Return to Wilderness Survival Merit Badge Page



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 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 directions 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 Wilderness Survival Merit Badge Workbook to help get a head start and organize your preparation work. You can download the Scoutmaster Bucky Wilderness Survival 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.





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. Wilderness Survival Merit Badge Pamphlet

3. Scout Uniform

4. Your sleeping bag, a tarp, and warm clothes

5. Your personal survival kit as noted in Requirement 5

6. Scout Knife (must have Totin' Chip Card)

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

Following is an outline of the class to help you prepare.  Note that Scouts will be signed off only on those requirements that the Merit Badge Counselor determines meets the requirements; no more no less  This Merit Badge should not be expected to be earned without preparation and work


1. Do the following:

a. Explain to your counselor the hazards you are most likely to encounter while participating in wilderness survival activities, and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, or lessen these hazards

b. Show that you know first aid for and how to prevent injuries or illnesses that could occur in backcountry settings, including hypothermia, heat reactions, frostbite, dehydration, blisters, insect stings, tick bites, and snakebites

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. From memory, list the seven priorities for survival in a backcountry or wilderness location. Explain the importance of each one with your counselor

Scouts can, and should, get a head start on this requirement by learning and practicing the seven priorities.  As the requirement states, Scouts will need to list these items from memory.  Scouts will need to be able to show that they have memorized these seven items in order to be considered for sign off on this requirement.  Scouts will have until the end of the class the next morning to complete this memorization portion of this requirement.  Scouts should also come prepared with an understanding of the importance of each of these items and be prepared to explain this to their Counselor.


3. Discuss ways to avoid panic and maintain a high level of morale when lost, and explain why this is important

Scouts should have this written out to show the counselor that some thought and research has gone into this requirement and Scouts should be prepared to discuss their findings.


4. Describe the steps you would take to survive in the following conditions:

a. Cold and snowy

b. Wet (forest)

c. Hot and dry (desert)

d. Windy (mountains or plains)

e. Water (ocean, lake, or river)

This requirement will be covered in the class however Scouts should make sure they have read the merit badge pamphlet prior to the class so that they can actively participate in the class discussion for completion of this requirement.  Active participation in the class will be one of the measures the counselor uses to determine whether the Scout has met the requirement.


5. Put together a personal survival kit and explain how each item in it could be useful

Scouts will need to do this prior to the class. Refer to the merit badge pamphlet for guidance in assembling your personal survival kit.  Make sure you bring this along with to the class as you may be allowed to use this in your shelter for the overnight portion of the class.  Also, be knowledgeable as to the reasons for having each item and be prepared to share your reasons with the counselor and other Scouts in a group discussion in class.


6. Using three different methods (other than matches), build and light three fires

This requirement will be completed as a part of this class. Scouts should come having reviewed the information in the merit badge pamphlet so that they have an understanding of the concepts required for completing this requirement.


7. Do the following:

a. Show five different ways to attract attention when lost

b. Demonstrate how to use a signal mirror

c. Describe from memory five ground-to-air signals and tell what they mean

This requirement will be covered within the class, however, Scouts should familiarize themselves with the requirement and the corresponding section(s) within the Merit Badge Pamphlet so as to have a basic understanding prior to the class. Scouts can get a head start on part of this requirement by learning the five ground-to-air signals and what they mean.  As the requirement states, Scouts will need to describe these and what they mean from memory.  Scouts will need to be able to show that they have memorized these in order to be considered for sign off on this requirement.  Scouts will have until the end of the class the next morning to complete this memorization portion of this requirement.


8. Improvise a natural shelter. For the purpose of this demonstration, use techniques that have little negative impact on the environment. Spend a night in your shelter

This requirement will be completed as a part of the class. The counselor will provide instruction and guidance in order for Scouts to construct a basic shelter.  Scouts are encouraged to research different types of survival shelters and their material and construction needs prior to the class.  This preparation may make the difference between a comfortable outdoor overnight experience and a long uncomfortable overnight experience.  Unless there is severe weather, Scouts will be spending the dark hours of the evening and night in their shelter.


9. Explain how to protect yourself from insects, reptiles, and bears

Scouts should review this requirement and its components and be prepared to explain.  It is strongly recommended that Scouts bring any notes or supporting documents they may have to help show the counselor that they have prepared for discussion of these items. It is also HIGHLY recommended that Scouts with the foresight of preparing for this requirement ahead of time utilize what they have learned and incorporate these findings into their survival kit and other preparation activities.


10. Demonstrate three ways to treat water found in the outdoors to prepare it for drinking

This requirement will be covered during the class, however Scouts should prepare and make themselves familiar with the methods and procedures of this requirement.  Without this preparation and reading (most of which is in the merit badge pamphlet) Scouts will find it difficult to complete this requirement.


11. Show that you know the proper clothing to wear in your area on an overnight in extremely hot weather and in extremely cold weather

Scouts will learn and earn at the same time as this requirement will be an open group discussion led by the Counselor during the class.  Scouts should prepare for this requirement by reading the merit badge pamphlet and reflecting on past camping experiences to formulate their answers and responses for the group discussion on this requirement.


12. Explain why it usually is not wise to eat edible wild plants or wildlife in a wilderness survival situation

This requirement will be covered in the class, however Scouts are highly encouraged to review their merit badge pamphlet and any other available sources to gain a knowledge of the items in this requirement prior to the class.  Scouts will be able to provide explanation for completion of this requirement during the open discussion portion of the class covering this requirement.


this page last reviewed and updated - December 2015