Hiking Merit Badge Guide

hiking merit badge guide

Scoutles.com – Strong hiking abilities are the obstacle dividing inexperienced Tenderfoots from being considered true scouts. If you prepare to step up within your troop as well as confirm on your own, this guide will aid you to understand wild expeditions, answer the merit badge worksheet, and earn your Hiking merit badge!

If you’re like many precursors, hiking, swimming, or cycling will probably be one of the first Eagle-required merit badges you’ll gain. Hiking was one of my first badges and showed to be totally various from any other Scouting task I ‘d done previously.

The Hiking merit badge is except the pale of heart, however, if you devote to making hiking, you’ll reveal that you genuinely have the decision it takes to come to be an Eagle Scout.

To make your hiking merit badge, you’ll need to finish the feared 20-miler, plus 4 various other walks longer than 10 miles each. Also for a lot of adults that would certainly be crazy!

Making your Hiking merit badge won’t be easy, once you’re finished I can guarantee you that it’ll be one of the most satisfying experiences of your Scouting occupation. If you’re ready to take the jump, keep reading!

This badge will take at the very least a month to complete, so make the effort now to thoroughly assess the badge demands so you can plan appropriately.

Hiking Merit Badge Requirements

hiking merit badge requirements

A little description of the hiking merit badge requirements, for needs 1-4 examination your expertise of hiking as well as security tracks, while needs 5-8 are based upon the actual increment you have to finish.

In this short article, I will give you comprehensive answers to each knowledge called for to ensure that you can complete the hiking badge worksheet as well as traveling securely while finishing the 5-8 requirements.

You need to likewise create an increase plan before and also after the boost for each and every one of the 6 enhancements that you complete.

Now that you recognize the best means to utilize this guide, let’s answer the understanding demands immediately so you can start earning your hiking achievement badge!

1. Explain the most likely hazards you may encounter while hiking

Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while hiking, and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.

There are various kinds of risks that can occur while hiking. As a precursor, you’re trained to be resourceful and also think on your feet.

You need to have the ability to take care of the most unexpected risks on the fly! Nonetheless, there are 4 primary sorts of dangers that are dangerous, usual, as well as must be prepared for on any kind of trek. These risks are:

  • Dangerous Terrain
  • Difficulty Navigating
  • Unexpected Conditions
  • Injury From Wild Animals/Insects

Dangerous Terrain

You risk experiencing harmful surface on any hiking route. In these unsafe parts of your expedition, you’ll have a higher threat of injury from slides, scratches, as well as long falls.

To prevent mishaps, ensure you can determine prospective risks, as well as make sure to act meticulously in those locations.

To securely browse hazardous surfaces, equilibrium, as well as security, are crucial. To guarantee a safer expedition, you might want to buy devices like specialized hiking boots as well as poles.

You ought to also pick a hiking backpack that is light-weight, trusted, as well as easy to take care of.

The appropriate gear can indicate the distinction between a secure, satisfying hike, and also a wild emergency. Put some time into choosing the best tools.

I would certainly recommend you choose your gear ASAP, specifically prior to going on any one of your walks.

Keep in mind, shoes, knapsacks as well as various other hiking devices take some time to barge in and could be costly, yet ought to last you with your whole Scouting career.

Difficulty Navigating

Sometimes, tracks may be poorly preserved as well as tough to follow. In these cases, you might have problem browsing as well as might also get shed. If you ever before find yourself off-trail in the wild, these are the 3 things you’ll need to remember:

  • Don’t Panic: While your first instinct may be to freak out if you ever find yourself lost in the wilderness, try to remain calm. Keep track of all of your possessions and take a moment to collect yourself.
  • Stay Put: Your initial urge will probably be to look for a way out. However, many hikers have found themselves disoriented, lost even further in the wilderness, by blindly looking for the trail. Your best chance of being found is staying put.
  • Create Shelter: Staying warm and protecting yourself from the environment will be your best way to survive and be found. While staying put, create a shelter for yourself and calmly assess the situation.

