- Mar 18, 2015 at 8:03 pm #1326999
I've never been to Philmont. Have talked to several who have, read forums and trip reports, etc. etc. We are planning a 2017 Philmont trip. Starting to think/plan/gear update, etc. One of my things I'm trying to figure out is how to use a dinner re-hydration method that doesn't involve hauling an 8 Qt pot. I guess I'm set in my ways. I've been backpacking for 15+ years off and on and the individual backpacking meals that only require two cups of boiling water put in the pouch and my jetboil stove have worked great for years. I realize that using those meals probably isn't cost effective for that many folks going through Philmont each year. I also realize there's a huge difference in planning a few day trip where I'm responsible for myself for meals vs. 20,000+ people per year going to Philmont. So I'm trying to have an understanding with this. I've read one cooking method here that sounds like it will be much easier especially for cleanup. http://www.csm.ornl.gov/~geist/Philmont/Efficient-Philmont-Food-Prep.pdf. I'm sure most of you have seen/tried that with the "meal cozies". I wanted to see what Philmont officially thought of this and this is the response I received from the chief ranger:
I have seen this cooking system before and there are a few concerns related to it:
• The food packets are not made to handle the heat from the boiling water, causing harmful chemicals to be released into the food. Some dehydrated meal companies have packaging that can be used to re-hydrate in, however, Philmont does not buy this packaging due to its higher cost.
• By re-hydrating in individual containers, Scouts are not able to utilize the patrol cooking method.
• Since the food is being re-hydrated in separate containers, the chances of spilling food and creating a larger smellable area is increased, affecting not only your crew but any other crew who camps in that site after you.
Because of these concerns, this cooking method is not allowed at Philmont and the two pot cooking method (with one pot being at least 8 quarts in size and the second pot being at least 4 quarts in size) is required.
I've read several posts on here, and other sites, where crews have used this method tweaked to their own requirements. I like the idea of the only dish dirtied up during a trek is a spoon! :-) No one mentioned getting sick. It just seems like in this day of lightweight backpacking that there would be an easier way. How do crews manage to only bring two 4L pots when it says an 8 QT pot is required in the planning guide? Is this the case of "it depends on the ranger"? I've read several places that if you want to do a one off it depends on the ranger. I don't want to break any rules and I'm not a rock the boat kind of a person but if there seems to be a better way might as well see if it is permissible. If something is worded as "this cooking method is not allowed at Philmont" by the chief ranger is that an absolute no go? How do crews manage to use it successfully? I've seen other crew reports that the ranger shows them the Philmont way of cooking the first night and then they use the method mentioned above. Is it the case of do it the Philmont way until the ranger leaves or shows you the required Philmont way the first night and then you do as you please? I don't want to assume we can use one method, use it on shakedown trips and then not be able to use it at Philmont.
Sorry for the long post. Just a newbie to Philmont. :-) I might be stuck in my ways. I'm open to newer/better options but cooking in one pot seems to me like it's a step back.
Thanks!Mar 19, 2015 at 6:03 am #2184014
Much has been written about "alternative" cooking methods at Philmont.
The "official" procedures are now available on the Philmont site – http://philmontscoutranch.org/Camping.aspx
under "Practice Shakedown Hikes" on the right-hand side of the page. In the "ShakedownGuideP1" is a link to a YouTube video of the Philmont cooking method.
Yes, it's not what most of us would do when backpacking as a Troop or on our own. But, I've been on 7 treks and have found that it's not a big deal to do it the Philmont way. By the way, I coordinate Council treks so it's more like a pick-up crew with widely varying skills.
Consider also that many crews going to Philmont are not as experienced as you and your Troop. Philmont has a method that works. Not the lightest, not the "easiest", but it works.
Philmont has attempted to change the packaging of dinners so they cannot be rehydrated in the bag to reinforce the "Philmont way" of cooking.
Having said all that, I think it unlikely that your Ranger will let you leave base camp without the "required" pots.
You can practice using Philmont meals on your own shakedowns by ordering surplus meals at the end on the season every year. Check the "Resources" tab on the PSR site.
