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Camping Merit Badge Helps and Documents

The Camping merit badge is a badge that is awarded to Scouts who have demonstrated a proficiency in camping. The badge requires the scout to meet several requirements related to camping, such as setting up a tent, building a fire, cooking meals, and identifying wildlife. Scouts must also demonstrate their knowledge of first aid and wilderness survival.

Camping Merit Badge

To earn the Camping merit badge, scouts must complete a series of camping trips that meet certain requirements. These trips must be completed in different seasons and in different locations, such as a national park, a state park, or a wilderness area. Scouts must also keep a detailed record of their camping trips, including the dates, locations, and activities they participated in.

One of the most important aspects of the Camping merit badge is learning how to properly plan and prepare for a camping trip. Scouts must learn how to select a campsite, set up a tent, and build a fire. They must also learn how to pack and prepare food for a camping trip, including how to store food safely to prevent attracting wildlife.

Another important aspect of the Camping merit badge is learning how to identify and respond to emergencies. Scouts must learn basic first aid skills, such as how to treat cuts, burns, and insect bites. They must also learn how to respond to more serious emergencies, such as broken bones or severe weather conditions.

In addition to learning practical skills related to camping and wilderness survival, the Camping merit badge also teaches important values such as responsibility, teamwork, and leadership. Scouts must work together to plan and execute their camping trips, and they must take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others. They also learn important leadership skills as they take on responsibilities such as planning meals, leading hikes, and managing group dynamics.

The Camping merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle Scout. See more helps and the requirements below.

Answers and Helps for the Camping Merit Badge

Help with Answers for the Camping Merit Badge

Find specific helps for the Camping merit badge requirements listed on this page. Some of these resources will just give the answers. Others will provide engaging ways for older Scouts to introduce these concepts to new Scouts.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 1: Hazards and First Aid

Do the following:

  1. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in camping activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
  2. Discuss with your counselor why it is important to be aware of weather conditions before and during your camping activities. Tell how you can prepare should the weather turn bad during your campouts.
  3. Show that you know first aid for and how to prevent injuries or illnesses that could occur while camping, including hypothermia, frostbite, heat reactions, dehydration, altitude sickness, insect stings, tick bites, snakebite, blisters, and hyperventilation.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 1 Helps and Answers

Addressing Hazards

For Requirement 1a of the Camping merit badge, scouts need to identify specific hazards related to camping and learn how to handle them effectively. Here are a few examples:

Weather Hazards
  • Anticipate by checking weather forecasts before the trip. Be prepared by taking the Weather Hazards Online Course.
  • Prevent issues by packing appropriate gear like waterproof clothing and warm layers.
  • Mitigate by setting up camp in sheltered areas.
  • Respond by seeking shelter if severe weather hits.
Wild Animals
  • Anticipate by learning about wildlife in the camping area.
  • Prevent encounters by storing food properly and keeping a clean campsite.
  • Mitigate risk by knowing how to behave if you see a wild animal (stay calm, don’t run).
  • Respond by slowly backing away and informing a leader if an animal approaches.
Getting Lost
  • Anticipate by studying the area and having a map and compass.
  • Prevent by staying on marked trails and using a buddy system.
  • Mitigate by practicing navigation skills before the trip.
  • Respond by staying in one place if lost and using a whistle or signal mirror to attract help.

Understanding and preparing for these hazards helps ensure a safer and more enjoyable camping experiences for the Camping merit badge.

Weather Changes

In the Camping merit badge, Requirement 1b focuses on understanding and preparing for weather conditions while camping. Being aware of the weather is crucial because it can affect safety, comfort, and the activities planned during a campout.

Why weather awareness is important
  • Safety: Bad weather can bring hazards like lightning, floods, or strong winds.
  • Comfort: Proper gear can keep you warm and dry in cold or wet conditions.
  • Activity Planning: Some activities may be unsafe or unpleasant in bad weather.
How to prepare for changing weather
  • Check the Weather Forecast: Before you go camping, look at the weather predictions for the area. Continue to check updates during the trip.
  • Pack for All Conditions: Bring waterproof clothing, extra layers for cold, and sun protection like hats and sunscreen.
  • Plan Shelter Options: Know where you can take shelter in the area if bad weather strikes suddenly.
  • Have a Backup Plan: If the weather turns bad, be ready to change your activities. For example, if it starts to rain, you could have a tent set up for cover, or move activities under a pavilion.

By staying informed and prepared, you can handle most weather situations safely and still enjoy your camping trips for the Camping merit badge.

Staying Safe and Healthy

For the Camping merit badge, Requirement 1c teaches scouts about first aid and preventing injuries or illnesses during camping. Here’s how to handle common issues:

Hypothermia (body temperature drops too low)

  • Prevent by wearing warm, layered, and waterproof clothing.
  • First Aid: Warm the person slowly, give warm liquids if conscious, and seek medical help.

Frostbite (body tissue freezes, usually fingers, toes, ears, nose)

  • Prevent by wearing proper winter gear and keeping dry.
  • First Aid: Gently warm the affected area, do not rub, and get medical care.

Heat Reactions (heat exhaustion and heat stroke):

  • Prevent by staying hydrated, wearing light clothing, and resting in shade.
  • First Aid: Move to a cooler place, drink water, and cool down with wet cloths.

Dehydration (loss of body water):

  • Prevent by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, throughout the day.
  • First Aid: Drink water and rest in a cool place.

Altitude Sickness (illness from being at high elevations):

  • Prevent by ascending slowly to high altitudes and resting.
  • First Aid: Descend to a lower altitude and seek medical help if symptoms persist.

Insect Stings:

  • Prevent by using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing.
  • First Aid: Remove the stinger if present, wash the area, apply ice, and take an antihistamine for swelling.

Tick Bites:

  • Prevent by wearing long sleeves and pants, using tick repellent.
  • First Aid: Use tweezers to remove the tick carefully, clean the bite area, and watch for signs of Lyme disease.


