backpacking Camping is one of the most fun things that we do in scouts. Whether it be summer camp, weekend camping, or backpacking, it can be a great adventure. Of course, it can be a whole lot less fun if you don't come prepared with the right equipment. Equipment does not have to be the latest, expensive stuff, but it should be adequate for what you need. Bringing a light blanket on for summer camp works great. Bringing it on a January tent camping trip, not so much.
Summer Camp Packing List

Here is a suggested packing list for summer camp. Every scout is different so this is not a mandatory list. Use it as a guide for what to bring
  • Clothes
    • T-shirts including troop t-shirt (all scout appropriate)
    • shorts
    • long pants (may get chilly in the evening, also good as bug repellant
    • scout uniform
    • socks
    • underwear
    • bathing suit
    • sneakers (something to run around in
    • hiking boots (or some kind of sturdy shoe
    • rain gear (jacket/poncho)
    • pullover or jacket for cool nights
  • Equipment
    • Sleeping bag or sheets and a blanket
    • pocket knife
    • flashlight
    • compass
    • re-usable water bottle
    • backpack (day pack or full backpack)
    • camp chair (folding chair for around the fire at night)
    • paper and pencil
    • 50 feet of rope (clothesline and for skills work)
    • mosquito netting
    • towel (swimming and for showers)
  • personal items
    • toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo
    • insect repellant (Deep woods type)
    • sunscreen
    • bag to keep these "smellables" in
    • playing cards, books, games, balls, etc
What to leave home
  • electronic games
  • computers
Weekend Camping (Static) Packing List

This is a general camping list for "static camping". Static camping is when you go to a camping site and stay there for the trip. There is no issue with having to carry the equipment very far to the camping site, so it is possible to bring big or heavy equipment with us. This means we can bring big propane fired camping stoves, the patrol boxes (portable kitchens) and other such equipment.

Below is a checklist for the personal equipment that a scout should consider bringing on a static camping trip. Ideally all their equipment would fit into/on a backpack, but that is not necessary since we don't have to carry it far.
GEAR:
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Mat, good for both comfort and insulation
  • Refillable Sealable Water Bottle (Like a Nalgene)
  • Cup for hot and cold drinks
  • Spoon/Fork combo or a "spork"
  • Reusable Bowl (quart size) for eating out of
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Pocket Knife
  • Compass
  • Whistle
  • Rope (50 feet of clothesline)
Clothes
  • Shirts/Pants (at least one extra pair for weekend trip)
  • Change of Socks and underwear (at least one extra set for weekend trip)
  • Raingear (even if it is not supposed to rain)
  • Thermal underwear (late Fall - early Spring)
  • Sweater
  • Warn
  • Sweater
  • Warm Outerwear, preferrably wind proof/water resistant
  • Gloves/Mittens (except during warm months)
  • Winter Hat (except during warm months)
  • Swim wear (summer)
  • Complete change of clothes for sleeping
  • Hiking boots or sturdy shoes
  • Camp shoes (comfortable but no open toes
  • Water Shoes (water trips)
Personal Hygiene
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Toilet Paper
  • Sunscrreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Contact lens case, water, extra lenses
Other Stuff
  • Camp Chair
  • Tent with ground cloth (normally provided for scouts by troop)
  • Day Pack
  • Snacks (not normally necessary)
Under construction. Follow this link for the winter camping list.
Under construction. Follow this link for the backpacking check list.

Camping is great fun and one of the great activities we do in Scouting. Like everything else, in order to enjoy camping you need to be prepared and have the right equipment. Also, like lots of other activities, you can spend a fortune on equipment, but you can also get by with very little expense. Especially if you caome camping with the troop since the troop has most of the equipment that you will need. Here are some tips for making your camping experiences more enjoyable.

Use a Checklist when Packing

You'rs out on a camping trip and it starts to rain. Did you remember to pack your rain gear? You were running around all day and got all hot and sweaty. Now it's getting cold. Did you remember to bring a change of clothes so that you can stay dry (and warm)? It's dinner time, did you remember to bring your mess kit? For that matter did you remember to bring your food?

A checklist will remind you of everything you may need on the trip. Checklists are usually all-inclusive and some items on the list may not be appropriate for every trip. But if you use a good checklist you will be reminded of all the items that may be useful to you.

Don't wear Cotton

Despite what the cotton industry wants you to believe, cotton is not a good clothing material. At least not for camping/outdoors activities. The problem is that cotton traps and holds water. When it rains or you sweat, your cotton clothing gets wet and heavy. In the summer, this may just make you a bit uncomfortable. In winter, this may be a serious threat to your survival. Why? Because if you are wet and the air is cold, you lose heat much faster. The newer, "high tech" clothing materials are much better at keeping you dry. Many of these synthetic materials are expensive, but others are inexpensive (polyester for example). Of course, there is the very old fashioned, but excellent material, wool.

Keep Dry, Stay Warm

No matter what season or weather you go camping in, if you stay dry you will stay more comfortable. In winter, staying dry is one of the keys to staying warm, and we all want to stay warm. Here are some ways to stay dry and warm in winter:

  1. Dress in layers. Remove layers when you start to heat up (before you start sweating) and put them on when you start to feel chilly (before you feel really cold).
  2. Dont' wear cotton. See the previous section for why
  3. Change the undermost layer of clothes (underwear and socks) when you stop running around for the day. This layer of clothing will have moisture in it (even if you didn't think you were sweating). Changing into dry clothing will help keep you warm
  4. Change your socks during the day on very cold days. Even on very cold days, there are times when you are moving around a lot and your feet are sweating. Changing those damp socks for dry ones works wonders for keeping your feet warm

Wear a Hat and Boots on Cold Days Much of the heat lost is through your head. Your brain has to keep warm and your body will make sure that happens. So want to stay warm? Wear an insulating hat (not a baseball cap). Still not warm enough, add another hat on top. Keep your head insulated and you will stay much warmer.

Boots are another way to keep warm. When the weather is cold, you lost heat through the bottom of your feet. They are touching a cold service and that cold ground sucks the heat out of your feet. Want to keep your feet warm? Wear boots and warm socks. Sneakers are fine for the summer, but they insufficient for keeping warm in the winter.

Keep a set of Clothes for Sleeping Only

Again, if you stay dry, you will stay warm. Using a set of clothes for sleeping only, it will help keep you warm. Since these clothes are for sleeping only, they will always be dry. How warm these clothes need to be depends upon the weather. In winter, clothes such as thermal underwear, warm wool socks, etc are appropriate.

Wear a Hat to Bed

You are snug in that sub zero Sleeping bag but you head is sticking out. Remember from above, you lose a lot of heat through your head. This is especially true when you are in a sleeping bag. Wear a hat to bed and you will be much warmer.

Use a Sleeping Pad

Most people know that a sleeping pad makes you more comfortable since it provides a cushion. But it does something much more important. It provide insulation between you and the very cold ground. Even in summer, the ground is much colder than you are and sucks heat out of you. In summer this may be desired, in winter it can be a real problem.