Per the Safe Guide to Scouting:
Knives A sharp pocketknife with a can opener on it is an invaluable backcountry tool. Keep it clean, sharp, and handy. The BSA believes choosing the right equipment for the job at hand is the best answer to the question of what specific knife should be used. We are aware that many councils or camps may have limits on the type or style of knife that should be used. The BSA neither encourages nor bans fixedblade knives nor do we set a limit on blade length. Since its inception, the BSA has relied heavily on an outdoor program to achieve its objectives. This program meets more of the purposes of Scouting than any other single feature. We believe we have a duty to instill in our members, youth and adult, the knowledge of how to use, handle, and store legally owned knives with the highest concern for safety and responsibility.
We feel that it is important that Scouts learn basic knife skill so that can safely use these tools in the outdoors. This is a learning and growing process that requires proper training, supervision and guidance. Training is led by our Wilderness Survival team which includes professional Survival Instructors and former Special Operations medics.
There are many types of knives that can be used in scouting and we discuss options in our Knives Page.
Bushcraft Knives are allowed on certain outings if Scouts can demonstrate maturity. Although not entirely banned, we recommend against big tactical/hunting knives as they provide little added utility and tend to be a distractor.
Scouts should also have a sharpening stone such as
Fire is another one of those Scouts skills that is vital to learn, respect and to use safely. Scouts will learn basic fire skills as part of their scouting experience and will have an opportunity to learn advanced skills from our Wilderness Survival Team.
Paddle Sports are some of the most dangerous activities that scouts will participate in. But with special training and precautions, these activities can be very fun and safe.
See our Canoe Outings Page for more on Canoe Safety.
Wilderness outings carry with them an increased risk of injury. This is compounded by the likelihood of delay in getting to a hospital due to the remoteness, communication and weather obstacles to transport. Because of this, we can special interest in mitigating risk.
We take Medical Training very seriously in Troop 49. The Council Wilderness Medicine program is run by adult leaders from our Troop. We are lucky enough to generally have 2 professional medical providers on most remote outings. That said, we still highly recommend that all adult leaders and older scouts attend our Wilderness First-Aid Course. This decreases the chance of a medical emergency on a trip and will help us deal with one should it occur.
Anyone going on an outing with out troop, Scout or Adult, must inform us of ANY medical issues they may have. We discuss this on our Medical Page.
Any outing in a Wilderness Setting (greater than 30mintues from medical care) requires the use of a GPS Tracker/Beacon. This allows us to find or evac a crew if needed due to a medical, weather or other emergency.
If you have any questions, please contact our Wilderness Medical Team.
A packing list is provided for each outing. These are more than just recommendations. Certain outings, such as winter camping, requires appropriate gear. If Scouts don't have the proper gear, it's more than an excises in "toughing it out", it becomes a matter of safety for that and all other Scouts on an outing.
If your Scouts would like to attend an outing, but doesn't have the proper gear, talk to us and we will help those Scouts geared up.
We provided a brief overview of equipment used by Scouts on most outings in our Gear and Equipment Section.
Safe Guide to Scouting
All participants in official Scouting activities should become familiar with the Guide to Safe Scouting and applicable program literature or manuals, and be aware of state or local government regulations that supersede Boy Scouts of America practices, policies, and guidelines. The Guide to Safe Scouting is an overview of Scouting policies and procedures gleaned from a variety of sources. For some items, the policy statements are complete. Unit leaders are expected to review the additional reference material cited prior to conducting such activities.
In situations not specifically covered in this guide, activity planners should evaluate the risk or potential risk of harm, and respond with action plans based on common sense, community standards, the Scout motto, and safety policies and practices commonly prescribed for the activity by experienced providers and practitioners.
Perhaps this quote by Sir Robert Baden-Powell from his 1914 book Quick Training for War is appropriate to include here: “… The books lay down definite principles and examples which serve to guide the leaders when applying their common sense to the situation before them. No two situations are ever precisely the same, and it is therefore impossible to lay down exact rules that should guide in every case, but a man who carries precedents and principles in his head has no difficulty in applying their teaching in supreme moments of sudden emergency …”