Do realize that, if this is a Troop or Crew trek, you will have to enter the lottery for slots later this year, usually in the September-November time-frame. Getting on a Council Contingent is usually much easier as the dates are reserved by the Council before the unit lottery is opened.Mar 19, 2015 at 7:20 am #2184028
Ed – Thanks a bunch for the info! Great to get information from someone who has a lot of experience. I guess the bottom line is keep repeating "go with the flow". :-) Now I just need to find someone who will make us a titanium 8 Qt cook pot!Mar 19, 2015 at 9:31 am #2184066
Well, they're not titanium, but I've got a couple of the 8 qt pots Philmont uses… Come in handy for our Phil-shakedowns ;)
Feel free to contact me with any questions. There are a lot of experienced people here.
One additional thing you may want to look at is the unofficial, but very helpful, "Philmont Advisors Guide". I've been ordering it for a number of years. It's always an interesting read and well worth the $10.Mar 19, 2015 at 1:15 pm #2184163
+1 on Ed’s post.
Now, an apology to the OP for rest of this response taking his thread somewhat off topic.
But, I want to comment the email response that the OP shared at the start of the thread. The 3 claims in that response are specious justifications that are inherently not true
It would be much better if the email's justification simply said the approach was based on the desire for continuing tradition. Scouts have foundation of tradition.
I'll try to be brief …
This hydrating in a bag claim is not directly related to hydrating in individual bowls, but since the OP did reference Al Geist's system which is a hydrating in a bag system …
The food packets are not made to handle the heat from the boiling water, causing harmful chemicals to be released into the food. Some dehydrated meal companies have packaging that can be used to re-hydrate in, however, Philmont does not buy this packaging due to its higher cost.
The claim that the bags are chemically unsafe is completely & brazenly false.
I called the 2014 Philmont suppliers
Mountain House customer service dept: 800-547-0244 (M-F, 8am-5pm PST).
AlpineAire (Katadyn)customer service dept: 800-755-6701 (M-F, 8am-5pm CST).
Call Results – I was informed by both companies that the LINER layer meets the same specs as their commercial products and is COMPLETELY CHEMICALLY SAFE for boiling water and for preserving the food within the packets. (It would be a liability issue for them otherwise,) I was informed by Mountain House that the Philmont bags they supply have NOT been tested for being utilized as rehydrating bags because those bags have specifically been made thinner (less layers) than their normal commercial offerings in order to reduce the purchase cost, and because the intended meal preparation method specified by the customer (=Philmont’s method of re-hydrating in a pot). That's the companies' recommendation of use: re-hydrate per the customer’s specified method (in a pot). Again, Mountain House does not recommend using their thinner bag to rehydrate because they have not been tested for that kind of use.
By re-hydrating in individual containers, Scouts are not able to utilize the patrol cooking method.
This claim is also false. Actually that approach aligns very nicely with the Scout patrol method. When properly using this approach, the crew works together as a team, and the duty roster’s cook pair does the …
1.) Kitchen Set-up,
2.) Sterilizing eating utensils
3.) Cooks (boils water & rehydrates)
4.) Oversees Portion Control
5.) Does clean up.
NOTE: From the duty roster, a new pair of Scouts get to learn KP duty each night.
The claim confuses Philmont's version of the patrol method with the Scout patrol method in general … it simply does not recognize the principles of the patrol method, only the Philmont derived techniques that fit into the patrol method.
Since the food is being re-hydrated in separate containers, the chances of spilling food and creating a larger smellable area is increased, affecting not only your crew but any other crew who camps in that site after you.
Another unfortunate flawed claim. Since Philmont’s version of the patrol method does indeed require ladling food (with a shallow spoon) from the big pot to individual bowls and that the meals are obviously eaten from those individual bowls, the risk of food spillage from food to bowl passes is not increased from directly rehydrating in individual bowls. Indeed, one could argue that the ladling of water to rehydrate in individual bowls is less of a food spillage risk. (It is water spillage from the ladle then).
Philmont's version also has the inherent safety hazard of picking up a heavy large pot filled with approximately 6 quarts of boiling water.and pouring it into the food pot. The magnitude of the scalding hazard (or worst) from spillage is far greater than the proper ladling of water into individual bowls.
NOTE: The efforts in reducing clean up logistics aligns nicely into Philmont's Wilderness Pledge commitment for Conservation and Proper Use of Water, it teaches water conservation methods that offer the participating patrol a living lab to minimize their environmental foot print both as individuals and as a team. Those conservation methods also include the mitigating the waste of gas, time, and fossil fuel emissions that comes from the unnecessary boiling of excess water used for clean-up.
