Scout Outdoor Essentials

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The Scout Outdoor Essentials, as practiced by the Boy Scouts of America, are a list of ten items or categories of items that should be brought by each individual to any outdoor activity, such as camping or hiking. They are often called by their former (though now unofficial) name, the "Ten essentials".

Different levels of Scouting have different lists of essentials, and a different number of items. The differences come from an effort to use appropriate items for each age.[1]

Boy Scout Essentials[edit]

As listed in the Eleventh Edition of the Boy Scout Handbook, they are:

  • A pocket knife (presumably more than just a knife, a Swiss Army knife for example) can come in handy in a wide variety of situations. It is useful for tasks as large as building an emergency shelter or lighting a campfire with poor fuel, or as small as repairing a damaged backpack.
  • A first aid kit can be a lifesaver. A basic kit for first aid might include adhesive bandages, medical tape, sterile gauze, moleskin, soap, antiseptic, a mouth-barrier device for CPR, and scissors.
  • Extra clothing to match the weather. Multiple layers are superior to a single massive jacket, because layered clothing is adaptable to a wide range of temperatures.
  • Rain gear is very important. Being wet from rain may result in hypothermia, a potentially fatal condition.
  • A flashlight is, of course, important for finding one's way at night.
  • Trail food is good for maintaining your energy. However, the human body can reportedly survive for weeks without food, so starving to death should be the least of your worries if you become lost in the wilderness.
  • Water is probably the most important of the Essentials. Dehydration may develop into heat exhaustion and heatstroke. The human body may only survive for a few days without water. Portable water purifiers and water stills may be used to obtain potable water from virtually any source. If a water-source is unavailable the use of a dromedary bag should be considered.
  • Matches and/or a firestarter may be used to light fires for heat, or for signalling purposes. (Publicly owned forests in the United States often have lookout stations for forest fires and signal fires.)
  • Sun protection may include sunblock, sunglasses, lip balm and a wide-brimmed hat. Used properly, it will prevent sunburn and possibly heat exhaustion.
  • Trail maps and compass are probably the most important tools one can carry in case of getting lost, but they won't be of any use to someone who does not know how to use them. In knowledgeable hands, they can be used to determine one's location and the best route to reach another location.

Webelos Scout Essentials[edit]

The 2003 edition of the Webelos Handbook lists these items as the "Outdoor Essentials".[2] This list is part of the additional information for the Outdoorsman activity Badge.

  1. First aid kit
  2. Filled water bottle
  3. Flashlight
  4. Trail food
  5. Sunscreen and sun protection
  6. Whistle
  7. Map and Compass
  8. Rain gear
  9. Pocket knife
  10. Matches or fire starters.

Bear Cub Scout Essentials[edit]

The 2003 edition of the Cub Scout Bear Handbook lists these items as the "Outdoor Essentials".[3] This list is one of the requirements for the "Let's Go Camping" elective, #25.

  1. First aid kit
  2. Filled water bottle
  3. Flashlight
  4. Trail food
  5. Sunscreen
  6. Whistle
  7. Map and Compass
  8. Rain gear
  9. Pocket knife
  10. Matches or fire starters.

Wolf Cub Scout Essentials[edit]

The 2003 edition of the Cub Scout Wolf Handbook lists these items as the "Eight Essentials" .[4] This list is detailed in requirement b for the "Let's Go Camping" elective, #25. Wolf Cub Scouts are cautioned to "Always take these eight essentials:"

  1. First aid kit
  2. Filled water bottle
  3. Flashlight
  4. Trail food
  5. Sunscreen
  6. Whistle
  7. Rain gear
  8. Pocket knife

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Age-Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities
  2. ^ Cub Scout Webelos Handbook, 2006 printing, Boy Scouts of America, pages 363, (2003), ISBN 0-8395-3452-3
  3. ^ Cub Scout Bear Handbook, 2005 printing, Boy Scouts of America, pages 277, (2003), ISBN 0-8395-3451-5
  4. ^ Cub Scout Wolf Handbook, 2004 printing, Boy Scouts of America, pages 222, (2003), ISBN 0-8395-3450-7