Kit List PDF Print E-mail

Having the right equipment is probably one of the key factors to making an activity an enjoyable one for the Scouts. That said we understand the costs that can be associated with kit, especially with children that grow out of their clothes in the blink of an eye. To that end we have not only outlined below typical kit requirements, but also provide advice on which equipment to buy over time.

Links to detailed kit lists, that can be printed off and used as a check list, are available at the bottom of this page.

Many parents say to us that they never know which equipment, or even which type, to buy and when best to buy it. Hopefully this page will help provide some information that will help with that process.


As a rough guide, if the product does NOT have the Duke of Edinburgh symbol of approval, it is probably not suitable for Scouts either.


Please note that these kit list, etc are general lists some camps (for example our Snowdonia weekend) may require more specialist equipment and appropriate advice will be given by the Leaders for each specific event.

Before we discuss which kit we would like to highlight two key policy of ours regarding kit, as follows:

  1. ALL Scouts are expected to carry their own kit (after all, having the Scouts camp with us is your time off as well), either in their Rucksack/kit bag, or attached to it. This is not only on hikes and trekking weekends, but from the car parks to the tents at any camp we undertake. for some camps this can be up to a kilometre in distance, so a good, well packed, rucksack is essential.
  2. All Scouts are expected to pack their own kit prior to any camp. You would be surprised at how many do not know where to find specific items, because they have not packed their own bag. Sometimes we do not have the luxury of time when we are asking them to get a certain item, eg raincoat. Additionally, at the end of the event the Scout will have to pack all of theirkit back in to their bags to take it home anyway, it is better that they practice this at home with you, prior to coming.

Both of these rules help make the event flow easier (why should the majority of the Scouts wait for the few who have lost something), but also teaches the Scouts self sufficiency.

Which Kit

We recommend that parents of Scouts, collect the following equipment over a period of time, investing in good quality items, perhaps making them birthday or Christmas presents:

  • Hiking Boots - wateproof boots, that cover the ankle (providing it with support), with a Vibram (or equivalent) sole. Boots must be worn in and checked regularly. For hikes or camps where there is a lot of walking we also recommend a couple of good pairs of walking socks for those days.
  • Raincoat - a good quality raincoat is invaluable at any event. The jacket MUST be waterproof, not Showerproof. For older Scouts (who are growing less and will eventually go to Explorers) we recommend a Gortex (or equivalent) material. The jacket should have a good sized hood (so that it can go over the top of hats, etc). from a length perspective a 3/4 length jacket (ie one that covers the tops of their legs) would be preferable, but not essential.
  • Sleeping bag - a good quality bag is essential for a good nights sleep. The bag must be at least 3 season, preferably 4, with a comfort range down to zero. Sleeping bag should have hoods and zip baffles. Sleeping bags with neck baffles are even better. WARNING: some cheaper sleeping bags whilst meeting all of these criteria fail on two of the most important criteria, namely that a) the Scout can pack the sleeping bag into it's stuff sack on their own (get them to try it in the shop, if they can't do it do not buy it) and b) the sleeping bag once it is in it's stuff sack can be stored IN the Scouts rucksack, with all their other kit.
  • a good Silva compass, one with a long side edge to aid compass & map work
  • Rucksack/kit bag - for trekking type camps a good rucksack is essential for typical camps a good rucksack or a good kit bag will suffice. This is because it is generally a long walk from the car park to the tent, often across uneven terrain.  Rucksacks should be fitted properly and purchased to fit the Scouts back, with the hip belt being tight around the top of the Scouts hip bone. 65 litres is a good size to aim for for a week long camp. If buying a kit bag ensure it is one that has rucksack style straps for transportation. A 'top tip', when looking at rucksacks and you find that the back is to long (ie the shoulder straps sit up to high), look for either an adjustable backed rucksack, or look at the women's rucksacks, which are often made smaller. No one will ever know, unless it is bright pink!
  • Day sack - for all camps and activities a good day sack is essential, just to carry drinks bottles, hats, jumpers, packed lunch etc. Daysacks should be a minimum 20 litre, maximum of 40, preferably 30. A common mistake is to buy a daysack that has inferior straps/belt. Typically the Scouts will be wearing this bag more than their big one. The day sack should have a padded waist belt and be fitted properly like the main rucksack. Day sacks should also have compression straps to remove any excess space, stopping the kit inside from bouncing around. A 'top tip' is to buy a slightly bigger sack and avoid the tempation to fill it. This is advantageous because bigger sacks are design to carry more weight and therfore have better padding on the straps and the back. My own personal rucksack is 50 Litres and once I have the few items I need in it for a hike I use the compression straps it has to remove any excess space.
  • Rucksack liners - these can be plastic or waterproof material. One for the rucksack and one for the daysack. A 'top tip' instead of buying an expensive rucksack liner for the daysack use rubble bags. They are thick, waterproof and cheaper.
  • Inflatable sleeping mat - ensure that it is one that packs small enough to go in to the Scouts rucksack (or a least be rolled up and attached to the outside)
  • Plates and cutlery - durable plastic ones, or mess tins. Personally I use mess tins because they are square, one fits inside the other and I can store many things inside them, saving valuable rucksack space. From a cutlery perspective sporks (spoon/forks - where one end is a spoon and the other is a fork/knife) are very popular. Metal ones taken from home are often much heavier and bigger.  A 'top tip', if you are buying mess tins choose a cutlery set that will fit inside. With mugs we recommend a thermal mug, it keeps hot drinks hot on the cold camps and cold drinks cold on the warm camps. They also have lids, which helps with spillage in the inevitable knock over situation.
  • Drinks bottles - a good quality, robust drinks bottle is vital for all camps, not just hot ones. we recommend a 1 litre aluminiuim bottle (eg a Sigg or equivalet) or a 1 litre large mouthed bottle (eg a Nalgene or equivalent).

