Volume 5 Issue 8
March 1999


Hikes for Cub Scouts
Daniel Webster Council

Hikes are simple and informal activities and usually don't require a lot of advance preparation. But as simple as they may seem, there are certain safety precautions that need to be followed whenever you take Cub Scouts or Webelos Scouts to explore the outdoors.

Hiking Safety Rules:

  1. Avoid heavily traveled highways.

  2. When walking along any road, have the group walk single file as far to the left as possible, facing oncoming traffic. The den leader should be the first in line, with the den chief or an adult at the end.

  3. Keep the hike speed consistent with the short steps of the boys.

  4. Exhaustion is a common complaint on hikes. Some boys can go on endlessly while others tire easily. Take frequent rest stops. Use the time to talk about nature or play quiet games. A snack is a good pick-me-up.

  5. Never drink untested water. The safest water supply is a canteen of water brought from home.

  6. Stay off private property unless you have permission.

  7. Stay away from railroad tracks.

  8. Avoid natural hazards such as fast-moving streams, steep cliffs, and areas of loose rocks.

  9. Plan all hikes to start and end during daylight hours.

Types of Hikes

  • Penny Hike--At the junction of each trail, road, street, etc. the denner or den chief flips a coin to determine the direction of travel. Heads, go right, rails, go left.

  • Sniff Hike -- A few minutes before time for the hike to begin, mark a trail by rubbing a large onion on different objects, such as trees, grass, bushes, swing set, light pole, etc. These should be located fairly close together. Boys follow their noses to find their way along the trail.

  • Color Hike -- Give each boy a list of colors to try and locate on the hike. The items can be collected or simply noted. The one who successfully finds all colors on the list is the winner.

  • Breakfast Hike--During the summer or on a Saturday morning, hike to a good vantage point to watch the sun rise. Then cook breakfast outdoors. Listen for early-morning sounds.

  • Homes Hike--Look for spider webs, nest, holes, etc.--nature homes (don't disturb them).

  • Baby Hike -- Look for nature babies -- bird, fern leaf, snail, etc.

  • Indian Hike--Hike silently, single file. Boys could wear headbands, hear an Indian story. Always look and listen.

  • String Hike--Follow a string, laid out in advance. Have nature objects along the way to identify.

    **You can always add an important element to any of these hikes. Remembering the "A Cub Scout Always Leaves A Place Cleaner Than He Finds It", give each Cub a pair of work gloves and a trash bag to pick up any trash they see while on the hike. Baloo


Hikers go once around the block then their observations are tested. Who has seen the most round things? What kinds of trees were seen? What did you see that was orange? Etc.


Other Hike Ideas
Heart of America Council

A Cub Scout hike is merely a 'walk with a purpose". What better way to find out about the world around us than to hike?

Take a hike for a purpose: to gather trash, to collect leaves, to identify trees, to observe animal and birds, to look for tracks, etc. Hikes can be taken in your neighborhood, local nature area or at a nearby lake. Make the hike simple and purposeful, but most of all fun.

Discussing rules before you leave can also help make your hike a success.

Heart of America Council

  • Craft Hike--Gather nature items to use for craft projects

  • Knot Hike--Along a path tie ropes around trees using knots. Instruct the boys in advance which direction to go when they identify a particular knot.

  • Rain Hike--hike in a gentle rain. Be sure all boys have waterproof rain gear. Note how plants and animal conduct themselves and appear in the rain.

  • Snoop Hike--Be snoopy, be aware. Explore everything and collect everything.

  • Stop, Look & Listen Hike--Hike for 5 minutes or for a certain number of steps. Stop and write down all that you see and hear. Make several different stops.

  • Evening Hike--Try flashlight signaling. Listen to night sounds. Find north by the stars. Learn to recognize some constellations. Tell stories about them.

Materials found in Baloo's Bugle may be used by Scouters for Scouting activities provided that USSSP, Baloo's Bugle and the original contributors are cited as the source of the material.

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