Backpacking Merit Badge
Please arrive with ample time prior to the start time of your class for registration.  Remember there will be others checking in as well and depending on the size of the class, and the event the class is being held in conjunction with, that registration may take a little time.

You should bring a blue card filled out properly for this class. - Scoutmaster Bucky Online participants - you will not be allowed to participate if you have not provided your signed blue card prior to the class - you should have forwarded your blue card to Scoutmaster Bucky prior to the class via email or postal mail:
Scoutmaster Bucky - 5724 Aldrich Avenue South  Minneapolis, Minnesota  55419.

If you are not familiar with how to fill out a blue card, you should familiarize yourself with Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card" document. Click here for Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card".  Remember it is a Scout's responsibility to take care of their own blue card from beginning to end.
Your Scout Uniform is required to be worn for attending this Merit Badge session.   If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners; Scoutmaster Bucky via email or on the phone at 612-483-0665.

Reviewing the merit badge pamphlet PRIOR to attending and doing preparation work will insure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities. The merit badge pamphlet is a wealth of information that can make earning a merit badge a lot easier. It contains many of the answers and solutions needed or can at least provide direction as to where one can find the answers.

It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event. You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Backpacking Merit Badge Workbook to help get a head start and organize your preparation work. Please note that the use of any workbook is merely for note taking and reference and completion of any Merit Badge workbook does not warrant, guarantee, or confirm a Scouts completion of any merit badge requirement(s). You can download the Scoutmaster Bucky Backpacking Merit Badge Workbook by clicking here .   If this link is not working please check the internet for other merit badge workbook options.

It should be noted that this merit badge class is not meant for those who just want to come and see what they can get done. It is possible to complete this merit badge by being properly prepared and having done the preparation work prior to the class. Preparation is a MUST 
Other Backpacking MERIT BADGE PAGES
Backpacking Merit Badge Current Requirements
Scoutmaster Bucky's - Backpacking Merit Badge Workbook
Backpacking Merit Badge and Merit Badge History Page

Backpacking Merit Badge Things to remember to bring for this Merit Badge Class:

1. Merit Badge Blue Card properly filled out and signed off by your Scoutmaster

2. Backpacking Merit Badge Pamphlet

3. Scout Uniform

4. Weather appropriate clothing for the time of year and location of the class for outdoor participation

5. Your backpack and trek supplies

6. Proper footwear

7. Supporting documentation or project work pertinent to this merit badge which may also include a Merit Badge Workbook for reference with notes

8. A positive Scouting focus and attitude




1. Discuss the prevention of and treatment for the health concerns that could occur while backpacking, including hypothermia, heat reactions, frostbite, dehydration, insect stings, tick bites, snakebite, and blisters.

Scouts should review this requirement and its components and be prepared to discuss, demonstrate, explain, and show as necessary their first aid knowledge and proficiency as it applies to this merit badge.


2. Do the following:

a. List 10 items that are essential to be carried on any backpacking trek and explain why each item is necessary.

b. Describe 10 ways you can limit the weight and bulk to be carried in your pack without jeopardizing your health or safety.

While this requirement will be completed in the class, Scouts should come to the class prepared with input for the lists and discussion. Scouts will find much of the information necessary for completion of this requirement in the Merit Badge Pamphlet and should arrive having reviewed the Merit Badge Pamphlet. Scouts not having prepared for this requirement and/or failing to actively participate during the class for this requirement will find it difficult, if not impossible to complete during the class.


3. Do the following:

a. Define limits on the number of backpackers appropriate for a trek crew.

b. Describe how a trek crew should be organized.

c. Tell how you would minimize risk on a backpacking trek.

d. Explain the purpose of an emergency response plan.

The counselor will facilitate discussion for this requirement. Only Scouts that positively and actively participate in this requirement's discussion will have an opportunity of completing this requirement. Obviously reviewing the Merit Badge Pamphlet will yield much information needed for successful preparation and participation.


4. Do the following:

a. Describe the importance of using Leave No Trace principles while backpacking, and at least five ways you can lessen the crews impact on the environment.

b. Describe proper methods of handling human and other wastes while on a backpacking trek. Describe the importance of and means to assure personal cleanliness while on a backpacking trek.

c. Tell what factors are important in choosing a campsite.

While time will be allotted in the class to covering the importance of Leave No Trace and camp site selection, it will be structured more as a review of these principles rather than an introduction. Scouts will find it more beneficial to prepare themselves by utilizing a Merit Badge Workbook to organize their notes to use during the class discussion. Scouts not coming to the class with preparation work in the way of formulating their thoughts will find it nearly impossible to finish this requirement on the day of the class.


