This merit badge requires a lot of
time and effort in order to
complete most requirements. This class
is structured to offer explanation and
discussion time for Scouts in a small group
of Scouts with a Counselor.
Scouts WILL NOT complete all requirements in
It will be impossible for Scouts
to complete requirements 4, 5 and 6 in this
class unless they have previously done these
hikes and met the requirement and components
of for each hike and each of these
requirements. Scouts will get some of
Requirements 4 and 6 completed as a part of
MUST BE NOTED THAT SOME REQUIREMENTS WILL
TAKE PLACE OUTDOORS AND SCOUTS SHOULD ATTEND
WITH OUTDOOR GEAR APPROPRIATE FOR THE TIME
OF YEAR AND FORECASTED WEATHER CONDITIONS.
PLEASE ALSO NOTE ANY SPECIAL ITEMS NEEDED
FOR USE SPECIFIC TO THIS MERIT BADGE THAT
SCOUTS SHOULD HAVE FOR THE CLASS.
1. Do the following:
a. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while hiking, and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
b. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while hiking, including hypothermia, frostbite, dehydration, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, sunburn, hyperventilation, altitude sickness, sprained ankle, blisters, insect stings, tick bites, and snakebite.
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. Explain and, where possible, show the points of good hiking practices including proper outdoor ethics, hiking safety in the daytime and at night, courtesy to others, choice of footwear, and proper care of feet and footwear.
While the counselor will help mentor in the class, Scouts
should have reviewed the merit badge pamphlet and any other sources they have
access to in order to best build their knowledge for completing this requirement
in the class. Scouts will be required to actively partake in providing
explanations on all elements of this requirement in a structured class
the counselor and with the other Scouts within the class.
3. Explain how hiking is an aerobic activity. Develop a plan for conditioning yourself for 10-mile hikes, and describe how you will increase your fitness for longer hikes.
Scouts should come to the class having prepared for this requirement by reading the merit badge pamphlet and making any notes they feel might be useful in helping support their explanation to the Counselor during the class.
The counselor will assist Scouts
in developing a plan for
conditioning themselves for the
hiking required in Requirements
4 and 5, however Scouts should
make an effort to at least have
a plan started or in mind prior
to attending the class. It
may serve most Scouts best to
have these ideas written out in
a notebook or merit badge
workbook to aid them in
preparing for the class.
4. Take the five following hikes, each on a different day, and each of continuous miles. These hikes MUST be taken in the following order:
One 5-mile hike
Three 10-mile hikes
One 15-mile hike
You may stop for as many short rest periods as needed, as well as one meal, during each hike, but not for an extended period (example: overnight). Prepare a written hike plan before each hike and share it with your Scoutmaster or a designee. Include map routes, a clothing and equipment list, and a list of items for a trail lunch.
requirement will NOT be
completed within the class
HOWEVER Scouts will take part
in a 5-mile hike to complete one
of this requirement's elements.
Scouts may do their other hikes
ahead of time, but it is strongly
recommended that Scouts bring
some sort of proof of the hike
(pictures are best) along with
route information (as well as
the written reflection
referenced in Requirement 6) for
review by the merit badge
counselor. Simply saying
you did the hike will not be
enough, you must show some
tangible proof for consideration
of being signed off on part or
all of this requirement and its
elements. Be Prepared.
5. Take a hike of 20 continuous miles in one day following a hike plan you have prepared. You may stop for as many short rest periods as needed, as well as one meal, but not for an extended period (example: overnight).
This requirement will NOT be done in the class. Scouts may choose to complete this requirement ahead of time or complete this after the class. The class will focus some time for discussion of this requirement
for those Scouts who have done
the 20-mile hike. It is
recommended to work up to this
hike as it is quite a task for
someone who has not built up
endurance and conditioning to do
such a trek. As with any
hikes done prior to the class,
be sure to bring proof of the
hike as well as your written
6. After each of the hikes (or during each hike if on one continuous "trek") in requirements 4 and 5, write a short reflection of your experience. Give dates and descriptions of routes covered, the weather, and any interesting things you saw. It may include something you learned about yourself, about the outdoors, or about others you were hiking with. Share this with your merit badge counselor.
Scouts will find using a
notebook or merit badge workbook
to aid them in maintaining and
organizing their write ups to be
very helpful for this
requirement. Please note
that the requirement states that
the Scouts must write up a
reflection, with certain
elements included, for each of
the hikes done in Requirements 4
and 5. Time will be
allotted within the class to
begin the write up for the
5-mile hike Scouts will do as a
part of this class along with
guidance from the counselor.
The required hikes for this badge may be used in fulfilling hiking requirements for rank advancement. However, these hikes cannot be used to fulfill requirements of other merit badges.