Philmont Gear and Trails Advice

See also:
Subject:      Philmont gear & trails
From: (JDMoncrief)
Date:         1997/03/07
Newsgroups:   rec.backcountry

I'm headed out to Philmont this summer with my boy and his troop - and
need some advice on gear and trails.

Any help would be appreciated.

Subject: Re: Philmont gear & trails From: John Holladay Date: 1997/03/07 Newsgroups: rec.backcountry Philmont sends out an excellent package to the advisor. I can't stress enough, use their check list for gear. Use the package. I know that right now you're gettnig impatient, it will come and it will all work out great, if you follow Phimont's advice (also, go a day early). With the package will come one map - give it to the crew chief. When you get there you can get the same map. Also, pick up the big map for the areas you will be traveling through. You see when you get to the traiding post. Another real big point, let the boys plan and chasing things down. It is their learning experience not yours. I take it you're not a Scout unless you had a son at an early age :) Also see And again, let the crew chief or your son come on the net and ask for help. They learn more that way. Now off my soap box. Have a great time. It is beyond bleive going with your son, I did it last summer. JNH JDMoncrief wrote: > > I'm headed out to Philmont this summer with my boy and his troop - and > need some advice on gear and trails. > > Any help would be appreciated.

Re: Philmont gear & trails

Fri, 07 Mar 1997 16:11:09 -0800, The B.Y.Y.C.
From: Josh Susong
Newsgroups: rec.backcountry

In article <>, (JDMoncrief) wrote:

> I'm headed out to Philmont this summer with my boy and his troop - and
> need some advice on gear and trails.

If your son's crew has already selected their itinerary, you probably
won't have a whole lot of choice on trails.  Connections between one
night's camp and the next are pretty direct.  If they haven't yet gotten
their itinerary, I'm sure there is a forum here for _discussing_ which
areas/camps are best, north central or south country, etc.  :-)

I can say this about Philmont: you'll be carrying tents, but unless it's
raining, don't pitch them.  It's that much more time for yourselves, and
when I went we found them quite unnecessary.  In fact, we could have left
them at home and had that much less weight to carry.  Also, convince the
guys in the crew to get their acts together, get up and hike EARLY in the
morning.  It's a whole lot better to lay around your camp for the night on
a lazy afternoon than it is to be hoofing it up the trail in the heat of
the day, wondering if your water will last until the next wet camp.

Beautiful camps in Philmont I can personally attest to: Pueblano Ruins,
Visto Grande have great views.  If you're near Pueblano take a side trip
up Wilson Mesa, the view of Baldy and sunset are great.  Beautiful meadows
at Miranda and Santa Claus.  If you're going through Santa Claus try and
go DOWN Santa Claus Canyon, not up it!

Of course, there are no UGLY views at Philmont.  ;-)  Go, and enjoy.  It
should be one of the greatest Scouting experiences of your, or your son's,


Subject: Re: Philmont gear & trails From: Ken Songer KenNQC@AOL.COM Date: 1997/03/08 Newsgroups: rec.backcountry JDMoncrief wrote: > > I'm headed out to Philmont this summer with my boy and his troop - and > need some advice on gear and trails. > > Any help would be appreciated. I would definitely take your tents! Weather at Philmont varies from Monsoon to very dry but most of the season you will be in for significant rain if not hail! They really do do a good job of sending out materials and your guide will help sort out your equipment when you get there. Be prepared for minimalist camping. Our guide talked us into only taking one flashlight per/tent, BAD ADVICE! Bring a light weight flashlight and keep it. One thing that We did that really helped was bring polyester t-shirts. We actually had two, one cotton and one polyester. We all wore the cotton "philmont" shirt we had silkscreened for us the first day out and it got soaked with sweat and rain. Four days later, these t-shirts had still not dried out. We had also brought along some light blue poly T's. These typically dried out in less than an hour after soaking and looked really sharp even after several days of wearing and rinsing. These tee's worked so well that a sister unit(another crew on the same itinerary) thought that we had brought five changes of tee's! :) I would second the advice of getting up early and on the trail. We were typically up at 5:30A and on the trail by 6A. A quick breakfast of Oatmeal with the balance of breakfast at our first break on the trail. This got us to our destination in time to pitch our tents before the afternoon shower and get first dibs on activities(to say nothing of the odd nap.) Have a great trip, it will be the experience of a lifetime with your son! -- Ken Songer North Quabbin Computer Philmont '62 '94
Subject: Re: Philmont gear & trails From: "Robert Haar" Date: 1997/03/08 Newsgroups: rec.backcountry