To avoid getting lost on a walk, always prepare a trip strategy in advance. Bring a route map as well as a compass to make sure that you can with confidence locate your bearings. Be sure to inform your household where you’ll be hiking.

Taking these preventative measures will aid you to trek safely as well as greatly minimize your threat of having problems navigating in the wild.

Unexpected Conditions

Unexpected conditions include heavy winds, rain, snow, or any other sorts of unsafe climate that you might be unprepared for. If you have actually not prepared the right clothes ahead of time, these situations are particularly dangerous.

To handle unforeseen environmental conditions, you need to always carry a raincoat and also inspect the regional weather prediction in advance.

Limit sunlight exposure. To mitigate the threats of unforeseen problems, consistently remain familiar with modifications in the weather during any walking.

Injury From Wild Animals/Insects

Insects as well as wild animals are a common reality in hiking. In unusual cases, specific kinds of stings can cause allergic reactions (for instance, bees).

If you or any kind of walkers in your group have known allergic reactions, make certain you have some antihistamine as well as an EpiPen medication readily available.

While pest stings or bites are not serious for many people, they can still create swelling as well as irritation. To stop feasible injury, constantly use pest repellent ahead of time, and refrain from communicating with any kind of wild animals you may find.

By respecting the wild animals, you’ll not only prevent danger but also have a more enjoyable walking also.

To find out more about dealing with typical stings/bites, continue on requirement 2.

2. Explain about first aid for injury or disease that can occur while hiking

Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while hiking, including hypothermia, frostbite, dehydration, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, sunburn, hyperventilation, altitude sickness, sprained ankle, blisters, insect stings, tick bites, and snakebite.

A. Hypothermia

Hypothermia is caused by one’s core body temperature level dropping below 95 ° F. While signs and symptoms of moderate hypothermia consist of shuddering as well as a complication, in a lot more harmful cases the target will certainly not have enough energy to continue shuddering and may fall unconscious.

If you observe somebody is experiencing hypothermia, promptly warm them using additional garments, fire, or via body heat. Do not instantly re-warm the sufferer by positioning them in a hot shower, as this might cause rewarming shock.

B. Frostbite

Frostbite happens when extremities, such as fingers and also toes, begin to freeze. Skin in the influenced locations will turn blue, after that white. If you discover frostbite setting in, leave to a cozy location.

Attempt not to wrap the afflicted area in anything, as this might create a few of the cells to be exterminated. A far better method to warm the frostbitten area is by running it under cool water, then gradually raise the temperature as the injury thaws.

C. Dehydration

When the body does not take insufficient water, dehydration occurs. Some symptoms of dehydration include a purged face, lack of sweat, or sensation of weakness. This is a possibly fatal problem that can cause reduced blood fainting, lightheadedness, and also pressure.

To deal with dehydration, encourage the sufferer to remainder and also replenish their body with water and electrolytes. Moisturize the victim slowly, staying clear of radical rehydration.

When hiking, you will likely lose water via sweat and also more frequent breathing. Specialists advise you to consume alcohol at the very least 1 liter of water every 2 hrs to avoid dehydration. That means continuous, easy hydration is vital!

D. Heat Exhaustion

There are two major kinds of warm exhaustion:

  • Water depletion: Characterized by thirst, headache, a feeling of weakness, and loss of consciousness.
  • Sodium depletion: characterized by vomiting, muscle cramps, and dizziness.

Heat fatigue can proceed into warmth stroke, and also ought to not be taken lightly. If you suspect that a person is suffering from heat exhaustion, promptly get them right into an amazing location to rest.

E. Heatstroke

Heatstroke is caused when one’s body temperature surpasses 104 ° F. If untreated, heatstroke can bring about seizures, confusion, loss of awareness, and also a coma.

Common symptoms of a warm stroke are pulsating migraines, dizziness, a lack of sweating regardless of warm weather, or a feeling of weak point.

If you suspect someone of having heatstroke, instantly call 911. Sit them down in a great, unethical location, and attempt to reduce their body temperature level.

To prevent warm fatigue as well as heatstroke, stay hydrated, put on sun protection, and also avoid arduous activity throughout the hottest time of day.

