Backwoodsman Scout Interest Badge

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NOTE: The general scheme for examining this badge is that a Scout - is dropped off at a point and be required to hike a distance of at least 3 km cross country without using a map, compass or roads and without making enquiries, to arrive at a place, invisible from the start point, where the rest of the badge is examined. The scout carries a rucksack with everything required to undertake the badge including their rations. The examination is conducted as an adventure and should last for 45-48 hours including the time taken on the initial hike. Generally, the adventure will commence on an afternoon, include two nights in camp and end on the afternoon of the last day.

Badge requirements[edit]

Backwoodsman Interest Badge

  1. Have passed the Survival Scoutcraft Badge or complete all the requirements for it.
  2. Take part in a survival adventure in an area unfamiliar to you which lasts for at least 45 hours.
  3. During the adventure demonstrate the following backwoods skills:
    1. Shelters - Describe various types of natural shelters you could utilise in wild country (woodlands, forests, veld, deserts etc) in order to protect yourself from the sun, cold, wind and rain.
    2. Food
      1. Explain what resources are available as food in wild country.
      2. Collect 3 different indigenous edible fruits and/or plants and prepare them as food. Explain how you would distinguish between edible and poisonous fruits and plants if you were uncertain. Discuss the dangers of eating unfamiliar fruits or plants.
      3. Construct three different snares or traps to catch animals/ birds/fish. Discuss the importance of using snares or traps only in a personal survival situation and also the importance of destroying snares and traps after use or when discovered in the veld/bush.
      4. During the adventure cook all your meals from raw ingredients over an open fire without using utensils or aluminium foil. For one meal, clean and cook a chicken or other bird, or a fresh fish, or a small animal.
    3. Water - Discuss with the examiner where water can be found in wild country.
      Describe the methods of conserving water when in short supply.
      Make a solar still to collect water by condensation.
    4. Navigation - Cross 3 km of unknown country by day without using compass, roads or a map and without making enquiries. Cross 2 km of unknown country at night without using a compass, roads or a map and without making enquiries.
    5. Hazards - Demonstrate three of the following methods of signalling in order to attract attention if lost: Makeshift flags, signalling mirror, smoke, flashlight, ground to air signs, body signals, beacon fires or whistle signals.
      Recognise the most common venomous snakes in your area. Describe the precautions to avoid being bitten by snakes or stung by scorpions and the first aid treatment for snakebite.
      Discuss the precaution to take when in an area inhabited by animals such as predators, elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros, hippopotamus and baboons.
      Recognise the signs, and symptoms of bilharzia, Malaria, Tick Bite Fever and Typhoid Fever. Demonstrate a knowledge of the precautions to take to avoid these diseases and how to treat them.

Requirements in PDF

See also[edit]