Bare-bones Backpacking Equipment Crew List

Troop 111 “Bare Bones” Crew Equipment List for Weekend Backpacking

(Click here to download a PDF version of this document)

This is a CREW list. A list for individual Scouts can be found here.

This list summarizes the minimum equipment necessary for a typical warm weather weekend backpacking campout (late April to mid October). Note that this list must be tailored for each individual campout based on the locale and expected weather. With respect to all your gear, when you have a choice, always take the smaller or lighter item. Keeping your weight down is critical in backpacking – avoid bringing unneeded or heavy gear. This list is designed to help minimize weight and eliminate needless duplication.


_____ Backpacking Tents (2 man are best, but 3 or 4 man tents can be used if the campsites are known to have adequate space to handle larger footprints; the “per man” weight of larger capacity tents is usually a little less than 2 man tents)
_____ Ground Cloths (proper sizes, lightweight)


_____ 2 1/2 Gallon Collapsible Water Jug (1/Patrol)
_____ Water filters (2 – 4/Patrol) or chemical sterilization tablets (adequate amounts)


_____ Food (emphasizing one pot meals, easy prep, all lightweight, dehydrated items)
_____ Abbreviated Cook Kits (1/Patrol) Take only what is needed!
_____ Abbreviated Utensil Kits (1/Patrol) Take only what is needed!
_____ Backpacking Stoves (either cannister or liquid fuel; 2/Patrol)
_____ Fuel (cannisters or liquid (1 pint per stove per cooked meal, in fuel bottles))
_____ Wide mouth 1 gallon jugs (optional, for mixing up drink mixes; 1/Patrol)
_____ 1 – 2 plastic food prep tarps (3 x 5) – one side marked “This Side Up”
_____ Soft packs of “Wet Ones” (for cooks at dry or suspect water sites; 1 package/ Patrol (contains 15 wipes))

Always plan your meals with use of minimal equipment in mind; bring only that equipment needed to cook and serve the meals you’ve planned.


_____ One Cleanup Kit per Patrol, including 2 heavy duty sash type reclosable trash bags, a small bottle of “Campsuds,” a plastic scrubbie, 2 SOS pads, an adequate amount of HTH or equivalent (disinfectant rinse), and either a small drying tarp (3 x 5) or 2 large mesh bags. A rubber policeman and a “frisbee” (waste colander) are optional items in a cleanup kit.


_____ 2 “Backpacker’s Offices;” each including a Bic lighter, compass, small roll of electrical tape, small knife, tube of lip balm, nail clippers, tweezers, whistle, and a magic marker.
_____ “Possibles/Repair” Kits (2/Troop), non duplicative, for backpack, stove, and tent repairs
_____ Detailed Maps


_____ First Aid Kits (2/Troop, non-duplicative -1 emphasizing bandages/foot care, 1 emphasizing medications)
_____ Toilet Paper (1 roll/Patrol, packed in plastic) and a “U-Dig-It” Shovel (1/Patrol)
_____ 2 “Lotions” kits (1 held in reserve), each including one squeeze bottle of high quality sunscreen and a small squeeze
bottle of bug repellent, each bottle individually stored in a plastic zip-lock bag. Sizes appropriate for the Crew size.
_____ Medical records (if all routine, can be left in a vehicle; however, any critical information should be carried with the Crew).

Optional (by weather/locale):

_____ Bear Bag Kit, one per Patrol, containing 1 large nylon laundry bag, 100 feet of heavy-duty rope, and a throw-bag
_____ Backpacker’s Tarp (Sil-Nyl preferred, with telescoping poles, heavy-duty cords, and stakes; 1/Patrol)
_____ Crew equipment tarp (minimum 6 x 8, one side marked “This Side Up”; 1/Patrol)

Note: Although listed as “Optional,” bear bags should now be brought and used in virtually all backpacking (mountainous) venues in Virginia and Maryland. Tarps should be brought if there is any chance of rain.

Optional Electronics:

_____ Digital Camera(s), with fresh batteries
_____ Cell Phone and an extra battery, both charged (Note that cell coverage in many backpacking venues is very spotty; this is an ancillary piece of equipment that may be useful in some settings – never rely on a cell phone for emergencies!)
_____ GPS Receiver (with fresh batteries); don’t rely on unless you are an expert in GPS use BEFORE you go.
_____ Lightweight Weather Band Receiver
_____ A GPS “Spot”

Other Optional (by choice):

_____ Fold up Bow Saw (1/Troop); rarely needed
_____ Game/Activity Materials (beware of weight!)
_____ Backpacker’s Lantern, battery powered LED; rarely needed
_____ A “spices” kit
_____ Backpacker’s Monocular or Binoculars (nice if backpacking in mountainous terrain)
_____ Diary Materials; rarely needed for weekend campouts
_____ Wilderness Survival Kit(s); needed if groups of Scouts will be allowed to go “exploring” away from the campsite

Dr. Bob
Scoutmaster 1988-2008

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