Philmont 2000: What They Don't Tell You


Lori Wist, SM for BSA Troop 43 in Lake Stevens, WA, and Scott Suchan, SM for BSA Troop 18 in Everett, WA, formed one Philmont contingent troop between the two units: Expeditions 707-A1 and -A2. Here is some of their hard won advice.

  1. If you plan to visit the Seaton Memorial Library, the Philmont Museum, the Kit Carson Museum, or Villa Philmonte, you will probably need an extra day. You will not have time on Day1, or Day 12 (unless you drive your own cars).
  2. Philmont provides all the TP you want, Campsuds, pot scrubbers, salt and pepper, and trash bags for your trek.
  3. There isn't "lots" of crew storage space. If you call Philmont, they may tell you there is, but there really isn't. If you do a tour before arriving at Philmont, try to send your tour clothes, luggage, coolers, souveniers, etc. home before arriving at Philmont. (Unless you come by car. In that case you can store your gear there.)
  4. Amtrak is NEVER on time. We departed Raton 4-1/2 hours later than scheduled. We arrived home 12 hours later than scheduled.
  5. There is a "Scouting Museum" within walking distance of the Amtrak Station in Raton.
  6. The bus that Philmont provides is not free. They don't list their prices in the guidebook they send you. The price is between $17 and $20 per person round trip to the train station. (We hadn't budgeted for that, so it came as a surprise.)
  7. Fuel at Philmont's Fuel Store costs about $1.00 per MSR bottle.
  8. There is a scale in the health lodge where you can weigh yourself before and after your trek. Almost everyone loses weight. (The average seems to be about 10 pounds.)
  9. The trading post carries just about anything you may have forgotten, from dental floss, razors, Advil, a sewing kit, knives, etc.
  10. Don't use the overall map they send you in the mail on your trek. Purchase the sectionals that you'll need for about $5 each. They are much more accurate. (They have 4 available- the Vidal, Northern Camp, Central Camp, and Southern Camp.
  11. The crew leader and advisors will have very little free time on Day 1. Just because you show up at 8:00am on Day 1, don't think you'll have time to kill. You won't.
  12. Try to get your group photo done before 11:30. (It saves time to arrive in full uniform.) If you don't get it on the morning of Day 1, you may have to delay loading your crew lockers until the next morning because you may have to put your uniforms on for pictures (on Day 2.) If you have an early bus out to your trek starting point, that will really hurt you time-wise.
  13. The Philmont guidebook tells you to carry 2 quarts of water each. I don't think that's enough. Each person should carry a minimum of 3 quarts.
  14. Fill your water bottles at EVERY opportunity. Never start a hike with even one dry bottle.
  15. Take your first aid kit AND either a couple bottles of Polar Pure or a couple of water filters with you on EVERY side hike.
  16. Take the ropes and dining fly they try and issue you at Philmont. You WILL need them.

See also:

The content of this Web page was provided by Lori Wist, SM for BSA Troop 43 in Lake Stevens, WA

This Web page is maintained by Selden Ball at Wilson Lab.
Please send any comments or corrections to seb@lns62.lns.cornell.edu