All and all, it produces a patrol method that is much more sustainable than Philmont's version … but further explanation would make this long post even longer.
Again, it would be much better if the email's justification simply said the approach was based on the desire for continuing tradition. Scouts have foundation of tradition. (Instead of trying to rely on specious claims)
EDIT 3/22/15: While some would claim that a hydrating in a bag method produces "Carrying turkey bags or plastic bags full of food residue results in more weight for someone to carry as well for couple days.".
The more weight portion of this claim is an exaggeration at best. Any left over food regardless of prep method (Philmont's version, hydrating in a bag, hydrating in an individual bowl, etc) will have to be packed out to the current staff camp's trash bin or next staff camp (a day away at most), simply because it is taught that left over food should never be forced /mashed down the sump (The sump was not designed for for that kind of use, if used that way it increases the chance that bears will dig up the sump head). The sump is designed for underground dispersal of grey wash water (which is laden with food particulates small enough to easily fit pass the small mesh of the sump's screen). The sump frisbee (or a lighter weight equivalent) will help separate those small particulates from the rest of food residue too big to fit pass the small mesh of the sump's screen, consequently minimizing the potential of food residue being forced/mashed pass the mesh of the the sump's screen.
Note #1: Carry weight considerations should include the entire cook system.
Note #2: When trekking, it will be a rare occurrence that there will ever be left over food. (Trekking Scouts are ravenously hungry)
Note #3: In our experience the food generated waste from breakfast and lunch (including the many wrappers, etc.) will be more of a pungent smellable than the dinner related waste.Mar 19, 2015 at 2:01 pm #2184179
Jay LashBPL Member
I dont have near the number of treks some of the folks here have, but I guess I would start back at the beginning with a couple of questions –
1) Why not carry it – it is not that heavy and if you pack things inside it takes almost no space. It is certainly not much compared to the heavy bulky food.
2) Why not wash it – if you accept that you cannot eat from the bags and must wash dishes, then washing the pot does not really add any work. My suggestion on this – learned from our ranger on the last trip – bring a small scraper like the GSI Compact Scraper to get (and eat) all of the leftovers from the pot before washing it.
3) Should you be the one to worry about it? What I mean is – cooking equipment is crew gear so the crew should carry it. You are an advisor, not a member of the crew. And more importantly, it should be their decision. Tell them what the planning guide says about cooking style, tell (show) them the size and weight of the 8qt pot. Practice a couple different methods. And let them decide if they want to find an acceptable alternative.
What I have found is that the adults often try to streamline things and reduce weight/bulk but the Scouts dont usually care that much. Heck, I had one Scout on my last trek insist on taking a goofy hammer/pliers/shovel/hatchet multitool that weighed about 2 pounds. Despite every attempt to convince him there was absolutely no need for him to dig, chop or hammer anything he still wanted to carry it.
I would +1 the suggestion to pick up the Baltimore Area Council's Philmont Advisor Guide. Best $10 I spent on the trek.
Crew 705-L (2016)Mar 19, 2015 at 3:06 pm #2184209
Rick AdamsBPL Member
You're time and energy will be better spent making sure your crew is boy led and using the Philmont way NOW.
I went through the same gyrations for our 2015 trek that you are now. Find the lightest way to accomplish the "Philmont" way and deal with what you can't change with grace. If you can't accept the many restrictions you might reconsider going. We will have 40-50lbs of crew gear between 11 people, or 4-5lb per. My trail weight with a 5.5lb pack, 3lbs water, 5lbs crew gear, 7lbs food and personal gear is targeted at less than 37lbs including a chair, a kindle and a cell phone.
Manage everything you can and accept what you can't change. Personal gear and clothing will make a huge difference.Mar 19, 2015 at 5:16 pm #2184247
Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
On the issue of pots. Our crew of 12 took 3 Open Country four liter pots, not the large heavy aluminum 12 liter pot. We only needed 2 pots.
While certain practices like freezer bag cooking are now banned because they created excess waste and trash, I think the rangers have the discretion to listen to a crew's preference for other types of cooking practices and allow them if the crew can demonstrate them effectively.
