The list author says: "This is not intended to be the "exact" list that everyone should go out and buy. More, it is intended to show you some good examples of equipment that has shown itself valuable over time. If you already have something similar, then look at it and see if you think its close. If you have Questions, please don't hesitate to contact the Scout Master for clarification."
"I prefer external frame packs for 2 reasons. First, I grew up with them and understand them. Second, they are less complicated to get a good fit with than internal frame packs and provide more flexibility in packing options."
"The key things about a backpacking sleeping bag is that they are made with synthetic materials so they stay warm even when wet and that they are light weight. I find that a bag rated to 20 degrees will be completely adequate for the types of camping our troop does. keeping the weight under 4 pounds will make it easy for your son to carry by himself."
"Sleeping pads are essential in order to provide insulation between your boy and the cold ground. They can be as simple as this closed foam pad or nicer like the self inflating style. As with everything else, keeping the weight down is a must as your son will be carrying this everytime he camps."
"These self inflating sleeping pads can cost from $20 to $100. I usually get them at Walmart or Kmart when I see them on sale. I think they have the added benefit of providing some padding between my old bones and the hard ground."
"Even though a lot of sleeping bags you get will come with a stuff sack, I find that many of them are lacking in the areas of waterproofness and the ability to squish a big sleeping bag into something manageable for kids. I recommend a separately purchased stuff sack to keep everything dry and neat."
"You can use straps or bungee cords to keep things like sleeping bags and sleeping pads on your pack. Dont count of tying these on with ropes since it takes a while for most kids to become really competent with knots and these have the added benefit of being able to be done with gloves on in the cold."
"Waterproof clothing is essential to scouting. We will camp and do activities regardless of the weather. Do you son a favor and consider buying hims some dedicated waterproof clothing. Breathable materials like Gore-Tex are very expense and very nice, but anything that will keep your son dry is the first priority. This can double as a windbreaker so he only has to carry one jacket in his pack."
"A good fleece jacket is key. It retains its ability to keep your son warn even when wet. Please don't think that a cotton hoodie will do the same. It can actually set up a dangerous condition called hypothermia which happens when the body can't stay warm and eventually looses internal heat and can be deadly."
"A small backpack with an integrated hydration system is a really nice combination. Every time we go hiking or camping, I ask the boys to bring their 10 essentials. A pack like this can carry them all and carry a lot of water comfortably."
"Hi-tec is a well known brand of inexpensive, but quality outdoors footwear. I recommend against camping and hiking in tennis shoes since many pairs are not made to deal with carrying the extra weight of a backpack or for the rugged trails we find ourselves on. There are several places that you can find boots like these. Buy them a bit big to account for feet swelling, extra socks...and growth."