Backpacking Merit Badge
Activity Guide for Patrol Leaders
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C) Prerequisites - Scouts
Work to be done prior to program start:

    Print Merit Badge Workbook
    One copy for each scout. And don't forget to have ready your Merit Badge Blue Card - (home printer version.)

    Req #10 & 11: Schedule 4x Backpacking Treks
    Discuss with your Patrol Leaders what your group can do to cover two or more of the requirements for #10 & #11(see below). Note: Scouts are to take an active role planning these treks.

    Req #10 & 11: Schedule 4x Backpacking Treks
    Discuss with your Patrol Leaders what your group can do to cover two or more of the requirements for #10 & #11(see below). Note: Scouts are to take an active role planning these treks.
    File Tour Plan - required for all BSA Field Trips.
    Field Trip Group RSVP - Many areas now require a wilderness permit.

    Troop Outdoor Gear

    Pages 294-295 of the Boy Scout Handbook list the essentials for Troop Camping Gear. Check out our Quartermaster's Hut for tips to outfit your troop.

    Study Hall - Nature Soundtrack

    I've watched one Camping Merit Badge Counselor run the entire hourlong soundtrack of this nature scene video as ambience to his Camping Study Hall session.
    Woodland Ambiance #4 - 60 minutes of Tricking Stream
    Woodland Ambiance #5 - 60 minutes of Tricking Stream

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    Outdoor Ten Essentials BSA Tour BSA Outdoor Ten Essentials

    MainTour.com special feature on the best stuff to prepare your scout to enjoy the outdoors:


      - Survival Kit Series
      - Pack Lean / Pack Smart!
      - Outdoor Day Pack Basics
      - Boy Scout Adventure
      - Bonus Features

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Genealogy Merit Badge D) Study Hall

Purpose:
Learn important key concepts
Any Safety Requirements?
Start family research reports
Prepare for your Field Tour
Backpacking Merit Badge

While some scouts may be adept at self-study, others may do better in a small group setting and taking notes on worksheets. You can facilitate discussion by asking them why each of the principles intruduced here would be relevant.

    Req #1: Backpacking First Aid Review
    Discuss the prevention of and treatment for the health concerns that could occur while backpacking, including hypothermia, heat reactions, frostbite, dehydration, insect stings, tick bites, snakebite, and blisters.

    Req #2: Pack Light / Pack Right
    a. List 10 items that are essential to be carried on any backpacking trek and explain why each item is necessary.
    b. Describe 10 ways you can limit the weight and bulk to be carried in your pack without jeopardizing your health or safety.
    Introduction to Backpacking Essential Gear - Courtesy of Review Outdoor Gear -

    Req #3: Discuss Trek Crew Safety

    Req #4: Leave No Trace Plan
    Leave No Trace Video - NPS Video - Each year, 300 million people visit natural areas in the National Park Service. If all of those people left a trace of their visit, the cumulative effect would be devastating to the environment. It's important for visitors to be respectful and mindful of their impact on the environment when hiking, camping, and otherwise enjoying the outdoors. The National Park Service shares some tips on how to "Leave No Trace" when exploring nature.

    Req #5: Water
    a. Demonstrate two ways to treat water and tell why water treatment is essential.
    b. Explain to your counselor the importance of staying well hydrated during a trek.

    Req #6: Navigation

    Req #7: Inclement Weather

    Req #8: Meal Time

      Scouts should plan ahead on that meals prepared here will also cover the backpacking meal requirements of the Cooking Merit Badge

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Camping Merit Badge F) Field Trip

Four Trek Planning
Trek planning is an important part of this merit badge.

  • 8a: Hike: Write a plan that includes a schedule for a patrol/crew backpacking hike of at least 2 miles.
  • 11a: Trek Plan: Write a plan for a backpacking trek of at least five days using at least three different campsites and covering at least 30 miles. Your plan must include a description of and route to the trek area, a schedule (including a daily schedule), a list of food and equipment needs, a safety and emergency plan, and a budget.

Four Wilderness Multiday Backpacking Treks
Be aware of the following trek requirements. All treks should follow Leave No Trace principles and scouts should carry everything they will need.

  • 5a: Water: Demonstrate two ways to treat water and tell why water treatment is essential.
  • 6b: Maps: While on a trek, use a map and compass to establish your position on the ground at three different locations, OR use a GPS receiver to establish your position on a topographic map and on the ground at three different locations.
  • 8c: Meal Prep: Prepare at least three meals using a stove and fuel you can carry in a backpack.
  • 9: 2 Mile Hike Plan and complete a two mile hike.
  • 10: Three 2-Nite Treks Participate in at least three backpacking treks of at least three days each and at least 15 miles each, and using at least two different campsites on each trek.
  • 11a: Big Trek Plan Write a plan for a backpacking trek of at least five days using at least three different campsites and covering at least 30 miles. Your plan must include a description of and route to the trek area, a schedule (including a daily schedule), a list of food and equipment needs, a safety and emergency plan, and a budget.
  • b: Service Project Using Leave No Trace principles, take the trek planned and, while on the trek, complete at least one service project approved by your merit badge counselor.
  • c: Daily Journal Keep a daily journal during the trek that includes a day-by-day description of you activities, including notes about what worked well and thoughts about improvements that could be made for the next trek.
Cumberland Gap Virginia Tour Popular Backpacking Adventure Treks

    Cumberland Gap - Take a scenic, multi-day, backcountry adventure tour on one a historic trial first cut by the legendary Daniel Boone through land rich in danger and challenge. Several park trails are specially maintained by BSA to support backpacking adventures here.


Camping Merit Badge H) Extra Credit

Camping Requirements

This merit badge can also help meet several of the requirements of Camping Merit Badge which is required for Eagle Rank.


J) Backpacking Famous Quotes:

    John Muir - Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.
    Wislawa Szymborski - I like being near the top of a mountain. One can’t get lost here.
    Alex Lowe - There are two kinds of climbers, those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.

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Backpacking Merit Badge
Official Merit Badge Book



Backpacking Merit Badge
Scout's Backpacking Cookbook


BSA Fieldbook
BSA Fieldbook
Outdoor Trek Guide

Based on experiences of millions of Scouts and leaders, this book holds essential information for every outdoor enthusiast. A comprehensive reference, this handbook includes sections on trek, preparation and adventures, appreciating our environment, and more.


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