There are downsides to the Philmont way. The cooks burn the food to the bottom of the pot. The clean up crew is at the sump in the dark scrub, scrub scrubbing. Everyone wants to hang the food and go to bed….Mar 20, 2015 at 5:00 am #2184369
Observations from the past (a bit of hearsay too :D) )
Use Phil bear ropes. Most attempts to use lighter-weight ropes, even if specs say they're stronger, will be turned down.
We've taken our own bear bags, but also took along a few Phil-bags. Strength of the bags is a concern.
Cooking methods are usually a point of contention. Your Ranger must teach the Phil-way. Whether you change after your Ranger leaves is up to you. You'll still have the required pots, etc.
Dining flies AKA tarps are negotiable. Just make sure yours is big enough. Our entire crew spent several hours under a Phil-tarp during a storm one day.
The new (since 2013) Phil-tents are nice. Saves having to bring your own. But a familiar tent can be nice.
Be nice to your Ranger. She/he HAS to present the Phil-way. If you must take issue with something presented, do it away from the group. Over 7 treks we've had all kinds of Rangers, newbies that had to read the book as we went to experienced hands that could evaluate and encourage alternatives. Most do understand the Phil-way is not the way we do xxx when on a Troop or personal backpack trip.
Mostly go with the flow ;)Mar 20, 2015 at 6:13 am #2184385
Thanks everyone for the comments and advice! Lots to think about. Good thing is we have a lot of time to plan for our trek. Sounds like just going with the flow for the cooking might be the way to go. I will find some pots for our shake down trips when it gets to that point.
Ed – I tried sending you a PM but BPL site says you don't have an e-mail setup for that or something to that affect. I'd like to be able to correspond with you for other thoughts questions on Philmont if you don't mind. If you don't want to setup BPL with whatever it needs feel free to e-mail me – jbarnes215 at charter.net
Jamie.Mar 20, 2015 at 9:46 am #2184446
+1 on Ed's comment to "be nice to your Ranger" …
File this under promoting Ranger flexibility.
The primary job objective of a Ranger is to ensure that crews have safe trek and are able to complete their trek. Rangers assigned to our crews have shared stories of the many surprisingly inexperienced crews that go to Philmont. Some of their stories makes me wonder if those crews did any training at all. Philmont Rangers have to work with that challenge and it naturally shapes how they approach their jobs.
Since Philmont techniques have successfully worked with such crews, those techniques have historical creditability.
Creditability: A well trained crew in the skills of backpacking has creditability … they will walk the talk. A crew well trained in Philmont specific skills has better creditability. The opportunities in basecamp to start to establish creditability with your Ranger will be the time he or she spends with the crew youth while the crew leader & lead advisor are in Logistics. Other times in basecamp will be a fast & efficient transition into the basecamp tents, it will be the Ranger seeing & experiencing the meal time crew dynamics & conversations that happen during lunch & dinner … and of course with the shakedown.
Treat Rangers with respect, never undermine their authority in front on the crew, in anyway. Only discreetly and in private (framing it as what it is – being out the desire to be respectful, honest and in the spirit of transparency) discuss how the crew prepared and what their approach evolved to. Also discreetly point out that you want your conversation to be private and not in front of the crew to ensure that his or her authority was not undercut in anyway … just so they know.
Do not be tempted to go down the path of debating techniques, approach it as a partnership for achieving an enjoyable, comfortable, and safe trek.
And in finally keeping with this subject of this thread, let your Ranger know that you understand, acknowledge and respect that as a part of his or her job responsibilities, they are required to demo for the crew the Philmont cooking method
One must first lay down this diplomacy foundation first, to later allow for flexibility to occur.
Oh by the way, Philmont equipment is very "heavy duty" as it's designed to take abuse from scores of inexperienced Scouts. (Even newer design equipment is heavy such as their two person Thunder Ridge tent which has a pack weight of 6 lbs, 2 oz … much more than the Hubba Hubba it was originally based from).
Take your own lighter weight dining fly and tents.Mar 21, 2015 at 10:49 am #2184760
M BBPL Member
It depends on the size of your crew. We used a 6 qt and a 4 qt. The 6 qt was the bottom from a popcorn popper, it weighed 10 oz. It was plenty big, and cost $3 at goodwill. It also fit inside even my small pack. We had 9 with ranger to cook for.
