Packing Lists for Camping

This is the Troop’s collection of helpful packing lists for different types of camping trips. Choose the type of outing from the tabs below:


  • Ground cloth
  • Tent
  • Thermarest/sleeping pad
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Chairs
  • Top sheet


  • bug spray
  • sunscreen
  • pocket knife
  • small first-aid kit (the troop carries a big one)
  • flashlight(s)
  • book to read
  • Scout handbook
  • Frisbee/ball/games
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • hot drink cup
  • canteen or Nalgene
  • watch
  • binoculars
  • sunglasses

Clothes (hot weather)

  • Boots/shoes
  • Socks (1 pair/day)
  • Shorts (1 pair/3 days)
  • T-shirt (1/day)
  • Underwear (1/day)
  • hat
  • swimsuit

Clothes (cold weather)

  • warm pajamas
  • wool socks
  • heavy boots
  • long johns
  • heavy pants
  • wool long-sleeved shirt
  • fleece
  • outer coat
  • toboggan hat

CLOTHING (including the clothing you are wearing)

  • Warm boots…
  • Second pair of shoes in case the first pair get wet
  • 1-2 changes underwear …
  • 2 pair long underwear (silk or polypropaline best) …
  • 2 pair outer socks (Smartwool is best) …
  • 2 pair liner socks …
  • 2 pair long pants (wool or synthetic best) …
  • Nylon snow/wind/rain pants …
  • 2 long sleeve shirts (wool/flannel) …
  • Wool sweater …or fleece
  • Warm, windproof jacket …or parka for an outer layer
  • Scarf
  • turtleneck shirt
  • Stocking cap and/or Balaclava (day) …
  • Extra stocking cap/head covering (night) …
  • 1 pair heavy mittens or gloves (wool is good) …


  • Sleeping bag …
  • Extra sleeping bag, liner, or blanket if your bag is not rated for 20 degrees or better. You can put one bag inside another bag.
  • Ground pad (ESSENTIAL!!) …
  • Small pillow
  • Small flashlight and extra batteries
  • Tent w/stakes, poles & rain fly 
  • Tent footprint or groundcloth 


  • Towel and washcloth …
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste …
  • Comb/brush …
  • Toilet paper …
  • Lip balm …(very important in the cold)
  • Personal First Aid kit


  • Matches/lighter …
  • Notepad and pen/pencil …
  • Watch


  • Compass …
  • Pocket knife …
  • Sunglasses (optional)
  • Sunscreen
  • Waterproof pack cover or garbage bag …
  • 2 Plastic garbage bags …
  • Boy Scout Handbook
  • Wallet with cash, ID, medical insurance card
  • Cell phone with charger for drive to and from campout


  • Measuring/drinking cup* …
  • Water bottles (1-2 1-quart Nalgenes)

Special considerations:

  • Pack everything in gallon-sized ziplock freezer bags that make it easy to find things while also keeping it all dry
  • Cotton is bad, wool is good. Cotton retains moisture. Blue jeans and sweat pants are not advisable for winter camping, although dry sweat pants can be worn in the sleeping bag. Wicking synthetics such as Cool Max are now available for clothing next to skin. They wick moisture away from the skin and allow it to evaporate.
  • Layering is important. One-piece winter suits are good only when inactive and not recommended for winter campouts. Throughout the day boys will be active, and need to wear layers of clothing that can be added and removed.
  • Putting clean, dry underwear on when going to bed is crucial. Boys will need to bring a spare pair of underwear and long underwear that they can change in to and wear while in their sleeping bags, as well as a pair of dry socks for sleeping. That night’s underwear and socks can be worn the next day, as long as you have another dry set for the next night.
  • Most heat is lost from the head. Bring a 2nd dry stocking cap for night, or a hooded sweatshirt, to keep head warm and out of the sleeping bag. For really cold weather a balaclava can cover your face while leaving mouth and nose open to breath without wetting the cloth. Do NOT breathe into your sleeping bag – you will get wet and cold.
  • Dehydration can help cause hypothermia. Drink 2-3 liters of water during the day. Storing your water bottle upside down in the snow (next to your tent where you can find it) will help prevent the lid from freezing on.
  • Physical activity warms you up. If cold, move!

We check on all boys all weekend.

