Water Bottles: Two wide mouth plastic water bottles (32 ounce size) that fit inside the larger side pocket of most packs are great but their are lighter options.

Small mouth bottles are difficult to clean and to fill with a water filter, or a drink mix.

The larger the pack, the greater the tendency to fill it with non-essentials.

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Description of pack list items Personal Gear: Backpack: There are two main types of backpacks: the external frame and the internal frame.

The conventional wisdom used to be that external frames are for trail hiking and internal frames are for off trail hiking.

A bag in the low-middle price range filled with synthetic material is recommended.

Down bags are not good because they are ineffective when wet.

Bags are best stored in “cloth storage bags” or left laying as loose as possible.

Sleeping Pad & Pillow: A closed-cell type foam pad (e.g., insolite or the accordion style by Z-Rest work well) is good to keep out the cold and to preserve the sleeping bag.

A “backpacker’s pillow” is an optional added piece of comfort, or you can use your sleeping bag’s stuff sack filled with your fleece jacket and a tee shirt as a pillow case.

Personal First Aid Kit: The Troop gear includes a fully stocked first aid kit, but you should also carry a personal first aid kit to handle minor problems.

It varies wildly, depending on the attitude and strength of the boy.

Arbitrary numbers (like 30% of his body weight) are interesting starting points for discussion, but the real determination is how much he can carry on the practice hikes.

Most of our hiking is on trails, but the majority of Scouts and adult leaders prefer the internal frame and these have become the most commonly available packs.