Philmont Leader Training
Cooper Wright, (703) 971-0044
a. You know the basics of compass use
b. You have at least a rudimentary understanding of maps.
2. Review Colors and Map Symbols (pp. 26-27, Fieldbook)
(1) Green-Major vegetation (forest, brush, orchard)
(2) Blue-Water (lake, reservoir, stream, spring, marsh, water tank, intermittent water sources)
(3) Red-Highways or boundaries
(4) Black-Manmade objects and names (buildings, ruins, secondary roads bridges, jeep trails, trails, railroads, wells, staffed and trail camps, mines)
(5) White-Absence of major vegetation
(6) Brown-Contours and elevation data
b. Map Symbols
(1) Roads, trails and related symbols
(2) Water related symbols
(3) Elevation and contour related symbols
(4) Buildings and other man-made symbols
(5) Vegetation related symbols
c. During inprocessing and as a part of Ranger Training, your Ranger will test your crew's knowledge of map colors and symbols with a set of flash cards. Suggest making your own flash cards and work with your crew ahead of time on map symbols.
3. Declination (pp. 29-30, Fieldbook)
a. Declination defined-Difference between geographic and magnetic north
b. Declination diagrams on maps-Bottom margin (1994 - 10 1/2 degrees east of true north)
c. How to draw magnetic north lines on the map-use compass and grid north lines; forget true north and grid north.
d. Another skill your Ranger will test during inprocessing is the crew's ability to orient a map. If you have drawn in the magnetic north lines, simply turn the compass housing until the housing arrow lines up with the direction of travel arrow (compass bearing of 0 degrees). Next place the long edge of the compass baseplate on a magnetic north-south line. Finally, turn the compass and map as a unit until the compass arrow line up with the compass housing arrow.
4. Contours (pp. 24-25, Fieldbook)
a. Contours defined-Shows terrain features and elevation
b. Index and intermediate contours-Index is darker and has elevation marked on line
c. Contour interval-80 feet (east coast terrain usually 20 ft.)
d. Distances between contour lines on the map-Close=steep; Far apart=flatter terrain
5. Route Planning
a. Choosing a route, there may be more than one way to get to a destination
b. Time estimating is an important skill. Hiking - 3 mi/hr + 1 hr for each 1000' elevation change; backpacking - 2 mi/hr + 1 hr for each 1000' elevation change; (example: How long should it take to hike the three miles from Baldy Camp (10,000’) to the top of Baldy Mountain (12,441’)? One hour for distance plus 2 1/2 hours for elevation = 3 1/2 hours.
c. Profiling helps visualize route by graphing elevation over distance, much like your PEAKS book. Break trail into representative straight line sections. Using graph paper, make a tick mark on the distance (horizontal axis) every time you cross a index contour, recording the elevation. Connect the dots.
d. Crew navigator-Changes daily; profiles the route and checks trail out of camp the day before, briefs the crew on the route, responsible for getting the crew to the next camp, requirement for Backpacking Merit Badge.
6. Route Visualization
a. Water locations-Where are they?
b. Trail intersections-Which way do we turn?
c. Possible locations for meals-Good view? Water?
d. Camping locations-Is water available?
e. Significant times-How long will it take to complete the hike? When must we arrive at new campsite?
f. Landmarks-Are they there when they're supposed to be?
a. Plan a route
b. Profile the route
c. Brief the route
Pocket Navigators, Backpacker magazine, Sept 85
The Tools, the Rules, and the Hunch, Backpacker magazine, Aug 92
Fieldbook, Boy Scouts of America, Third Edition, 1984, Chapter 3, pp. 21-36
Questions To Ask Your Crew Using The Philmont Map
1. Is it harder to hike to the top of Baldy from Cooper Park or from Baldy town?
2. Is it harder to hike to the top of Black Mountain from Black Mountain Camp or from Shaefer’s Pass?
3. What is the elevation of Comanche Peak Camp?
4. How many miles is it from Shaefer’s Peak to the Tooth of Time?
5. How long would it take to day hike from Fish Camp to Lookout Peak?
6. Are you hiking uphill or downhill when traveling from Phillips Junction to Beaubien?
7. Is there a hiking trail that will enable the crew to hike to the top of Bear Mountain?
8. On a scale of 1 to 10, how difficult is the hike from Agua Fria to Fish Camp?
9. If you were hiking from Cimmaron River camp to Santa Claus camp, where is the next water location?
10. How many miles is it from Tooth Ridge camp to Base Camp?
"The Philmont Advisor's Guide" is available for a nominal fee from Cooper Wright, Assistant Scout Master of the Venture Crew of Troop 1519 (Alexandria, VA).
For more information, please contact him directly at <CoopWright@aol.com>