Cooking Checklist,
Food Checklist, and
Equipment Checklist, v29
For the Great Outdoors

OBJECTIVE: Take the LEAST NEEDED Amount/Quantity/Volume that meets the Situational Requirements.
         - Every trip has different needs and every thing listed isn't needed for every trip.

Cooking Equipment Checklist

Cooking Checklist and
Cooking Equipment Checklist

For Individual or Group Cooking Requirements:
[ ] Fire Management: 
[ ]   FIRST RULE of fire making, 
      Be Able to Put it OUT!!!    
[ ]   FULL Water Buckets / Bladders / 
      Bike or Pack Bottles /
      Canteens - ALL ASSEMBLED, Fire Extinguishing Material
      (Water, Sand, Snow, Wet Canvas, Chemical), Fire
      Extinguisher (Always ABC Rated); Rake(s) and/or
      Shovel(s) on hand
[ ] Cook Ware & Utensils:
[ ]   Pots, Pans, Fry Pan (usually a kit cover), Non Stick is Best,
[ ]   Cups, Mugs (Insulated - Big, never little - 
      encourages hydration)
[ ]   Coffee Pot (Drip Basket & Lid, Perk Spindle), Thermos
[ ]   Griddle (sometimes a Dutch Oven lid), Handle / Tongs
[ ]   Dutch Oven (Aluminum lighter than Iron) - old way
[ ]   Pan Oven System (Pan, Handle, Lid, Gauge, Insulating
      Cover, Heat Diffuser, Alum Wind Shield) - newer way
[ ]   Extended Handle Forks, Marshmallow Sticks, Metal Fork
      Ends for sticks (for hot dogs, marshmallows, ... ), Long
      Handle Wire Basket / Broiler (for fish, meat, vegetables),
      Metal Coat Hangers or similar Thick Wire
[ ] Cook Equipment:
[ ]   Grill unit and components, working condition
[ ]   Fire / Cooking Ring, where permitted or required 
[ ]   Stove(s) (Alternate Fuel Types if Practical)
[ ]   Fuel Container, Appropriate
[ ]   Fuel (Paper; Fire Starter: Dryer Lint, Lint or Corrugated
      Cardboard with Paraffin, Commercial Tube, other; Wood, 
      Charcoal; Gas, Liquid - No Liquid Fire Starter for Boy
[ ]   Propane or Gas:
[ ]     Bottle(s) Full
[ ]     Gang Outlet, Outlet Tree
[ ]     Connecting Hoses (Gas / Liquid Transfer)
[ ]     Connecting Tools (Wrench, Key, ...)
[ ]     Regulator
[ ]   Extra Generator (For White Gas Systems)
[ ]   Heat Diffuser / Scorch Buster Plate
[ ]   Wind Screen, Aluminum (Doubles as Splint) / Other 
[ ]   Oven (Dutch / Stove Top System / Other)
[ ]   Stove Support, small Formica board (10" X 10" - for snow
      and / or picnic table heat protection - doubles as cutting
[ ]   Charcoal Fire Starting Can: Store Model or a #10 can
      (traditionally a 32 or 34 ounce coffee can with both ends
      removed and the sides lined with holes around the rim made
      from a standard or large can opener)
      NOTE: This method of charcoal fire starting is approved by
      the Boy Scouts.  
      WARNING: The use of starting fluid of
      any kind is NOT permitted by the Boy Scouts.
[ ]   Water Proof Matches, Lighter, Magnesium Striker; Starter
      Fluid (NOT for Scouts) / Fire Starter Material (for
[ ] Food Prep Area:
[ ]   Dining Cover/Fly/Tarp/Space Blanket (poles, stakes, lines -
        leave the lines on the cover)
      HINT: Set up as sloped or 'A' shaped to 
            prevent water/snow accumulation
[ ]   Lantern(s), Hanging Device, S Hooks, Tree, Fuel, Mantels,
      Bulbs, Batteries, Lighting Tool
      Warning: Be careful about stove and lantern placement. 
      Heat rises and radiates.  Heat can burn or ignite nearby items
      or tarp material.
[ ]   Water Jug(s), Clean & Filled HINT: (1)
      Caution: Give attention to not letting water freeze (see Hint).
[ ]   Aluminum Foil
[ ]   Paper Towels
[ ]   Table, Chairs / Stools 
[ ]   Cutting Board, Wood (scrap Formica best, NOT Plastic,
      doubles as stove support, very useful, plastic melts,
      metal sinks in snow)
[ ] Plastic Bags, Large Trash to Small Zip Seal Bag Types
[ ] Cutlery Equipment:
[ ]   Knife(s), Fork(s), Spoon(s)
[ ]   Hot Pot Tong, Glove
[ ]   Large Cook Spoon
[ ]   Ladle
[ ]   Spatula (Egg Turner)
[ ]   Potato Peeler
[ ]   Can Opener, P-38
[ ]   Bottle Opener (a.k.a. Church-Key)
[ ]   Cork Screw
[ ] Eating Ware:
[ ]   Knife, Fork, Spoon, Plate, Bowl / Mess Kit
[ ]   Plastic Plate, Big Cup - Insulated with Cap / Lid
      (pre-attach lid to handle via nylon cord via punch hole)
[ ] Cooler:
[ ]   Ice
[ ]   Food, See Basic Foods
[ ]   Water / Beverage (Special Drinks too) (1)
[ ] Clean Up Supplies (Tenderfeet Often Forget):
[ ]   Soap (Liquid / Hard)
[ ]   Scouring Pads (with soap), Scrunge, Wash Rag
[ ]   Towels (Paper, Cloth)
[ ]   Trash Bags
[ ]   Wash Basins / Pales / Buckets
[ ]   Chemical (Sanitation Rinse, read instructions.
      If Clorox about a 1st-knuckle-of-thumb 
      portion per two gallons of already boiled
      hot water, use mesh sack or tongs for retrieval,
      adults only.)
[ ]   Bottle Cleaning Brush Device
[ ] Spices, See Foods and Spices
[ ] Larger Group Options:
[ ]   Set First Aid Kit in known location, usually on
      central table/central area
[ ]   Food Storage / Chuck Box (box, legs, bolts, nuts,
[ ]   Bear Bag, Line/Cable, Throwing Sock, Food Safe 
[ ]   Menu(s), Posting Devices (plastic cover, pins, pencil),
      posting board
[ ]   Duty Assignment List(s)
[ ]   Apron
[ ]   Tool Sharpening Equip:
[ ]     File with guard
[ ]     Sharpening Stones
[ ]
[ ] Headlamp (light on a head strap). 
[ ]


