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For your first campout, just bring as much of the following equipment as you already own or can borrow. You will need a sleeping bag and a closed-cell foam camp sleeping mat right away,
but try not to buy any other new equipment until you have been on a
couple campouts and had a chance to talk to your Scoutmaster about what
What to bring on a campout:
BACKPACK (and/or large Sports Equipment Bag, and/or Duffel Bag). Line it with a Lawn Bag first, to keep contents dry.
CLOSED-CELL FOAM CAMP SLEEPING PAD
EXTRA PAIR PANTS (non-cotton, if possible -- check the tags for polyester, nylon, or other synthetics)
WOOL SWEATER, or POLYESTER SWEATSHIRT
LONG SLEEVE SHIRT (Wool or synthetic fiber for insulating quality/quick drying).
2 SHORT SLEEVE SHIRTS
HAT (with brim for sun)
GOOD QUALITY WHISTLE on neck chain.
MESS-KIT (BOWL, CUP, FORK, SPOON, PLATE -- (plastic keeps food warmer than metal)
2 ONE-QUART WATER BOTTLES, filled ("Nalgene" Bottles are the most dependable).
FLASHLIGHT & EXTRA BATTERIES.
SMALL FIRST AID KIT (You can make your own: BSA Handbook, Page 289).
PEN & POCKET NOTEPAD, (No, you can't borrow ours), BSA HANDBOOK (Free when you join)
CLEAN-UP KIT (Small Hand Soap, Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Comb, Floss, Fast-Drying Camp Towel).
TOILET PAPER (Half a roll in a Zip-Lock bag).
"BLUE" 5'X7' TARP (or other Plastic Ground Sheet to keep sleeping bag dry).
BUG REPELLENT (non-aerosol)
Always pack for one season COLDER than now!
Avoid cotton clothes (like blue jeans and cotton sweatshirts) for outdoor use.
How to choose a pack
Many Scouts are considering purchasing
new gear before the camping season kicks into high gear. One of the
most expensive items on your list is probably a pack.
When you buy something that you may use for
many, many years, it only makes sense to make sure you get something you
are comfortable with (and in!).
Here is a quick guide to fitting a pack from backpacker.com!
PACK FIT TIPS: 5 SECRETS FOR FINE-TUNING CARRYING COMFORT
- First, measure your torso to find your
size. Find the bony bump at the base of your neck. Measure the
distance down to your iliac crest which is the bone in your pelvis (the
shelf). This is about even with your hip bones. You may need a friend
- Loosen all straps, put the pack on,
then tighten straps in this sequence: 1) hipbelt 2) shoulder straps 3)
load lifters 4) sternum strap 5) hip stabilizers.
- Assess fit. The bottom of the pack
should curve snugly in the small of your back, weight should feel evenly
distributed between shoulders and hips, and shoulder straps should hug
shoulders with no gaps at the top.
- Try different brands to find one that
fits you best. And don't be afraid to test a pack marketed to the
opposite sex. Slimmer guys might find a women's pack fits better, and
- Bend removable stays: Curve them to
match your spine by placing them over a counter edge and applying gentle
pressure. It will take a few rounds of trial and error to get the
Care of Equipment
A Scout's equipment is expensive and gets put
to hard use. Of course, once you invest in a piece of equipment or
find something that you really like, you want it to last a LONG time!
The article "Make your Gear Last Forever" extracts from Backpacker Magazine will help you
make your gear last longer!
The article is taken directly and unchanged from Backpacker Magazine.