Download a sample weekend backpacking checklist here


  • Tent w/stakes, poles & rain fly 
  • Tent footprint or groundcloth 
  • Sleeping bag 
  • Sleeping pad 
  • Backpacking Pillow 


  • Head lamp 
  • Pocket knife or multitool 
  • Matches or firestarter
  • Day pack
  • Watch
  • Wallet with cash, ID, medical insurance card
  • Cell phone with charger
  • Power adapter for drive to campout


  • Stove 
  • Fuel 
  • Cook Kit 
  • Bowl or cup (in zip lock bag) 
  • Spork 
  • Filled 1-Liter Water Bottles (minimum 2) 
  • Optional: Camelbak
  • 2 Breakfasts
  • 1 Lunch 
  • 1 Dinner (freeze-dried)
  • Hiking Snacks


  • Directions
  • Pencil 
  • Map or GPS with spare batteries
  • Compass

Personal Items 

  • Toothbrush 
  • Toothpaste 
  • Medications 
  • Lip Balm 
  • Hand sanitizer 
  • Bug spray 
  • Sun protection 
  • Spare zip-lock bags 
  • Toilet paper 
  • Tekneu


  • Rain Gear 
  • Fleece 
  • Hiking socks (Smartwool) 
  • Hat with brim or ball cap 
  • Sunglasses 
  • Camp socks (Smartwool) 
  • Optional: Sneakers (for camp) 

Clothing (for Cold Weather)

  • Soft toboggan hat 
  • Gloves 
  • 2 warm shirts 
  • Silk base layer
  • Long pants 
  • Waterproof Hiking boots 
  • Windproof shell

Clothing (for Warm Weather)  

  • Convertible pants/shorts 
  • Troop 11 Activity Shirt 
  • Short sleeve shirt (synthetic) 
  • Optional: Hiking boots 


  • First-Aid Kit 
  • Length of duct Tape 
  • 50’ of cord 
  • Pole repair kit 
  • Optional: Water Purifier 


  • Reading Material 
  • Sketchbook
  • Floppy flyer
  • Hackeysack

Weekend Canoeing content to come


Philmont vista


General Gear Comments

Before making any major personal gear purchases, spend some time thinking about your (or your Scout’s) potential use of the equipment after Philmont is over. Are you going to continue backpacking? If so, how often? What kinds of trips? How many days will you usually be out? The answers to these questions need to be considered when deciding on the quality of equipment that you need to purchase. Take some time to inspect the gear that others you know use for backpacking. Ask them questions. Would they buy that equipment again? What do they love about it? What do they hate about it? What would they change if they could? Do they wish that they would have purchased something different?

When purchasing equipment, be sure to check into the item’s warranty. Some manufacturers warranty their equipment for the life of the product against defects in materials and workmanship (Kelty; Sierra Designs; Cascade Designs -Therm-A-Rest, Platypus; Outdoor Research; Gregory; just to name a few).


  • Frame backpack
    • With padded hip belt
    • Capacity: External frame -at least 4000 cubic inches. Internal frame -at least 4800 cubic inches
    • The sizes listed are suggested. A pack smaller in size than this will necessitate strapping more gear to the outside of the pack, leading to wet or possibly lost gear.
    • Make sure the frame has “load lifter straps.”
    • Books have been written on selecting the “right” pack. The number one rule of pack selection is to make sure that whatever pack you choose FITS YOU PROPERLY. Spend time in outdoor gear stores trying on different packs and learning how the packs adjust to fit different people. When you are ready to purchase a pack, have the pack fitted to you either by a knowledgeable salesperson or a friend with backpack fitting experience. Gather your personal gear and practice packing your pack, trying different methods, until you find a packing system that works best for you. Keep in mind the items you might need access to in a hurry (rain gear, pack cover, canteen). Learn to use every cubic inch of space inside your pack. Once you have a packing system, DO NOT CHANGE IT! You should be so familiar with your pack that you are able to find anything in your pack in the dark with your eyes closed. Load your pack with only the personal gear you plan on carrying on the trail at Philmont (minus one set of hiking clothes and boots), then take note of how much the pack weighs and how much room is left empty in the pack. Your pack should weigh no more 18 to 24 pounds with personal gear only, and should be only half-full or less. If your pack is almost full, you need to either change your packing method, or get a bigger pack. Remember, you must still add your part of your tent, your share of the crew gear & food, and your water to the pack.
  • Pack cover
    • Waterproof nylon
    • Must be large enough to cover entire pack and any gear attached to pack.
    • Re-coat with waterproofing before Philmont if needed. NO PLASTIC BAGS
    • When purchasing a backpack rain cover, make sure the cover you choose will completely cover your pack when fully loaded with sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and room for extra gear. It is better to buy a cover that is too big rather than too small.