  • Prevent by watching where you step or reach with your hands, and wearing boots.
  • First Aid: Keep calm, immobilize the bitten limb, and get medical help immediately.

Blisters (caused by friction and wearing poorly-fitting shoes):

  • Prevent by wearing well-fitted shoes and moisture-wicking socks.
  • First Aid: Cover with a sterile bandage and avoid popping it.

Hyperventilation (breathing too fast/deeply):

  • Prevent by managing stress and practicing calm breathing.
  • First Aid: Breathe into a paper bag or through pursed lips to slow breathing.

Understanding these preventative measures and first aid responses helps ensure a safer and more enjoyable camping experience for the Camping merit badge.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 2: Outdoor Ethics

Learn the Leave No Trace principles and the Outdoor Code and explain what they mean. Write a personal and group plan for implementing these principles on your next outing.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 2 Helps and Answers

Leave No Trace

In the Camping merit badge, Requirement 2 includes learning the Leave No Trace principles. These principles help scouts understand how to enjoy the outdoors without harming it. Here’s what each principle means:

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare: Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit. Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: Stay on trails and camp at established sites to avoid damaging the environment.
  • Dispose of Waste Properly: Pack out all trash, leftover food, and litter. Use toilets or dig a cat hole (6-8 inches deep) at least 200 feet from water, camp, and trails.
  • Leave What You Find: Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artifacts. Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you find them.
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts: Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light. Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, keep fires small, and burn all wood to ash.
  • Respect Wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them. Never feed animals. Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors: Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.

Learn more about LNT for Camping merit badge requirement 2

Understanding and practicing these principles helps protect nature while ensuring everyone can enjoy outdoor activities responsibly.

The Outdoor Code

For the Camping merit badge, Requirement 2 includes learning the Outdoor Code. This code is a promise to be considerate in the outdoors and to conserve natural resources.

As an American, I will do my best to
Be clean in my outdoor manners
Be careful with fire
Be considerate in the outdoors
Be conservation-minded

  • Be Clean in My Outdoor Manners: I will treat the outdoors as a heritage. I will take care of it for myself and others. I will keep my trash and garbage out of lakes, streams, fields, woods, and roadways.
  • Be Careful With Fire: I will prevent wildfire. I will build my fires only where they are appropriate. When I have finished using a fire, I will make sure it is cold-out. I will leave a clean fire ring, or remove all evidence of my fire.
  • Be Considerate in the Outdoors: I will treat the outdoors with respect. I will be considerate of other visitors, making sure I do not disturb their outdoor experience. I will respect property rights and will not trespass.
  • Be Conservation-Minded: I will learn how to help take care of our natural resources. I will learn more about ecology and the interconnections of all life. I will be aware of pollution and do my part to keep the environment clean.

Learn more about the Outdoor Code for Camping merit badge requirement 2

Following the Outdoor Code helps ensure that the natural places we enjoy today will be preserved and respected so that others can enjoy them in the future too.

Practicing Responsibility

For the Camping merit badge, Requirement 2 emphasizes the importance of the Leave No Trace principles and the Outdoor Code during camping trips. Here are practical ways to implement these guidelines:

Leave No Trace Principles
  • Pre-Trip Research: Obtain maps and check weather conditions; plan to bring appropriate gear.
  • Use Established Sites: Camp on durable surfaces and stick to existing trails to minimize impact.
  • Trash Management: Plan to pack out all garbage, and have a system for human waste disposal if no facilities exist.
  • Natural Preservation: Instruct scouts to observe but not disturb natural and historical features.
  • Fire Safety: Use portable stoves for cooking and have a fire safety plan if campfires are allowed.
  • Wildlife Respect: Discuss how to store food securely and the importance of not feeding animals.
  • Consideration for Others: Set guidelines for noise levels and campsite privacy to respect other visitors.
Outdoor Code
  • Clean Practices: Ensure everyone understands the importance of leaving no trace and packing out trash.
  • Fire Guidelines: Discuss and plan how to manage campfires responsibly, including extinguishing methods.
  • Respectful Behavior: Encourage polite and considerate interaction with nature and other campers.
  • Conservation Efforts: Engage in activities that promote environmental awareness and protection.

By implementing these principles and the Outdoor Code, scouts contribute to conserving natural areas for future generations while enjoying their camping experiences responsibly.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 3: Navigation

Make a written plan* for an overnight trek and show how to get to your camping spot by using a topographical map and one of the following:

  1. A compass
  2. A GPS receiver**
  3. A smartphone with a GPS app**

*To complete this requirement, you may use the Scout Planning Worksheet at
**If a GPS-equipped device is not available, explain how to use one to get to your camping spot.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 3 Helps and Answers

How to Read a Topographic Map

For the Camping merit badge, Requirement 3 involves learning how to read a topographic map. A topographic map shows the shape of the land using contour lines.

  • Understand Contour Lines: These lines connect points of equal elevation. Close lines mean a steep slope, while wide-spaced lines indicate a gentle slope. A loop in the contour lines often means a hill, and if there’s a smaller loop inside, it typically signifies a peak.
  • Check the Map Scale: This tells you the distance on the map compared to the actual ground. For example, one inch on the map might equal 100 feet on the ground. Use the scale to help gauge distances.
  • Identify Symbols: Topographic maps have various symbols to represent different geographical features like rivers, trails, roads, and campsites. Learn these symbols from the map’s legend.
  • Note the Colors: Different colors help you quickly see features — blue for water, green for lower elevations or vegetation, and brown for contour lines and elevation numbers.
  • Use the Compass: Align your map with a compass to understand the direction. North on the map should line up with north on your compass.
  • Read the Elevation Numbers: Numbers on contour lines indicate the elevation at that line. This helps in identifying how high or low you are on a trail.

Practicing with a topographic map before going camping can help Scouts feel more confident in navigating and understanding the terrain they will encounter while working on the Camping merit badge.