5. Do the following:

a. Demonstrate two ways to treat water and tell why water treatment is essential.

b. Explain to your counselor the importance of staying well hydrated during a trek.

While this requirement will be covered in the class, Scouts should still prepare by understanding the basics of each component in this requirement by reviewing the merit badge pamphlet and being prepared to explain their findings with the counselor.


6. Do the following:

a. Demonstrate that you can read topographic maps.

Scouts will review this requirement in the class.

b. While on a trek, use a map and compass to establish your position on the ground at three different locations, OR use a GPS receiver to establish your position on a topographic map and on the ground at three different locations.

This requirement will be covered in the class. Scouts should be prepared to discuss their findings and knowledge on this topic.

c. Explain how to stay found, and what to do if you get lost.

While it is planned to cover this requirement in the class, Scouts should be prepared to share with the counselor any experience they have already completed with this requirement for completion of this component of the requirement. It is not guaranteed that Scout will complete this requirement during the class, but every effort will be made to do so.


7. Tell how to prepare properly for and deal with inclement weather.

Scouts should review the merit badge pamphlet and be prepared to discuss this requirement as a part of the class discussion for this requirement.


8. Do the following:

a. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of backpacking stoves using at least three different types of fuel.

b. Demonstrate that you know how to operate a backpacking stove safely and to handle liquid fuel safely.

These two components of requirement 8 will be discussed and demonstrated during the class. Scouts are encouraged to review the merit badge pamphlet to prepare for this discussion. Scouts may bring their own backpacking stove if they have one and desire to do so.

c. Prepare at least three meals using a stove and fuel you can carry in a backpack.

d. Demonstrate that you know how to keep cooking and eating gear clean and sanitary, and that you practice proper methods for food storage while on a backpacking trek.

These components of the requirement will NOT be completed during the class however an opportunity for discussion will take place during the class. Scouts wishing to be considered for completion of these components of the requirement will not only need to actively participate in the class when covering this requirement but will also need to bring a signed note from the Scoutmaster or other adult leader (with title) showing that you have satisfactorily completed these components of the requirement.


9. Do the following:

a. Write a plan that includes a schedule for a patrol/crew backpacking hike of at least 2 miles.

b. Conduct a prehike inspection of the patrol and its equipment.

c. Show that you know how to properly pack your personal gear and your share of the crews gear and food.

d. Show you can properly shoulder your pack and adjust it for proper wear.

Scouts will have an opportunity to complete these components of the requirement if they bring their backpack with them to the class. While it is possible to complete component 9a, Scouts will find it difficult to complete the other components without a backpack and supplies.

e. While using the plan you developed for requirement 9a, carry your fully loaded pack to complete a hike of at least 2 miles.

If time and weather permits, Scouts having their backpacks may have an opportunity to complete this requirement during or after the class. No guarantee is made that this requirement will be completed but thoughtful consideration will be given to make an opportunity for this.


10. Using Leave No Trace principles, participate in at least three backpacking treks of at least three days each and at least 15 miles each, and using at least two different campsites on each trek. Carry everything you will need throughout the trek.

This requirement will most easily be completed by Scouts who have done Patrol/Troop backpacking trips in the past and have been a part of the planning. Whether the Scout has this backpacking experience or not, all Scouts will need to make the checklist as a part of this requirement. It is recommended to use a Merit Badge Workbook to assist with this requirement.

Scouts wishing to receive credit for this requirement will need a Scoutmaster or other adult leader (with title shown) from the troop to provide a note and signature stating that this requirement has been fulfilled.


11. Do the following:

a. Write a plan for a backpacking trek of at least five days using at least three different campsites and covering at least 30 miles. Your plan must include a description of and route to the trek area, a schedule (including a daily schedule), a list of food and equipment needs, a safety and emergency plan, and a budget.

Time will be allotted during the class to complete this component of the requirement. Scouts wishing to complete all of requirement 11 will only be able to do so having already done a backpacking and camping trek meeting these criteria and showing the plan to the counselor during the class.

b. Using Leave No Trace principles, take the trek you have planned and, while on the trek, complete at least one service project approved by your merit badge counselor.

c. Keep a daily journal during the trek that includes a day-by-day description of your activities, including notes about what worked well and thoughts about improvements that could be made for the next trek.

These two components of the requirement will NOT be completed as a part of the class, however Scouts having already completed requirement 11a and having executed the requirements of these two components will have time to review with the counselor for consideration of completion.

this page last reviewed / updated: April 2019