Sleeping Gear

  • Sleeping Bag
    • lightweight bag rated 20 to 30 degrees
    • Mummy style bag
    • No more than 3 to 4 pounds
    • Rolled size should be no larger than 10″ x 20″
    • Prefer synthetic fill (provides warmth when wet).
    • Extra precautions must be made with goose-down bags to keep them dry (provide NO warmth when wet)
    • Learn to take extra care of your sleeping bag and sleeping pad. They are your last line of defense against hypothermia. It is wise to hang your bag out daily (weather permitting). This allows the moisture caused by perspiration to dry completely, and allows the sleeping bag fill to “fluff” back out. If you do hang your bag out, DO NOT leave camp without storing the bag back inside your tent first.
  • Sleeping bag stuff sack
    • The stuff sack that comes with most sleeping bags IS NOT waterproof. It can be made somewhat waterproof by seam-sealing the seams and Scotch-Guarding the fabric.
    • A waterproof stuff sack can be purchased that will fully protect your bag from water. Waterproof “compressor bags” are available. These bags will compress stuffed sleeping bag size down tremendously. Some people pack their sleeping bag inside 2 waterproof stuff sacks, or line their waterproof stuff sack with a heavy plastic bag for added protection.
  • Pillow
    • small “backpackers pillow”
    • or fleece stuff sack (Stuff a stuff-sack with clothes to make your pillow)
  • Foam sleeping pad
    • Only closed cell foam or “Therm-A-Rest” type pad
  • Sleeping Clothes
    • T-shirt & gym shorts
    • Worn only in sleeping bag
    • Pack in ziplock bag
    • Scouts should always bring clothes specifically for sleeping in and are used to prevent Scouts from having “smellable” clothing inside their tent. All “smellable” clothing should be bear-bagged nightly.


Packing Supplies

  • Waterproof stuff sack lined with a heavy plastic bag
  • “Compression” style bags to decrease packed volume.
  • 5 pairs of pack straps
    • FOR sleeping bag, pad, tent, crew rain-fly, or any other equipment to pack
    • Do not use “bungee cords” for pack straps!
    • Purchase 1/2″ to 1″ wide straps 24″ to 30″ long with adjustable buckles.
  • “freezer” Ziplock bags (Used to carry anything wet or messy while on the trail.)
    • One gallon heavy duty bags
    • Bring 6 – 12
    • Pack every item of clothing in individual ziplock bags
    • keeps them dry and clean. A large ziplock bag makes a great clothes washer while on the trail


Clothing Layer A (Hiking)

  • Hiking boots
    • well broken in to YOUR feet
    • All leather or leather & nylon. Inexpensive, lightweight, leather and nylon hiking boots are an option for Scouts who’s feet are still growing (one Philmont trek might be the lifespan of these boots). If the Scout’s feet have stopped growing, you may decide to purchase a more expensive waterproof boot.
    • Waterproof before the trip with “AquaSeal”, etc.
    • If you must purchase boots before Philmont, purchase them 3 to 4 months ahead of time.
    • When trying on and buying boots, ALWAYS wear the socks you will be wearing when hiking.
    • With 3 to 4 months left before your Philmont trek, you should begin wearing your boots daily for at least a couple of hours. This will insure proper breaking-in of new boots, and will toughen any “hot spots” on your feet before you are on the trail.
  • Lightweight sneakers or tennis shoes
    • Must be suitable for trail use if boots get wet, blisters develop, etc.
    • Pack in plastic “grocery bags” to protect the rest of your pack from dirty or wet shoes.
  • Socks
    • 2 pair heavy wool socks (absorb shock, reduce friction, and wick sweat away from feet)
    • 3 pair lightweight ultra-thin liner socks (wick sweat away and reduce friction.
      • Recommend Cool-Max
      • NO COTTON
    • Socks may be a more important choice and purchase than hiking boots
      • DO NOT SCRIMP on your hiking sock and liner purchase. The right socks or combination of socks will prevent blisters while hiking. Most hikers use a combination of a heavy wool or wool blend outer sock along with a light, thin polypropylene or CoolMax liner sock to wick perspiration away from the foot. You should experiment with different types and combinations to find out what feels and works best for you. It is a good idea to have 2 pair of heavy socks and 3 pair of liner socks. This allows you to be able to put on dry socks as needed, and hang the wet socks on your pack or clothesline to dry.
  • Hiking Shorts
    • 2 pair hiking shorts
    • 3 pair underwear (If your hiking shorts have mesh liners, you will not need these)
    • Lightweight nylon cargo shorts or gym shorts. NO COTTON.
    • If your shorts have zip-on legs, bring the legs and use for both long pants and hiking shorts.
  • Shirts
    • Shirts should be light-colored
    • Prefer Cool-Max
    • Cotton shirts will more than likely be ruined at the end of the trip
    • 2 short sleeve T-shirts
  • Hat (a must)
    • Wide brim
    • Recommend a round, full brimmed, floppy hat.

