Camping Essentials

The Scout Outdoor Essentials, as practiced by the Boy Scouts of America, are a list of ten items that should be brought by each individual to any outdoor activity, such as camping or hiking. The origins of the list derive from the Ten Essentials listed in the climbing course taught by the Mountaineering Club since the 1930s.

  • pocket knife (presumably more than just a knife, a Swiss Army knife for example). In order to use a knife in Scouting, you must have your Totin’ Chip award.
  • first aid kit. A basic kit for first aid might include adhesive bandagesmedical tape, sterile gauzemoleskinsoapantiseptic, a mouth-barrier device for CPR, scissors and band-aids.
  • Extra clothing to match the weather. Multiple layers are superior to a single massive jacket, because layered clothing is adaptable to a wide range of temperatures.
  • Rain gear.
  • flashlight/headlamp.
  • Trail food such as trail mix and granola bars, etc. – Do not store in tent! 
  • Water Bottle Portable water purifiers and water stills may be used to obtain potable water from virtually any source. If a water-source is unavailable the use of a dromedary bag should be considered. Also bring bottled water.
  • Matches and/or a firestarter may be used to light fires for heat, or for signalling purposes. (Publicly owned forests in the United States often have lookout stations for forest fires and signal fires.)
  • Sun protection may include sunblocksunglasseslip balm and a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Trail maps and compass.
  • Personal Mess Kit with Cup & Utensils
  • Tent, Sleeping Bag