Old Hickory Council - Hanging Rock District

Troop 444: Backpacking Merit Badge






  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.
  2. Do the following:
        A. List 10 items that are essential to be carried on any backpacking trek and explain why each item is
        B. 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:
        A. Define limits on the number of backpackers appropriate for a trek crew.
        B. Describe how a trek crew should be organized.
        C. Tell how you would minimize risk on a backpacking trek.
  4. Do the following:
        A. 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.
        B. 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.
        C. Tell what factors are important in choosing a campsite.
  5. Do the following:
        A. Demonstrate two ways to treat water and tell why water treatment is essential.
        B. Explain to your counselor the importance of staying well hydrated during a trek.
  6. Do the following:
        A. Demonstrate that you can read topographic maps.
        B. 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 and on the ground at least three times at three different places.
        C. Explain how to stay found, and what to do if you get lost.
  7. Tell how to prepare properly for and deal with inclement weather.
  8. Do the following:
        A. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of three different types of backpacking stoves using at
            least three different types of fuel.
        B. Demonstrate that you know how to operate a backpacking stove safely and to handle liquid fuel
        C. Prepare at least three meals using a stove and fuel you can carry in a backpack.
        D. 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.
  9. Do the following:
        A. Write a plan for a patrol backpacking hike that includes a schedule.
        B. Show that you know how to properly pack your personal gear and your share of the crew’s gear and
        C. Show you can properly shoulder your pack and adjust it for proper wear.
        D. Conduct a pre-hike inspection of the patrol and its equipment.
        E. 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 on each trek. Carry everything you will need throughout the trek.
  11. Do the following:
        A. 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.
        B. 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.
        C. Keep a daily journal during the trek that includes a day-by-day description of your activities,
            including notes about what worked well and thoughts about improvements that could be made for the
            next trek.

Backpacking Worksheets for use in working on these requirements

Boy Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Boy Scout Law

A Scout Is...

A Scout tells the truth.
He keeps his promises.
Honesty is part of his code of conduct.
People can depend on him.
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.LOYAL
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.HELPFUL
A Scout is a friend to all.
He is a brother to other Scouts.
He seeks to understand others.
He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position.
He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle.
He treats others as he wants to be treated.
He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop.
He obeys the laws of his community and country.
If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
A Scout looks for the bright side of things.
He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others.
He saves for unforeseen needs.
He protects and conserves natural resources.
He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid.
He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean.
He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals.
He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God.
He is faithful in his religious duties.
He respects the beliefs of others.