Basic Foods and Spices Checklist

Basic Foods Checklist and Basic Spices Checklist

[ ] Buy / Make / Plan  Pre-Packed Meals (get rid of
    commercial packaging, put contents in plastic zip 
    lock plastic bags, minimize what you carry in/out)
[ ] Beverage:
[ ]   Juices, Sodas, Powder / Liquid
[ ]   Fruit, Vegetable
[ ]   Coffee, Real / Instant
[ ]   Milk / Cream, Real / Powdered / Flavored
[ ]   Water (1)
[ ]   Other of choice 
[ ] Condiments:
[ ]   Sugar, Substitute
[ ]   Salt 
[ ]   Pepper (Red, Black, Green, Other)
[ ]   Hot Sauce
[ ]   Spice Carousel (nutmeg, curry, paprika ...)
[ ] Food Covers / Flavors / Mixes:
[ ]   Salsa
[ ]   Vinegar, Oil (Olive / Cooking)
[ ]   Salad Dressing
[ ]   Tarter Sauce
[ ]   Lemon (Juice / Flavor)
[ ]   Sauce, Gravy, Food Mix Pkts
[ ] Basic Foods: 
[ ]   Protein (Meat, Beans, Peanut Butter, Other
[ ]     Eggs, Dehydrated / Substitute)
[ ]   Fruit & Veggies (Dehydrated or Not)
[ ]   Cereal, Granola, Trail Mix, High Energy Bars (5)
[ ]     Bread, Buisquic or Pre Mixed Flour (Bake Soda, ... )
[ ]   Pasta, Various Types (cooks quickly)
[ ]   Rice (Cooking Rice Issue: EXCEPT 5 Min Rice 
      rice takes 30 minutes at sea level, longer in mtns)

