There is lots of discussion about the proper amount of weight that a boy can carry safely.

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.

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

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.

Sleeping Bags are available in many sizes, fabric, fill, color, and price.

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

Some backpacks are waterproof, but like a tent, the seams need to be sealed.

Check your cover, or backpack, for “waterproofness” prior to the trek.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.Shorter length pads can be purchased, or longer pads can be cut, to reduce the amount of bulk and weight (head to knee length is sufficient).Waterproof Pack Cover needs to be large enough to protect items strapped to the exterior of the pack.A couple of large garbage bags may be suitable for summer hiking in the Sierras, but if multiple rainy days are anticipated a dedicated pack cover is better.) Items you wear are not included in the above totals, nor is food weight (estimated at 1.5 to 2.0 pounds per day, per hiker) or water (which adds 3-7 pounds per hiker).