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Boy Scout Troop 585
(St. Louis, Missouri)
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The Scout Basic Essentials

        The 10 Outdoor Essentials is a list of equipment that you should have with you EVERY TIME you venture into the outdoors. This equipment is just as important in the front-country as it is in the back-country, so, as the old saying goes “Don’t leave home without it!”


A pocket knife is the all purpose outdoor tool. Choose a sturdy one with two blades, a can opener and a screw-driver. Keep it sharp and clean. (You must have earned your Totin’ Chip card to carry a knife!!)

First-aid Kit

Everyone in the group should carry a personal first-aid kit to treat scratches, blisters and other minor injuries. Each kit should contain adhesive bandages, sterile gauze pads, medical tape, moleskin, tweezers, soap, antiseptic and a ACE™ bandage.

Extra clothing

Extra clothing appropriate for the climate is your first line of defense against the elements.


The best planned trips can sometimes take longer than expected. A good flashlight/headlamp with extra batteries can be used to help set up camp, respond to emergencies or to signal for help!

Rain Gear

Weather can change quickly and unexpectedly, and some places even make their own weather. Staying dry will help keep you from becoming hypothermic.


A light, durable, secure water bottle is important. How much water to take depends on how long you plan on being gone, your planned activities and availability of other water sources.

Map & Compass

A map and compass become more important the deeper you go into the back-country. They will help you find your way in unfamiliar areas (but only if you know how to use them!).


Be prepared to build a fire if needed in an emergency. Carry at least 2 different fire starters.

Sun Protection & Sunglasses

Especially above timberline, UV rays are especially intense and reflected sun from snow or water can quickly cause sunburns and/or temporary blindness from glare.

Trail Food

A smart snack on the trail can help keep your energy up, is fuel to keep you warm, and can help keep your spirits up when lost. Always carry a little more than you think you will need.