[ ] Food Container: 
[ ]   Stuff Sacks or Plastic / Rubberized Sacks
      for long term outing, Bear Bags / Safes for remote
      country, Coolers for larger outings with vehicle support.
[ ]   Ice
[ ]   Plastic Storage Boxes
[ ]  


Boy Scout Beans
Revision 6
Dennis Struck, SPL, Silver Palm

Four Boy Scout Bean Recipes (and His Story)

  1. Our Original 1960's Boy Scout Beans Recipe
  2. Dan Brown's Boy Scout Beans Recipe
  3. Our Boy Scout Beans Recipe
  4. Dr Struck's Vegetarian Boy Scout Beans
  5. Boy Scout Beans, Our History
  6. Simple Hawaiian Barbeque Sauce Recipe

Our Original 1960's Boy Scout Beans Recipe

See History


1 to 2 pounds hamburger meat
1 cup Ketchup (never actually measured)
1 large onion, big slices (so some boys could pick it out)
1 tsp salt (many a time we forgot or did not have salt or pepper - we don't add salt to anything now but it went into everything then)
1 tsp pepper
8 cans of different beans*

*Duplication of any bean type is to be avoided, but sometimes there is no choice. Specific can size did not matter as long as they were in the 10 to 15 ounce range. If you are stuck with buying a larger can of beans, the ratio of 12 ounces per person works well. If using dry beans, read the history section for bean soaking instructions and bean volume measures.


If using a wood fire, apply soap to the outside of the pot (so that the fire suet will clean easier). A thin layer of liquid soap is better than bar soap, but back then we used bar soap and water to cover the cooking pot's exterior (we're talking about the big pot of the Boy Scout Patrol's stacking Cook Kit or something similar).


First, cook the meat in the pot bottom (the same pot that the beans will cooked). Poring off the grease was optional, then. Add all remaining ingredients to include the bean juice. Stir. Ideally, bring the pot to a boil or near boil, stirring frequently, then cover the pot, let it simmer above embers for about four hours, stirring occasionally.

It's the Fireman's Job to keep the fire just right. Typically, on a wood fire, either the pot is suspended from a tripod or it sits on three rocks (about six inches thick). Avoid direct wood burning flame to the pot and avoid setting the pot directly on wood, charcoal, or embers. Old Outdoorsman Secret: For long cooking meal fire, a split log fire is burned about a foot or two away from the main cooking pot and as the wood converts from flaming smoke to hot coals or smokeless embers, the coals and embers are scooted under the cooking pot. It's a genetic fact (this is a joke) that all males, especially boys, instinctively know how to control camp fires with a stick. Please note that in urgent situations, the meal can be served as soon as it is warm. This meal serves eight, basically you want one can of beans per person.

Addendum: If you cook this at home and can refrigerate the leftovers, the meal will taste better in the following day(s). I wish that I could tell you that if you want to serve this meal for supper that you need to start preparation soon after lunch, but the truth is that in the field we always ate the meal as soon as it was ready and there was never any leftovers.


When the boys did the shopping (versus Mom) we just grabbed one can of each kind of bean from the grocer's shelf and that is the proper attitude behind Boy Scout Beans and that attitude got passed from boy to boy. Sometimes, the bean type choices were limited, like four kinds of beans, we just did the best we could with what was available. By the way, we drank milk with every meal.


  • Cans on sale were always selected first.
  • On occasion we had a can of green peas, which seemed disgusting to boys,
    but it turned out to be OK (no one croaked).
  • On occasion we had a can of chic peas (garbanzo beans) as well as lentils.
    These are all good.
  • On occasion we threw in a can of tomato paste or tomato sauce
    (the difference didn't matter, but price did)

Dan Brown's Boy Scout Beans Recipe

What I like about this recipe is that it is nearly fail proof and it works in a crockpot (as do the other recipes). This recipe is all over the Internet and is very popular for a good reason (it's good!). One URL source for this recipe is Brown's "Boy Scout" Beans. Dan Brown's recipe is repeated here, verbatim, for your convenience.