F. Sunburn

Sunburns are triggered by long term sun direct exposure. The influenced areas will come to be sensitive to touch, show up red, as well as might blister.

To prevent sunburns, always use sunscreen SPF 30 or higher when outdoors, and attempt to stay clear of remaining in direct sunshine for prolonged time periods.

When swimming, make sure that your sunblock is waterproof, and try to reapply it every hour.

To deal with a sunburn, you can cool down the skin with a moist towel or use a soothing aloe vera lotion. Remember to maintain the sufferer moisturized, and have them refrain from picking at the shed, should it start peeling off later.

Sunburns should take no longer than 2 weeks to heal.

G. Hyperventilation

Hyperventilation is caused by taking a breath also rapidly which depletes one’s body of co2. Also called over-breathing, hyperventilation can result in sensations of faintness, a prickling sensation in one’s extremities, and may also trigger the target to pale.

Have them reduce down and take deep breaths if you notice somebody is hyperventilating while hiking.

Have your entire team take a treat break as well as consume alcohol some water. The very best thing to do is to wait until the person hyperventilating has recuperated prior to proceeding.

Hyperventilation can arise from a variety of circumstances such as stress and anxiety, severe pain, heavy physical exertion, panic attacks, or infections in the lungs.

To deal with hyperventilation, have the target breathe gradually, either with pursed lips or into a paper bag. Bouts of hyperventilation ought to last no more than 30 minutes, so look for clinical attention if the target still hasn’t recuperated by now.

H. Altitude Sickness

When a person moves to a greater altitude as well quickly, elevation sickness takes place. At heights surpassing 8000 feet over the water level, the air will consist of considerably much less oxygen, placing you at risk for altitude sickness.

To deal with acute mountain sickness, descend to a lower elevation right away (ideally below 4000 feet).

Common signs and symptoms of acute mountain sickness include queasiness, migraines, dizziness, and anorexia nervosa, and also feelings of weak point.

To prevent getting acute mountain sickness, reach higher elevations slowly (this is called acclimatization). Resting at the most affordable altitude feasible additionally lowers your risk of acute mountain sickness.

I. Sprained Ankle

A sprain is brought on by movement which tears the cells around a joint. When treating a sprain or tear, a chilly compress must be applied asap to lower swelling. Never ever apply ice directly to the skin, as well as instead, cover it in a towel.

You must not apply it later on as well if you can not instantly apply ice. Incapacitate the injury as well as stay off of it till the location can painlessly birth your weight.

When hiking, it is not constantly possible to get prompt clinical interest. You first should analyze the seriousness of the injury if you’re harmed on the route.

Minor strains can normally bear some body weight, so by having your buddies lug your gear as well as by using a brace, you ought to have the ability to securely return to the trailhead.

Look into the video clip below to see the standard technique used to wrap a sprain. When it comes to severe injuries, the victim ought to remain in position as well as boost the wound.

A team of Precursors and also a Scoutmaster ought to be sent out to the trailhead to call emergency situation solutions.

J. Blisters

While hiking, blisters usually originate from the rubbing of material rubbing against the skin, which can be caused by poor-fitting footwear or various other clothes. Hiking with wet socks can additionally trigger blisters.

Blisters look like bubbles under the top layer of skin. They can be full of pus, water, or perhaps blood, and could be fairly uncomfortable.

If you discover you’re establishing a blister, or notice an area that is massaging uncomfortably, apply moleskin to the aggravated spot of skin.

Sores are normally reabsorbed by the body, so by stopping massaging the sore will heal as well as disappear on its own.

Avoid popping blisters unless they’re so large that you can not get around or else. You can pierce a sore with a sterile needle.

Popped blisters take the chance of infection, so thoroughly decontaminate and wrap the location promptly later. Remove the bandage at night to let the popped blister completely dry.

K. Insect Stings

Most of the time, insect stings are only as well as not dangerous lead to small itching and swelling. If hurt, eliminate any type of stingers left in the area.

To treat a sting, clean with soap and water, then apply a cold compress. Taking an antihistamine may likewise lower later on itching.