Sleeping bag Seasons are as follows:

  • 1 = Summer
  • 2 = Summer & Autumn
  • 3 = Summer, Autumn & Spring
  • 4 = Summer, Autumn, Spring & Winter
  • 5 = Mountain use

The following is a list of luxury items that although not necessary make camp a little more comfortable:

  • Folding camp chair
  • Sleeping bag liner (keeps the bag clean and stops sweaty bodies sticking tothe nylon material often used inside sleeping bags)
  • Fleece sleeping bag cover (either made or bought) - this goes over the top of an existing sleeping bag, making it warmer by approximately one season
  • Head torch (instead of the hand torch) - a good one of these is invaluable when map reading on night activities, etc.
  • Gaiters - for wearing over the boots when we are walking in the rain, or across terrain that has high wet grass, snow, etc.
  • Sunglasses
  • Drinking bladder for drinking whilst hiking. Fits in the rucksack with a tube that reach along the ruckasck straps to the mouth. NOTE: ensure your rucksack is compatible
  • Waterproof rucksack cover - protects anything one couldn't get into the rucksack and had to hang on the outside.

The following kit we recommend that the Scouts have, but advise parents not to waste money on expensive products:

  • Over trousers - they get rarely used and the Scouts grow out of them (sometimes without even wearing them) to quickly.

Band Items

The following items are not allowed at any of our camping events, unless the event organisers state otherwise:

  • Jeans or denim trousers/shorts
  • Wellington Boots
  • Suitcases - they are hard to carry and can rip the tents with their corners
  • T' Shirts with no sleeves and vest tops
  • China plates, bowls, cups
  • Metal plates (they burn hands and laps), unless they have a handle, eg an army mess tin
  • Disposable plates, cups or cutlery

Week Long Camp

A complete kit list for a 7 day long camp at a campsite in the UK can be found here.

Weekend Camp

A weekend camp is pretty much the same kit as the week long camp, except the soaps, etc can be smaller and less clothes are needed, typically the number of days away, plus one is enough.

Last Updated on Monday, 01 April 2013 19:53