Mastering Modern Navigation

For the Camping merit badge, Requirement 3 covers essential navigation skills using different tools. Here’s how to navigate using a compass, a GPS receiver, and a smartphone with a GPS app:

Using a Compass
  • Understand the Basics: A compass has a magnetic needle that always points toward magnetic north. Use this feature to determine directions.
  • Orient the Map: Place your map flat and turn it so that the north on the map aligns with the north indicated by the compass needle.
  • Set a Bearing: From your current position on the map, determine the direction to your destination. Align the compass’s direction of travel arrow toward your destination, and rotate the bezel until the north lines match the compass needle. This gives you a bearing which you follow to reach your destination.
Using a GPS Receiver
  • Power and Satellites: Turn on the GPS and wait for it to locate satellites. This gives you your precise latitude and longitude.
  • Enter Waypoints: You can input specific locations (waypoints) into the GPS. These are often your start point, end point, and key turns.
  • Follow the Route: The GPS provides directions to navigate from one waypoint to the next. Follow the on-screen instructions or arrow to reach your destination.
Using a Smartphone with a GPS App
  • Choose the Right App: Install a reliable GPS navigation app that is suitable for hiking or outdoor activities.
  • Ensure Battery Life: Since smartphones can drain quickly, carry a portable charger. Also, download offline maps if you will be in areas without cell service.
  • Use the App: Open the app and use it similarly to a GPS receiver. The app can show your current location, help set waypoints, and provide a route to follow.

By understanding how to use these navigation tools, Scouts can confidently find their way in the wilderness and fulfill the requirements of their Camping merit badge.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 4: Duty Roster

Do the following:

  1. Make a duty roster showing how your patrol is organized for an actual overnight campout. List assignments for each member.
  2. Help a Scout patrol or a Webelos Scout unit in your area prepare for an actual campout, including creating the duty roster, menu planning, equipment needs, general planning, and setting up camp.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 4 Helps and Answers

Organizing Your Patrol

For the Camping merit badge, Requirement 4a focuses on making a duty roster for an overnight campout. This helps distribute responsibilities among all patrol members, ensuring everything necessary for a successful campout is covered.

Steps to Create a Duty Roster:

  • List All Needed Tasks: Include setting up tents, cooking meals, cleaning up, gathering firewood, managing trash, handling water supply, and any other tasks specific to your campout.
  • Know Your Patrol’s Strengths: Assign tasks based on each member’s skills and interests. Some scouts might be good at cooking, while others excel in organizing gear or building fires.
  • Rotate Responsibilities: Give everyone a chance to learn and perform different duties. This helps all members develop various camping skills.
  • Include Specific Details: For each task, specify who is responsible and when they should perform it. For example, list who sets up tents right after arrival, who cooks dinner, and who cleans up after meals.
  • Review and Adjust: Go over the duty roster with your patrol leader and scoutmaster. They can provide feedback and suggest adjustments to ensure the plan is effective and fair.

Example of a Duty Roster:

  • Tent Setup: Scout A and Scout B set up tents upon arrival.
  • Cooking Dinner: Scout C and Scout D prepare and cook dinner.
  • Water Supply: Scout E and Scout F fill all water containers.
  • Firewood and Fire Management: Scout G collects firewood, Scout H builds and maintains the campfire.
  • Cleanup After Meals: Scouts A and B clean up after dinner.
  • Trash Management: Scout C ensures trash is secured and disposed of properly.

Download a PDF duty roster for Camping merit badge requirement 4

Creating a detailed duty roster helps keep the campout organized and ensures everyone knows their responsibilities, contributing to a smooth and enjoyable camping experience for the Camping merit badge.

Guiding Younger Scouts

For the Camping merit badge, Requirement 4b involves helping a Scout patrol or a Webelos unit prepare for a campout. This is a great opportunity to use your experience to assist younger Scouts in learning essential camping skills. Here’s how you can effectively help:

Create the Duty Roster:

  • Explain the Purpose: Teach them why a duty roster is important for organization and teamwork.
  • Guide the Assignment: Help them list all necessary tasks and assign roles based on each Scout’s abilities and interests.

Plan the Menu:

  • Discuss Nutrition and Preferences: Ensure the menu is nutritious and considers any dietary restrictions.
  • Teach Planning Skills: Show them how to plan meals that are feasible to cook at the campsite and how to pack the necessary ingredients.

List Equipment Needs:

  • Inventory Check: Assist them in creating a list of needed equipment based on the activities planned.
  • Responsibility Assignment: Make sure each Scout knows what personal and group gear they are responsible for bringing.

General Planning:

  • Set Objectives: Help them understand the goals of the campout, whether it’s practicing certain skills or enjoying nature.
  • Safety Measures: Review safety rules, including what to do in case of an emergency.

Setting Up Camp:

  • Site Selection: Teach them how to choose a good campsite, considering factors like safety, water source proximity, and impact on the area.
  • Practical Demonstration: Show them how to set up tents, manage a camp kitchen, and secure food away from wildlife.

By taking on a mentorship role, you not only help younger Scouts get ready for their adventure but also reinforce your own skills and knowledge in camping. This collaborative preparation ensures they are well-equipped and confident for their campouts for the Camping merit badge.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 5: Packing

Do the following:

  1. Prepare a list of clothing you would need for overnight campouts in both warm and cold weather. Explain the term “layering.”
  2. Discuss footwear for different kinds of weather and how the right footwear is important for protecting your feet.
  3. Explain the proper care and storage of camping equipment (clothing, footwear, bedding).
  4. List the outdoor essentials necessary for any campout, and explain why each item is needed.
  5. Present yourself to your Scoutmaster with your pack for inspection. Be correctly clothed and equipped for an overnight campout.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 5 Helps and Answers

Essential Clothing for Camping

In the Camping merit badge, Requirement 5a involves knowing what clothing to bring for different weather conditions during campouts. Here’s a guide on what to pack and the importance of layering.

