add 1 large pot and lid (6 to 10 quarts)
- Hot-pot tongs
Here are some extras you may want to pack, depending on the outing:
- Pen or pencil
- Small musical instrument
- Nylon cord
- Insect repellent
- Repair kit
- Hiking stick or trekking poles
- Fishing gear
- Animal identification books, plant keys, geological studies, star charts or other guides
For car-camping where your campsite won’t be far from where you park, you can carry everything in a duffle bag. If you camp often, you’ll want to invest in a backpack so you can venture into the backcountry with all your gear.
needs water cleaning tablets.
We really don’t need a pot for melting snow on the WARM weather checklist… 🙂
Check out the Camping Checklist app on the Amazon app store.
Depending on the area in which you are trekking as you climb to higher elevations one may come across snow. However I do agree that this item may not be needed since there are other items that can be used instead.
The first time I saw snow in my life was in Utah in July!
I’m going on the Klondike this weekend what do you guys recommend
im a boyscout and i love this webpage
What about the Boy Scout Handbook? That is definitely an essential.
Ok so I’m helping with a cub camp I’m pretty sure this will get me through the camp. We leave Saturday and come back Sunday morning.
11. duck tape
A camp chair would also be good. Everything else is great
Good article. Toothpaste n floss not necessary but, the whistle is a must.
floss can be used for things other than getting food out of your teeth. It’s good string, even if waxy. Also, I wouldn’t want food stuck in my teeth for a whole weekend!
Just get your Scouts to read their Boy Scout Handbook to “Be Prepared”.
Excellent checklist’s are in it!!!
The floss has other purposes than just for your teeth.
I’ve used this list before and I did not need anything else
good list-dont forget to do a shakedown
It helps to never unpack your backpack so you don’t have to pack every time you go camping.
I wouldnt want to be around you after 2 or 3 trips with clothes that dont get unpacked 😉
I have boys life and I’m a boy scout I didn’t know wat to bring till now it tells me all the stuff I need this site is grate
You have to remember though if you have wet stuff to dry it out.
Thanks, but Some things you really don’t need expecially for a two day campout…
I can’t think of “Some things” from the ten essentials that you would not need for a “two day” campout. Remember the motto “Be Prepared”!
thank you, that was very helpful.
you do not need extra clothes, almost no one changes in my troop on a normal two night camping trip.And who needs musical instruments or binoculars or any of some of that useless stuff. UL for the win
If you can’t remember what to bring then write a list and check things off.
I think your troop should look into personal hygiene….
Obviously whoever put this list together has not had a lot of experience backpacking,two major areas are overlooked,weight and bulk.
I am heartened to see that a pocket knife/multitool is listed FIRST as Essential Gear. With a pocket knife, almost all other “essentials” can be found, made or repurposed as needed. I don’t feel dressed without a good pocket knife.
If you are camping in hot weather, medicated powder like Gold Bond is great in case of chafing. I live in Florida, the heat and rain and humidity will cause chafing very quickly.
I’ve been camping for years and still always get out this list before going. Lately I’m into SUL backpacking (less than 5 pounds base equipment not counting consumables) this list is easily done in less than half a pound before food and water. 2 lb sleeping bag and poncho becomes shelter and your set with a little extra for luxuries (sleeping pad harmonica spork)
Thx that was a really helpful list
A whistle is essential and should be carried by every hiker, especially kids.
Thanks for the help
I feel like ten essentials should be on that list. Twice.
Thanks! This will be very helpful.
There is a method using a watch to find a north-south line.
really nice list- have used these items on many outings
A CAMERA ON A HIKE????
Why not? Don’t want to catch your friends face when you pull the best prank ever?
Cameras are good to help practice the Leave No Trace Principles of which Leave What You Find and Respect Wildlife are part. Boy Scouts should be following these principles.
Great, all you need is some batteries for the light.
you might want to carry some rope or paracord also
Goog list but usually don’t have to carry all of these things
You wouldn’t be able to charge a camera
good list but seems a bit heavy weight for a daypack.
maybe seperate lists for different durations of hikes.
(day hike, overniter, weekender, etc)
Pioneers did not have batteries. I think a scout should have a old-fashioned kerosene lamp. It may be out of style, but I always go for the old ways.
I was taught the 9v battery and steel wool method… BY A BOY SCOUT THAT WAS 1ST CLASS!!!!!!!
All of these are handy there may seem a lot of things but its better to carry them than die!
Well written and explained. Nice!
Wrong wrong wrong these r not the BSA ten
Boy Scout Handbook, p. 207
Remember the “10 Essentials” is not Scout Law… Do your thing, be safe and have FUN!
No clean clothes? They never get worn anyway…
you also might want to have a survival kit on hand!
this is a survival kit!
9 volt and steel woll always good
No not the BSA way
It’s also good to have extra batteries with a flashlight for essentials and surival.