How Important is getting in shape?: When you see advisors looking like they are not having a good day, well, they are not. Just be pleasant and be glad you exercised.

Weight Requirements

Philmont sent overweight advisors home early in 1997. In 1998, Philmont sent the weight chart to all crews in September and modified the physical form to make your doctor look up the maximum weight allowed on the trail and had the doctor write it next to your actual weight. Many advisors were forced to loose weight to get their doctor to approve their physical. The weight chart is real, if you have any questions, call Philmont.


Many diets work. The problem is keeping the weight off. Regardless of whatever diet you choose, you still have to EAT LESS.

A diet plan:


In order to maintain your current body weight, multiply your current weight by 10. Then multiply that amount by 1.2 for a sedentary life style.

    200 pound advisor
x   10
x  1.2 metabolic rate
2400 total calories required to maintain 200 pounds

If you want to loose about a pound a week, eliminate 500 calories a day from your diet (2400 - 500 = 1900).



Philmont Rangers have observed that:

50% of the advisors going to Philmont do not exercise at all (they are the ones not having good days).

30% of the advisors going to Philmont do not exercise properly.

just 20% of the advisors going to Philmont are in shape.

This past year, crews were less tolerant of out of shape hikers (adults and scouts) and some crews actually ostracized them. Not exactly "friendly" BUT hikers that think that Philmont is just another scout summer camp are in for a rude awakening.

Three types of Exercises:

1. Foot Exercises - "to prevent the agony of de feet":

a. Three months before going to Philmont, walk in your boots once a week for a mile or two.

b. One week before going to Philmont, walk in your boots everyday for a mile or two.

c. The 50 Mile Rule: Hike at least 50 miles in your boots before going to Philmont.

2. Heart Exercises for Couch Potatoes:

a. Learn to take your pulse while exercising!!! Take it from either your temple or your carthoid artery.

b. During November and December walk 20-30 minutes a day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The pace should be 120 steps per minute.

c. Beginning in January, elevate your heart rate (by walking, jogging or exercise machine) to the 70% level of your maximum heart rate. The American Heart Association recommends exercising your heart 3-4 times a week for 20-30 minutes at your TARGET HEART ZONE. By taking 220 and deducting your age yields your MAXIMUM HEART RATE. Never exceed your MAXIMUM heart rate, EVER. Your TARGET HEART ZONE is between 70% and 85% of your MAXIMUM HEART RATE.

Example: 40 year old advisor

126 Lower Level of TARGET HEART ZONE

153 Upper Level of TARGET HEART ZONE

d.Beginning in February, elevate your heart rate to 75% of your maximum heart rate. In March elevate your heart rate to 80% and in April 85%. During May and June, exercise four to five days a week at the 85% level. If you are having difficulty with maintaining your target heart rate level, consult your doctor and of course, if you ever feel pain during your exercise, STOP IMMEDIATELY.

3. Strength Training on Tuesday and Thursday's:

a. Stretch your hamstrings by keeping your knees locked and gradually bend over trying to touch your toes. Let the weight of your upper body slowly stretch your hamstrings until you touch your toes. Count slowly for 30 seconds and then raise up about 3 inches counting for 5 seconds continuing to raise up 3 inches until you are upright.

b. Stretch your achilles tendon for 30 seconds, one leg at a time. The achilles tendon is just above the heel that connects to the calf muscle. Brace your upper body against a wall and extend your leg keeping one foot completely flat on the ground. Gradually put more and more pressure on your tendon. Switch feet to stretch the other tendon. This exercise will prevent those big blisters on your heels because it will enable your ankle to bend more.

c. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

d. squats - low weights up to 60 pounds. Begin with no weights. 3 sets of 10.

e. calf raises - after the squats, raise your toes. 3 sets of 10.

f. Military Presses - 3 sets of 10 begin with just the bar bell and then work up the weight.

g. push ups (start off doing 3 and let your chest muscles get use to the exercise).

h. leg lifts

i. sit ups (crunches)

Helpful Hints:

1. Exercise in the Morning. If you exercise in the evening, schedule an appointment to exercise on your daily calendar because it is easier to find something else to do instead of exercising.

2. Keep an exercise log and bring it to Philmont with you. If there is any question regarding the Philmont Medical Staff allowing an advisor on the trail, the exercise log is very valuable information to be able to present.

W. C. Feurtado
Philmont Training Coordinator,
Baltimore Area Council

See also: