Backpacking Merit Badge Pamphlet Backpacking Merit Badge


These were the requirements before the revisions made in 2008

To see the changes made at that time, Click here.

To see the CURRENT requirements, Click here.

To see the changes which were made in 2003, Click Here

For the previous requirements, Click here

  1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while backpacking, including hypothermia, heat reactions, frostbite, dehydration, insect stings, tick bites, snakebite, and blisters.
  2. Do the following:
    1. List 10 items that are essential to be carried on any backpacking trek and explain why each item is necessary.
    2. Describe 10 ways you can limit the weight and bulk to be carried in your pack without jeopardizing your health or safety.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Define limits on the number of backpackers appropriate for a trek crew.
    2. Describe how a trek crew should be organized.
  4. Do the following:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  5. Do the following:
    1. Demonstrate two ways to treat water and tell why water treatment is essential.
    2. Explain to your counselor the importance of staying well hydrated during a trek.
  6. Do the following:
    1. Demonstrate that you can read topographic maps.
    2. While on a trek, use a map and compass to establish your position on the ground at least three times at three different places, OR use a GPS receiver unit to establish your position on a topographic map at least three times at three different places.
  7. Do the following:
    1. Tell how to prepare properly for and deal with inclement weather while on a backpacking trek.
    2. Tell how to properly prepare for and deal with the human and environmental hazards you may encounter on a backpacking trek.
  8. Do the following:
    1. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of three different types of backpacking stoves using at least three different types of fuel.
    2. Demonstrate that you know how to operate a backpacking stove safely and to handle liquid fuel safely.
    3. Prepare at least three meals using a stove and fuel you can carry in a backpack.
    4. Demonstrate that you know how to keep cooking and eating gear clean and sanitary while on a backpacking trek.
  9. Do the following:
    1. Write a plan for a patrol backpacking hike that includes a time control plan.
    2. Show that you know how to properly pack your personal gear and your share of the crew’s gear and food.
    3. Show you can properly shoulder your pack and adjust it for proper wear.
    4. Conduct a prehike inspection of the patrol and its equipment.
    5. While carrying your pack, complete a hike of at least 2 miles.
  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. Carry everything you will need throughout the trek.
  11. Do the following:
    1. 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, schedule (including a daily time control plan), list of food and  equipment needs, safety and emergency plan, and budget.
    2. Using Leave No Trace principles, take the trek planned and, while on the trek, complete at least one service project approved by your merit badge counselor.
    3. Upon your return, write a report about the trek that includes a day-by-day description of what you did or what happened, and what you might do the same and what you might do differently on your next trek.

BSA Advancement ID#: 26
Requirements last updated in: 2003
Pamphlet Stock Number: 33232B
Pamphlet Revision Date: 2002

Worksheets for use in working on these requirements: Prepared by
Craig Lincoln
Word Format PDF Format

Blanks in this worksheets table appear when we do not have a worksheet for the badge that includes these requirements.

Page updated on: May 08, 2022

Scouts Using the Internet Cartoon - Courtesy of Richard Diesslin - Click to See More Cartoons
© 1994-2024 - U.S. Scouting Service Project | Site Map | Disclaimer | Project Team | Contact Us | Privacy Policy

Materials found at U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. Websites may be reproduced and used locally by Scouting volunteers for training purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. No material found here may be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or for commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP) or other copyright holders. USSSP is not affiliated with BSA or WOSM and does not speak on behalf of BSA or WOSM. Opinions expressed on these web pages are those of the web authors. You can support this website with in two ways: Visit Our Trading Post at or make a donation by clicking the button below.
(U.S. Scouting Service Project Donation)

(Ruth Lyons Memorial Donations)