Philmont hikers

Clothing Layer B (Cool Evening)

  • 1 long sleeve shirt or pull-over
    • polar-fleece or wool
    • Will be worn when in camp
  • 1 pair long pants
    • Nylon or equivalent.
    • NO JEANS or cotton pants.
    • If your hiking shorts have zip-off legs, bring the legs.
  • 1 pair long underwear
    • Polypropylene
    • Mandatory for treks with high elevation camps


Clothing Layer C (Cold Weather)

  • 1 sweater or jacket (wool or polar-fleece)
  • Optional -Can use rain jacket for warmth (IF DRY!).
  • 1 stocking cap (Wool or polar-fleece)
  • 1 pair glove liners or mittens (Wool or polar-fleece)
  • Evenings and nights at Philmont can get cold. Do not leave your fleece jacket, hat, and liner gloves behind. Many Scouts sit around the Philmont Story Campfire shivering because they didn’t bring their warm clothing.


Clothing Layer D (Wet Conditions)

  • 1 sturdy rain suit or poncho
    • A cheap plastic rain suit or poncho will ruin your trip
    • If you go to Philmont, sooner or later you are going to get rained on, often HARD. Good raingear is essential. If using a rain poncho, also bring a light jacket and pants that are wind and rain resistant. A good waterproof rain suit (jacket with hood and pants) is another choice. There are many manufacturers that now make very affordable waterproof/breathable jackets and pants (Red Ledge, Frogg Toggs, Campmor, etc.). A rain suit also acts as another layer of clothing in cold conditions.

Philmont cooking

Other Items

  • Flashlight
    • Small LED headlight
    • Install fresh batteries
    • AAA battery powered
    • Start trek with fresh batteries. DO NOT carry extras.
  • 3 Bandannas
    • Too many backcountry uses to list here
  • 1 Cup
    • nylon -no PVC or plastic
    • measuring style helpful
    • Can use bowl as cup also, eliminating more weight.
  • 1 Small tooth brush (BB)
    • Store with eating gear. That is when you will use it.
  • 1 Dunk-bag
    • Mesh
    • Use to store cup and toothbrush together.
  • 3 Water bottles
    • 3 quart (liter) minimum water carrying capacity
    • Nalgene or similar, or Platypus-type.
    • Water bottles MUST be STURDY. No “Evian” type throw-away water bottles.
  • 1 Towel
    • Small – nothing bigger than a kitchen tea towel or “pack towel”.
  • Lip balm
    • with SPF 15) (A) (BB)
    • High and dry climate will cause lips to crack and bleed if not protected
  • Compass (A)(S)
    • Know how to use it before you get to Philmont.
  • 50 feet 1/8 inch nylon rope (S)
    • Clothes line, hang pack off ground, etc.
  • Duct tape (BB)
    • This stuff fixes almost everything from torn tents to blistered heels.
    • Wrap 10-12 wraps of good quality duct tape around your “smellable” canteen. This makes the duct tape easily accessible when needed.
  • Eye-care kit (if needed)
    • Lens solution
    • extra contact lenses
    • glasses
    • lens case
  • Medications
    • personal medications
  • Money
    • 10 to 20 $1 bills
    • You don’t need any more than this on the trail
  • Hiking stick or trekking poles
    • It is easier to walk on 3 or 4 legs than on 2. Try it and you’ll understand.
  • Lightweight day-pack
    • Use for personal smellables, side-hikes.
    • Your backpack’s top may convert into a day-pack or fanny-pack.
  • Camera (BB)(S)(A) 
    • If using a digital camera, make sure you have enough memory and batteries.
  • Note pad and pen (A)
    • Should be a mandatory item.
    • Make notes of everything you do and see!
  • Pre-stamped postcards 
    • You can mail postcards from most staffed camps and all backcountry commissaries.
  • Foam “sit upon” or small camp stool
    • There is nothing harder or dirtier than the ground after 10 days.
  • 2 or 3 mini-carabineers
    • Use to attach things to pack, to hang clothes line, to hang pack, etc.
  • Gaiters
    • Keep dirt and rocks out of your boots and act a rain pants in light showers.
  • Sunglasses
    • CHEAP.
    • Suggested for hiking in open areas.