Clothing for Warm Weather Campouts:

  • Lightweight, breathable shirts to keep cool.
  • Shorts and/or light trousers for protection against the sun and insects.
  • A wide-brimmed hat to shield your face and neck from the sun.
  • Sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays.
  • Comfortable hiking shoes or boots.
  • Lightweight rain gear because weather can change unexpectedly.

Clothing for Cold Weather Campouts:

  • Thermal underwear as a base layer to keep you warm.
  • Fleece or wool mid-layer for insulation.
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket and pants as an outer layer.
  • Warm hat and gloves to protect extremities from cold.
  • Thick socks and insulated, waterproof boots.
  • Scarf or neck gaiter and face mask for extra protection if it’s very cold.

What is Layering?
Layering is a way to dress using multiple layers of clothing for effective insulation and protection from the elements. The goal is to stay comfortable by adding or removing layers as needed. Layering typically consists of:

  1. Base Layer: This is the layer closest to your skin. Its main purpose is to keep you dry by wicking moisture (sweat) away.
  2. Insulation Layer: This layer helps you retain body heat by trapping air close to your body. Materials like fleece or wool are common for this layer.
  3. Outer Layer (Shell): The outermost layer protects you from wind, rain, and snow. It should be breathable to let moisture out and waterproof/windproof to keep the elements out.

Understanding how to choose and use these layers effectively can make your camping experience more comfortable, regardless of the weather during your campouts for the Camping merit badge.

Choosing the Right Footwear

For the Camping merit badge, Requirement 5b emphasizes the importance of selecting appropriate footwear for different weather conditions to protect your feet and enhance your camping experience.

Warm Weather:

  • Lightweight Hiking Boots or Shoes: Choose breathable materials that keep your feet cool and dry. Shoes with good ventilation and moisture-wicking properties help prevent blisters.
  • Tennis shoes: For campsite wear or crossing streams, tennis shoes which can be dried out later can be practical. Ensure they have good grip and support.

Cold Weather:

  • Insulated Boots: Boots with insulation are crucial in cold weather to keep your feet warm. Look for boots with waterproof exteriors to protect against snow and rain.
  • Waterproofing: This is vital to keep your feet dry. Wet feet can quickly become cold feet, leading to discomfort and health risks like frostbite.

Wet Conditions:

  • Waterproof Boots: Ensure your boots are not just water-resistant but fully waterproof. This is especially important in wet or swampy areas.
  • Gaiters: Wear gaiters over your boots to provide an extra layer of protection against water and mud.

Importance of the Right Footwear:

  • Protection: Good footwear protects you from sharp objects, rough terrain, and biting insects.
  • Support: Proper boots offer ankle support that helps prevent strains and sprains on uneven ground.
  • Comfort: Comfortable footwear makes long hikes more enjoyable and prevents foot injuries and blisters.
  • Performance: The right shoes can improve your stability and grip on various surfaces, enhancing safety and performance during activities.

Choosing the correct footwear based on weather and terrain is crucial for any camper. It ensures safety, comfort, and enjoyment while participating in outdoor activities. Always try on boots with the socks you plan to wear and break them in before a long trip to ensure they fit well and are comfortable.

Maintaining Your Gear

In the Camping merit badge, Requirement 5c teaches scouts about the proper care and storage of camping equipment, including clothing, footwear, and bedding. Taking care of your gear ensures it lasts longer and remains functional for future adventures.

Clothing and Footwear Care:

  • Cleaning: Wash your camping clothes according to the label instructions after each trip. Clean mud and dirt off your boots using a brush and mild soap. Let them dry naturally away from direct heat to prevent damage to the material.
  • Storage: Store clothes and footwear in a dry, cool place. Avoid packing boots in plastic bags where moisture can build up; instead, use a breathable bag or leave them in open air.

Bedding Care (sleeping bags and mats):

  • Cleaning: Sleeping bags should be cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Some may require special cleaning methods due to down or synthetic fill. Air out sleeping pads and wipe them down with a damp cloth.
  • Storage: Do not store sleeping bags compressed in their stuff sacks as this can damage the filling and reduce insulation. Hang them in a dry closet or store loosely in a large cotton bag. Keep sleeping pads flat or loosely rolled without tight straps.

General Tips for All Equipment:

  • Dry Everything: Before storing any camping gear, ensure it is completely dry. This prevents mold and mildew growth which can ruin your equipment.
  • Check for Repairs: Inspect your gear for any damage like tears or broken zippers and repair them before storage.
  • Avoid Sunlight and Heat: Store equipment away from direct sunlight and high temperatures to prevent degradation of materials.
  • Organize: Keep your gear organized in a dedicated storage area. This makes it easy to find everything you need for your next trip.

Proper maintenance and storage of your camping equipment not only extend its life but also ensure that it is ready and safe to use for your next outdoor adventure.

Outdoor Essentials

When preparing for any campout, it is important to have certain outdoor essentials to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Camping merit badge requirement 5d teaches about these. These essentials include:

  1. Pocketknife: A pocketknife is a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of tasks, such as cutting rope, preparing food, and creating tinder for a fire.
  2. First aid kit: A first aid kit is essential in case of any injuries or accidents that may occur during the campout. It should include basic supplies such as bandages, antiseptic, and pain relievers.
  3. Extra clothing and rain gear: Having extra clothing and rain gear is important to stay warm and dry in changing weather conditions.
  4. Water bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial during any outdoor activity, and a water bottle ensures easy access to clean drinking water.
  5. Flashlight: A flashlight is essential for navigating in the dark and for finding items in a dimly lit area.
  6. Trail food: Trail food such as energy bars, nuts, and dried fruit provides quick and easy snacks for sustained energy during the campout.
  7. Matches and fire starters: Matches and fire starters are necessary for creating a fire for warmth, cooking, and providing light.
  8. Sun protection: Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses protect against harmful UV rays and prevent sunburns and other skin damage.
  9. Map and compass: A map and compass are necessary for navigating and ensuring that campers stay on the right trail and reach their destination safely.

