For Cookmasters

Cookmaster Planners

Planning meals for a campout is the job of the designated Cookmaster. There are many details that the cookmaster needs to plan out before going on a trek. This 3 step planning program will help to make sure you don't forget something.

Step One: Menu Planner (PDF)

Carry Lists

Use one form per meal. Bring these with you on the trek!

First think of a menu for the meal, then list all of the ingredients you will need to prepare that meal. Write down instructions for preparing the meal so that a Scout that isn't familiar with your meal can prepare it without your help.

Think about what cooking utensils it will take to prepare the meal. Also think about how many burners your meal will require in order to have everything on the menu ready at serving time. For a large group, you may need more than one pot or fry pan to cook the main part of your meal. One fry pan to cook pancakes for 10 campers doesn't work very well!

Assign jobs to each member of your patrol. For the 1st Class Cookmaster requirement, you will need to be the cook for each meal and supervise cleanup. All meals must be cooked!

Step Two: Shopping Planner (PDF)

Use one of these forms to do your shopping.

Once you have all your meals planned out, carefully go through each of your meal planning sheets and list everything you will need on the Shopping Planner. If more than one meal requires an ingredient, make sure you add them together in the list. For example, if a lunch and a dinner both require one loaf of sliced bread. Make sure you list 2 loaves on your shopping list.

Use this list when you do your food buy. Double check to make sure you included everything from your Menu Planner sheets! Get a subtotal for your purchases and compare against your budget.

Step Three: Backpacking Carry List (PDF)

Use one of these forms to list who is to carry what items (food and patrol equipment) on backpacking trips. Bring it with you on the trek!

Once you have completed your food buy for a backpacking trip, the Cookmaster will need distribute items for each camper (including adults) to carry. Make sure heavier and bulkier items get distributed to larger Scouts or adults. Make sure everything on your Shopping Planner is assigned to someone.

The Cookmaster should try to keep items together that are needed for specific meals. For example, give all dinner related items to one or two Scouts. Repackage items as much as possible to reduce weight and make it easier to prepare the meals.

Using grocery bags, make a bag up for each camper in your patrol with all the food and cooking equipment distributed as fairly as possible.These bags will be distributed to campers when they meet to leave for the trek.

The Cookmaster needs to know where everything is on a backpacking trip! Only the Cookmaster will know who has what. When meal time rolls around, the Carry List will tell the cooks who has the food and equipment needed to prepare the meal they are responsible for. With this list, they will not have to guess!


Your meals must fall within a budget (A Scout is Thrifty!). Typically, the budget per person is $2.00 for breakfast, $3.00 for lunch, and $5.00 for dinner. Trek leaders can modify these limits.

Check with the Troop Quartermaster if food you need to buy is present in the Troop Food Pantry. This may save some money.

Avoid individually wrapped meal items - they are 2 to 3 times more expensive that way and they create more trash to carry out.

Meat dinners will almost always be expensive. Plan a meal that has meat in it (like a stew or spaghetti) rather than individual meat servings.

Plan on dessert to be expendable if you are over budget.

Try one pot meals. They are easy, inexpensive, and easy to clean up.

Simple Backpacking Meals (PDF)

This is an example of a simple backpacking menu.

Lots of recipes - many use normal grocery store supplies

Recipes (Blog)

Collection of troop members favorite camp and backpacking recipes. This blog is maintained by the Cookmaster Instructor.

Most recent recipes: