Going camping is a fun and formative all-American pastime, and knowing how to pack for a successful trip is a skill all children can benefit from developing. Your child can learn everything they need to know about camping and gain countless other skills (and friends!) by enrolling in a Scouts BSA troop and summer camp program.
If your child is new to Scouts BSA, it’s helpful to learn more about the variety of camping programs available and how to pack for them. That means learning about the best camping equipment for your child as an individual as well as what’s needed for a patrol camping trip vs. a camping adventure with their entire troop.
Fortunately, there are plenty of camping equipment stores with all the Scouting gear you’ll need, including the official Scout Shop. Here are some of the most essential camping equipment items you’ll need for Scouts BSA High Adventure Camps and other summer camp programs.
Basic Troop Gear
Each Scout will bring their own gear, but Scouts and troop leaders alike should familiarize themselves with the key shared troop supplies needed for any large-group camping trip:
- Tents. Scouts may have their own individual sleeping tents depending on their age, rank, and the outing type. However, larger tents are necessary for storing cooking and other shared troop gear.
- Tables. Your troop will need large folding tables that can accommodate the entire group for meals and other seated activities.
- A dining fly. A dining fly is a kit consisting of a large tarp, guylines, poles, and stakes. When assembled, this creates a small roofed shelter for eating meals when inclement weather strikes. Unlike a tent, however, it has no walls, so Scouts can easily duck in and duck out as needed.
- A first aid kit. A good Boy Scout first aid kit will contain scissors, rolled gauze, waterproof tape, antibacterial gel, antiseptic, vinyl exam gloves, tweezers, assorted bandages, and more.
- Large cooking items. These often include a portable stove, lightweight nesting pots and pans with lids, a coffee percolator, a pop-up fire pit, and a portable food prep and storage station.
- Tools. An essential part of being prepared for any camp adventure includes bringing the right tools. These should include things like bow saws, hand axes or hatchets, shovels, portable area lighting, and extra tent-related accessories like drop cloths, rope, stakes, poles, etc.
Basic Patrol Gear
For patrol camping, you’ll need many of the same items, but your gear will be modified to serve a smaller group. Here’s some of the main equipment you’ll need at the patrol level:
- Kitchen and cooking equipment
- Food and condiments
- Fuel for lanterns and stoves
- Hand soap, sanitizers, and trash bags
- Tools, including a fire bucket and fire starters
- Tents and tent accessories
- Water and water purifiers
Personal Scout Gear
Each Scout will also need their own individual gear, which includes a mix of clothing, personal items, tools and more:
- A tent and tent accessories (if they’ll be sleeping in their own tent)
- A 3-season sleeping bag and foam pad
- Proper clothing and footwear
- Personal hygiene items and medication
- Rain gear
- A mess kit (personal dining gear, including dishes and utensils)
- Scout basic essentials, such as a pocket knife or multitool, personal first aid kit, trail food, a flashlight, sun protection, a map and compass, and matches or fire starters
- Hiking supplies (like insect repellent, a hiking stick, and guides to help identify flora and fauna)
- Entertainment and hobby supplies (like binoculars, a camera, notebook, pocket games, a portable music device, etc.)
Explore Scout Camping With The Laurel Highlands Council
If you live in the western parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, or West Virginia, enrolling your child in the Boy Scouts of America, Laurel Highlands Council is an excellent way for them to become proficient in camping—including knowing their way around camping equipment. This is helpful both for general camping and for Scouts BSA’s Summer Camp Adventure programs.
Scouting’s programs and outdoor adventures give young people the opportunity to try new things, provide service to others, build self-confidence, and develop leadership skills. These experiences not only help Scouts while they are young, but help them grow into exceptional men and women that respect their family, community, religion, country and themselves.
The Boy Scouts of America, Laurel Highlands Council serves youth members and volunteer adult leaders throughout Western Pennsylvania, Western Maryland, and parts of West Virginia. We aim to beneficially involve every eligible child and their family in the fun and adventure of our programs. We provide extraordinary youth development programs that develop and strengthen the values of the Scout Oath and Law. However, we can’t do it without you. Give today!