By having these essential items, campers can ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience. It is important to prepare and pack these items carefully and make sure that everyone in the group has access to them.

Packing for Camp

In the Camping merit badge, Requirement 5e teaches scouts how to pack their gear effectively for camping trips. Proper packing not only makes carrying your gear easier but also ensures that items are accessible when you need them.

Using a Backpack vs. a Duffel Bag
  • Backpack: Ideal for most camping trips, especially if you need to hike to your campsite. Backpacks are designed to distribute weight evenly, making them comfortable to carry over distances.
  • Duffel Bag: Suitable for car camping or when you don’t have to carry your gear far. Duffel bags are easier to pack and unpack but aren’t designed for long carries as they can be cumbersome and strain your shoulders.
Weight Distribution in a backpack
  • Bottom of the Pack: Place heavier items, like your cooking gear and food, closer to your back and at the bottom. This helps balance the weight.
  • Middle of the Pack: Pack your clothing around and on top of the heavier items to provide cushioning and stability.
  • Top of the Pack: Keep frequently used items and lighter gear, such as your rain gear, first aid kit, and snacks, on top for easy access.
Other Packing Considerations
  • Waterproofing: Use waterproof bags or pack covers to keep moisture-sensitive items dry, like sleeping bags and clothing.
  • Organization: Use packing cubes or separate bags for different types of items to keep your pack organized. Labeling these can also help quickly locate things.
  • Compression: Compress bulky items like sleeping bags and jackets to save space.
  • Accessibility: Plan the order you’ll need to access items and pack accordingly. Think about what you’ll need first when you arrive at camp and pack it last.

By organizing your camping gear thoughtfully, you ensure that your pack is not only easy to carry but also functional, making your camping experience smoother and more enjoyable.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 6: Tents, Sanitation, Packs, and Beds

Do the following:

  1. Describe the features of four types of tents, when and where they could be used, and how to care for tents. Working with another Scout, pitch a tent.
  2. Discuss the importance of camp sanitation and tell why water treatment is essential. Then demonstrate two ways to treat water.
  3. Describe the factors to be considered in deciding where to pitch your tent.
  4. Tell the difference between internal- and external-frame packs. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  5. Discuss the types of sleeping bags and what kind would be suitable for different conditions. Explain the proper care of your sleeping bag and how to keep it dry. Make a comfortable ground bed.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 6 Helps and Answers

What Are the Four Types of Tents?

For Camping merit badge requirement 6a, Scouts learn about different types of tents.

  1. A tarp can be used as a lean-to or pitched as a pup tent. It is simple and lightweight but does not offer as much protection as other types.
  2. An a-frame tent has a triangular shape at each end. Normally they have a fly to keep off rain, mosquito netting, and a floor.
  3. A dome tent provides more headroom than an a-frame, but it also weighs more.
  4. Wall tents are typically seen at long term camps. Walls (usually made of canvas) are erected using a ridgepole and two upright poles. The sides can be rolled up for ventilation. These are too too heavy for short-term or backcountry camping.

A hybrid tent combines features the tents above. Many include a covered “porch” for gear and muddy shoes. They can be more complicated to assemble though

Camp Sanitation

Camping merit badge requirement 6c stresses the importance of camp sanitation.

Clean Water

Treating water is a crucial step in ensuring that campers have access to clean drinking water during a campout. There are several methods for treating water, including boiling, filtering, and chemical treatment.

  • Boiling water is one of the most effective ways to kill any harmful bacteria and viruses. Boil the water for three minutes, then let it cool before drinking.
  • Filtering water removes any large particles or sediment and can be done with a portable water filter or a cloth.
  • Chemical treatment, such as iodine or chlorine tablets, can also be used to kill harmful organisms in the water. It is important to follow the instructions for chemical treatment carefully and to let the water sit for the recommended amount of time.

By using one of these methods, campers can ensure that their drinking water is safe and clean.

Human Waste

You must have a plan for getting rid of human waste. Locations should be a private space at least 200 feet from water, campsites, and trails.

A latrine provides a common space for human waste. Many campsites will have latrines. If not, your group can dig a trench about a foot wide and four feet long. Save any grass or ground cover you remove. After use, sprinkle with a layer of soil to reduce odor. Replace all soil and the ground cover when breaking camp.

If you are not staying in a single location or a latrine is not practical, you will use a cathole instead. Dig a hole 6 to 8 inches deep, saving the ground cover. After use, refill immediately and replace the ground cover.

Where to Pitch Your Tent

For Camping merit badge requirement 6c, Scouts consider where to pitch a tent. When looking for a suitable spot, there are several factors to consider.

  • Firstly, safety should always be a top priority. Avoid camping under dead or unstable trees, near cliffs or unstable terrain, or in areas that are prone to flooding.
  • Secondly, ensure that the campsite is an appropriate size for the number of people camping, and that there is enough flat ground to set up the tents.
  • Terrain is also important, as it should be free of sharp rocks, sticks, or other debris that could damage the tent.
  • Privacy is another factor to consider, as it is important to find a spot that is not too close to other campers or areas with high foot traffic.
  • Additionally, it is important to obtain permission before setting up camp, especially in public or private land.
  • Lastly, access to clean water is important, so finding a spot near a water source such as a river or lake is ideal.

By considering these factors, campers can find a suitable and safe spot to pitch their tent.

Read more about choosing a campsite

What is the Difference between Internal and External Frame Backpacks?

In the Camping merit badge, Requirement 6d focuses on understanding the differences between internal-frame and external-frame backpacks, including their pros and cons.

Internal-Frame Packs:

  • Design: These packs have a support structure built inside the backpack to keep the load close to your body. This design helps maintain balance, especially on uneven terrain.
  • Advantages: Ideal for activities like hiking rugged trails as they offer good mobility and stability. They are also more snug-fitting, which helps with load control.
  • Disadvantages: They can be hotter on your back because they fit so closely, and accessing your gear might be less convenient as it often requires unpacking layers to get to items at the bottom.

