Boy Scouts who like building their own shelters and making survival packs will enjoy the Wilderness Survival merit badge.
In their outdoor activities, Scouts learn to bring the clothing and gear they need, to make good plans, and do their best to manage any risks. But now and then, something unexpected happens. When things go wrong, the skills of wilderness survival can help make everything right again.
Requirements for the Wilderness Survival Merit Badge
- Show that you know first aid for and how to prevent injuries or illnesses that could occur in backcountry settings, including hypothermia, heat reactions, frostbite, dehydration, blisters, insect stings, tick bites, and snakebites.
- From memory, list the seven the priorities for survival in a backcountry or wilderness location. Explain the importance of each one with your counselor.
- Discuss ways to avoid panic and maintain a high level of morale when lost, and explain why this is important.
- Describe the steps you would take to survive in the following conditions:
- Cold and snowy
- Wet (forest)
- Hot and dry (desert)
- Windy (mountains or plains)
- Water (ocean, lake, or river)
- Put together a personal survival kit and explain how each item in it could be useful.
- Using three different methods (other than matches), build and light three fires.
- Do the following:
- Show five different ways to attract attention when lost.
- Demonstrate how to use a signal mirror.
- Describe from memory five ground-to-air signals and tell what they mean.
- Improvise a natural shelter. For the purpose of this demonstration, use techniques that have little negative impact on the environment. Spend a night in your shelter.
- Explain how to protect yourself from insects, reptiles, and bears.
- Demonstrate three ways to treat water found in the outdoors to prepare it for drinking.
- Show that you know the proper clothing to wear in your area on an overnight in extremely hot weather and in extremely cold weather.
- Explain why it usually is not wise to eat edible wild plants or wildlife in a wilderness survival situation.