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The Essentials

The Scout Basic Essentials

The Scout Basic Essentials can make every outdoor adventure even better. In an emergency, they can help you get out of a jam. Whether it is a day hike or going for the week these items are always a good idea to have with you. It is a good idea to get these together in a special bag for Scouts and remember to pack that bag first each outing you go on.

Pocketknife: A pocketknife could be the most useful tool you can own. Keep yours clean, sharp, and secure.

First-Aid Kit: Your patrol leader or troop leader will bring a group first-aid kit on most Scout trips. In addition, you can carry a few supplies to treat blisters, small cuts, and other minor injuries

Extra Clothing: Layers of clothing allow you to adjust what you wear to match the weather. During an afternoon hike, a jacket might provide all the extra warmth you need. Bring additional clothing on camping trips to meet changes in temperature during the days and nights you’re on the trail.

Rain Gear: A poncho or a rain parka can protect you from light showers and heavy storms.

Water Bottle: Drinking enough water is important for your health during any outdoor activity. Always take along at least a 1-quart bottle filled with water. On hot days, in arid regions, and at high elevations, carry two bottles or more.

Flashlight: A flashlight casts a strong beam with just a couple of AA batteries, and it doesn’t weigh much. Reverse the batteries during the day or put tape over the switch to prevent the light from accidentally turning on in your pack and draining the power.

Trail Food: A small bag of granola, some raisins and nuts, or a couple of energy bars can give you a boost when you get hungry on the trail. High-energy foods you can snack on are especially important if you are out longer than you had expected. (At 179 on weekend outings all food is provided either by the Patrol or the Troop. A few snacks are good to bring, but keep it light).

Matches and Fire Starters: With strike-anywhere matches or butane lighter, you can light a stove or kindle a fire in any weather. Protect matches and other fire starters from moisture by storing them in a self-sealing plastic bag or canister.

Sun Protection: Exposure to the sun’srays can be harmful to your skin, especially for people with fair complexions. Guard your skin by applying a good sunscreen (SPF 15 or greater) and wearing a broad-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and lip balm that contains sunscreen ingredients.

Map and Compass: A map and a compass can show you the way in unfamiliar areas. Of course, they won’t be much good unless you know how to use them! Learn the basics and then enjoy practicing with a compass and a map when you are in the field.

If you have a question, comment, or suggestion, please e-mail: Chuck Williams

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