External-Frame Packs:

  • Design: These packs have a visible frame on which the pack is mounted. They are structured to hold heavier, bulkier loads.
  • Advantages: Great for carrying heavy gear because the frame distributes weight efficiently. They also tend to have better ventilation between the pack and your back. The design often includes more pockets, making it easier to organize and access your equipment.
  • Disadvantages: The bulkier frame can make them feel less stable on very uneven terrain. They are also generally more cumbersome, which can be a drawback on narrow, winding paths.

See suggestions for backpacks for short term camping and hiking

When choosing between an internal and external frame pack for camping, consider the type of activity you’ll be doing, the terrain, the weight of your load, and how important access to your items is. Each type has its strengths and scenarios where it performs best, so the right choice depends on your specific camping needs.

Sleeping Bags

For Camping merit badge requirement 6e, Scouts learn about sleeping bags. There are several different types of sleeping bags.

  • Most sleeping bags have an outer shell made of nylon and are filled with insulating material to keep you warm.
  • Goose down is the warmest fill per ounce but is expensive. It takes a long time to dry if it gets wet.
  • Synthetic fill is much less expensive and still provides good insulation for the weight. It is also easier to dry out.
  • Traditional sleeping bags are a rectangular shape and are very comfortable.
  • Mummy bags is more form fitting and will cover your head except for your mouth and nose. These are better for very cold conditions.

Caring for your sleeping bag is important. It extends the life of this important piece of equipment and ensures that it functions as expected.

  • Sleep in clean clothes at camp to keep your sleeping bag clean.
  • Protect your sleeping bag from the ground by putting a pad underneath it.
  • Be careful with the zippers and try to prevent snagging.
  • Air out your sleeping bag every day at camp by opening it up or turning it inside out.
  • Always completely dry out your sleeping bag before storing it at home. Otherwise you might have problems with mildew.
  • If necessary, wash your sleeping bag using the gentle cycle on your washing machine. Or take it to a professional cleaners.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 7: Camping Gear

Prepare for an overnight campout with your patrol by doing the following:

  1. Make a checklist of personal and patrol gear that will be needed.
  2. Pack your own gear and your share of the patrol equipment and food for proper carrying. Show that your pack is right for quickly getting what is needed first, and that it has been assembled properly for comfort, weight, balance, size, and neatness

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 7 Helps and Answers

Camping Packing List

Camping Packing List for Personal Gear

For the Camping merit badge requirement 5e, scouts need to pack for camp. Much of the details for choosing gear have already been discussed earlier in this article. But having a checklist ensures you don’t forget items.

See a camping checklist for personal gear here.

Patrol Gear

For the Camping merit badge, Requirement 7a involves creating a checklist of gear that a Scout patrol would need for a campout. This list ensures that the patrol has all necessary equipment for a successful group camping trip.

  • Tents: Enough for the number of Scouts, with all necessary stakes and poles.
  • Cooking Equipment:
    • Stove and fuel
    • Pots, pans, and cooking utensils
    • Large water containers for cooking and cleaning
  • Eating Supplies:
    • Plates, bowls, cups, and utensils for each Scout
    • Biodegradable soap and scrubbing pads for cleaning dishes
    • Trash bags for waste disposal
  • First Aid Kit: Well-stocked with supplies for common injuries and illnesses.
  • Water Purification System: Filters or purification tablets to ensure safe drinking water.
  • Navigation Tools: Maps of the area, compasses, and possibly a GPS device.
  • Communication Devices: Cell phone or two-way radios for emergencies.
  • Lighting: Lanterns or flashlights with extra batteries.
  • Fire Supplies:
    • Matches or lighters (stored in waterproof containers)
    • Fire starters or kindling
  • Shelter and Repair Items:
    • Tarp or ground cloths for under tents
    • Duct tape and spare rope for quick repairs
  • Activity-Specific Gear: Depending on the activities planned, such as fishing rods, hiking poles, or swim gear.
  • Meal Planning: Plan meals in advance and pack accordingly, considering any dietary restrictions.

By using this checklist, a patrol can ensure they have all necessary group equipment organized and ready for their campout, contributing to a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Packing a Backpack

Packing a backpack properly is important for ensuring that campers can quickly access items they need, while also maintaining comfort, weight, balance, size, and neatness. Here are some considerations for packing a backpack:

  1. Accessibility: Pack items that you will need first in easily accessible compartments, such as a water bottle or a map.
  2. Weight: Place heavier items close to your back and toward the bottom of the backpack to distribute weight evenly and prevent back strain.
  3. Balance: Ensure that weight is balanced on both sides of the backpack to avoid leaning or swaying to one side.
  4. Size: Pack larger and bulkier items at the bottom of the backpack to prevent them from shifting or creating an uneven load.
  5. Comfort: Use padded straps and adjust the backpack to fit properly to prevent back or shoulder strain.
  6. Neatness: Organize items neatly and use packing cubes or compression sacks to save space and keep items separate and organized.

By considering these factors, campers can pack their backpacks properly to ensure comfort, accessibility, and an even load distribution. A properly packed backpack can also make it easier to navigate through rugged terrain and make the camping experience more enjoyable.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 8: Stoves and Cooking

Do the following:

  1. Explain the safety procedures for
    1. Using a propane or butane/propane stove
    2. Using a liquid fuel stove
    3. Proper storage of extra fuel
  2. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different types of lightweight cooking stoves.
  3. Prepare a camp menu. Explain how the menu would differ from a menu for a backpacking or float trip. Give recipes and make a food list for your patrol. Plan two breakfasts, three lunches, and two suppers. Discuss how to protect your food against bad weather, animals, and contamination.
  4. While camping in the outdoors, cook at least one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner for your patrol from the meals you have planned for requirement 8c. At least one of those meals must be a trail meal requiring the use of a lightweight stove.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 8 Helps and Answers

Stove Use and Fuel Storage Safety

Using a propane or butane/propane stove requires several safety procedures to ensure that campers can use the stove safely. It is important to use the stove in a well-ventilated area to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Check the propane tank for leaks and ensure that all connections are tight. Store the propane tank in a cool and dry place away from heat and direct sunlight. Always keep the stove away from flammable materials, such as tents or trees, and never leave the stove unattended while it is in use.

