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Boy Scout Troop 597
(Jacksonville, North Carolina)
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The Ten Essentials

Items that every Scout should have with them as they venture out into the wilds....
  • pocket knife (a Swiss Army knife, or multi-tool are great) 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.
  • 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 rain jacket also serves as a good wind breaker to help retain warmth on windy days. 
  • flashlight is, of course, important for finding one's way at night. More importantly, it can aid you in performing first aid at night and for signaling 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 watersource 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.

Icon File Name Comment  
Camping_Essentials_Kit.pdf a sample list for camping essentials.  
packing list-BS Handbook.pdf another sample list.  
packing list.pdf a generic 2 day packing list meant solely as a starting point. Everyone should modify this to meet their needs.  

Boy Scout Personal First Aid Kit

Here are some basic items for a personal first aid kit.  Keep them together in zip lock bag.

Item Qty Use
Adhesive bandages 6 Keep wound clean 
Sterile gauze pads, 3-by-3 inch     2 Larger wounds 
Adhesive tape 1 small roll Hold pad in place 
Moleskin, 3-by-6 inch 1 Blisters 
Soap 1 small bar Wash skin 
Antiseptic 1 small tube       Sterilize exposed skin 
Scissors 1 pair Cut gauze or tape 
Latex gloves 1 pair For bleeding or wound care       
Mouth-barrier device 1 Rescue breathing or CPR 
Plastic goggles or other 1 Protect eyes 
Pencil and paper 1 each Log treatments & details 

Leave No Trace

The population is growing and the wilderness is shrinking.  In order to help preserve the wilderness for others to enjoy there are seven principles of Leave no Trace that we as scouts should be following when we venture into the world around us.

1.  Plan ahead and prepare:  Know where you are going and what facilities are there for you to use.  Being prepared allows you to not damage the area you are visiting and also helps keep you safe.  Be Prepared!  When you are prepared you will enjoy your trip more.  
some ways to be prepared include having the proper equipment and clothing, packaging the food to avoid extra weight on the way in and less garbage on the way out...why carry around extra trash?

2.  Travel and camp on durable surfaces:  Ecosystems can be damaged or destroyed by people walking or setting up their tents.  when we damage the vegetation  we are also depleting food source for bugs, which effect larger critters' food sources, etc.   Observe those neat areas from the trail so it can survive for others to see.

3.  Dispose of waste properly (pack it in, pack it out):  The last thing I want to see when I am backpacking in a "wilderness" area is someone's trash!  Anything you carry in with you must be carried out.  This includes the seemingly harmless banana or orange peels!  These are not native but wildlife will eat them which may make them sick or even kill them.  

4.  Leave what you find:  That flower is pretty!  That rock is neat!  Take a photo; leave what you find for others to enjoy also.  

5.  Minimize campfire impacts:  Campfires damage the soils and kill organism that grow in the soil.  They also leave ugly scars.  many areas have designated campfire sites for you to use.  If you must use a fire in the wilderness do everything you can to minimize the impact.

6.  Respect wildlife:  Don't feed the Bears! In fact you should not feed any wildlife directly or indirectly.  When you feed them they will quickly become accustomed to people and will look for food in campsites.  Do not chase animals!  Animals store energy in the form of fat.  When they are scared or chased they burn a great deals of stored energy that they may not be able to replace quickly which could lead to ill health or death of the animal.

7.  Be considerate of other visitors:  Everyone wants to enjoy the outdoors.  For many people that might mean running around screaming like banshees.  For others it might mean enjoying the peace and quiet of the outdoors.  Be respectful of others and do not infringe on their ability to enjoy the outdoors.