2 pounds ground Italian sausage (hot or mild)
1 large onion, diced
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 (15-ounce) can chili beans (spicy or mild)
1 (15-ounce) can yellow wax beans
1 (15.5-ounce) can dark red chili beans
1 (15.5-ounce) can red kidney beans
1 (15-ounce) can green lima beans
1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans
1 (16-ounce) can Northern beans
1 (14.5-ounce) can green beans

Instructions (Quoting Dan)

"I usually prepare this recipe for my Boy Scouts at camp in a Dutch oven, but I found the Crock-Pot works just as well at home. Even though this dish is all beans, the boys love them and always eat as much as I make. This is a true Boy Scout classic-easy and delicious."

"Brown the sausage and onion with an amount of garlic to your liking. Add the barbecue sauce and sugar. Place this mixture in the Crock-Pot and add all the beans. Do not drain the liquid from the beans. Season to taste. Simmer for at least one hour."

Submitted by: Daniel T. Brown, Fombell
QED Cooks Episode: 420

Our Boy Scout Beans Recipe v3

Serves Eight Plus 1, 5


2 pounds ground meat (your favorite - see note) 2
2 tablespoons dehydrated onions (OR 1 large onion sliced large)
Garlic (in the field: big walnut sized clove, at home: 1 tbs of garlic paste)
1 cup of any barbecue sauce 3
8 cans of beans, duplication of bean type is to be avoided 4

Spice to Taste:
Typical, but never the same twice::

1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon chopped dry sweet basil
2 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon granules (or cubes - harder to find these days)
3 bay leaves (pulled out after cooking)
8 oz (can) diced mild green chilies [Not for less than 10 year olds]


(1) For each person over a count of eight, add 1 can of beans (approximately 12 oz per additional person).
(2) Lessons: I have sat up at night with young Scouts who had too much hot spice. If the campers are all young Scouts, use Hamburger. If the meal setting will be a mix of ages and or a mix of sexes (like a family setting, family visiting camp, or co-ed Adventure Scouting) use 1 pound of spicy sausage and 1 pound of regular sausage or hamburger. If camping with all adult males, use 2 pounds of spicy sausage. If there are religious concerns, usually hamburger is OK when Sausage may not be OK. If there is a need to go meatless, see the Vegetarian Boy Scout Beans Recipe.
(3) My favorite BBQ Sauce is Hawaiian (with Pineapple juice/flavor), it provides just the right amount of sweetness without adding sugar, but it is fun to experiment and Boy Scout Beans are all about experimentation. Most BBQ sauces have sugar in them (In fact, most of the original KC, Creole, and Southern BBQ Sauces started with a Molasses base).
(4) One can of green peas is OK as a last resort. Chic peas are always OK and so are lentils.
(5) It may be difficult, but try to maintain spice ratios for different can counts. One is generally better off with higher ratios than lesser. For example, if working with 10 cans of beans, it is better to use 2 cans of 8 oz mild diced chilies rather than 1 can.


In the field, cook the meat in the same pot. At home you may want to brown the meat and the onions in a separate skillet (because reaching over the top of a pot on a stove top can be cumbersome). Don't bother trying to sere dehydrated onions - it can be done but it's just too much work. If cooking on a wood fire, soap the outside of the pot. If possible, use double pots with water in-between, which allows one to be less vigilant about stirring and still avoid burn spots. We always initially heat everything in one pot and one must be dedicated to stirring frequently. Also one wants a very very sturdy big stirring spoon! By the way the Boy Scout Big Pot in the Boy Scout Cook Kit seems to limit out around 10-12 cans of beans, you will need a larger pot for 10 or more people.

Either, cook the meat by its self or just as the meat is nearly done add the onions and/or the sliced garlic cloves. Pour off the grease (away from any heat source). Before placing the pot on cooking heat, add all of the ingredients and the order of ingredient adding does not matter. Stir well. Place/hang pot on heat/fire. Bring the pot to a boil or near boil, stirring frequently, then cover the pot, let it simmer/stay warm on embers, stirring occasionally. At camp, simmer for one to four hours. At home do let it simmer four hours, stirring occasionally. It's the Fireman's job to keep the fire just right. Note, in urgent situations, the meal can be served as soon as it is warm.

I frequently serve this as an off holiday meal for home guests. Also, this is a great participation meal for grand kids, nieces and nephews. I enjoy decorating with the relatively new Catsup Squeeze bottle that makes a 1/4 inch stream - For my own bowl, I may create 2 or 3 big swirls, and for kids, I may serve bowls with catsup stream decorations (like a flower, butterfly, snowman, happy face, micky, snow flake, their initials, ...).

