BE PREPARED. The Scout Motto is tried and true, and scouts have a better experience when they’re ready for the adventures ahead. Here are the basics that we recommend for each scout:
Tent — A single, 2-man or 4-man tent. Estimated cost: $70 – $250, depending on how fancy you want to get. Please do not expect to use a large, heavy, multi-room tent. A tent that an 11-year-old can quickly set up and tear down on his own is ideal.
Sleeping bag — We recommend something compact and rated for 30°F and higher. We do sleep outside in temperatures below freezing. Estimated cost: $75 – $100
Bedding — Cots can be used when we’re able to drive to our campsite. For backpacking, a yoga mat, therm-a-rest, or other sleeping pad is recommended. Occasionally, cots will be required by a camp. Hammocks: A good hammock is both comfy and convenient. Be aware than National Parks and some State Parks have outlawed them as they can damage trees.
Mess kit — We don’t normally use disposable dishes on campouts. A scout’s mess kit can be expensive, but a Tupperware-type container and some thrift-store flatware will nearly always work as well.
Water bottle — 1-liter plastic bottle is recommended (Nalgene is a common brand)
Pocket knife — One of the first things you’ll do is earn your Totin Chip, which allows you to carry a knife at all Scouting functions. The knife must be a folding blade (no fixed-blade knives) and the blade should be shorter than 4 inches.
Weather-appropriate clothing — including a rain jacket. Disposable emergency ponchos are fine for a single use or day hike, but a good rain jacket is a better long-term investment. Clothing that can be layered is best as temperatures can vary widely within a few hours. Scouts are required to wear closed-toe shoes at all outdoor activities (water activities being the exception).
Duffel bag or backpack — A sturdy bag to transport your gear. You may need to purchase a true hiking pack later in scouting, but a zip-up bag will be used much more often. A suitcase would not be appropriate for scout camping.
Flashlight — This can be a headlamp, hand-held, or even the LED light on a cell phone. A small battery-operated lantern may be useful in addition to a flashlight.
Hat — Something to keep the sun off your face and neck
Camp chair — any fabric, collapsible chair. Not so heavy that your scout can’t carry it.
Foot Locker — OPTIONAL. Plastic locking boxes like this one can be very helpful on longer campouts like summer camp. They keep your gear safe, and they are great when the rain starts pouring.
The troop owns gas stoves and chuck boxes containing cooking utensils, cleaning supplies, etc. Of course, camping gear can get quite expensive, depending on quality, durability, weight (lightweight items are more expensive) and brand. If you’re relatively new to camping, we recommend coming on a few campouts and seeing what everyone else is using.