Merit Badge Requirements Merit Badge History
Backpacking Merit Badge Workbook
This Scoutmaster Bucky Merit Badge Workbook is based off the 2021 Scouts BSA Requirements.
Type your work on this page or download the Backpacking Workbook PDF.

Consider also using the Backpacking merit badge class preparation page for clarification and expections when participating in a Scoutmaster Bucky merit badge opportunity (online or in-person).

Scout's Name:
Requirement 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.
Requirement 2: Do the following:
Requirement 2a: List 10 items that are essential to be carried on any backpacking trek and explain why each item is necessary.
Requirement 2b: Describe 10 ways you can limit the weight and bulk to be carried in your pack without jeopardizing your health or safety.
Requirement 3: Do the following:
Requirement 3a: Define limits on the number of backpackers appropriate for a trek crew.
Requirement 3b: Describe how a trek crew should be organized.
Requirement 3c: Tell how you would minimize risk on a backpacking trek.
Requirement 3d: Explain the purpose of an emergency response plan.
Requirement 4: Do the following:
Requirement 4a: Describe the importance of using Leave No Trace principles while backpacking, and at least five ways you can lessen the crew’s impact on the environment.
Requirement 4b: 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.
Requirement 4c: Tell what factors are important in choosing a campsite.
Requirement 5: Do the following:
Requirement 5a: Demonstrate two ways to treat water and tell why water treatment is essential.
Requirement 5b: Explain to your counselor the importance of staying well-hydrated during a trek.
Requirement 6: Do the following:
Requirement 6a: Demonstrate that you can read topographic maps.
Requirement 6c: Explain how to stay found, and what to do if you get lost.
Requirement 6b: 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.
Requirement 7: Tell how to prepare properly for and deal with inclement weather.
Requirement 8: Do the following:
Requirement 8a: Explain the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of backpacking stoves using at least three different types of fuel.
Requirement 8b: Demonstrate that you know how to operate a backpacking stove safely and to handle liquid fuel safely.
Requirement 8c: Prepare at least three meals using a stove and fuel you can carry in a backpack.
Requirement 8d: 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.
Requirement 9: Do the following:
Requirement 9a: Write a plan that includes a schedule for a patrol/crew backpacking hike of at least 2 miles.
Requirement 9b: Conduct a prehike inspection of the patrol and its equipment.
Requirement 9c: Show that you know how to properly pack your personal gear and your share of the crew's gear and food.
Requirement 9d: Show that you can properly shoulder your pack and adjust it for proper wear.
Requirement 9e: While using the plan you developed for requirement 9a, carry your fully loaded pack to complete a hike of at least 2 miles.
Requirement 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.
Requirement 11: Do the following:
Requirement 11a: 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.
Requirement 11b: 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.
Requirement 11c: Keep a daily journal during the trek that includes a day-by-day description of you activities, including notes about what worked well and thoughts about improvements that could be made for the next trek.