Boy camping with his peers

Scout Camping Checklist

Be Prepared With a Scout Camping Checklist

A scout camping checklist is essential if camp is to be enjoyed. Summer camp is always a fun time for boy scouts, whether your boy is new to the scout movement or has been with this excellent organization for a length of time. Each year summer camp brings new adventures, new friends, new skills and new experiences. The single most important thing that any scout wants to show is that he is prepared.

Nothing could be worse for a young scout than having forgotten to bring necessary items with him, especially when he’s trying to prove his organizational skills. It’s the responsibility of every good parent or guardian to see that he has everything he needs. That doesn’t mean that you have to pack his bags for him, far from it. He should learn to do that himself for several reasons:

  • He needs to know what to pack so that nothing is forgotten.
  • He needs to know how to pack so nothing is damaged or soiled. 
  • He needs to learn to pack so everything is logically placed and can be found quickly and easily.

The easiest way to know what to bring to camp is to create a scout camping checklist. A laminated checklist can be used to pack his bags at home and to take with him to make sure he brings it all back.

If you are unsure what needs to be on the camp checklist, it’s always a good idea to ask a veteran camper what to bring along.

Here is a list to get you started.

List to Get Started:

Choose a backpack that is comfortable on the shoulders and has good lumbar support. The higher it sits up the back, the less strain there will be on the lower back. If you have a frame style backpack, so much the better because they are usually adjustable and most have sectional or removable packs. The more side pockets that you have the easier it is to find without having to dig through the main pack.

  • Large backpack for main items
  • Small backpack for day trips


  • Scout uniform(s)
  • Underclothes
  • Socks – if you have thick hiking socks include these or consider wearing two pairs on a long hike
  • Shorts
  • Jeans 
  • Lightweight jacket, preferably a pack away type
  • Sweat shirt or sweat suit in case the evenings turn cool
  • Athletic/training shoes
  • Hiking boots
  • Sandals
  • Rain gear
  • Swimwear – two pairs if you are doing water activities
  • Towels – minimum of three


  • Ziploc of washing powder or tablet soap for laundry
  • 15 ft nylon rope for clothes line
  • Laundry bag for dirty clothes
  • Toilet paper
  • Disinfectant spray freshens tents and deters spiders
  • Mothballs deter little critters
  • Toiletries bag, which should include: Soap, Shampoo, and Face cloth
  • Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Deodorant


  • Prescription medicines
  • Non-prescription medicines (Headache pills, anti-acid, anti-itch creams, insect repellant and high SPF sunscreen)
  • Personal first aid kit

Night time

  • Sleeping bag or blankets
  • Pillow
  • Groundsheet
  • Flashlight 
  • Spare batteries and bulbs


  • Water bottle or canteen
  • Mess tins
  • Utensils – knife, fork, spoon
  • Tin cup

Activity time

  • Paper and pencils
  • Scout handbook
  • Other activity paraphernalia – check with your patrol or troop leaders
  • Money for activity materials


  • Money for the trading post – souvenirs, snacks etc. (keep separate from activity money)
  • Compass
  • Watch – preferably analog to use as compass
  • Sunglasses
  • Long sleeved shirt
  • Camera
  • Spare film or spare memory card & batteries
  • Clear plastic bag for camera – for taking water photos
  • Prayer book or bible
  • Sketch book and pencils
  • Pocket knife – choose one that has several useful tools. Sheath knives are not permitted on camps
  • Waxed/water resistant string for emergency bootlaces and a variety of other uses

When you are creating the scout camping checklist, be systematic. Thinking about only one group of items at a time will help you think of more optional items and are less likely to forget any essential items.

This scout camping checklist may be added to, depending on the camp that you visit.

And keep in mind that there’s no substitute for understanding/considering the terrain, weather, season and length of time that you will be at the scout camp.

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