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Resources include the Hiking merit badge worksheet in PDF format Adobe Acrobat PDF and Word format Microsoft Word DOC document, links, and cross-references to related badges and awards.
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Hiking merit badge
Status: Eagle-required
Created: 1921
Discontinued: no
BSA Advancement ID: 061
Requirements revision: 2016
Latest pamphlet revision: 2016


Hiking is a terrific way to keep your body and mind in top shape, both now and for a lifetime. Walking packs power into your legs and makes your heart and lungs healthy and strong. Exploring the outdoors challenges you with discoveries and new ideas. Your senses will improve as you use your eyes and ears to gather information along the way.

Hiking merit badge requirements

  1. Do the following:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  2. Explain and, where possible, show the points of good hiking practices including proper outdoor ethics, hiking safety in the daytime and at night, courtesy to others, choice of footwear, and proper care of feet and footwear.
  3. Explain how hiking is an aerobic activity. Develop a plan for conditioning yourself for 10-mile hikes, and describe how you will increase your fitness for longer hikes.
  4. 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 5-mile hike
    Three 10-mile hikes
    One 15-mile hike
    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.*
  5. 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).*
  6. 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 merit badge counselor.


* The required hikes for this badge may be used in fulfilling hiking requirements for rank advancement. However, these hikes cannot be used to fulfill requirements of other merit badges.

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Scouts BSA Requirements, 2019 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #648914)

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Hiking is available here! (PDF or Word) with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need! Or click here to print just the Hiking requirements. usscouts.org has PDF and Word versions of workbooks for Scouts BSA ranks and merit badges, Cub Scouting ranks and adventures, and STEM Nova awards.

Hiking merit badge is an option for the Eagle Scout rank.
Scouts can choose to earn Cycling or Swimming instead.
Hiking merit badge is an option for the National Outdoor Badge for Hiking.
  1. New requirements (and a new merit badge pamphlet) were released shortly after BSA released the 2016 edition of Boy Scout Requirements.
  2. The hikes in requirements 4 and 5 can be used in fulfilling requirements for rank advancement, but may NOT be used for other merit badges.
  3. The BSA Hiking Troop Program Feature offers meeting and activity plans to include Hiking as one of your monthly themes.
  4. Hiking is a popular merit badge.

Requirement resources

The Troop Hiking Monthly Theme includes meeting and activity materials.
1. First aid: Hypothermia - Heatstroke - Heat Exhaustion - Frostbite - Dehydration - Sunburn - Sprained Ankle - Insect Stings - Tick Bites - Snakebite - Blisters - Hyperventilation - Altitude Sickness


Layering - Clothing - Food - Hydration - Socks
REI: Compass - Day Hike - Food - Hydration - Insects - Layering - Lightweight - Navigation - Rain - Socks - Sun - Hot/Cold

3. A blank conditioning plan is in the workbook (PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF or Word Microsoft Word DOC document).
4-5. Blank 10-mile Hike Plans are in the workbook (PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF or Word Microsoft Word DOC document).
6. A blank 20-mile Hike Plan is in the workbook (PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF or Word Microsoft Word DOC document).
7. A blank report is in the workbook (PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF or Word Microsoft Word DOC document).

Related awards

Outdoor-related awards

See also

Scouts BSA portal
Venturing portal
Sea Scout portal
General Merit Badge information

External links

Personal tools