Dr Struck's Vegetarian Boy Scout Beans Recipe

Serves Eight Plus 1


4 cups mushrooms (can or fresh) 2
1 or 2 tbs olive oil (used only if grilling the onions and/or garlic)
1 large onion, big slices (so some people can pick it out)
Garlic (in the field: big walnut sized clove, sliced; at home: 1 tbs of garlic paste)
1 cup of any barbecue sauce 3
8 cans of beans, duplication of bean type is to be avoided 4

Spice to Taste: 5
I usually add the following:

1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp chopped dry sweet basil
3 bay leaves (pulled out after cooking)
I optionally add:
1 or 2 big jalapeno peppers (big slices or chunks so some people can pick it out, seeds too)


(1) For each person over a count of eight, add 1 can of beans (approximately 12 oz per additional person).
(2) Canned mushrooms are OK and go with the theme of easy canned preparation, but big fat sliced fresh mushrooms will taste better and they are usually cheaper. Canned mushrooms can get expensive, so cutting back to 2 or 3 cans is not unusual. Edible mushroom type does not seem to matter.
(3) My favorite BBQ Sauce is Hawaiian (with Pineapple juice/flavor), it provides just the right amount of sweetness without adding sugar, but it is fun to experiment and Boy Scout Beans are all about recipe experimentation. Most BBQ sauces have sugar in them.
(4) One can of green peas is OK as a last resort. Chic peas and lentils are always OK.
(5) Note, that while typical 11 and 12 year old boys will try spicy food, their stomach's often wont appreciate spicy food. For adult men and older boys, a jalapeno or two on occasion is a wonderful flavor treat (1 inch squares, seeds too). Keep the peppers big enough for a person to be able to pull out and give to a friend, just like the onion. The jalapeno flavor addition is particularly effective with mushrooms.


There are two cooking method choices. The nearly fail proof method is to put everything into one pot, starting with the beans. The other method is to grill the onions and garlic first on a hot skillet or pot bottom. At home you may want to use a separate skillet as reaching over a big pot can sometimes be troublesome on a stove top. If cooking on a wood fire, soap the outside of the pot.

If using the grilling method, prepare the onions and garlic and set aside. Get the cooking surface hot enough to sear onions (but not so hot as to burn or smoke the oil). Pour in about a tablespoon of oil, olive oil is preferred. Grill the onions and garlic together, turning frequently. The object is to get little brown spots or streaks on the onions (and stop). It only takes, at most, three minutes (usual is one minute).

Put the onions and garlic into the pot and then add the remaining contents (bean juice too). The order of ingredient adding does not matter. Stir well. Place/hang pot on heat/fire. Bring the pot to a boil or near boil, stirring frequently, then cover the pot, let it simmer/stay warm on embers, stirring occasionally. At camp, simmer for one to four hours. At home do let it simmer four hours, stirring occasionally. It's the Fireman's job to keep the fire just right. Note, in urgent situations, the meal can be served as soon as it is warm.

Boy Scout Beans, Our History

Boy Scout Beans did not start as Boy Scout Beans, it started as a variant of Hobo Stew. We didn't, originally, call it Boy Scout Beans. I think that we just called it 'the bean meal,' 'that bean meal,' or 'bean stew.' Boy Scout Beans just sort of evolved itself, I don't recall that any one person invented it. We, now, call it Boy Scout Beans with 20/20 hind-site and everyone seems to know exactly what is meant.

Hobo Stew grew out of the Depression Era and basically Hobo Stew was everything available thrown into a pot. If you were lucky, Hobo Stew had some meat in it. Our leaders were Depression Era survivors and WWII/Korean War Veterans - As a group, they actually did not like beans or jeans, we respected their history.

