- Jan 23, 2019 at 5:54 pm #3574666
We have some outside prospects. Just need commitments.Jan 23, 2019 at 8:26 pm #3574703
Also check with your local Council. If they send a contingent they may have some on their waiting list that otherwise won’t go.Jan 24, 2019 at 6:03 pm #3574822James ABPL Member
I appreciate any help you can give us. We have a crew of 11, with eight Scouts and three advisors (and might add a fourth). All are first-timers. Couple questions for you:
Tents: We want to use four PhilTents for the Scouts and then three UL tents for the advisors, but it sounds like from earlier comments they may not let us do that. Any thoughts there? I don’t want to have issues with this when we get there. If we were forced to put two advisors in another PhilTent, we wouldn’t have the right groundcloth for it.
Tent stakes: What do you recommend? I have read 7-inch gutter nails or MSR Ground Hog stakes. WIth the Ground Hogs, I’m not sure if people are using the full size or the minis. Seems like the full size might be too big for the grommets on the PhilTents. I figured we’d get 10 stakes per tent (in case a couple get lost) and 10 for the dining fly. Sound about right?
Groundcloths: Gossamer Gear Polycryo, Tyvek house wrap, or something else? The Polycryo is $9 for a large and then you have to cut it down to size. It’s also pre-folded nice and small. That seems easiest. I have heard Tyvek needs to be run through the washing machine to loosen it up.
Water Purification: How long do you leave the Micropur tabs in the water? Our council contingent coordinator says 30 minutes, but the package says 4 hours to kill Crypto. Is that not an issue at Philmont? Should we also bring a filter? I have a Sawyer Squeeze I use with small groups. We could get a couple more, or the Platypus 4-liter gravity system.
Water: How much water should we each carry? I was assuming 3 one-liter Smart Water bottles per person, with a two liter collapsible bottle, like the Evernew hydration pack. We’ll likely have a Southern route with at least one dry camp and hiking over the Tooth the last day. Trek begins 626.
Fuel: We have two Optimus Vega stoves. Any idea how much fuel we should plan on bringing?
Dining fly: Does Philmont supply the rope for putting up the dining fly? If not, how much do we need?
Thanks, really appreciate the help! Have a great time at Philmont this summer!
JimJan 24, 2019 at 8:05 pm #3574833
Will you have a van parked at Philmont or are you using a bus service? If you have a van, bring your UL adult tents and if you have to leave 2 in the van, you can do that.
I plan on bringing a few items that will be last minute decisions depending on weather. Some stuff will be left in the van.Jan 24, 2019 at 9:30 pm #3574846
Philmont provides each crew a locker to store their non-trail gear while on the trail. The lockers have about 16” x 16” door and about 3’ plus deep, usually enough for 12 soft side duffle bags. They issue you a key for each but you should use a pad lock too.Jan 24, 2019 at 10:08 pm #3574860Matt DrewryBPL Member
I do have last years ranger handbook. I will compare with that link, I don’t think they update it that often (barring additional stuff they staple in the back sometimes) but I bet there’s some change over a decade I can inform on.
Probably not a make or break issue, but squeezing 7 tents will be difficult at some campsites. Maybe adults in a Philtent or wrangling up a 4P to squeeze scouts or all the adults in would help significantly.
Groundsheets: Polycro is more than enough. I’m more of a crumpler than a folder in terms of storage, it’s just simpler. Also you don’t need you buy it from GG it’s sold as 3m window film at your local hardware store.
Stakes: I’m mini groundhog all the way. I’d probably do 4 mini groundhogs, 4 thin nails for secondary tieouts The Philtents are freestanding anyway. I’d carry 8 mini groundhogs for the fly because though you might not ever need it on your trek, when you do you will REALLY need them and want them to hold. They can also function as your extras as it’s unlikely you’ll have both tents and dining fly up and battened down at the same time.
Water purification: you rarely, rarely, ever treat your own water at Philmont. I think I can count on one hand the times I have. Most times you will hike from one staffed camp with purified water to another and fill there. I’d say stick with Micropur and when you do have to use it, give it an 40 minutes (giardia is your main concern there.) With the infrequency of use, you could say heck all and carry only the filter instead of any micropur, but I think the micropur is simpler and rides in everyone’s individual pack better in case of an emergency/separation.