Cooking the Philmont way is not a big deal. You cant burn food, you are just soaking it. Cleanup isnt a big deal. The big pot stays hotter and rehydrates better than smaller, and especially better than plastic bags.
Some eat more than others as well, which is facilitated by the single large pot. Regardless of how you do it, NEVER cook more food than you think you can eat.
Carrying turkey bags or plastic bags full of food residue results in more weight for someone to carry as well for couple days.
The several things we didnt bring, were the frisbee, oops rope, oops bearbag. Ranger was kind of pissed, because he made us bring them. They got "accidentally" left behind. IMO, no oops rope is needed, it is not hard to raise and lower the bearbags. In fact, it is easier for two strong people to do it, and everyone else stay back. More is not better here. A larger crew, would have more difficulty as theirs would be heavier. The real difficulty, is the people tripping over each other trying to help.
As far as the frisbee, the sumps have fine screens on them. Frisbee is stupid and completely unnecessary.Mar 23, 2015 at 8:14 am #2185184
+1 on Tony's expansion…
It's not a debate, it's about having a successful trek, AKA FUN!
In sitting around the campfire (ok, not campfire but a reasonable alternative) and just shooting bull with the Ranger, it's interesting to hear the differences between crews the Ranger has had up to that point in the summer. There are always the "know it all" advisors that turn everything into a debate. But wait, the advisors are supposed to be "on vacation" with the crew leader (YOUTH) in charge.
That said, the better prepared your crew is, the less time the Ranger will need to make sure you're up to the trek.Mar 25, 2015 at 10:48 am #2185897
Brian CrainBPL Member
@brcrainLocale: So Cal
I think most of the cooking issue has been covered but I'd recommend actually purchasing a breakfast, lunch, and dinner (a two person of each) from the Philmont extra meal sales to use simply as a reference when preparing – we all have our own slimmed down version of meal planning and whatnot on our own hikes but actually having 1 days worth of food for two people of what they will be giving you is a good reality check for those that haven't been yet… everyone can get their head around the fact that, depending upon the itinerary and resupply points, your crew may be lugging 6 days worth of that mass around at one point… the 8 qt pot is dwarfed by that mass. There is very little that can be field stripped – a few card board containers… other than that it is just a plain massive amount of food and weight to deal with. On the bright side, if anyone ever goes hungry at Philmont it was their own fault, lol.Mar 26, 2015 at 4:54 am #2186194
I've found that you can closely approximate breakfast and lunch from your local grocery store. Menus from 2014 are available on the PSR site on the "Camping" tab. I would recommend getting a few dinners, though you'll have to wait for the end of this season to get any surplus meals. It appears there are none left from 2014. The order form is under the "Resources" tab on the PSR site.
As for carrying 6 days of food, that rarely, if ever, happens any more. If you look at recent treks books, the most common is 3 or 4 days. That's not saying it's a small amount. Just a bit daunting when seen all at once…Mar 26, 2015 at 6:25 am #2186212
Michael GunderloyBPL Member
"It appears there are none left from 2014."
That's what the web site implies, but I just swapped email with them on Tuesday and as of then everything on the order form was still available.Mar 28, 2015 at 8:21 am #2186952
I was the last crew in 2012 that was allowed to use freezer bags. It worked so well that they banned it as soon as we got off the trail ;-(
I have a crew going this summer. Our plan is to take an 8qt pot to rehydrate in, but use two MSR Reactor stoves with 1.5L pots to boil the water. I've tried both the 2.5L pot and the 1.5L pot. The 2.5L pot takes longer to boil 2L of water than if you boil 1L of water two times in the 1.5L pot.
The thing that seems to be non-negotiable is using freezer bags or turkey bags. You can use whatever stoves you want, and don't have to have a 4qt pot to boil the water in. In the Tooth of Time Trading post they sell every manner of stove you can imagine, and half of them won't hold a 4qt pot.
The thing to remember is you don't have to eat the rehydrated "DINNER" meal in the evening. A common best practice is to eat the "Dinner" while you're in a camp with water. If you are going to a dry camp, eat the "DINNER" before departing your current camp where water is available. That way you are not carrying water that's only use is cooking and cleaning. I only like to carry drinking water.
