Camping is one of the most exciting, and memorable parts of scouting. Learning new skills, sleeping in the wilderness and comradery around the camp-fire are highlights of any cubs scouting year.
But camp can also be a nightmare if you are not prepared. Making sure you have the right gear is essential to having a great outdoor experience.
This will be a multiple part blog post going over some of the essentials, as well as some of the nice to haves for Cub level camping to help you select the gear that will set your cub up for camping success.
This post will touch on The Backpack!
The first essential piece of gear that a Cub needs to have for camping is a hiking backpack. To get Cubs ready for life in Scouting we often times require that the Cubs hike in to our camp-site from the camp-ground parking lot. To accomplish this the backpack should be big enough to hold all of the Cubs gear so that none of it is being carried in their, or your hands. Generally this means about a 55L hiking backpack to cover a 3 day, 2 night camp.
A good pack should have multiple options for lashing points / straps to allow you to strap on bedrolls, sleeping bags (if there is not a sleeping bag compartment) and other necessary gear.
We can not stress enough how important it is for the Cub to pack their own backpack for camping. You will not be there at camp to tell them that you put their toothbrush in the left pocket. They need to know where everything is. As a parent you can help to make sure they have not forgotten something, but they need to be responsible for packing their own backpack.
Finally you should ensure the backpack has an adjustable frame and good padded hip belt. You will think that there is no way your child can carry that load, but in a properly fitted backpack this should not be a problem for most cubs.
Most outdoor shops will have knowledgeable staff who can help you find the right size, and fit for your Cub.