Scouts Camping Equipment List

Scouts Equipment Suggestions:

I know we have a few new Scouts, so here’s some suggestions I will make to make camping fun without being too cold.  

Please note, though I will mention the Scout Shop likely a fair amount, it’s not necessarily because it is the ScoutShop, but because they have a lot of equipment at better-than-most prices.  Feel free to go to my other favourite outdoor stores, in order: Canadian Tire, Sail, and Bass Pro Shop.

One more thing: LABEL EVERYTHING! Dishes and cutlery especially.


Some packs have a carry-handle like luggage - Bad Idea.. It’s just added weight.  The pack should be comfortable to wear and have a padded waist belt.

55-60-ish Litres is about right.  You can get larger, but it also mean you lug more when hiking (I’m good with that 😉 Less for me...)

Sleeping Bag:

Scouter Frank likes to tease me about being a chilly-willy.  But I agree 😀.  As a Scout myself, I had the wrong-rated bag one time when winter camping, so I try to make sure that doesn’t happen to others… and Yes I run colder than most, so tend to overdue my sleeping bags (I have a -30c now) vs under. You know your kid… Your call.

For summer, it’s up to you.  Usually weight is most important there, because you are backpacking or canoeing, so every ounce counts.

For Winter camping, Spring and Fall, I recommend the bag be a minus fifteen (-15c) or better.

Generally a mummy bag is best, as it has a hood and drawstrings and zipper-flap/padding to keep them warm.  The Scout will never be completely closed in in a bag -- breath-condensation will freeze, and so will the Scout.

Also remember that our winter camps are usually indoors for sleeping. So if you have a bag that is “minus something” that is adequate for most camps. Don’t buy a bag for an indoor camp, unless you want to, or your Scout is one of the adventuring ones and will be outdoors - we have a couple who will likely be Winter tenting!

Remember that a good bag is an investment that will last decades if you take care of them well. I retired my teenage-bought -40c bag after about 20 years!

Care of the Bag:

When not in use, though I won't argue it is inconvenient, the best way to store the bag is hung up like you see in stores.When you get home after camping, unzip the bag, and lay it outside in the sun to air out (or inside in the rain/winter). Take it in after a few hours, and hang it up. If you have to put it away, cram it in in the stuff-bag. Rolling a sleeping bag actually isn't good for a bag, because it mats the padding.

Sleeping Pad:

An air mattress is not a good idea.  They are cold, time-consuming, and huge… but mostly just cold.  I’ve used the closed cell pads and self-inflating pads.  The self-inflating types are best, as they are comfortable, and easy to use.  Closed-cell Pads are light and inexpensive.  Costco has sometimes has self-inflating ones for less that $50, and they've gotten cheaper over the past couple years. For Self-inflating, get a pad that is 2" or more.

Closed Cell: (like a really thick yoga mat)


Care of the Pad

Again, though it takes a lot of space, it is wise to unroll the self-inflating pads, leave the valves open, and lay it out. This keeps the pad's inside padding from getting crushed and not inflate properly.

Mess Kit:

This one is easy -- Just a knife, fork, spoon, plate, bowl, cup, and mesh bag to keep them in.  Canadian Tire, Sail...

Dollar store tableware plus a mesh bag is fine

Pocket Knife:

A pocket knife needn’t be super expensive.  There are benefits for multi-tools or “Swiss army” knives, but it is a preference thing.  Scouting requires a locking blade.  This prevents the blade from cutting while closing.  Getting a sharpening stone is useful as well.


Again, this needn’t be super expensive.  In fact the plastic see-thru types are easy to work with.  Remember, while we can all get compasses on our phones, the longest battery on a phone is a couple of days, not to mention Scout camps are device-free zones.

Things Not Likely To Be Purchased


This is weather dependent of course. A good rule of thumb is a change of clothes per day, and perhaps an extra pair of pants, socks and underwear, in case of puddle or other mishaps. A sweater is always a necessity regardless of the weather report.

In winter months, having long johns or Under Armour Cold Gear/Base layer is the way to go. We show the Scouts about layering but some youth forget to stay warm, so parental guidance is needed. Bring snowpants in the winter unless you are sure you have enough changes of clothes and are very good at layering. Boots are needed of course. Luckily we don't do "lightweight camping" in the winter!

Mitts and/or gloves should be on the list too, even in spring/fall camps. The number of pairs differs though. And toques and coats are present, to finish off the outdoor wear in accordance with the weather, or even what the weather might be.

Being cold at camp, as I mentioned, is miserable. Camps are fun!

Please err on warm and dry in all cases. Your Scout (and your Scouter) will thank you.


These should include towel, soap, toothpaste and toothbrush. Though camps provide it, we always recommend bringing a roll of TP in a baggie, just in case Maintenance is busy with less prepared troops. Bringing tissues (Kleenex) is a very wise thing, particularly in allergy season.

With the Youth getting older, some will need deodorant. Their tent mates will thank them ☺️.

Bringing a comb or brush... Your call..

Remember the Scout Motto: "A Scout is.. Considerate and clean.."


Medications should be brought to the attention of the Scouter-in-Charge, preferably to be kept in their care for the duration of the Camp. Medications should be in their original packaging, with original instructions on the package.

If there are allergies to over the counter medication that was not entered into the MyScouts system, such as an aspirin or other issue, that should be told to the Scouter-in-Charge as well, and added to their online profile. Any medications to be provided to the youth should be with the parents' consent.

Kit Lists, by Season

These will help you make and print a list for your Scout to Pack his/her own bag. The assumption is a weekend trip with no weight restrictions.

The Scout should be doing this now, but with Parents' experience as an asset. Feel free to modify as needed.