In people with allergic reactions, certain insect stings can result in a fatal reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylactic responses create immediate and severe swelling in the neck as well as face, along with trouble breathing, and can show fatal if left neglected.

Lots of people with extreme allergies bring an EpiPen. When used by eliminating the security cap and also pushing the needle right into the victim’s thigh, an EpiPen can counteract an anaphylactic response.

However, the effect of an EpiPen is short-term and the individual needs to still rapidly get medical interest.

L. Tick Bites

Ticks are little bloodsuckers that burrow into your skin. If you discover a tick on your body, instantly remove it. Utilizing a pair of fine-tipped tweezers, comprehend the tick as near to your skin’s surface area as feasible.

After that, carefully draw the tick straight out. Be sure not to turn the tweezers to prevent having parts of the tick break short under your skin.

Gently wash the afflicted location with cozy water as well as soap, using alcohol to the wound to prevent infection. Conserve the tick in a container of rubbing alcohol.

Several weeks following elimination, if you develop a rash or high temperature, right away see a medical professional as well as reveal them the tick that you saved.

M. Snakebites

Luckily, just concerning 20% of serpents are venomous. Nonetheless, if you’re bitten by a serpent, you should immediately call 911 as well as define the situation as well as a serpent. Call a rescue ASAP if there is burning pain at the site of the injury.

The majority of the emergency clinic, as well as rescues, have anti-venom medications which might prove life-saving.

Keep the bite listed below the level of your heart and try to remain calm. Preferably, try to determine the shape of the snake’s head. Poisonous serpents generally have triangular heads as well as slit-like eyes.

To stay clear of being bitten by a snake in the starting point, view your activities in the high brush as well as never ever prompt the wildlife.

Also Read: Communication Merit Badge

3. Show the points of good hiking practices including proper outdoor ethics

On this third requirement of hiking merit badge, you need to point out good hiking practice points including proper outdoor ethics, day and night hiking safety, other people’s property, choice of footwear, and proper foot and foot care.

Making a habit of using excellent hiking methods is the most effective way to ensure a risk-free and fun trip.

By discovering these points now, you’ll be able to verify on your own as a leader and also upstanding outside residents in your troop without even needing to think about it! Allow’s break down each of the points individually:

Proper Outdoor Ethics

Appropriate exterior values go hand-in-hand with leaving no trace as well as adhering to the Outdoor Code. As a refresher, the Outdoor Code simply mentions:

As an American, I will do my best to-
Be clean in my outdoor manners.
Be careful with fire.
Be considerate in the outdoors.
Be conservation-minded.

Essentially, you need to treat the outdoors similarly you would certainly treat your church or house. By keeping the outdoors without trash and also doing your ideal to create as little damages to the tracks as possible, you’re acting morally in nature.

This aids you do your part to create a great experience for your other precursors and the other hikers who use the trail.

Hiking Safety in The Daytime and at Night

While hiking throughout the night is typically a lot more unsafe than daytime hiking, there are some essential standards that you ought to comply with either case. To make certain a secure hike, constantly maintain the following points in mind:

  • When hiking, always let someone know of your plans.
  • Prepare thoroughly, obtain trail maps, and know your route beforehand.
  • Never hike alone and always keep a pace that’s comfortable for the slowest member.
  • Make sure to stay hydrated and bring more than enough water and equipment.
  • Stay on the trail.
  • Pack as lightly as possible.
  • Always check the weather forecast before leaving.
  • You should always bring a cell phone in case of emergencies.

In addition, when hiking at night, there are various other crucial safety and security points that you must keep in mind:

  • Bring a headlamp as well as other backup lights.
  • Pack warmer clothing than you normally would.
  • Hike a trail that you’re familiar with so that you don’t get lost.
  • Try to plan your hike around a full moon, the time of the month when the natural light is brightest.
  • Know your gear, as well as its location in your backpack.

Evening hiking aids you stay clear of the warm as well as enables you to see you some stunning constellations that you would certainly otherwise miss out on when hiking throughout the day.