Stoves: I actually side with Philmont on stoves. I think despite the heavy cantankerous nature of the Whisperlite, nothing does better when you’re cooking for 12 with an 8qt pot. Even the whisperlite’s pot supports are a little weak for that size, much less most canister stoves. I think that the vega being remote might help, but I would keep an open mind and maybe try a test or two before heading out. Nothing ruins a trek like boiling water to a scouts foot, which I witnessed a rescue for first hand at NT. Also you need a ton of BTU’s to bring a large pot like that to boil which eats fuel very quickly. The vega might make sense for advisor coffee in the morning and whatnot, but the whisperlite still has its place.
You can resupply on canisters at most of the commissaries to my understanding. Either though their little “trading post” or bringing some to be resupplied with there.
Philmont supplies the dining fly cordage.
Total agreement with the system for water you have laid out. I’d probably swap a smart water for a widemouth 1L gatorade for smellable drinks, but the platypus or evernew bladder makes is ideal and way lighter than the MSR Dromedaries I’ve used in the past.Jan 25, 2019 at 1:52 pm #3574970Jay LBPL Member
For our trek in 2012 we bought a box of the gutter nails – 250 nails without the ferrules. This was only a bit more expensive than buying them 10 at a time at the big box hardware store. Some have found their way into our tents as replacement but most are still in the high adventure tote to be used for our next trek.
Gutter nails are pretty soft and bend fairly easily but they are also easy to straighten. If they are a better choice than something like a groundhog is pretty subjective. For the soil conditions at Philmont, I think they are a good trade off of functionality versus cost considering the quantity needed.
Can adults tent alone must be one of the most frequently asked questions. This discussion is always curious to me – advisors generally support requiring Scouts to share a tent, but have a long list of reasons that they “need” to have their own tent. To me, that is the complete opposite of leading by example. I would challenge anyone in that position to hold themselves to the same standard – dont expect something of your Scouts that you are not willing to do yourself. Just my random thought for the day….Jan 25, 2019 at 2:39 pm #3574974
Philmont is for the scouts, not the adults. We’re there for safety and it’s common to have different rules for adults and scouts. Most scouts understand that.Jan 25, 2019 at 4:57 pm #3574996
2x on leading by example
“squeezing 7 tents will be difficult at some campsites.”
I’d agree with that, in fact you have a hard time finding 5 or 6 flat level spots suitable for a tent.
“I’d carry 8 mini groundhogs for the fly because though you might not ever need it on your trek,… it’s unlikely you’ll have both tents and dining fly up ”
Whether you need it or not according to all Ranger training the first thing you do when you set-up camp is pitch the dining fly then hang bear bags. It is highly likely you will have both up all the time, the Rangers want you to store your packs, boots, etc. under the dining fly in the Bear-muda Triangle at night.
“Philmont supplies the dining fly cordage.”
From the 2018 Guidebook to Adventure
EQUIPMENT PROVIDED BY CREW
Nylon Cord, 3 50’ x 1/8” for dining fly, clothesline, repairing items or tying items to pack.
“Water purification: you rarely, rarely, ever treat your own water at Philmont. I think I can count on one hand the times I have. Most times you will hike from one staffed camp with purified water to another and fill there.”
I can’t agree with that, we Micropured more water between staffed camps than we drink from them unless you plan to carry a lot more than 2 quarts of water at 2 pounds each.
“With the infrequency of use, you could say heck all and carry only the filter instead of any micropur,”
Again from the 2018 Guidebook to Adventure
Purify All Drinking Water
All water from all sources—including springs, streams and wells— must be purified. (Most staff camps have treated water. Be sure to check with staff that water is safe to drink… Philmont provides<span style=”color: #ff0000;”> Micropur</span> tablets that release chlorine-dioxide that <span style=”color: #ff0000;”>is effective at killing waterborne bacteria and viruses</span> that cause disease. Philmont recommends that you use a purifier. (Purifiers remove giardia, bacteria, cryptosporidia and viruses – filters do not remove viruses.)<span style=”color: #ff0000;”> If using a filter, you must also use additives,</span> or boiling to kill all viruses.
“I’d say stick with Micropur and when you do have to use it, give it an 40 minutes (giardia is your main concern there.) but I think the micropur is simpler and rides in everyone’s individual pack better in case of an emergency/separation.”
I whole heartily agree with that.
Do not rely solely on hydration bladders for water carrying system, they have too many failure issues that could leave with no water containers. Always have at least two hard sided wide-mouth water bottles that are nearly Scout proof if only for back-up.
If you haven’t yet I high recommend you study the Guidebook to Adventure, it is Philmont’s official position on almost all issues.
