Camping Merit Badge


Requirements were REVISED effective January 1, 2000 and 2003.

New text is in bold GREEN underlined Serif text like this sentence.
Deleted portions are struck through RED italic text like this sentence.

This Merit Badge
is Required to earn the Eagle Scout Rank

The changes shown below were made in 2000, except as noted here:

  • The numbering of requirement 9(c) was clarified in 2003 when the merit badge pamphlet was revised. 
    Item 9(c) was shown as 9(b)(6) erroneously in the 2000 edition of Boy Scout Requirements and the previous version of the merit badge pamphlet.
  • A minor revision to the wording of requirement 9(a) was made with the release of a new printing of the Camping merit badge pamphlet in 2003. The change to Item 9(a) appeared in the 2005 Boy Scout Requirements Book.
  • A minor revision to the wording of requirement 6(b) was made in 2003.

  1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while camping, including hypothermia, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, frostbite, dehydration, sunburn, insect stings, tick bites, snakebite, and blisters, and hyperventilation.
  2. Learn the Leave No Trace principles and the Outdoor Code and explain what they mean. Write a personal plan for implementing these principles on your next outing.
    Make a layout of a typical patrol campsite. Show cooking spots, dining fly, latrine, and at least three two-man tents. Explain how and why weather, season, and water supply are considered when choosing a site. Explain what care to take with regard to safe water, sanitary facilities, and emergencies.
  3. Make a written plan for an overnight trek and explain how to get to your camping spot using a topographical map and compass.
    Make a written plan for getting to and from a camping spot on foot or by vehicle.
  4. Make a chart showing how a typical patrol is organized for an overnight campout. List assignments for each member.
  5. Prepare a list of clothing you would need for an overnight campout in: a) Summer b) Winter. Discuss the kinds of footwear for different kinds of weather. Explain care of the feet.
    Do the following:
    1. Prepare a list of clothing you would need for overnight campouts in warm weather and in cold weather.
    2. Discuss footwear for different kinds of weather and how the right footwear is important for protecting your feet.
    3. Explain the proper care and storage of camping equipment (clothing, footwear, bedding).
    4. Explain the term "layering".
    5. Present yourself with your pack for inspection. Be correctly clothed and equipped for an overnight campout.
  6. Describe four kinds of tents. Cite their good and bad points.
    Do the following:
    1. Describe the features of four types of tents and how to care for tents. Working with another Scout, pitch a tent.
    2. Discuss the reasons and methods for water purification treatment. Discuss camp sanitation.
    3. Tell the difference between "internal" and "external" frame packs. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.
    4. Discuss the types of sleeping bags and what kind would be suitable for different conditions. Explain the proper care of your sleeping bag. Make a comfortable ground bed.
  7. Prepare for an overnight campout with your patrol by doing the following: (May be part of a Troop trip)
    1. Make a checklist of personal and patrol gear that will be needed.
    2. Prepare a camp menu that is right for the time of the year backpacking. Give recipes and make . Make a food list for your patrol. List foods you can get from your grocery store. Supplies should be lightweight, though some canned foods may be used. Plan two breakfasts, three lunches, and two suppers. Discuss how to protect your food against bad weather, animals, and contamination.
    3. Pack your own gear and your share of the patrol equipment gear and food for proper carrying. Protect it against bad weather. Show that your pack is right for quickly getting what's what is needed first, and that it has been assembled properly for comfort, weight, balance, size, and neatness. Explain how the rest of the patrol gear and food is divided among members.
    4. Show the right way to pack your full gear in your pack. (Explain the principles of packing in external and internal frame packs.
  8. Complete the following while on an overnight campout:
    Do the following:
    1. Present yourself with your pack for inspection. Be correctly clothed and equipped for an overnight camping trip.
      Explain the safety procedures when using a:
      1. Propane or butane/propane stove
      2. Liquid fuel stove
    2. Working with another Scout, pitch a two-man tent. Consider weather and terrain. On this campsite, where allowed, make a latrine for your patrol. (Where not allowed, as in state parks, etc., describe how to build it.)
      Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different types of lightweight cooking stoves.
    3. Make a comfortable ground bed. Use it for 2 nights. Use ground cloth and padding of clothing, pack, grass, leaves, or straw.
      Cook for your patrol a trail meal requiring the use of a lightweight stove.
    4. Where it's allowed, build up a fireplace area of nonburnable soil. Show proper use of woods tools in getting and preparing fuel for a cooking fire. Show how you would get, prepare, and protect your wood on a rainy day. Show how you would prepare a meal properly when it's raining.
    5. Build three kinds of top-of-the-ground fires. Use charcoal for one. Show how to put out a fire properly. (Where open fires cannot be used, show how to build the fires, but don't light them.)
    6. Show the right way to protect your camp including your food and gear, against animals, insects, and wet or bad weather. Discuss how you would protect yourself against all kinds of weather if caught out on the trail with only a pocketknife.
    7. Strike camp. Fold or roll your tent for packing. Pack all gear. Leave a clean camp. Show the right way to get rid of garbage and rubbish.
  9. Show experience in camping by doing the following:
    1. Camp out a total of at least 20 days and 20 nights. You may use a week of long-term camp toward this requirement. Sleep each night under the sky or under a tent you have pitched (long-term camp excluded). (You may use a week of summer camp as part of the 20 days and 20 nights.)
    2. On one of these camping trips, hike 1.5 miles or more each way to and from your campsite. Pack your own gear plus your share of patrol gear and food.
      On any of these camping experiences, you must do TWO of the following, only with proper preparation and under qualified supervision:
      1. Hike up a mountain, gaining at least 2,000 vertical feet.
      2. Backpack for at least four miles.
      3. Take a bike trip of at least 15 miles or at least four hours.
      4. Plan and carry out a float trip of at least four hours.
      5. Rappel down a rappel route of 30 feet or more.
    3. On one of your campouts, perform a conservation project approved in advance by the private landowner or public land management agency.
    4. Serve as one of the cooks for your patrol for at least five meals prepared in camp.
  10. Discuss how the things you did to earn this badge have taught you about personal health and safety, survival, public health, conservation, and good citizenship.

The parenthetical statement at the beginning of Requirement 7 (which is shown above as deleted) was a footnote in earlier editions of the Requirements Book, but no longer appears in the current edition.  However, although not specifically stated in the above requirements, if the troop goes on a trip, and the Patrol method is used (or if there is only one patrol) that campout can be used to meet requirement 7.

BSA Advancement ID#: 1
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1999
Requirements last updated in 2000 & 2003

Page updated on: November 28, 2017

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