On this page you will find some gift ideas for birthday or Christmas presents for your Scouts of things that they would find useful during camps and activities we do in Scouts.
As well as many online retailers, many of the suggestions can be bought at Cotswold Outdoor (Bridge Street), Mountain Equipment (Bridge Street), Decathlon (Grafton Centre), or Open Air (Green Street). For the most part, we haven’t suggested particular items or brands, as these can change over time, but do ask a Leader for advice should you need it, as we use all these items ourselves.
Large water bottle
We often need to carry a good amount of water on hikes and days out. A good water bottle of 1 or 1.5 litres is essential. Avoid cheap ones, such as what you would have in your school lunch box, as these tend to leak when carried on hikes.
Many rucksacks come with compartments for hydration bladders, which allow for easy carrying of water. A 2 litre hydration bladder would come in useful on many Scouting events.
An essential for Scout Camps. Usually the more you spend, the comfier they are, but this is one item that, if cared for, will last many years.
Aim for a 2 or 3 season, good quality sleeping bag, as this will last a long time. The more you spend, the smaller they tend to pack up. On winter camps, we recommend Scouts also wear clothes to sleep in, and also bring a blanket for extra warmth.
For growing Scouts, a rucksack with an adjustable back is a really good idea and a good one will last many years. Go to an outdoor shop and try them out for comfort before buying. Taller Scouts will probably be able to manage a 55-65 litre rucksack. Shorter Scouts will struggle with something that big, so should aim for around 40 litres. Basically, get as large as you can manage whilst still being comfortable. A belt strap is essential to transfer the majority of weight to the hips.
Often on camps we will do day hikes, for which a smaller rucksack is really useful. Look for ones with pockets for water bottles and hydration bladders.
A good torch is also a good investment. Aim for an LED torch as their batteries last a long time.
These are thin towels which dry very quickly when hung up at camp.
For growing feet, it is not worth investing huge amounts of money in hiking boots, however decent boots can be found in Sports Direct, Decathlon and Mountain Warehouse for very reasonable prices. Ensure they are waterproof and have good ankle support. Try them on in the shop, wearing the thicker socks that you will be hiking in. When your Scout’s feet have stopped growing, it is well worth investing in a good pair of hiking boots.
A good pair of hiking socks can make your hiking boots a lot more comfortable. They are thicker than normal socks and designed specially for the job.
Hiking/Activity trousers and shorts
These are made of light material, usually with plenty of pockets, designed for hiking and outdoor activities. They dry quickly and do not rub between the legs!
For camps and hikes in the cold, a thermal vest as a base layer is a great way of staying warm.
No-one can see you wearing them, but they can make a cold camp or hike a lot more enjoyable! Also, when returning from a muddy hike, it means that you can pull straight off your muddy trousers and not be wandering around in your underwear!
A Buff, wooly hat or other headgear is great for cold weather, and even wearing at night during a winter camp.
For any water sports (sailing, kayaking, raft building etc) a cheap pair of water shoes is a good idea. Look for ones that won’t fall off easily (crocs or sliders are not much good for water sports)!
As light as possible, as hopefully it will be carried more than worn!
Essential for hikes and camps. Again, it is hoped that Scouts will be carrying them rather than wearing them so look for trousers that pack up small.
On many Scouting events it is useful to have a penknife. A simple one with one or two blades is often a lot more useable than one with 47 tools that you will never use! Note, you MUST have received permission from the Leaders to carry a penknife on a Scouting activity.
This can be bought at very reasonable prices from any outdoor shop. Metal cutlery is recommended as plastic tends to easily break. Make sure it is named before bringing on camp.
Scouts tend to accumulate badges! And they don’t all go on their Scout uniform. It is a great memento of their time in Scouting to have all their badges sewn onto a badge blanket, which can also be brought on camps for extra warmth in the tent, or while sitting round the campfire. A badge blanket can be any blanket, but is usually a good woollen blanket.
Flint and steel
Who can resist sitting around a fire pit sending showers of sparks to the ground! We do have some that Scouts can use but many like to have their own. During their time in Scouts we make a firelighting kit, of which their own flint and steel is a useful addition.
If you can think of anything else that should be on this list, please let us know.