“Philmont should be enjoyed, not endured.”Jan 25, 2019 at 5:49 pm #3575003Jay LBPL Member
I agree – it is common to have different rules. And I agree – most scouts understand that. I disagree with the idea that these make it acceptable.
I think we, as leaders, should strive to do better. Not because tenting on one trek matters. Rather because it becomes a part of the ideas that our Scouts form about how to be a good leader. If they form the idea that it is okay for the leader to give himself special rules, how does that play out in the long run?
Philmont is a special place but it is no different than anyplace else in the reason that we, as adults, are there. Not _just_ for safety – but for adult association (teaching, coaching, mentoring, being an example).Jan 25, 2019 at 5:51 pm #3575005James ABPL Member
David, can you expand on this:
“Do not rely solely on hydration bladders for water carrying system, they have too many failure issues that could leave with no water containers. Always have at least two hard sided wide-mouth water bottles that are nearly Scout proof if only for back-up.”
Do you mean Camelbak-style bladders? I am discouraging those since you can’t tell how much water the Scouts are drinking with those.
My plan was 2-3 Smart Water bottles (or similar) and then an extra foldable 2-liter container (Platy or Evernew) for those times we need a little extra water.Jan 25, 2019 at 8:09 pm #3575029
Yes, I mean Camelbak-style, or any other brand of hydration bladder, they all have too many frail parts that can fail, the bladder rupturing or the hose comes off or splitting and leaking all the water into your pack, the bite valve failing and leaking. So I don’t like them as a primary every day hydration method. I prefer hard sided quart water bottles that are nearly Scout proof.
I have no problem with using Camelbak or any other brand style of hydration bladder (I use one too) for carrying 2 to 4 quarts of extra water when going into dry camps or for hauling water to any camp for cooking /clean-up purposes, just not for your daily water treatment and consumption.
Like you said and I have before, “since you can’t tell how much water the Scouts are drinking with those”. I prefer watching Scouts drink and re-fill their bottles so I can tell if enough is going in rather seeing if they are “Clear and Copious”, YPT!!!
Philmont recommends drinking 6 to 8 quarts per day. One Micropur tablet purifies one quart at a time. So quart (liter) being the optimal size I recommend two one-quart wide-mouth water bottles, drinking from one while the other is being treated (cooking).
One-quart wide-mouth bottle so you can quickly and easily re-fill them at stream crossings and such and drop in a Micropur tablet and be on your way. It is also your measuring cup for supper recipes, so many cups of water per food package. 6 packages requiring two cups of water each equals three one-quart bottles.Jan 25, 2019 at 10:09 pm #3575060Bob ShuffBPL Member
I’ve used CNOC 2L for last summer backpacks and it held up well for me – used as David Y says for carrying into dry camps or otherwise hauling water. Others have suggested these leak, but that’s not been my experience.
My son uses an Evernew for the same purpose. Both are dirty water bags for our use, and we use filters most of the time to filter into smart water containers. If we carry the bladders they are in the outside pockets or on top of our packs.
My plan last year for Philmont was to each have 1-2 Smart Water bottles. One wide mouth gatorade bottle for drink mixes, and the bladder for short term carries or in camp to have more water handy. It may be too much for some itineraries, but I figured the max I would need, and I can always toss one smart water bottle at basecamp if the situation suggests I don’t need it.
This set, 5 L in capacity weighs about the same or less than one Nalgene bottle. That being said, we were going to bring our ranger a troop Nalgene, and I’m sure some of our scouts had 2 or 3 ready to bring. Some would have had giant carabiners to hold them in place in their pack pockets or swaying back and forth from a strap as they walked. I’ve seen it on plenty of troop backpacks.Jan 25, 2019 at 11:05 pm #3575077
My plan last year for Philmont was to each have 1-2 Smart Water bottles. One wide mouth gatorade bottle for drink mixes, and the bladder for short term carries or in camp to have more water handy.
This is what I was planning for our crew. As David mentioned, I want us and our crew leader to be able to quickly see that crew members are drinking water. We’ll have to train our crew to check and double check any bladder they put in their packs with water.Jan 27, 2019 at 3:56 pm #3575320
Having two 1L water bottles is the smart way to have a constant supply of purified water on the move between staffed camps. Staffed camps may be several hours apart so you may need multiple bottles during the day (6 – 8 quarts per day). You will cross streams and other water sources during your hike where you can re-fill and treat your bottles. Having two bottles makes this quick and easy.
Every night before retiring fill and treat two one quart / liter water bottles. Hopefully you have never contaminated either with flavored drink mix and won’t have to hoist those heavy bottles up in the bear bags. If not they can be left under your dining fly.
