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.
You should most definitely bring your scout book. Its full of tons of information. Also bring a small source of entertainment like a rubix cube.
Why are there no sleeping bags, sleep pad or tents on this list?!? Otherwise a good list for scouts.
You already know to bring it
No tent and Sleeping bag,
Playing cards. Always pack a deck. You’re welcome.
But you don’t know to bring clothes?
This are the most important attribute of outdoor conduct
Thanks this will help me while camping
This is helpful
Very helpful im camping soon so this helps
Include duct tape. very useful. it is waterproof and very strong, also you can make things in it
This was really helpful thank you
Depending on where you are going bring a phone or disposable camera to take pictures. If you don’t you’ll regret it
No sleeping bag???
No cotton clothing If you’re going to be in the back country. Only synthetic or wool.
…late, But really helped me for summer camp! Because i’m always forgetting one thing or another that they don’t put on the list. Likely because the cabins do different things in their free-time!
i have a question on sleeping mats. so i can never find the right size, how do i know which size to buy
Why are sleeping bags and pads not on the list?? Almost forgot to pack this for a weekend trip when I used this list!!
Those wouldnt nessisarily be in your day pack because you would have either your tent or sleeping essentials with that.
Thank you for the Helpful Post.
Swiss knife handle will help you
remove splinters, cut cloths into bandages and – most importantly of all
it will help open a can food for a cosy campfire meal.
IM A SCOUT AND HOPING TO ATTEND A CAMP TOMORROW
This is awesome! I’ve checked about 50,000 other websites and this is best!
Nice that they have that
what about tents and sleeping bags and food…
It has almost everything I need to go camping
Considered Noticed they should add it
what about tents and sleeping bags and food…
This is absolutely terrific. Nicely done, thanks
Helpful when packing and thinking about what I need before a campout. Thanks!
Please if you use LED flashlights or headlamps, be respectful to others with them. They are much brighter than older ones and can ruin the night vision for others.
hi matt, now i know how to keep a spider as a pet…thanks, christina
That’s why one should use the RED bulbs option.
Bear Den leader and we always go over the “Six Essentials” that go into a day pack. Even for a Cub Scout a whistle is a must have.
Thank you.This helps not forget
Been a scout for 3 maybe 4 years almost a life scout. Also love your magazines
No tent, sleeping bag or sleeping pad
Rough and ready Rangers use this list
I am a Boy Scout and this really helps me for packing for summer camp! So I don’t forget things.
Good list, but you are missing one crucial thing: A whistle. What if you get lost in the woods, and you yell? After a certain amount of time, Your energy will probably deplete. With a whistle, you only need your breath. Its loud, nd high-pitched. Great thing to bring for a camping trip (Like for the pack or scout camp)
great i am a boy scout never been to camp hale so i will use this list
A whistle is on the list, in “Extras.”
One thing that is vital is your scout book. For some it might sound obvious but it’s an essential. I usually carry some sort of entertainment such as a small instrument, deck of cards, or even a tennis ball.
As someone else mentioned, a whistle is, in fact, included on the above list. Another point that has also been mentioned, but just to reinforce the idea- Your scout book is definitely a much needed item. And a deck of cards is always a handy thing to have with you for some late night games of bull around the fire.
i always over or under pack
Where is the dehydrated water?
At a camp this weekend I plan to show the boys bags of dehydrated food and of course a bag of dehydrated water! I have been laughing about it for weeks while planning this camp
You are a joker.
i’m using sign language, I need to pee!
i always over pack or under pack
this should help
I think that they should actually make a whole other list for stuff that shouldn’t be brought
thank you very much. I like it. I’ll share it.
Great! it helps. thanks so much.
this is a great web site for finding the stuff I need to pack! and I really like your magazines!!!! thank you
It is a good advise thankyou.