BL Essentials

Scout outdoor essentials checklist

camp-200x148They’re called “essentials” for a reason. Every packing list starts with these 10 items.

  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. 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.
  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. Being wet from rain may result in hypothermia, a potentially fatal condition.
  5. A flashlight is important for finding your way in the dark.
  6. Trail food is good for maintaining your energy.
  7. Water can prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
  8. Matches and/or a fire starter may be used to light fires for heat, or for signaling for help.
  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.

Here are some additional items you may want to pack, depending on the outing:

Keeping Clean

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Soap
  • Comb
  • Waterless hand cleaner
  • Small towel
  • Washcloth
  • Toilet paper
  • Trowel for digging cathole latrines

Cooking and eating

  • Large plastic cereal bowl or kitchen storage bowl
  • Spoon
  • 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


  • Watch
  • Camera
  • Notebook
  • Pen or pencil
  • Sunglasses
  • Small musical instrument
  • Swimsuit
  • Gloves
  • Whistle
  • Nylon cord
  • Insect repellent
  • Repair kit
  • Hiking stick or trekking poles
  • Binoculars
  • Fishing gear
  • Animal identification books, plant keys, geological studies, star charts or other guides

Comments about “Scout outdoor essentials checklist”

  1. Member of troop 341 says:

    Great, all you need is some batteries for the light.

  2. hiboyslife says:

    you might want to carry some rope or paracord also

  3. Troop 934 is awesome says:

    Goog list but usually don’t have to carry all of these things

  4. chazbravo says:

    good list but seems a bit heavy weight for a daypack.
    maybe seperate lists for different durations of hikes.
    (day hike, overniter, weekender, etc)

  5. Troop 0115 says:

    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.


  6. uh eh ting tang walla walla bang bang says:

    I was taught the 9v battery and steel wool method… BY A BOY SCOUT THAT WAS 1ST CLASS!!!!!!!

  7. Chief scout Bear Grylls says:

    All of these are handy there may seem a lot of things but its better to carry them than die!

  8. HoboBob says:

    Magnesium helps2

  9. Uranium says:

    Well written and explained. Nice!

  10. Bob says:

    Wrong wrong wrong these r not the BSA ten

    • BeaverCarl says:

      Boy Scout Handbook, p. 207
      Remember the “10 Essentials” is not Scout Law… Do your thing, be safe and have FUN!

  11. tommy says:

    No clean clothes? They never get worn anyway…

  12. camping 101 says:

    you also might want to have a survival kit on hand!

  13. Troop72 firstclassscout says:

    9 volt and steel woll always good

  14. Troop 6284 member says:

    It’s also good to have extra batteries with a flashlight for essentials and surival.

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