First thing every morning drink complete the first bottle while striking camp (re-hydrating after a night of fasting) and re-fill it and drop in a Micropur tablet. While hiking drink from the second. If you pass a water source before you finish the second bottle finish it off and re-fill it and drop in a Micropur tablet, rotate to the first bottle and hike on, and so on all day. Re-filling and dropping in a Micropur tablet only takes seconds and you’re on your way.Jan 27, 2019 at 5:51 pm #3575332
David, good advice and we will make sure the crew knows their Gatorade bottle is the only bottle for drink mix. Less stuff going up in the bear bag.Jan 27, 2019 at 10:43 pm #3575404
I read an article a while back about bears’ sense of smell being a thousand times stronger than ours and even a hundred of times stronger than bloodhounds’. That if a water bottle has ever had flavored drink mix in it will be a smellable forever, seems it absorbs some of the flavor/smell. It advised in bear country to have bottles you know to have never had anything in them but water and purification chemicals, or buy new ones. I have seen photos of Nalgene water bottles mauled by bears, ouch! They’re tough bottles but not that tough.
We have been advised by Philmont Rangers that the bears don’t seem interested in water bottles with only water and Micropur (and Polar Pure back-in-da-day) and so do not need to be bear bagged. Which is good.Jan 29, 2019 at 3:49 pm #3575656
Is there any way to tell which camps you pass through that are not part of your itinerary? I’ve read that you can ask if activities are available for your crew when you do this, or am I misunderstanding?Jan 29, 2019 at 6:02 pm #3575679David BarnesBPL Member
THX to the Ranger for the insight.
Used paint strainers in 14. brought 5, should have brought 10. One for every day.
3 for a dollar USA made plastic bowls from the dollar store. Big enough to hold a good serving, flat enough to human sump easily. MUCH more durable/cheaper than the squishy stuff.Jan 29, 2019 at 6:12 pm #3575681
Yes you can figure out what activities (Program Features) are at various staffed camps along your trek. Studying your trek on Philmont section maps you can see staff camps on, or near, your route. Then you can look-up which programs are at which camps in Philmont Programs/Itineraries/Camps on page 11 of the Itinerary Guide.
In some cases you may choose to go out of your way to do a special program. Which trails and how you get from your designated camp to the next is up to you (crew). There are sometimes several trails going that general direction. Just don’t cut yourself too short on hike time and get to your next camp late and have to set-up and cook in the dark.Jan 31, 2019 at 5:39 am #3575988Walter UnderwoodBPL Member
@wunderLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I hiked Philmont in light hikers (or heavy trail runners). Didn’t have gaiters and didn’t miss them.
Our advisors were in a two-man tent. One man tents are just too heavy. Our two man tent was 1.5 pounds, so no worries there.
We didn’t work super hard on getting light, but our average trailhead pack weight was 40 pounds, with four days of Philfood.
wunderJan 31, 2019 at 1:07 pm #3576008
We got trek 12 yesterday (July 28 start), which I think will be good for our small, young, mostly non-athletic crew. We know we have no dry camps, 4 food supplies (including first) whereas most have just 3, 5 staffed camps, 4 shower opportunities. If it were my choice, we would do something more challenging.
I need to lose about 5 pounds if I want to ride the horses. Maybe the trail will drop that weight since it’s day 5 :)
We might only have 7-8 in our crew, so an adviser in a 1 man tent won’t fill the campsite. I’ve ordered an Aeon, so it’s much lighter than half a Philtent. I’ll take my Duplex, just in case, but hope to leave it in the van. One of those tents will be sold post-Philmont. I only have 1 other adviser right now. He might need to tent with his son with diabetes.Jan 31, 2019 at 7:11 pm #3576064Bob ShuffBPL Member
Getting the trek was exciting for us last year. Even more, when I mapping it out on the Philmont map I had ordered from ToTT. You can also zoom in on Google Maps or CalTopo. A few other advisors shared my excitement (to a lesser degree), but not my son or other scouts that I showed it to.
They also didn’t seem to care what stove we were taking or if their pack was too heavy. That’s why I talk to you like-minded guys!Jan 31, 2019 at 7:14 pm #3576065
I agree, you don’t have to work super hard at getting light, just don’t carry a bunch of unnecessary junk, gadgets or extra clothes. Just stick to basic gear and a couple of light layers.Jan 31, 2019 at 7:14 pm #3576066
When it comes to gear choices and our crew, I sometimes feel like Mr. Hand talking to Jeff Spicoli.
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