How to Assemble a Boy Scout Patrol Box

As any good Boy Scout knows, it's important to be prepared. When scout troops plan camping trips, each patrol within the troop is responsible for its own food, cooking utensils and anything else that the boys might need during the trip. Patrol boxes are a handy way to assemble and organise these items into a easily transportable box. Assemble your own patrol box for your next scout outing.

Determine the number of Boy Scouts who will be using this patrol box. Once you know how many boys will be on the outing, make a menu of food items that will be needed. Count the number of meals that will be needed and multiply this number by the number of scouts to determine the number of individual meals you will need. Using this number, plan your menu for each meal. This step should result in a good inventory list of food items necessary for the trip.

Assemble the necessary cooking pots, pans and utensils. Using the menu from Step 1, determine the type and number of pots, frying pans, pans and cooking utensils that will be needed to prepare these meals. Select pots and pans that can be used for various items, rather than packing a large number of items.

Assemble the dinnerware necessary for the trip. Use the menu to determine the type of dinnerware that you will need. Plates for dinner, bowls for cereal and soup, and so on. Plan on one place setting for each scout. Pack forks and spoons for each scout. Most Boy Scouts are taught to carry a plastic mug in their camping gear so you shouldn't need to worry about packing cups.

Determine your method of cooking for this trip. If you plan to use a camp stove or open burner, verify that it works before packing it and that you have enough fuel for the trip. For open-fire cooking, verify the condition of your cooking grate. For trips where you plan to use charcoal as your cooking fuel, make sure that you have enough.

Assemble an inventory of cleaning products and supplies. Following the "Leave No Trace" creed of the Boy Scouts, pack appropriate cleaning products, towels and trash bags to clean the contents of your patrol box and the campsite.

Gather first aid items geared toward cooking injuries. Because most camping first aid kits focus on cuts, insect bites and rashes, a kit assembled with cooking in mind can be helpful. Include items such as burn cream, extra bandages, antibacterial ointment and rubber gloves. Keep the kit separately from the other first aid kits in the campsite.

Pack all items in waterproof lockers. It may take more than one locker or box, depending on the amount of items you need to carry. Label the boxes with a patrol name and troop number to help with identification. This step completes the assembly of your Boy Scout Patrol Box.


Only scouts who have earned the privilege to carry a knife can use one. Only pack knives for food prep and cooking. Patrol boxes with wheels are easier to transport. Don't forget to include pot holders to use during cooking.


Don't pack stove fuel in with your food or in a tightly enclosed space.

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Jeff O'Kelley is a professional photographer and writer, currently based in the Tampa, Florida area. His images and words have been featured by websites and publications such as CNN, Creative Loafing and Tampa Bay Times. O'Kelley holds associate degrees in telecommunications and website design from St. Petersburg College.