As others have mentioned, let your biggest strongest kid carry the 8qt pot. The kids won't care… only you know there's a lighter/better way.Mar 28, 2015 at 9:36 am #2186965
Mark – interesting thought on using smaller pots to boil water and the 8 qt pot to rehydrate the food. What's the process? According to their cooking method video they want you to boil 6 qts of water.That's a little over 5.5 liters of water. If you are using two stoves to boil 1L each do you just pour the water into the 8 qt pot as it boils? Have you tried this out yet on a shakedown? Just curious on the process. Sounds like an interesting alternative to using a larger pot on a backpacking stove.Mar 29, 2015 at 4:05 pm #2187262
Normally on the dehydrated meals it requires 3/4 to a cup of water per person. If you have a 12 person crew you're looking at 12 cups which is approx 3L. In my experience, if you put in the full amount listed the meal is a bit soupy. My thoughts are if you put in the 2L of water from both stoves, then 3 minutes later when the next liter has boiled you can add water as needed to get the right consistency.
I can verify if this works after our shakedown hike in a few weeks. If I feel like we need more than 2L initially then we have a 3rd stove/pot we can take. 6L is WAY TOO MUCH for rehydrating. I've got to think some of that 6L is for cleaning.
For the large pot to rehydrate in, we are taking our own Open Country 10qt Kettle which is lighter weight than the pots Philmont has. It will be wrapped in a home made reflectix cozy. It is only $22. My thoughts are if we "accidentally" forget this pot at the first camp we're in after our Ranger leaves on Day 3… then we are prepared to rehydrate individual meals in the zip lock freezer bags we always carry "just in case."Apr 1, 2015 at 11:14 am #2188094
Crew Advisor for 729-J-01 this summer. We did a 18 mile overnight hike with portions of both of our crews over the last weekend and had 2014 Meal #1 Sat night using Philmont methods. We had 13 hikers and used 7 MH Beef Stroganoff bags, hydrated in an 8qt pot on a MSR Windpro stove. The scouts found that turning the Windpro way down and some stirring they were able completely hydrate the food and didn't burn anything on the bottom of the pot. We carried a 4 qt as our second pot with a second Windpro for clean up water. We didn't bring pot coozies but will probably make some to help hold in heat.
We did 12.6 miles to our camp and our boys were really hungry at dinner time and we didn't have any leftovers in the big pot. The recommendation for the GSI scraper is correct and we gave one to our human sump (He earned trail name of Disposal) and he scraped and licked the pot completely clean. It took just a little water (less than a cup), a couple of drops of soap and a little wiping to get the pot clean.
We've put together sets of crew gear for our troop and Philmont use and the only thing that we will take of the Philmont issued gear is the bear bags and ropes. My particular crew will only have 9 hikers so we are going to take an additional 2 qt Al pot and see if we can forgo the big pot.
The cooking and bear bagging methods always seem to generate lots of comments as to what will and will not be allowed. Based on comments on this and other forums, and speaking with other troops in our district, we have decided to go with the flow and do our best to use the gear and techniques that Philmont wants us to use. Our current crew gear weight stands at about 23-24lbs. We had discussed with our boys that they should be ready to carry up to 3lbs of crew gear in addition to their water and food and they accepted that number.Apr 7, 2015 at 4:26 pm #2189982
Dan LeeBPL Member
All of this is a very good dialogue to get you and your crew ready. As I told our crew, they wouldn't be the most or the least prepared/organized so don't stress and have fun.
One of the little things that I think really saved us time and effort was simply giving each member a couple of two gallon ziplocs labeled with their name. These were used for their food and "smellables." In the morning, each crew member could quickly find their stuff from the bear bags and load up. Take some extras as the "zippers" can blow out…
We used a 6 qt and a 4 qt pot during our trek. Only one meal was close to overflowing the larger, fwiw. Better to use less water than prescribed and add rather than having slop…
+10 on the Baltimore Area Council Guide. Probably the best $10 you'll spend toward PSR!
If you search this site for "lessons learned," you'll get even more ideas to consider. Have fun and remember, you're on vacation! IWTGBTP…
-DanApr 10, 2015 at 8:14 am #2190833
After careful consideration I am scrapping my plans to use two Reactor stoves to rehydrate in a separate pot. I have 8 scouts and 4 adults in my crew. My 4th "adult" is an 18-year-old Rayado Man who spent 20 days on the trail at Philmont last summer. He and I had a long discussion last night and we mutually agreed to cook/eat/clean using the Philmont Method.
