Looking for gift ideas for your Girl Scout or Cub Scout this Christmas? Here are some ideas for outdoor supplies and tools to help your scout prepare for his or her next camping trip or outdoor adventure.
- Head lamp. Yes, your Scouts might pack a flashlight, but there’s something about a head lamp that is just more attractive to kids. Plus, it’s extra handy when you need that extra hand, like when you’re in a cave or latrine, or playing an outdoor game at night. (My Cadette is getting one, after the attempts at nighttime gaga ball last weekend!)
- Nice, waterproof compass. If your scout’s troop is serious about hiking adventures, a compass will be of benefit. GPS on your phone doesn’t work everywhere!
- Sleeping bag. And not a sleepover weight one either. Get the real deal. Nights get cold while camping. Look for a sleeping bag that’s rated for about 15 degrees colder than you think you need. A child can always unzip the bag to cool down; it’s harder to warm up.
- Sleeping bag pad. Again, if your scout’s troop is serious about all-weather camping, a pad to sleep over the cold ground (and rocks) will be much appreciated. While air mattresses are awesome for adults, they also trap cold air.
- 3 person tent. (If your troop doesn’t already have access to tents.) Why 3 person? Because we believe in the buddy system, and we believe in being ready when something goes wrong and perhaps a third needs a place to stay.
- Hiking stool. While foldable camping chairs are awesome, they’re a lot to lug along on a hiking trip. A compact tripod stool will do the trick. Bonus points if you can clip it to your backpack.
- Mess kit. Preference is metal, because really hot food has the potential to melt plastic. Bonus points if you add a mesh bag that can be hung from a clothesline to dry.
- Hiking pack. If kids are used to carrying string bags on their back, or worse, having their adults carry everything for them, they’re due for a surprise on more serious hikes. Get them used to packing like but carrying what they need on their backs.
- Hiking boots. How expensive is your determination, based on how much your child is still growing. Go straight to LL Bean, Lands End, REI or outdoor store for this one, unless there’s another brand you trust.
- Hydration backpack. Great for longer day hikes.
- Flint and steel. Both my Cub Scout and my Girl Scout got these in their stockings last Christmas and were so excited to have their own tools to start a campfire. For whatever reason, our scouts in our troop love the extra challenge of using flint and steel vs. matches (which admittedly can get wet) to start a fire.
- Survival whistle. Just in case of getting lost. The better ones come with a small compass and a thermometer.
- Rain poncho. Not a bulky rain jacket. Look for a lightweight poncho. Your scout will thank you on the hike in the rain.
- Water bottle with a carabiner to attach to the backpack.
- Wool hiking socks or moisture-wicking socks. These will be nuch appreciated after that first five-mile hike.
- Hand warmers. Whether you use them for campouts or cookie sales is up to you.
- First aid kit that can be tucked into a backpack.
- Long underwear.
- Tote to store the camping supplies in! This may be as much of a gift for mom and dad, but it will save lots of searching for supplies later!
I hope this triggers some ideas for your outdoor-loving Girl Scout or Cub Scout.
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