By complying with all of the above points, you’ll have the ability to securely enjoy the delights of hiking, day or evening!

Courtesy to Others

A precursor is courteous and kind in all areas, with the hiking route being no exemption. While hiking, it is essential to keep in mind that you’re sharing the room with other individuals.

As you’ll frequently experience other hikers, you should be aware of correct hiking etiquette in order to travel securely and respectfully.

Right here are the main points to bear in mind for excellent hiking decorum:

  • Hike quietly: If there might be other hikers in your area, avoid blasting music or talking too loudly. Unwanted noise pollution can ruin the hikes of those around you.
  • Yield correctly: When encountering other hikers, the group with the fewest people normally has the right of way. This group will typically pass on the left side.
  • Stay on the trail: Taking shortcuts will damage the grooming of the trail and cause erosion. Avoid hiking off-trail. If you decide to rest, move off the trail so that others are free to pass.
  • Leave no trace: Avoid littering and leaving markers on the trail. A good rule of thumb is to pack out everything that you pack in. Basically, just follow the Outdoor Code.
  • Be friendly: Greet any hikers you encounter and give them space when passing. Be sure to take up no more than half the trail.

Throughout a hike, you may additionally experience people on horses and bikes. The general rule of thumb is to move to the side and also let people on horses pass. On the other hand, cyclists will usually move you, passing you by on your left.

By adhering to appropriate hiking etiquette, you’ll make sure as well as reduce misconceptions that you’re doing your component to keep the tracks risk-free.

While you might not bear in mind every one of these points during your very first walk, at a minimum just attempt to be pleasant and considerate. Over time, you’ll find out each of these factors and also become a great walker, on your own.

Choice of Footwear

When hiking, your footwear is the only thing that divides your feet from miles as well as miles of solid ground. That’s why it’s necessary to take the time to choose the very best shoes for your Scouting activities.

When picking the appropriate shoes for a lengthy outside expedition, you must think about the following factors:

  • Support: Having proper support means choosing a shoe that provides cushion, shock absorption, and ankle protection. Having good support is critical, as it will prevent you from getting ankle and leg injuries during long and challenging hikes.
  • Sole: There are three different parts of the sole, but basically your shoe’s sole will impact the durability, breathability, and stiffness of your footwear. Be sure to choose a boot whose soles have solid traction, as hiking trails can often be slippery.
  • Fit: Having the right size of shoes will prevent rubbing and make for a much more comfortable hike. The right fitting hiking footwear will be snug but not too tight, as your feet will expand during the trek.

Obviously, there are many other points to consider when selecting the ideal shoe for your outside Scouting activities.

When I was a scout, I spent years trying to figure out what shoes would certainly offer the most defense as well as stability for new members just joining the army. During that time, I learned a whole lot concerning correct footwear.

Today, I’ve compressed everything I have actually discovered right into one complete guide on how to select the very best footwear based upon your very own Scouting activities.

Proper Care of Feet and Footwear

If you acquire the right shoes, they should be able to last for several years of your Scouting journey-if properly taken care of. By taking a few minutes after every walk to dry and also tidy your footwear, they’ll be like brand-new the next time you’re ready to utilize them!

Enjoy this fast video clip on just how to properly look after your hiking shoes:

Keep in mind: If you clean the inside of your boots, allow them to fully dry before using them to hike.

Taking care of your feet throughout a walk is simply as vital as preserving your boots. Absolutely nothing makes a walk a lot more unpleasant than having issues with your feet.

Enjoy this brief video for a quick review of how you can conveniently deal with your feet while on a hike:

4. Explain how hiking is an aerobic activity

In this requirement you need to explain how hiking is aerobic activity. then, Develop a plan to condition yourself for a 10 mile increase, and explain how you will improve your fitness for a longer increase in getting hiking merit badge.

Hiking is an aerobic activity. Aerobic methods ‘with oxygen’, and describes any type of task where you’re able to take a breath, yet endurance is called for.

When hiking, oxygenated blood is pumped by your heart to deliver oxygen to your muscle mass. Frequent cardio tasks like hiking will certainly improve your cardiorespiratory fitness and heart wellness.