We, in my early Scouting, soaked our own beans (usually over night - 12 hours). Basically, most kinds of beans would double in volume, so one cup of dry beans, soaked, would become two cups of wet beans. Our original 'bean' recipes started with a mix of dry bean types, all thrown into and carried in a small paper bag. The bean types didn't really matter, the key was to have a variety of different kinds of beans. In terms of how much to serve, we tried to get about two cups of wet beans per person. We cooked by Patrol and a Patrol typically had eight to twelve boys in an age range from 12 to 17. If we had our wits about us, bean soaking would start the first night (Friday) and the meal would be cooked early for the second evening's supper (Saturday). Sometimes bean soaking started the morning of the meal (Saturday). On occasion, someone would kick over the soaking bean pot while rough housing. Like I heard later in life, no Boy Scout has ever starved to death, HOWEVER some of us did go home hungry.

We cooked over open wood fires at this time and younger Scouts depended on First Class Scouts to have just the right kind of fire. Bean cooking was a great and perhaps classic 'hang the pot from a tripod over a camp fire' kind of meal. Older Scouts used Dutch Ovens and that required some fire and cooking finesse (smokeless wood embers and the five second open hand count test). Just like in the home kitchen, food cooks faster when covered.

Soaking beans takes a lot of time and requires good prior planning. Prior planning is a good lesson but we boys ate way too many partially hydrated beans so we easily gravitated to canned beans at a time when they became affordable. The cooked/canned bean method saved a huge amount of time and effort (over the dry bean soaking method). The Boy Scout Bean meal became so simple to prepare that it has held up its popularity in today's fast paced world.

We originally cooked the meat in a separate skillet because the bean soaking was occupying the big pot. Later, with the advent of canned beans we would, first, cook the meat in the bottom of the same bean pot, therefore we had one less thing to carry. We also left all the grease in the pot. At some point, we experimented and grilled the onions along with the hamburger with great flavor success. Later, we started pouring the excess grease into one of the empty cans and threw out the grease with the can (in a campground with trash cans). If we were back packing (and we carried everything including a Dutch Oven) we would burn the grease in the fire (but not near the bean pot). By the way, I always wanted to shake the hand of the person that created the aluminum Dutch Oven, as I was usually the person to pack it.

Hawaiian Barbeque Sauce

About Hawaiian Barbeque Sauce

Sometimes Hawaiian Barbeque Sauce is hard to find or it is expensive (or both). The following instructions for approximating Hawaiian Pineapple Barbeque Sauce will work just fine where only a cup of sauce is needed for flavoring Boy Scout Beans. Also, in lieu of no alternatives, Hawaiian Marinade juice can be used as substitute.

Ingredients (For the Field)

1/2 cup Pineapple Juice 1, 2
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp ginger 3

(1) Fork mushed pineapple will satisfy just as well or a mix of juice and mushed pineapple,
just maintain the same volume.
(2) Unsweetened Pineapple Juice has a better Pineapple flavor but if no choice,
Sweetened Pineapple Juice is OK.
(3) Minced real ginger is best, but powdered or ground ginger is good enough for the field.

Additional Ingredients (For Home)

1 tbs Soy Sauce or Teriyaki Sauce


In the field, after the main bean ingredients are in the pot, just throw in the Hawaiian BBQ Ingredients (order does not matter). Note that this Hawaiian Barbeque Sauce recipe may be pre-mixed at home and it may be kept in a zip lock like plastic bag and stored in an ice chest (for later in-camp use).

(1) CAUTION: When about to bike, hike, or camp in Freezing environments, when you can, fill water containers with Hot Water. Sometimes the container needs to be warmed up before filling with Hot Water.
WARNING: When overnighting in freezing temperatures, pay careful attention to NOT let water freeze. It takes too much time and energy to thaw frozen water and it takes too many human calories to warm water in the body.
CAUTION: Water Always Freezes 32° F / 0° C, but at higher altitudes with dry humidity, it feels warmer!
WARNING: Water Boils at lower temperatures at higher altitudes, which is potentially both a sanitation and cooking issue (air pressure). At sea level water boils at 212° F or 100° C - As a rule of thumb, for every 500 Feet elevation (or 150 Meters), water boiling temperature drops 1° F (or .5° C).

(5) CAUTION: High Energy Bars: Food for Thought - During freezing or near freezing temperatures, some High Energy Bars are NOT chewable and therefore are NOT edible. Some options are: in cold weather keep bar(s) in pocket next to body, AND / OR select energy bars that do NOT harden (e.g., Peak Power Bar), OR carry loose trail mix.