JDMoncrief < >wrote in article < >...
> I'm headed out to Philmont this summer with my boy and his troop - and
> need some advice on gear and trails.
> Any help would be appreciated.

I was the adult advisor for a  Philmont crew last year. Visit our web site at

for some for some comments on the trip.

A couple of quick recommendations:

You might also ask this question in the rec.scouting.usa newsgroup.

You will get an information package from Philmont with lists of personal and crew gear. Pay close attention to them. Don't give in to the temptation to add much to this. The only area you should think about elaborating is your first aid kit.

Minimize the number of "smellable" items you take. All these can attract bears and *MUST* be properly hung in the bear bags each night. Smellables include all food, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, first aid items, insect repellent, cameras + film, and all cooking gear.

You have the option of using Philmont's tents and cooking equipment, or bringing your own. Their gear is OK, but you might want to take your own tents if you have high quality, ultra- light backpacking gear. The pots & pans are large aluminum ones and do the job, but are hard to pack. Philmont provides PolarPure chemical water treatment. Be sure to use it. In any case, carefully check over any equipment you get from Philmont before you leave base camp.

As for trails, the vary from level dirt to steep rock. Most have a moderate pitch and are pretty well groomed. Even though the trails are not all that tough at most points, I recommend sturdy backpacking boots because of the weight you will be carrying and the problems if someone gets injured on the trail.

I don't remember exactly when we made our final trail selection, but it was at about this time of year. The approach we followed was to pick major items we wanted to do (Baldy and the Tooth of Time) and use this to narrow the selection. Then pick the activities that you want to take part in (rock climbing, western lore, black powder shooting, etc.) and prioritize the treks by how many of those activities where included. We were on trek 14a (if my memory doesn't play tricks on me). I strongly recommend finishing on the Tooth of Time Ridge if you haven't done it on previous Philmont treks.

You should be looking forward to a great time at Philmont. The staff do an excellent job for the most part and the experience is unmatched.

Feel free to contact me by email if you want to discuss any of this further.

"I want to go back to Philmont!"


Robert Haar email:


Subject: Re: Philmont gear & trails From: (Frank M. Guillot) Date: 1997/03/09 Newsgroups: rec.backcountry It had rained for 11 days straight before our trek started so don't bet on 10 days totally rain free. Absolutely get an early start. Avoid pancakes for breakfast or any other menu that requires extended cooking. Eat lunch for breakfast and dump the time-consuming breakfast fixin's in the nearest swap box. (great invention). On top of Baldy Mt for sun rise is a VERY special memory. Have fun. Be sure to be physically ready. Backpacking merit badge earned on hikes on the AT was very good training and team building. Hope to take the troop there next year.

Re: Philmont gear & trails

Tue, 11 Mar 1997 00:09:52 GMT, University of Michigan
From: Stratosphere
Newsgroups: rec.backcountry

I treked in Philmont about five years ago, the experience is certainly
part of what pushed me to become a Guide this summer in NY.  Philmont
is every bit as good as people brag!
  My two cents
 - sun glasses (don't forget them! -  and make sure yours won't break
before you hit the trial.)  
- tent - if you have one that's water proof and you would consider
light, bring it.  The tent they outfitted with was small for two
people, wet when it rained, and bulky to pack around.
- stoves - IMPORTANT - if you are bringing a whisperlight, make sure
to bring a fuel filter (it's a small tan spoungey thing that fits on
the fuel intake tube, inside the fuel bottle.)  The fuel Philmont
supplies comes from 55gal drums, and ours had a good deal of dirt in

This Web page is maintained by Selden Ball at Wilson Lab.
Please send any comments or corrections to