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Is Cold Weather Camping Appropriate for Cub Scouts?

A Question About Cold Weather Camping

Debbie sent in this question:

I’m a new Bear Leader. My pack goes on a Cold Winter Camping trip in Jan as well as Feb every yr. It gets pretty cold here and can be in the 20s and 30s in those months. I’m struggling with this. I don’t see how this can be an age appropriate activity (the want Tigers and up to attend) I also don’t see how this is progression in the camping program. The boys have tent camped in the fall but never done cabin camping. Pack leadership just expects them to camp in 20 degree weather. I’ve tried and other websites but can’t find a guideline about Cold Weather Camping. Can you help me? Thanks.

Some Thoughts

Thanks for the question Debbie. In our area (Missouri) temps in the 20s or lower are typical during the winter months. Cub Scouts will use winterized cabins in the winter months rather than camping in tents. The cabins have basic heat and often have indoor plumbing.  Scout troops and Venturing crews will tent camp in very cold weather though.

But, when it doubt about what is appropriate for a specific age group, talk to your district or council leadership. This question has probably been answered for units in your area before.

Readers, what do you think? How cold is too cold for Cub Scouts? Add your comments below.

More Resources

Winter Activities and Safety

The Guide to Safe Scouting provides specific guidelines for winter camping and winter sports.

Avoiding Hypothermia During Cold Weather Activities

Avoiding Hypothermia During Cold Weather Activities

Avoiding hypothermia is key to a successful outdoor activity in cold weather, be it cold weather camping, hiking, skiing, ice skating, or snowman building.

Sweet 16 of BSA Safety – Weather Safety Check

Always check the weather before heading out on any activity. For winter activities such as cold weather camping, you especially need to be aware of any hazards which might make travel dangerous.


5 responses to “Is Cold Weather Camping Appropriate for Cub Scouts?”

  1. Kenneth Strayer Avatar
    Kenneth Strayer

    the requirement i found states the average temperature can not be below 32f for cubs when not using heated cabins etc. i want to say it was also a time frame of 6 or 8 hours of the average below 32. so basically it works out to if the day time highs are in the 40-50f range and the lows are 25-30 and up you are generally ok still.

  2. Gayle Edge Avatar
    Gayle Edge

    Actually the guide to safe scouting in the Cub Scout area is very clear! Camping and sleeping in tents in weather under 40 degrees for the night time temperatures is not allowed! Cubs make camp in cabins that have a heat source at that temperature.

    1. Scoutmaster Glenn Avatar
      Scoutmaster Glenn

      Can you provide the page? I can not find that in the GTSS.

  3. Scott Rozman Avatar
    Scott Rozman

    This is interesting since Internet Advancement includes “Frost Points” under the camping entries for Cub Scouts. It also existed when camping logs were a part of Scoutbook.

  4. Melody Avatar

    We recently went camping and first night it got to 35 and was fine. It got up to 60 during day, but then that night was dropping to 30. I would have been absolutely fine with it, but then they threw in a fire ban because it was also very windy. That’s when we decided alright pack it up. That’s too cold for my blood. That’s the nice thing about cub scout camping. You have parents with who have cars etc, so if things do take an unexpected turn, the parents can decide what to do. My son in scouts BSA went camping a few weeks prior and it got down to 8°! I chickened out of that camp out because I could. They still had a great time!

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