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Hiking 101 – Cub Scout Six Essentials

One of the easiest and most enjoyable activities that Cub Scouts can do with their family, den, or pack is hiking.  While it is possible to go for a hike without any gear or much planning, the Boy Scouts of America has identified six items that are considered essential for scouts to have with them while hiking:

  1. First-aid kit: adhesive bandages, moleskin, gauze, antibiotic ointment, etc.
  2. Water bottle: filled and large enough to last until it can be filled again
  3. Flashlight: for emergency use only
  4. Trail food: can be made as a den activity prior to hike or campout
  5. Sun protection: sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater and a hat
  6. Whistle: also for emergency use only

These “six essentials” help scouts to learn the importance of being prepared when heading outdoors.  Scouts are first introduced to the essentials as Tiger Scouts while working to complete the “Tigers in the Wild” required adventure.  For this, the Tigers are asked to work with their leaders or adult partner to name and collect the Cub Scout Six Essentials needed for a hike.  This lesson is reinforced with scouts in the Wolf Rank where they are asked to assemble the six essentials and carry them with them on a hike as part of the “Paws-on-the-Path” required adventure.

Additional information about these adventures is located in the scout handbooks.  Additionally, worksheets may be downloaded for these adventures from at the following links:

Tiger:  Tigers in the Wild

Wolf:  Paws on the Path

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