Trailhead for New Scouts

Many units have their own guidelines for equipment to be purchased by a new Scout. Always talk to the Scoutmaster if you have any questions.

What to buy for a new Scout

When parents pack their son’s backpack, there are sometimes lots of extra things. So let the Scout pack. It’s usually better to have too little than too much. Scouts can usually borrow what they forget. Pack List for First Overnight Outing

Ask your Scout if he has to bring a sack lunch or money. (This will probably be on the permission slip that is still in the pocket of his Scout shorts.) On some outings the Patrol Quartermaster is responsible for bringing the Patrol Box (with the tents, stoves, fuel, and cooking gear) and food for his Patrol.

Backpack or Duffle Bag
Sleeping bag and sleeping pad
Sweatshirt or jacket
Bowl and utensils

10 Scout Essentials: Personal First Aid Kit, Pocket Knife, Extra Clothing (One complete change of clothing -extra underwear optional), Flashlight, Water Bottle, Rain Gear, a small container of Suntan Lotion, Snacks, a big box of Matches, and a Compass. (Maps will be provided if required.)

Personal Items: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, some kind of disinfectant (like Purell), and a small towel.

Other things to consider packing: Insect repellent (non-aerosol), chapstick, TECNU (for poison oak and available at most Drug Stores), and a small amount of money for lunch or extras.

Specific items, e.g., swimming trunks, towel, cycling helmets, fishing pole, uniform, etc., may be required for particular outings.

Things not to pack: Smart phones (check with the Scoutmaster for the Troop phone use policy), electronic gear, radios, anything in glass, aerosol sprays (deodorants), anything expensive (watches, jewelry, or `heirloom’ knives), soft drinks in cans or bottles. Scout policies discourage wearing military clothing or any clothing with socially unacceptable logos or messages. Wearing camouflage clothing can be dangerous on wilderness trips. (If a boy gets lost, we want to find him quickly and camouflage is designed to make it harder to find the person wearing it.)

When he gets home, have your Scout unpack immediately. Throw uneaten food into the trash, otherwise it might end up under his bed. Empty and clean the water bottle. Open the sleeping bag to dry out. If your Scout is the Patrol Quartermaster and has responsibility for Troop equipment, please help him do the following after every outing:
1. Open the tents and dry them out. Then refold them.
2. Wash the cooking gear (dish washer)
3. Throw away all perishable food.
4. Make sure there is soap, fuel, paper towels, trash bags, and everything else they need in the Patrol box for the next outing.

If something’s missing when he gets home, have the Scout ask around the Troop (especially his Patrol). Sometimes, another Scout has it at the bottom of their backpack.

Make sure your Scout pays the Quartermaster for their food if necessary.

This classic list is what Scouts should have with them on every outing: Ten Essentials

If you need equipment, check out the REI website.

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3 thoughts on “Trailhead for New Scouts”

  1. Hi Mike,

    We met a while back at REI in Dublin. I’m a Scoutmaster from Troop 228 and am heading out on another 50 miler June 25. We’re doing the Rae Lakes Loop. By all accounts, it should be beautiful, challenging and potentially full of people. But, we’re looking forward to it anyway.

    This website is great. I have plugged it with several of the parents as they have been busily preparing for their sons’ first major backpack trip .

    Thanks for this wealth of information.

    Glen Robins

  2. Generally, you should talk with your Scoutmaster or Senior Patrol Leader on issues like lost shirts. But I wonder how you could lose a shirt in just a month? Maybe its under your bed??

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