Information: CAMPING

Camping Information Troop Meetings Main Event

Related Advancement and Awards

  • Tenderfoot requirements 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3b, 3c
  • Second Class requirements 1a, 1c, 2a, 2d
  •  First Class requirements 1a, 3d
  • Firem’n Chit
  • Camping Merit Badge

Outdoor Ethics. You should always leave your campsite looking the same—if not better—as it did when you arrived. Outdoor ethics means that we follow the principles of both Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly.

Leave No Trace principles apply to most backcountry activities:

  • Plan ahead and prepare.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  • Dispose of waste properly.
  • Leave what you find.
  • Minimize campfire impacts.
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Be considerate of other visitors.

Tread Lightly principles apply to situations involving all-terrain vehicles, personal watercraft, and horses, among other things:

  • Travel responsibly.
  • Respect the rights of others.
  • Educate yourself.
  • Avoid sensitive areas.
  • Do your part.

Three-Bin Dishwashing. The best way to wash dishes while camping is by following the same method restaurants use. But, rather than using three sinks, camper use three wash bins. The first bin contains hot, soapy water, the second is filled with clean, cold rinse water, and the third bin contains hot water with a sanitizer such as bleach to kill bacteria.

Before washing, make sure you use a rubber spatula to scrape excess food into a trash bag. Immerse and wash each dish in the first bin, rinse in the second bin, sanitize with a dip in the third bin, then leave dishes to air dry. A rack or mesh hang bag works well. Save pots for the end as they are often the dirtiest, and washing the other dishes first provides better water quality. If the water gets too dirty, simply change the water and continue washing.

To dispose of the bins of dishwater, pour the wash bin water and rinse water through a strainer and into a bucket. The water can then be dumped in a wastewater drain, sump hole, or broadcast over a large area. Finally, pour the sanitizer into the rinse bin, then into the wash bin, then into the bucket, and properly dispose of it. When this process is complete, all three bins and the bucket will have been cleaned and sanitized. Shake the food particles from the strainer into a trash bag, and properly dispose of or pack out the trash bag.

The Trucker’s Hitch (view video)The trucker’s hitch (rope tackle) is a particularly valuable knot configuration for securing load-bearing lines. This knot provides a mechanical advantage and works like a pulley system—but without the pulleys. This knot is very useful in securing loads on a rack or for tightening a ridge line. Additionally, it has numerous uses in Scout pioneering.


The Kodiak Challenge. The advanced main event this month can be  the Kodiak Challenge. This is a special opportunity for adults and older Scouts (those who are 14 or older and have met other requirements) to reinforce their leadership skills during a three to six-day trek of their own choosing.

The Kodiak program is described in detail in The Kodiak Challenge. Here’s a quick overview.

Kodiak is designed to be an adventure that pushes the boundaries of the participants—one that will encourage them to try new things that may be out of their comfort zones. It is an experience—but one that has its underpinnings in the application of the leadership skills learned in the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops or Crews, National Youth Leadership Training, and/or National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience. It is an adventure with a purpose—just as is all of Scouting.

A Kodiak trek is an expedition, a road trip, an adventure, a visit to another country, a whitewater rafting trip, a cross-state bicycle adventure, a Scout-operated sports week for special-needs youth— any experience that helps push the participants out of their personal comfort zones for the sake of adventure and learning.

BackpackingA trek is an adventure that pushes boundaries. Not all troops or crews go on high-adventure outings, and Kodiak need not be a high adventure to be a great experience. Of course a natural setting is always a plus, but the key is adventure. For some units, it may be more challenging to do a weeklong city tour than a backpacking trip that is similar to other trips the unit has taken in the past. Do what works for your unit, but do something that is truly a challenge to each participant. Treks should be a minimum of five days.

However, remember that the Kodiak Challenge is not about the trek; it is about leadership skills. During the Kodiak trek, BSA leadership skills will provide a framework for you to help participants live out the adventure—and grow from it. Each day there is an activity to showcase one or more BSA leadership skills previously taught in the unit Introduction to Leadership Skills course and at NYLT and NAYLE. In addition, at various times during each trek, participants will discover that leadership skills are essential for success.

—> The Principles of Leave No Trace

Resources and References

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Camping Information Troop Meetings Main Event