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.
The Camping merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle Scout.
What Are the Camping Merit Badge Requirements?
You must learn about hazards and safety, outdoor ethics, planning a campout, tents and gear, and camp stoves. You must have a total of 20 nights of camping and do a conservation project.
Where Can I Find the 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
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.
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.
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?
Camping Merit Badge Requirement 2: Outdoor Ethics
- 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
This article covers taking a bearing, aiming off, and declination. And it includes a video explanation.
Learn about the scale, contour lines, and symbols. Find out how to orient your map. Then you are ready to test your skills.
Camping Merit Badge Requirement 4: Duty Roster
Some Jobs for a Duty Roster
- Prepare fire or stoves
- Food storage
- Organize patrol gear
Camping Merit Badge Requirement 5: Packing
Requirement 5 Helps and Answers
One thing new scouts (and new leaders) often ask the first few times they go camping is “What do I need to bring?” See a list here.
- First aid kit
- Extra clothing and rain gear
- Water bottle
- Trail food
- Matches and fire starters
- Sun protection
- Map and compass
Camping Merit Badge Requirement 6: Tents, Sanitation, Packs, and Beds
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.
- Chemical Treatment
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?”
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
Requirement 7 Helps and Answers
This checklist includes patrol gear in addition to personal gear.
Camping Merit Badge Requirement 8: Stoves and Cooking
Requirement 8 Helps and Answers
- Propane canister Stoves
- Liquid fuel stoves
- Alternative fuel stoves
Liquid fuel works well at higher elevation and in colder weather
Propane canister stoves are easier to use and less expensive.
Stove Use Safety
- Never use a stove inside or near a tent.
- Don’t put a heavy pot on a camp stove. It might tip over.
- Never leave a burning stove unattended.
- Let your stove cool completely before you put it away.
- Do not refuel a hot stove.
- Always read and understand the instructions for your particular stove before using it.
Fuel Storage Safety
- Store liquid fuel in well marked metal bottles which are only for fuel use.
- Keep all fuel canisters (even empty ones) away from heat.
- Store fuel canisters in a safe location, such as a garage or shed.
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.
Dutch oven cooking is one of my favorite ways to make meals and desserts at camp. See some recipes.
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
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
Requirement 10 Helps and Answers
Explore the great outdoors with these related ideas and achievements:
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.
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.
How do Scouts and Scouters survive buggy nights in open-air platform tents?
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.
- National Outdoor Badges – Camping
- Backpacking Merit Badge
- Bird Study Merit Badge
- Canoeing Merit Badge
- Cooking Merit Badge
- Cycling Merit Badge
- First Aid Merit Badge
- Fishing Merit Badge
- Fly Fishing Merit Badge
- Geocaching Merit Badge
- Hiking Merit Badge
- Kayaking Merit Badge
- Mammal Study Merit Badge
- Nature Merit Badge
- Orienteering Merit Badge
- Rowing Merit Badge
- Small Boat Sailing Merit Badge
- Snow Sports Merit Badge
- Sustainability Merit Badge
- Whitewater Merit Badge
- Wilderness Survival Merit Badge
- Philmont Scout Ranch
- Florida National High Adventure Sea Base
- Northern Tier National High Adventure Base
- The Summit Bechtel Reserve High Adventure Base
- U.S. Bureau of Land Management
- National Park Service
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- USDA Forest Service
Also check your state parks and state conservation lands websites for camping locations for the Camping merit badge.
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