Gear Guide

Backpacking Gear - suggestions

First, tent. The adults and boys tent separately from each other, so you will need a tent for yourself and one for your son. However, most tents will hold 2-3 boys so we encourage the boys to tent together to save carrying extra unneeded tents. Tent's should be "backpacking" style which are low on weight. One of the best tents that we recommend for both youth and adults is the REI Dome 2.

This tent is easy to setup and free-standing and light-weight. An excellent deal for about $100

While a stove is unnecessary, because most backpacking food can be prepared without heat, it is nice to be able to boil water for soups, noodles or drinks. We find the Jetboil is perfect for this and allows you to heat water for coffee or hot chocolate quickly.

Most boys will have some type of stove to heat water, so for your first camping trip, you can simply borrow some heated water for your needs.

You do supply your own food when backpacking. There is a suggested backpacking menu on the website that will give you ideas, but think Ramen Noodles. That is a great meal for a one night trip and for lunches you can do tunafish, PB&J or just trailmix bars. Power bars for breakfast work well, or instant grits.

Menu ideas can be found on our Documents page.

Knife carrying: Scouts need to get checked out on knife safety by their SPL, at which point they will earn their Totin' Chip. They can do this on the backpacking trip.

Summer camp footlockers. Walmart is your best bet here. The plastic footlockers with wheels are usually around $20

Uniforms: Troop 433 does not wear uniforms on backpacking trips. Many of the boys will wear their Class-B shirts from summer camp, but it is not required.

The main thing to remember is to bring layers of clothing so you stay warm. You will probably wear every piece of clothing you have with you at night in your sleeping bag, so be sure it is all comfortable and warm.

A one-night backpacking trip is a great way to become familiar with what you need for camping. You will make many adjustments to your gear and your supplies, so don't worry if something doesn't work this time.

Where Can I Get Good Outdoor Equipment Without Paying Huge Prices?

On the web, there are a handful of stores that sell quality brand-name camping gear and outdoor clothing at reduced prices. Basically these sites buy discontinued gear and overstocks from manufacturers then sell it direct to you at super-cheap prices. The color and size choices are often limited and you don’t get the face-to-face advice you do from your local outdoors store, but if you look around you should be able to find what you need.

Here are a few of the most well-established online stores:

Sierra Trading Post


REI Outlet

Steep and Cheap

Also, instead of always sticking with brand-name stuff, consider buying the “house brand” from these companies. Most of the house gear is made with the exact same fabrics and materials and in the very same factories as the brand-name stuff. Often the only difference is the trendy label attached to the product.


L.L. Bean

Eastern Mountain Sports

And, as always, a great source for BSA-approved gear and clothing is the BSA’s own supply catalog, found at

BSA Scout Shop.

Sources on Hammocks

From the scoutmaster:

If you are looking to try hammock camping without breaking the bank, Mark Orton (Spiguyver Backpacking on YouTube) has a recommendation for you, and I trust the reviews from this guy...

I would buy a hammock like this (rather than an ENO) if I were buying for my kids (and maybe for myself) today.

Here's the link to the product:

Note that you will need to add a rain tarp to this. He recommends, in the comments to the video review above, the UGQ Penny Pincher tarps.

I think the Hammock Gear "Quest" tarp is also good and comparable in price (maybe cheaper with the discount code for scouts ("SCOUTSHONOR")).