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.
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:
(a) 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.
(b) 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.
(c) 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
- Flash Flooding
- Extreme Cold
This course will help you understand all of these different types of weather hazards and how to respond to them. You can take this course to help you meet this Camping merit badge requirement.
Avoiding hypothermia is key to a successful outdoor activity in cold weather, be it camping, hiking, skiing, ice skating, or snowman building.
- Remove wet clothing
- Insulate the injured area with a dry blanket
- Seek medical help immediately
- Do not attempt to warm up the injured area on your own.
You can prevent heat problems, using these tips:
- Avoid hard exercise during the hottest part of the day.
- If you’re not in shape, slow down and let your body adjust.
- Make sure you acclimate to the environment and get in shape before the event.
- Dress in layers and wear clothing that breathes and wicks moisture away from you.
- Eat snacks that contain a little salt.
- Drink water and keep drinking it.
If you or someone else has heat exhaustion, treat symptoms in the following ways.
- Get out of the heat quickly and into a cool place, or at least shade.
- Lie down and elevate your legs to get blood flowing to your heart.
- Take off any tight or extra clothing.
- Apply cool towels to your skin or take a cool bath. This will help regulate and lower your internal body temperature.
- Drink fluids, such as water or a sports drink. Do not guzzle them, but take sips. Do not drink fluids with caffeine or alcohol.
- Avoid being in the sun between 10am and 4pm
- Wear a broad-brimmed hat, a long sleeved shirt, long pants, and UV blocking sunglasses
- Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30
- Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or if you are sweating or swimming
Altitude sickness (also known as Acute mountain sickness AMS) is experienced by some people when they are at a high enough altitude. Acclimate yourself when ascending to avoid it. You must learn about altitude sickness for Camping merit badge requirement 1.
Bites and Stings
- Wash the area with soap and water
- Avoid scratching
- Seek medical attention immediately if you become ill, have difficulty breathing, or have severe pain and swelling
While most tick bites won’t cause more than minor irritation, if treated incorrectly complications may occur.
- Don’t chase or try to catch snakes
- Use a hiking stick to poke holes and brush ahead of you
- Watch where you step and place your hands, especially in rocky areas
- Wear gloves and boots to protect your hands and ankles
See how to treat those blisters. The best thing to do is to leave the skin intact. This article from Scout Life magazine gives some instructions if that is not an option.
This animation explains what hyperventilation exactly is. What is the cause of hyperventilation and what are the possible symptoms? And how do you stop it? Learn these things for Camping merit badge requirement 1.
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
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impacts
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of other visitors
As an American, I will do my best to
Be clean in my outdoor manners
Be careful with fire
Be considerate in the outdoors
Camping Merit Badge Requirement 3: Navigation
Camping Merit Badge Requirement 3 Helps and Answers
This article covers taking a bearing, aiming off, and declination. And it includes a video explanation. Use this to help with Camping merit badge requirement 3.
Learn about the scale, contour lines, and symbols. Find out how to orient your map. Then you are ready to show your skills for Camping merit badge requirement 3.
Camping Merit Badge Requirement 4: Duty Roster
Camping Merit Badge Requirement 4 Helps and Answers
To fill out a duty roster, first determine the tasks that need to be completed during the camping trip, such as cooking, cleaning, or setting up tents. Then, assign each task to a specific person or group and ensure that each person has a clear understanding of their responsibilities. It’s important to rotate tasks to ensure everyone has a chance to participate and learn new skills. Lastly, review the duty roster with everyone involved to ensure that everyone understands their responsibilities and is prepared to complete their assigned tasks.
Some Jobs for a Duty Roster
- Prepare fire or stoves
- Food storage
- Organize patrol gear
- Set up and take down tents
Camping Merit Badge Requirement 5: Packing
Do the following:
(a) Prepare a list of clothing you would need for overnight campouts in both warm and cold weather. Explain the term “layering.”
(b) Discuss footwear for different kinds of weather and how the right footwear is important for protecting your feet.
(c) Explain the proper care and storage of camping equipment (clothing, footwear, bedding).
(d) List the outdoor essentials necessary for any campout, and explain why each item is needed.