Using a liquid fuel stove also requires certain safety procedures. Before using the stove, check the fuel lines and connections for leaks or damage. Always use the stove on a stable and level surface and ensure that the stove is not near any flammable materials. When lighting the stove, be sure to hold a match or lighter near the stove and turn the fuel valve on slowly. When finished, turn off the fuel valve and allow the stove to cool before packing it away.

Proper storage of extra fuel is essential to prevent accidents and ensure safety. Store extra fuel in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area away from heat and direct sunlight. Store liquid fuel in well marked metal bottles which are only for fuel use. Keep the fuel away from flammable materials and ensure that the fuel container is properly sealed to prevent leaks. When transporting fuel, use a sturdy container and avoid overfilling the container to prevent spills.

Some other considerations:

  • Never use a stove inside or near a tent as this can cause carbon monoxide poisoning or fire hazard.
  • Don’t put a heavy pot on a camp stove as it might tip over and cause an accident.
  • Never leave a burning stove unattended as it can cause a fire or harm to wildlife.
  • Let your stove cool completely before packing it away as hot stoves can cause burns or damage other items in your backpack.
  • Do not refuel a hot stove as it can cause an explosion or fire. Wait until the stove is completely cool before refueling.
  • Always read and understand the instructions for your particular stove before using it. This will help you to operate the stove safely and efficiently.

By following these safety procedures, campers can use stoves and fuel safely during their camping trip. It is important to always prioritize safety and be aware of potential hazards when using stoves and fuel.

Types of Stoves

Propane canister stoves, liquid fuel stoves, and alternative fuel stoves each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Propane canister stoves are easy to use and require minimal maintenance. They are lightweight and compact, making them ideal for backpacking trips. Propane stoves also provide consistent heat output and are easy to control. However, propane canisters are bulky and can be challenging to pack. They can also be expensive and may not be readily available in remote locations. Additionally, propane stoves are less effective in cold temperatures, as the propane gas becomes less efficient in colder conditions.

Liquid fuel stoves, such as white gas stoves, are more versatile than propane stoves and can operate in a wider range of temperatures. They are also more fuel-efficient and cost-effective in the long run, as they can use a variety of liquid fuels such as white gas, kerosene, and diesel. Liquid fuel stoves are also more environmentally friendly as they produce less waste than disposable propane canisters. However, they require more maintenance and can be more challenging to use. Liquid fuel stoves can be bulky, and it can be difficult to measure fuel levels accurately.

Alternative fuel stoves, such as wood-burning or alcohol stoves, are lightweight and environmentally friendly. They are ideal for short camping trips or day hikes and are usually cheaper than propane or liquid fuel stoves. However, they can be less efficient and take longer to boil water or cook food. Wood-burning stoves require a steady supply of dry wood, and alcohol stoves may produce soot or create a fire hazard if not used properly.

Camping Recipes

Recipes for Camp Cooking

Camping merit badge requirement 8 gets Scouts thinking about food. Camp cooking can offer some challenges, but it can also be very rewarding. Go beyond hotdogs and hamburgers with these recipes.

Camping recipes

Foil Pack Dinners

Dutch Oven Cooking

Cooking on a Stick

Help for grubmasters

Help for Grubmasters

As a grubmaster in the Camping merit badge program, you are responsible for managing the food for your patrol during outings. Here’s how to protect your food against weather, animals, and contamination:

Against Bad Weather
  • Use waterproof containers and coolers to keep food dry.
  • Store food away from direct sunlight and keep it cool to prevent spoilage.
Against Animals
  • Store food in airtight containers to avoid attracting animals with smells.
  • Hang food in a bear bag or use bear-proof canisters if in bear country.
  • Keep the food storage area clean and free of food scraps.
Against Contamination
  • Separate raw meats from other foods by using different containers or sealed plastic bags.
  • Use clean utensils and surfaces to prepare food.
  • Wash hands before handling food and after touching raw meats.

Read more advice for grubmasters.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure the food for your camping trip is safe and well-managed, contributing to a successful and enjoyable outing for your patrol.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 9: Twenty Nights of Camping

Show experience in camping by doing the following:

  1. Camp a total of at least 20 nights at designated Scouting activities or events. One long-term camping experience of up to six consecutive nights may be applied toward this requirement. Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched. If the camp provides a tent that has already been pitched, you need not pitch your own tent.
  2. On any of these camping experiences, you must do TWO of the following, only with proper preparation and under qualified supervision.
    1. Hike up a mountain, gaining at least 1,000 vertical feet.
    2. Backpack, snowshoe, or cross-country ski for at least 4 miles.
    3. Take a bike trip of at least 15 miles or at least four hours.
    4. Take a nonmotorized trip on the water of at least four hours or 5 miles.
    5. Plan and carry out an overnight snow camping experience.
    6. Rappel down a rappel route of 30 feet or more.
  3. On any of these camping experiences, perform a conservation project approved by the landowner or land managing agency. This can be done alone or with others.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 9 Helps and Answers

Tracking Your Camping Nights: Importance for the Camping Merit Badge Requirement 9

For the Camping merit badge, Requirement 9 is all about gaining extensive camping experience. You need to camp for at least 20 nights at official Scouting activities or events, with at least one long-term experience of up to six consecutive nights. Remember, you should sleep under the sky or in a tent you have pitched yourself unless a pre-pitched tent is provided.

Here are a couple of tools to help you track your camping nights and activities:

Camping Log for the Camping Merit Badge

Camping Information Sheet in a different format

This structured approach not only ensures you meet all the requirements of the Camping merit badge but also enriches your Scouting experience by providing diverse and challenging outdoor activities.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 10: What You Learned

Discuss how the things you did to earn this badge have taught you about personal health and safety, survival, public health, conservation, and good citizenship. In your discussion, tell how Scout spirit and the Scout Oath and Scout Law apply to camping and outdoor ethics.

