Camping Packing List

We are well into camping season now. One thing new scouts (and new leaders) often ask the first few times they go camping is “What do I need to bring?” Get the printable list below for a suggested list of personal camping gear.

There are certainly other things which could be added to this list. Take a compass and a whistle if you are going on a hike, for example. This list is really the bare minimum of personal gear you should consider bringing on a typical short-term campout.

The full printable camping packing list is at the bottom of the post. You might have to make some adjustments for your program and local guidelines. This camping list will get you started.

Personal Camping Packing List

Pack items in an appropriately sized backpack, duffle bag, or other container.

  • Permission slip
  • Medications
  • Field uniform for ceremonies and religious services
  • Activity uniform (troop/pack shirts or any scout shirts) for other activities
  • Pants or shorts, socks, and underwear
  • Pajamas or comfortable clothes to sleep in
  • Your Scout handbook
  • Mess kit (or plate and cup) and utensils
  • Sleeping bag/pillow/pad or mat
  • Coat/Hat/Gloves (for cold weather camping)
  • Ball cap or hat and sunscreen
  • Jacket or sweatshirt
  • Extra pair of boots or shoes
  • Extra socks
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste, soap and hand towel
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Canteen or water bottle
  • Raingear
  • Camp chair
  • Any other items you need for the planned activities (i.e. swimsuit and towel if there
  • will be aquatic activities)

Optional Gear

  • Camera (disposable recommended)
  • Insect repellant – LOTION TYPE OR WIPE ON TYPE ONLY!!!! NO AEROSOL!!!!
  • Frisbee/ball glove and ball/board games/cards /etc
  • Bible, prayer book, etc.

Other rules to keep in mind:

  • NO alcoholic beverages!
  • NO fireworks, firearms, archery equipment, etc.!
  • NO pets!
  • NO pressurized fuel equipment unless you have BSA Pressurized Fuel Training!

Video Explanation

See and hear a video explanation of how to pack for camp.

A line of canvas wall tents and an image of the Scouts BSA Camping merit badge emblem.

Information about the Camping Merit Badge

Working on the requirements for the Camping merit badge help Scouts learn how to plan for a safe campout. They consider weather hazards, what to pack, and how to select a camping site. Then they put their knowledge to use by participating in multiple camping trips.

Camping Log for Scouts BSA

Camping is an essential part of the Scouts BSA program and Scouts need to keep track of how much camping they have done. There is a space for this in the back of their handbook, but as a Camping merit badge counselor, I know that there are some other aspects of their campouts they need to record.

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2 responses to “Camping Packing List”

  1. Peter Avatar

    I like the emphasis on the scout related clothing and handbook. Overall it seems like a lot of heavy equipment is to be carried and the redundancy in specifically shoes but other equipment as well will make for a very heavy pack. Notably missing are safety items. Personal first aid whistle Compass rain gear. I think the list needs some work but it’s a really good start.

  2. Geoff Avatar

    Tent – First item on this list should be bring a tent for camping.

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