(e) 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
Considerations When Packing
Packing for a Scout campout requires careful consideration of the weather and activities planned. It is important to bring appropriate clothing to stay comfortable in changing weather conditions, such as a waterproof jacket and warm layers for colder temperatures. Good footwear is also crucial for navigating various terrains and activities, such as hiking boots or sturdy sneakers. When packing, it is important to label and organize clothing, footwear, and bedding to prevent mix-ups and ensure easy access. It is also important to properly care for and store clothing, footwear, and bedding to prevent damage and maintain their quality for future use. This includes properly washing and drying items before storage, and storing them in a dry and cool place.
When preparing for any campout, it is important to have certain outdoor essentials to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. These essentials include:
- 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.
- 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.
- Extra clothing and rain gear: Having extra clothing and rain gear is important to stay warm and dry in changing weather conditions.
- Water bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial during any outdoor activity, and a water bottle ensures easy access to clean drinking water.
- Flashlight: A flashlight is essential for navigating in the dark and for finding items in a dimly lit area.
- Trail food: Trail food such as energy bars, nuts, and dried fruit provides quick and easy snacks for sustained energy during the campout.
- Matches and fire starters: Matches and fire starters are necessary for creating a fire for warmth, cooking, and providing light.
- Sun protection: Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses protect against harmful UV rays and prevent sunburns and other skin damage.
- 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.
Camping Merit Badge Requirement 6: Tents, Sanitation, Packs, and Beds
Camping Merit Badge Requirement 6 Helps and Answers
What Are the Four Types of Tents?
- 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.
- 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.
- A dome tent provides more headroom than an a-frame, but it also weighs more.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
External frame backpacks are good if you are carrying a lot of weight and are less expensive. Internal frame backpacks are more form fitting and a better choice if you are hiking on rugged trails which require balance.
A reader asks “What is the best backpack to get my scout for 1-2 night hikes?” This also pertains to Camping merit badge requirement 6.
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.
Sleeping Bag Care
- 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
Camping Merit Badge Requirement 7 Helps and Answers
The Scout Outdoor Essentials Checklist is a comprehensive guide for Scouts to ensure they have all the necessary equipment before embarking on a camping trip. The checklist includes ten essential items such as a map and compass, extra clothing, first aid kit, flashlight, water bottle, trail food, matches and fire starters, sun protection, knife, and a whistle. The article explains the importance of each item and provides tips on how to pack them properly. The article emphasizes the importance of being prepared for any situation and suggests that Scouts should have the skills and knowledge necessary to use each item correctly. By using the checklist, Scouts can ensure that they have everything they need for a safe and enjoyable camping trip.
This checklist includes patrol gear in addition to personal gear.
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:
- Accessibility: Pack items that you will need first in easily accessible compartments, such as a water bottle or a map.
- Weight: Place heavier items close to your back and toward the bottom of the backpack to distribute weight evenly and prevent back strain.
- Balance: Ensure that weight is balanced on both sides of the backpack to avoid leaning or swaying to one side.
- Size: Pack larger and bulkier items at the bottom of the backpack to prevent them from shifting or creating an uneven load.
- Comfort: Use padded straps and adjust the backpack to fit properly to prevent back or shoulder strain.
- 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
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.
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.
Camp cooking can offer some challenges, but it can also be very rewarding. Go beyond hotdogs and hamburgers with these recipes.
The most typical foil pack ingredients are ground beef, potatoes, carrots, and onions. But don’t get stuck in a rut! Try some new combinations.
The easiest method of cooking at camp might be cooking on a stick. No muss. No fuss. No cleanup. 🙂
A common response the first time a Scout is told to purchase food for an outing is “But I don’t know what to do!”. So here are a set of very basic instructions to help them out. This is at least enough to get them started.
Camping Merit Badge Requirement 9: Twenty Nights of Camping
Show experience in camping by doing the following:
(a) 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.
(b) 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.
(c) 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
Depending on the scouts’ memories to come up with their 20 days of tent camping is always chancy. This sheet will help them keep track.
This is another way to keep track of the 20 nights and days of camping in a slightly different format.
Camping Merit Badge Requirement 10: What You Learned
Camping Merit Badge Requirement 10 Helps and Answers
Related Resources for Camping Merit Badge
One idea we got from a parent whose older son was in a different troop was to have a campmaster for the monthly campout. See how to help youth plan the camping trip.
A reader asks about adults on campouts: “Is this allowed? 9 adults for 19 Scouts? … I feel uncomfortable that this might turn into an adult gathering.
Program features help youth leaders plan a month’s worth of meetings and outings around a theme. The program features below will help youth who are working on the Camping merit badge.