Camping Merit Badge Requirement 10 Helps and Answers

What Is Scout Spirit

Learning Through Camping

For the Camping merit badge, Requirement 109 involves discussing how your camping experiences have taught you valuable skills and lessons in several important areas. Here’s how camping relates to personal health and safety, survival, public health, conservation, and good citizenship, and how it aligns with Scout spirit and the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Personal Health and Safety:
Camping teaches you how to prepare for the outdoors, like dressing appropriately and setting up a safe campsite. You learn first aid skills and how to respond in emergencies, which are crucial for your safety.

In camping, you learn survival skills such as building shelters, finding water, and signaling for help. These skills can be lifesaving in unexpected situations.

Public Health:
Camping helps you understand the importance of cleanliness in preventing illness. Proper disposal of waste and food safety are key to keeping everyone healthy.

While camping, you practice Leave No Trace principles, which teach you to respect and protect natural environments. Conservation projects can also be part of your camping experience, helping preserve the land for future campers.

Good Citizenship:
Camping with others teaches teamwork, leadership, and responsibility. You contribute to the community by ensuring the campsite is better when you leave than when you arrived.

Scout Spirit, Scout Oath, and Scout Law:
Camping embodies the Scout spirit by challenging you to live by the Scout Oath and Law in the outdoors. Honesty in following the rules, being courteous and kind to fellow campers, and showing bravery in facing outdoor challenges are all part of this. What Is Scout Spirit? Read about it.

Outdoor Ethics:
The Scout Oath and Law guide you to be respectful and considerate in the wilderness, promising to help others at all times and to keep yourself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight, which are essential in protecting and enjoying our natural resources responsibly.

In conclusion, the Camping merit badge not only enriches your Scouting experience but also instills essential values and skills that prepare you for life, promoting overall development and responsible citizenship.

Related Resources for Camping Merit Badge

Weekend Campout Planning Guide

When planning a weekend outing for the Camping merit badge, ensure all details are covered:

  • Location: Confirm reservation, and bring maps and emergency services info.
  • Paperwork: Distribute and collect permission slips and have up-to-date medical forms.
  • Activities: List all activities, ensuring they align with the Guide to Safe Scouting. Include which early rank and merit badge requirements will be met, and who will oversee the activities.
  • Safety: Confirm which trained adults will be present for specific activities like rappelling or lifeguarding.
  • Religious Services: Coordinate with the Chaplain’s Aide for service location, maps, times, and transportation needs.

This printable guide helps ensure a safe, organized, and fulfilling camping experience. It also enables youth to do the planning for the camping trip.

Frequently Asked Questions for the Camping Merit Badge

What do I need to start the Camping merit badge?

To start the Camping merit badge, you should have a basic understanding of camping and outdoor skills. Check with your Scoutmaster and talk to a merit badge counselor.

How many nights do I need to camp for the Camping merit badge?

You need to camp a total of at least 20 nights at designated Scouting activities or events. Remember, up to six consecutive nights can come from one long-term camping experience.

Can I use a tent provided by the camp for the Camping merit badge?

Yes, if the camp provides a tent that has already been pitched, you don’t need to pitch your own tent. However, for most weekend campouts, sleeping under the sky or in a tent you pitched counts toward your requirement.

What activities must I do during camping for the Camping merit badge?

You need to complete two specific activities from a list that includes hiking, backpacking, biking, taking a nonmotorized trip on the water, snow camping, rappelling, or doing a conservation project.

How do I track my camping nights for the Camping merit badge?

Keep a log of all your camping trips, including dates, locations, and activities done. This will help you and your counselor track your progress toward the 20-night requirement.

What should I know about cooking for the Camping merit badge?

Learn different cooking methods, plan meals, and understand food safety. You will need to prepare meals during your camping trips to fulfill some badge requirements.

What safety skills are important for the Camping merit badge?

Understand first aid, how to respond to weather changes, and how to handle wildlife encounters. These skills are crucial for a safe camping experience.

Camp Like a Pro!


Scouter Mom

The Camping Merit Badge: Camp Like a Pro!

The Camping merit badge is an essential part of the Scouting experience. It’s designed to teach Scouts about various aspects of camping and outdoor survival skills. This badge is not just about spending nights under the stars; it’s a comprehensive program that includes learning how to plan camping trips, understanding the gear needed, and how to cope with different weather conditions.

One of the core requirements of the Camping merit badge is that Scouts must camp for at least 20 nights at official Scouting activities. This requirement helps Scouts build resilience and improve their camping skills over time. Out of these 20 nights, six can be consecutive, as part of a long-term camping experience. Scouts also need to pitch a tent or sleep under the sky, getting them closer to nature and teaching them practical skills in setting up a campsite.

Scouts pursuing the Camping merit badge must learn how to prepare meals outdoors, manage safety, and deal with emergencies. They also explore environmental conservation practices and how to minimize their footprint on nature. The merit badge introduces them to various activities such as hiking, biking, and canoeing, requiring them to complete two of these activities during their camping nights.

The merit badge emphasizes the importance of planning and teamwork, especially through creating a duty roster and organizing a campout for a patrol. Scouts are taught to take leadership roles and ensure that every member of the team has a clear role and responsibility during camping trips.


3 responses to “Camping Merit Badge Helps and Documents”

  1. Tylene Byrd Avatar
    Tylene Byrd

    Is there a printable checkoff sheet for this merit badge? They are amazing!

  2. HelenS Avatar

    what is the meaning of “float trip” for 8(c)? the requirement asked us to prepare a menu and also explain how the menu would differ from a menu for a backpacking or “float trip?”

    1. Scouter Mom Avatar
      Scouter Mom

      A trip on the water, such as by canoe or kayak.

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