Boy Scout Merit Badge Requirements


  1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while backpacking, including hypothermia, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, frostbite, dehydration, sunburn, insect stings, tick bites, snakebite, blisters, and hyperventilation.
  2. Do the following:
    1. List 10 items which are essential to be carried on any overnight backpacking trek and explain why each item is necessary.
    2. Describe 10 ways you can limit the weight and bulk to be carried in your pack without jeopardizing your health or safety.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Define limits on the number of backpackers who should be in a backpacking crew.
    2. Explain the reason for the upper limit and the lower limit in a backpacking crew.
  4. Tell environmental considerations that are important for backpackers and describe five ways to lessen their impact on the environment. Describe proper methods for disposing of solid and liquid wastes.
  5. Demonstrate two ways to purify water and tell why water purification is essential.
  6. Demonstrate that you can read topographic maps. While on a hike, use a map and compass to establish your position on the terrain at random times and places.
  7. Tell how to prepare properly for and deal with inclement weather while on a backpacking trek.
  8. Do the following:
    1. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of three different types of backpacking stoves using at least three different types of fuel.
    2. Demonstrate that you know how to operate a backpacking stove safely and to handle liquid fuel safely.
    3. Prepare at least three meals using a stove and fuel you can carry in a backpack.
  9. Do the following:
    1. Plan a patrol backpacking hike.
    2. Properly pack your own gear and your share of the crew equipment and food. Protect it against inclement weather. Show that your pack allows you to get quickly to items you may need on the trail and provides for comfort, balance, and neatness. Show how to use effectively a pack frame and hip strap to distribute the weight on your body.
    3. Conduct a prehike inspection of the patrol and its equipment.
    4. Carrying your pack, complete a hike of at least two miles.
  10. Take three backpacking treks. Each must consist of at least three days duration with two different overnight campsites, and each must cover at least 15 miles. Carry everything you will need throughout the trek.
  11. Do the following:
    1. In addition, assist in planning and take a backpacking trek of at least five days with at least three different campsites, and covering at least 30 miles. Your written plan submitted to your counselor must include route, food and menus, equipment, and emergency notification. Prepare lightweight, reasonably priced trail menus. Carry everything you need throughout the entire trek.
    2. On returning, tell what you did to get in shape for this trek and how you might do it differently again.

BSA Advancement ID#: 26
Source: Boy Scout Requirements, #33215E, revised 2002