In 2012 I was committed to going lightweight and we took our own Reactor stoves and rehydrated in freezer bags. I felt like I had to bully my ranger a little bit to allow us to do this. I could tell he felt like we weren't letting him do his job. My 18-year-old Rayado Man, who used the freezer bag method in 2012 and the "Philmont Method" last summer, said the guys in his Rayado crew didn't mind cooking and cleaning that way.
IF we had more dry camps on our itinerary, I would probably feel differently. The fact that we have water in most of our camps allows me to not have too much heart burn over this. I've decided I'm going on vacation and I'm not going to stress my Ranger and me both out over fighting about methods.May 7, 2015 at 2:01 pm #2197643
John MyersBPL Member
@dallasLocale: North Texas
As Jay said: "3) Should you be the one to worry about it? What I mean is – cooking equipment is crew gear so the crew should carry it. You are an advisor, not a member of the crew. And more importantly, it should be their decision. Tell them what the planning guide says about cooking style, tell (show) them the size and weight of the 8qt pot. Practice a couple different methods. And let them decide if they want to find an acceptable alternative.
What I have found is that the adults often try to streamline things and reduce weight/bulk but the Scouts dont usually care that much."
What Jay said!
I've been an advisor 3 times and it's sometimes tempting to want to do it my (read 'better') way, but the boys don't care.
Be it Philmont ropes, pots, procedures, whatever. Let the crew decide then just relax and enjoy your vacation!May 7, 2015 at 4:30 pm #2197700
I fully agree with the intent of this sub-thread … the following clarification may be uneccessary but just in case, I feel there is a need to make it about the efforts to try and emphasize the goal of Scout activities being young led, and staying out of the way. This clarification is more for any newer Adult Scouters.
Here is a summary of what points I think need clarification:
You are an advisor, not a member of the crew … and being on vacation
First some semantics, from Philmont reference, "Philmont requires a crew of 7 (minimum) to 12 (maximum) members, including all youth and adult participants and adult advisers" .
Adults are counted as a part of the crew in terms of size, planning logistics, and cost. The minimum two deep requirement is for Adults. As a responsible member of the crew you don't get to disengage. Which brings us to ….
Second, is the on-going responsibilities of an Adult Scout Advisor … Advisors have the following Priorities which can not be ignored during any Scouting activity:
1.) Safety (YPT – Youth Protection Training – ensuring youth's physical & mental well being, … and during activity participation … and making it safe to fail in an activity … See #2 & #3)
2.) Education (EDGE – Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable – for both skills, and laying the foundation that informed decisions are informed)
3.) Building Character (Living the Scout Oath, Law and having opportunities for the youth to develop & practice leadership … ROPE—Reach out, Organize, Practice, Experience).
Because there are youth within program that initially don't care about things such as Trek Safely. Climb On Safely, or even Safe Swim Defense, Safety Afloat … there are Adult Advisors to help with that situation.
When the youth are about to make a less than wise decision (Safety, LNT, etc) which for practical purposes can not be undone, that is time for the Adult Advisor to drop a hint to the Crew Leader, and let him guide his guys to reconsider. (Here are two personal examples from Philmont that were Safety related: 1.) Directly drinking from a creek down stream from cattle, and 2.) Wanting to linger longer on top of the Tooth of Time when a thunderstorm was approaching.)
So, have fun, relax, but realize you're still "on the clock"
EDIT: Going lightweight is not an end to itself, but is just a means to an end … and that "end" is to be more comfortable on the trail, have more fun and to allow better access to the outdoor experience for those smaller youth and those who are not the high school athlete type…. Keeping the end in mind is important when focusing too much on a means.May 19, 2015 at 10:45 am #2200738
Rich BowmanBPL Member
The standard 8 qt pot is a bit larger than you need, but it does allow you to boil all the water – cooking and washing – in one pot all at once even for a crew of 12. Also makes sterilzing things easier. Using smaller 4 or 6 qt pots will work with a smaller crew or if you heat the cook water separately from the wash water.
Most of the time all you need is one pot for the food, but some meals are more appetizing if prepared in two separate pots. You will need two pots to wash/rinse dishes the Phil-way.
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