(BB) -pack together in a plastic bag to place in bear bag at night

(S) -share with a buddy

(A) -easily accessible in pack or carry in pockets


  • DO NOT PACK deep bowl -plastic
  • DO NOT PACK heavy-duty soup spoon (unbreakable and light)
  • DO NOT PACK small pocket-knife or “Leatherman”
  • DO NOT PACK matches and/or lighter Should be stored and carried with the backpacking stoves.
  • DO NOT PACK Philmont maps
  • DO NOT PACK biodegradable soap (Camp Suds) (BB)
  • DO NOT PACK toothpaste (BB) 2 or 3 travel-size tubes per crew is sufficient for the trek
  • DO NOT PACK sunscreen -at least SPF 15 (BB) Only 1 or 2 small tubes of sunscreen are needed for the entire crew.
  • DO NOT PACK first aid kit (BB)

No metal bowls -just unneeded weight. 2008 crew gear. Lexan (light and unbreakable). No metal utensils. You will have no use for a fork – extra weight.

2008 crew gear

Only 1 WELL STOCKED first aid kit is needed for the entire crew. Know who is carrying the first aid kit at all times. Do not pack as personal gearITEMS THAT APPEAR ON SOME LISTS AS PERSONAL GEAR THAT ARE ACTUALLY CREW GEAR – NOT PERSONAL GEAR -DO NOT PUT THESE ITEMS IN YOUR PACK AS PERSONAL GEAR Only 1 or 2 knives are needed for the entire crew. The only thing a knife is needed for is for neatly opening food bags and cutting moleskin. Each crew needs two sets of Philmont sectional maps that cover the sections of the ranch covered by their itinerary. Philmont provides each crew with enough Camp Suds for the entire trek. Use Camp Suds for dishes, clothes, hair, and body. No other soap is needed on the trail. A LITTLE CAMP SUDS GOES A LONG WAY!!!


  • DO NOT PACK replacement batteries install new batteries at base camp, use sparingly on the trail
  • DO NOT PACK mirrors, razors, hairbrushes, deodorants, shampoos
  • DO NOT PACK leather or other heavy belt and buckle
  • DO NOT PACK any electronic devices exception would be a GPSr -one per crew if desired
  • DO NOT PACK extra shoelaces put new laces in both boots and sneakers -use nylon rope for extra laces
  • DO NOT PACK any 100% cotton clothing
  • DO NOT PACK wallet, keys, coins
  • DO NOT PACK extra food

Recommended for Individuals

  • Completed Medical Form 
  • Cap or Hat ( A must)* 
  • Sunscreen* 
  • Canteen or water bottle (A must)* 
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush* 
  • Soap & Shampoo* 
  • Toilet articles* 
  • Towel 
  • Full Scout Uniform 
  • T-shirts* 
  • Socks* 
  • Shorts or pants 
  • Belt* 
  • Shoes or good hiking boots 
  • Underwear 
  • Swim suit 
  • Pajamas 
  • Bedroll or blankets 
  • Pillow 
  • Cot (The troop has these)
  • Flashlight with batteries* 
  • Cup*
  • Scout knife or pocket knife* 
  • Work gloves for project 
  • Spending money 
  • Backpack or day pack for day hikes 
  • Footlocker or duffle bag w/lock 
  • Poncho or rain suit* 
  • Merit Badge supplies and work completed 
  • Aquatic Merit Badge essentials* 
  • Boy Scout Handbook
  • Long-sleeved shirt and long pants 
  • Folding camp chair 


  • Writing materials* 
  • Field glasses* 
  • Small, metal mirror* 
  • Ground cloth 
  • Musical instrument 
  • Camera* 
  • Sewing kit* 
  • Bible or prayer book 
  • Watch* 
  • Team Spirit HAT (For Team Spirit hat day!) 
  • Snorkel gear* (if participating in program) 


This is a nice source for packing lists. You tell it why kind of trip, where you’ll be, and what season. It gives you a list for what to bring (that matches the best lists I’ve seen elsewhere.