Camping Merit Badge

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Camping Skills for Camping Merit BadgeBill Howard ASM Troop 179 Fredericksburg, VA

First Aid A Thumbnail Sketch Hypothermia warm victim any way you can, add clothing, put in sleeping bag, share body heat Frostbite warm the affected area with clothing, putting frozen hands under arms, lukewarm water, get to warm place, provide warm liquids Heatstroke head & shoulders low, feet raised, provide liquids, cool the victims body with wet towels, shirts Heat Exhaustion move to shade, head & shoulders up, do whatever is necessary to cool the victims body, wet towels, shirts, get assistance Dehydration see heatstroke, heat exhaustion Sunburn sunburn lotion, aloe, solarcane spray Insect Stings benadryl for severe cases, after bite lotion, watch for signs of shock and or breathing problems Tick Bites tick tweezers, hot match head, oil or grease to release clean, antiseptic, anti-itch, or ammonia & baking soda

Snakebite lie down, lower affected area, constrictor band, cold packs, treat for shock, get help ASAP Blisters clean, antiseptic, apply Band-Aid, moleskin Break only if necessary and then with sterilized pin2

Leave No Trace No Trace Principles Plan Ahead & Prepare Minimize damage to natural and cultural resources Camp in designated areas, hike on established trails, minimize damage to vegetation and soil Pack it in, pack it out. Plan your waste stream to minimize the amount you must pack out. Allow others to discover. Leave rocks, plants, animals and artifacts where you find them. Campfires are necessarily messy. Cutting of wood degrades an area with heavy use. You are in their home, be quiet and observe. Dont feed wild animals and they will stay wild. Allow others to have the experience you expect to have. Keep the noise down, respect the boundaries of others campsites and the boundaries of private land

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Dispose of Waste Properly Leave What You Find

Minimize Campfire Impacts Respect Wildlife Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Boy Scout Handbook pages 244-45 and the Fieldbook provide more info


The Outdoor Code As an American, I will do my best to: Be Clean in my outdoor manners Follow Leave No Trace Principles Pack out what I packed in Dont leave food scraps lying around Know the fire danger conditions in the area before you begin a trip Dont build a fire if you dont need to cook or keep warm Extinguish fires until the ashes are cold Keep the noise down, respect the rights of others to have an enjoyable experience Leave the campsite better than you found it

Be Careful with fire

Be Considerate in the outdoors Be Conservation Minded Have as little impact on the outdoors as you can manage Respect the natural and cultural resources of the area you camp in

Note how this relates to the principles of Leave No Trace4

Trekking Plan Helps to ensure thorough planning and serves as a precaution if help is required helps you to stay found Time, date and place of departure Time, date and place of return Destination Show alternates if it is possible that a specific campsite is occupied or if weather conditions make a change in plan necessary

Roster of scouts and adults going along Always have a minimum of two adults

Route of departure & route of return Name trails, compass headings, landmarks, GPS coordinates Layout backcountry trips on a topographic or park map

Special equipment needed Include a description quantity and colors of canoes, tents and tarps

Special clothing needed Cold or wet weather

Leave copies with family, troop, park office and transportation, as necessary


Patrol Organization for Camping Patrol Method Duty Roster Rotate the job of buying food for each campout Patrol camp duties include: Cooking Cleaning dishes

Share the work and work as a team Maintain a perpetual roster so that all jobs are rotated and shared Balance the load on backpacking trips Share tents, pots, stoves Distribute food, water and equipment


Summer Clothing & Footwear Hat for shade Long pants like jungle weight BDUs Shorts and T-shirts, loose fitting, synthetics preferred as they dry faster Boots or hiking shoes for the trail with two layers of socks Two layers of socks to prevent blisters No cotton socks

Moccasins or sneakers for camp


Winter Clothing & Footwear Dress in layers see slide on layering Outer layer of coat, knit stocking hat, gloves or mittens Middle, insulating, layer including sweater or heavy shirt Inner layer including synthetic long underwear Boots, heavy, waterproof with at two layers of socks Inner sock should be a synthetic

Stay dry. If you stay dry you will be more likely to stay warm Change out of clothes worn on hikes or that youve worn all day, change before going to bed


