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Camp Gear


Scouts should be able to go camping with all their personal gear and a fair share of the Patrol food and equipment carried comfortably in a backpack. The backpack is the starting point.

  • Each Scout’s pack should contain everything necessary to spend the entire camp outdoors. BE PREPARED!
  • Absolutely NO suitcases nor garbage bag packing!  Garbage bags are acceptable if, and only if, they are inside a backpack in order to keep contents dry.  Sturdy duffel bags are OK for walk-in camps such as Maclean, but not when we hike for any distance to camp.
  • When purchasing a backpack, go to a store with a helpful staff (e.g. Coast Mountain Sports, Mountain Equipment Co-op, etc) to ensure the pack fits right — this is critical.  This is an investment that you will use for years to come.
  • Your pack must be large enough to not only hold your personal items such as clothes, dishes, toiletries, etc, but also your tent,  sleeping bag, and a portion of the group gear such as food and cooking equipment.
  • When packed, all the gear should fit in or on the pack — your hands should be free and not be carrying anything.

Sleeping Gear

Sleeping gear includes a sleeping bag, probably a foam pad, possibly an extra blanket for winter camps, and definitely a tarp or groundsheet. The groundsheet is included as sleeping gear since the sleeping bag (carried on the outside of the pack while hiking) is made waterproof by rolling in the groundsheet (tying with short cords), and then in the tent the groundsheet forms a waterproof layer under the sleeping bag.


Clothing includes the Scout uniform (Scout T-shirt and necker) for travel and at flag ceremonies. Scouts travel to and from camp in uniform. The following items of layered clothing are suggested for a weekend camp:

  • light socks, underwear and t-shirt for each day of camp
  • heavy socks and hiking boots
  • loose pants for hiking (shorts in summer)
  • sweat pants and top, preferably fleece since cotton is useless when wet (these can be an extra layer in the evening, spare clothes if others get wet, and can double as pyjamas)
  • wool sweater and light jacket
  • hat, mitts and waterproof rain jacket (these items will probably be the “extra clothes” for hiking)
  • possible additions are a swimsuit in summer and long underwear for the other three seasons

Spare running shoes and clothing may be considered, however Scouts will soon learn that keeping gear dry is less tiring than carrying lots of extras. Clothing is carried in the bag of the backpack waterproofed in plastic bags.

Personal Items

Miscellaneous personal gear includes:

  • toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, comb, soap or hand sanitizer, small towel, toilet paper, etc.
  • dishes: cutlery and a plate, cup and bowl (ideally in a mesh bag)
  • some rope
  • lots of plastic bags
  • a canteen or plastic water bottle
  • a repair kit (spare batteries, wire, 2 or 3 nails, twist ties, safety pins, a needle and thread, and light cord}
  • Optional items: camera, notebook, binoculars, and possibly something for entertainment (book, cards, board games, Frisbee, harmonica, etc.) and the Scout Handbook.

The above list is each Scout’s personal gear; a fair share of the Patrol’s food and equipment will also be in each Scout’s pack!

Pack Weight

How much should your backpack weigh?  A rule of thumb is that for longer hikes, the backpack should not no more than 1/3 of your body weight.  That goes for adults as well as youth.  For shorter hikes, the pack can be a bit heavier.  Note that this rule of thumb applies to the final pack, inclusive of your share of the patrol food and equipment.   That means when you are packing your own stuff, it has to weigh less than 1/3 of your bodyweight.  Larger Scouts will need to carry a larger share of the patrol food and equipment.

Gear Lists

Here are some more specific gear lists for different types of camps:

Generic Camp Gear List

Day Hike Gear List

Spring and Fall Camp Gear List

Winter Camp Gear List

What NOT To Bring to Camp!

What To Do With Gear After Camp

Scout Patrol Box Contents

Care and feeding of your patrol box