Planning the Trip
Some long-lead items to assign before the trip:
- Reserve the Area - Find out what approval is required by the owner or operator of the area where you are going.
Arrange to obtain approval, pay any fees and obtain a list of what is and is not allowed well in advance of
the trip. Determine whether there is a limit on the number of people or cars visiting the area at one time. In
some cases, separate arrangements are needed for the place you hike through, the place you camp and the place
you park your vehicles.
- Tour and Activity Plan - Effective April 1, 2017, the Tour and Activity Plan is
no longer required. Prior to that, it was required for out-of-council trips.
This plan had replaced the Tour Planning Worksheet, which had replaced the
Local Tour Permit form. See the
on Bryan on Scouting for details.
- Fire Permit - check with the relevant fire department (usually the town where the camping will take place) to
determine whether a fire permit is required and to confirm that a wood fire is allowed. Generally, such a permit
is not required for use of camp stoves. If a permit is required, file the permit and pay any fee.
- Activity Consent Form and Approval by Parents or Legal Guardian - Either use this
form provided by the National Council or generate a customized permission slip
with approval by at least one parent/guardian. Completed forms should be collected before departure.
Some items to handle as the trip approaches:
- Topo Map - Obtain a Topo Map. At least one member and (preferably more) of the troop should possess a
topographic map and compass for backwoods camping. Obtain this on-line or at a camping store such as
New England Backpacker.
- Participants - Survey the troop membership to find out how many people will participate.
- Drivers - Sign up enough drivers to carry the participants. Be sure to ask how many people each driver's
Our Event Planning Guide suggests additional planning steps.
The Guide to Safe Scouting covers all
sorts of situations. Some of the guidance and policies relevant to the most common camping situations:
- Sweet Sixteen of BSA Safety -
Employ these safety procedures to ensure the trip is a safe one.
- Safe Swim Defense -
Find out and comply with the BSA requirements before planning an event that includes swimming.
- Safety Afloat -
Find out and comply with the BSA requirements before planning an event that includes use of watercraft.
- Climb on Safely -
Find out and comply with the BSA requirements before planning an event that includes climbing/rappelling activities.
- Chemical Fuels and Equipment -
Make sure the type of stove you use is allowed and that you know how to use its fuel.
For general preparedness:
- National Weather Service - Obtain the government weather forecast.
- Snow Depth Map - Whether you want snow
for skiing or you want to be able to find the trail for backpacking, ensure the ground conditions are appropriate to
- Historical Snowfall - View a map of total
snowfall for any previous.month.
Camping by the season:
Camping safety guides suggested by a reader in 2019:
Page updated 2/26/19