To be able to trek for 10+ miles, you’ll need to be in terrific form. By conditioning on your own with various other types of cardio tasks, you’ll increase your physical fitness and total longer walks.

The very best method to problem yourself for lengthy expeditions is to go on multiple hikes while lugging your knapsack. These need to be in between 50% -80% of your goal walk’s size. You’ll likely ache later, so make sure to offer on your own a couple of days to recoup.

Watch this quick video for more details on how you can build endurance as well as boost your conditioning for upcoming walks:

5. Take the five following hikes

Take the five following hikes, each on a different day, and each of continuous miles. These hikes must be taken in the following order:
One (1) 5-mile hike
Three (3) 10-mile hikes
One (1) 15-mile hike

Now that you’ve found out the possible dangers you can experience on a hiking route, emergency treatment techniques to make use of, correct outside ethics, and how to condition yourself for a difficult trek, you’re ready to begin actually hiking! This requirement will be challenging, so be prepared.

You’re in the final stretch of gaining the hiking merit badge once you complete these 5 walks.

6. Prepare a written hike plan

You may stop for as many short rest periods as needed, as well as one meal, during each hike, but not for an extended period (example: overnight). Prepare a written hike plan before each hike and share it with your Scoutmaster or a designee. Include map routes, a clothing and equipment list, and a list of items for a trail lunch.

For your created hike plan, you ought to be able to find a trail map online. You can locate most maps and also additional info concerning your route at the site, hikingproject.com

Other than the trail map, the remainder of your strategy must continue to be more or less the same from a hike to trek. Simply make an effort to comprehend the general problem of the hike, then load your water as well as materials as necessary.

Also Read: Family Life Merit Badge

7. Take a hike of 20 continuous miles in one day following a hike plan you have prepared

Take a hike of 20 continuous miles in one day following a hike plan you have prepared. You may stop for as many short rest periods as needed, as well as one meal, but not for an extended period (example: overnight).

This is the large one. Nevertheless, if you’ve currently completed demand 5 as well as doing your 5 various other walkings, I have no doubt that you’ll have the ability to squash your 20-miler as well!

Ensure you’re well-hydrated the evening prior to you start this long walking. Not only will drinking water in the advance offer you have much more power, but you’ll also have less discomfort throughout the walk. You have actually got this.

8. After each of the hikes write a short reflection of your experience

After each of the hikes (or during each hike if on one continuous “trek”) in requirements 4 and 5, write a short reflection of your experience. Give dates and descriptions of routes covered, the weather, and any interesting things you saw. It may include something you learned about yourself, about the outdoors, or about others you were hiking with. Share this with your hiking merit badge counselor.

My reflections were short passages that were anywhere from 200-300 words. I generally included pictures from the hike, as well as a few of the other highlights from the route. Primarily, simply journal for 10 minutes on your ideas of the trek.

Hiking is a rewarding yet challenging lifelong search. By comprehending each of the demands for the Hiking merit badge, you’ll have every one of the devices you necessary to safely complete any type of wilderness expedition.

Hiking is a tough however fulfilling lifelong quest. By understanding each of the needs for the Hiking merit badge, you’ll have every one of the devices you required to safely finish any wilderness trek.

Congratulations, you have actually made it. The Hiking merit badge isn’t simple, yet neither is Scouting. By taking on challenging challenges, you prove yourself as a scout that has the ability to overcome anything.

Maintain the magnum opus, as well as up until next time, best of good luck on your Scouting journey.

Hiking is a rewarding yet challenging lifelong search. By comprehending each of the demands for the Hiking merit badge, you’ll have every one of the devices you necessary to safely complete any type of wilderness expedition.

Congratulations, you’ve made it. The Hiking merit badge isn’t simple, yet neither is Scouting. By handling challenging obstacles, you prove on your own as a precursor that’s able to get rid of anything.

Maintain the magnum opus, and also until next time, an ideal of luck on your Scouting journey.

Hans Curt
I might be a Mechanical Engineer on the paper, but I was an Eagle Scout enthusiast since childhood.