Equipment Care and Storage Clothing When in doubt, follow the manufacturers instructions on the labels

Footwear Dry out boots before storing them in a well ventilated place Waterproof leather boots with grease, oil, or wax based dressing

Bedding Air out your sleeping bag after a trip. Hang outside or indoors or use air setting on home dryer Store your sleeping bag loosely stuffed and not tightly rolled to maintain its loft

Pack Keep your equipment stored in your pack add clothes, food, water and youre ready to go

Canteen / Water Bottles Drain and leave open to dry and air out


Layering THE MOST IMPORTANT CONCEPT Inner layer moisture management Silk, wool, synthetic like polypropylene two piece long underwear

Middle layer insulation Wool, fleece, goose down, synthetics (Thinsulate)

Outer layer wind and water protection Windproof Waterproof Breathable avoid non-breathable Water resistant

Nothing tight or restrictive Avoid cotton! (socks, t-shirts, jeans) Cotton holds moisture and you will lose heat because of it


Packing Your Backpack Some Tips Keep your equipment together at home, store it in your pack Bring only what you will use, but be prepared for the conditions Go as lightweight as you possibly can make it a habit

Pack all clothing in plastic bags 1.0 1.5 gallon Ziplock bags Sit on the bags to push all the air out before closing them to save space Repack dirty clothes in the bag you took the clean clothes out of

Pack sleeping bag in waterproof covering garbage bag inside stuff sack Place items you will need during the trip on the outside of the pack within easy reach First Aid kit Poncho / rain suit Knife Rope parachute cord Small flashlight or headlamp Fire starting equipment Eating utensils/cup/bowl Water bottle / canteen11

Packing Your Backpack More Tips Use cargo straps that can be tightened avoid bungee cords Carabineers or clips to attach equipment to the outside of your pack hats, gloves Distribute the load Tent, poles and stakes food water and pots


Tents Select a tent based on what kind of camping you are doing and what features are necessary for that kind of camping Trail Tarp Backpacking / fair weather Versatile, can be used as a shelter or dining fly No protection from insects, blowing rain/snow

A-Frame - Backpacking Light weight, include doors, walls, floors and bug netting, waterproof/breathable, exterior poles, limited room

Dome Tent Backpacking / Plop camping Features of A-frame but relatively heavier and roomier than A-frame, stable in weather, moveable, can be pitched without stakes, exterior poles

Wall Tent Family camping / Summer camp Roomiest and heaviest, 2 or more persons, fits cots, interior poles Good for summer camp, family camping13

Tents - More 3 season and 4 season 3 season tents are best for most of your camping 4 season tents are suited for winter camping and snow These generally cost more

Tent Care Seal the seams as directed for nylon tents Always roll your tent toward the front door to let the air out without stressing the tent seams Hang your tent up to dry for a day or two after use especially if you camped in the rain. Mildew and funny smells will result if you skip this important step

Tent Stakes Nylon Metal Flukes and deadmen for sand or snow14

Water Normal conditions require 2 quarts per day Clear urine indicates good hydration, dark indicates the opposite

Dont drink water that is not potable or from an untested source Drinking from streams, lakes, springs and other sources without purification is unnecessarily risky Avoid areas with animal activity e.g. pastures, beaver ponds Avoid sources downstream of mine runoff Go upstream and get water from still, clear, sources Use clean ice or snow and allow additional time and fuel for melting it

Purification, why is it important? To ensure you can enjoy your trip, prevent serious illness, disease or worse Cysts, parasites, viruses, bacteria, chemical contaminants15

Water Purification Methods Filtering ceramic filters with 1 micron or less absolute pore size very effective most expensive fastest better taste can break down cheaper slower bad taste effective but some treatments are not 100% effective against cryptosporidia cysts Some individuals with thyroid conditions may not use it for long periods

Chemical treat with iodine tablets or chlorine

Boiling do it for at least a minute at rolling boil, three minutes at altitude 100% effective cheapest slowest requires heat source and depletes limited fuel supplies16

Camp Sanitation Keep trash picked up and wrap up excess food Filter out particles and pack out with trash Scatter