Starting with the six Cub Scout hiking essentials, and adding the extra Boy Scout hiking essentials, makes for the perfect hiking checklist! These are the perfect hiking essentials for beginners!
Our Cub Scouts needed to do a 3-mile hike as a pin requirement, so we hiked a beautiful trail this weekend. Thank goodness the horrible heat subsided, and we had a pleasantly cool morning! Before we started, we quizzed our Cub Scouts on the SIX essentials to have with you on a hike. Do you know what you need on a hike? I’ve put together a list!
Let’s start with the SIX Cub Scout essentials, and then I’ll add a few more I feel you need.
The SIX Cub Scout Hiking Essentials
- Whistle. This is for emergency use only. If you get lost or hurt, there will be a way to let people know where you are!
- First Aid Kit. You will want this for any injuries that could be sustained. Even a small abrasion may need a basic bandaid and ointment.
- Water bottle. Fill this with water, and make sure it’s large enough to last. I REALLY like this LifeStraw Bottle. This bottle has the award-winning LifeStraw hollow fiber membrane water filter removes bacteria and protozoa from lakes, streams to ensure safe, clean drinking water. I love the idea that you will have safe drinking water if you get stranded or lost.
- Trail food. We find that KIND bars or Ritz Bitz carry well. Peanut butter cracker packs work great. We also like carrying the Lenny and Larry’s cookies, as they have a good amount of protein for the hike.
- Sun protection. Sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater, and possibly a hat to protect your head. You may also include sunglasses and even lip balm with sunscreen.
- Flashlight. Again, for emergency use only.
Boy Scout Hiking Essentials
As they move on to Boy Scouts, this hiking list is extended this to a TEN item essential list. They have the six previously listed, and then they add four additional essentials:
- Pocketknife. My son actually has a branded Boy Scout of America pocket knife that he earned from his popcorn sales. It’s one of his most cherished items! It’s safely put away, but allowed to be taken on hikes or campouts for emergencies. (Yes, scouts learn knife safety as one of their requirements.)
- Rain gear. I actually have this poncho in a ball – you can see what I mean HERE.
- Map and compass. I personally like this combined whistle and compass HERE.
- Matches and firestarters. I am considering getting my son this Tactical Survival Paracord Bracelet that has a flashlight, compass, fire starter, whistle, and knife all combined. (I seriously love combined items – it’s a great way to pack less!)
I have added a few more things, for those of you who are looking to take day hiking seriously!
Other Hiking Essentials
- Good hiking shoes. We had to cross a few slick creek beds, so you are going to want good supportive shoes. Those are different for different people. I personally just wear my tennis shoes. Great support and comfort and they aren’t slick. I wear Brooks. I started wearing those when I was a nurse on the floor and had some plantar fasciitis.
- A good hiking backpack. You will need something to carry your essentials in! We actually have this 5.11 Tactical Bag that we carry not only hiking but literally everywhere. Even on planes. It’s expensive, but it’s probably one of my husband’s favorite things. High quality too.
- Bug spray/DEET. We live in a high tick area, and tick-borne diseases are rampant. This is on the top of my list.
I love my Scout! Including hiking with him too! What do you and your scout carry on hikes? Is there a certain kind of snack or type of food you love to pack on your hike? What kind of equipment or tools would you suggest?
Maybe you aren’t a scout. Perhaps you just love hiking! I’d love to hear what you pack, including suggestions for future hikes!