Mar 27, 2019 at 11:15 am #3585711
That method would certainly cover all the reasons why Philmont doesn’t want people creating extra waste with turkey bags. It’s efficient, lightweight, economical and sound leave no trace principles. But it’s not Philmont’s way, so they might balk at it.
I’d say be prepared to adapt to Philmont’s ways. Bring a remote canister stove that can handle a big Philpot in case your better method is rejected.Mar 27, 2019 at 11:26 am #3585714James ABPL Member
You don’t necessarily need to use a liquid fuel stove. We plan to use the Optimus Vega remote canister stove. In fact, the Philmont Shakedown Guide says this stove is acceptable.
I am relatively new to backpacking, but I have often read that canister stoves aren’t good at elevation or in the cold. However, the Vega stoves we had worked just fine in 10 degree weather recently. I didn’t time how long it took to boil a pot of water, but it didn’t seem any different than in warmer weather. And I didn’t do anything special with the canister, like keep it in my sleeping bag.
The only thing I’m not sure about is how many canisters we’ll need at Philmont. I have read that 2-3 medium canisters (8oz.) should do it. We’re camping five nights in the Smokies next week, so hope to get a somewhat realistic idea of how much fuel we’ll go through.
I think most staffed camps stock canisters, but will find out for sure on our first day in camp and buy the appropriate number of canisters.
By the way, is there any need to ship a remote canister stove? I don’t see why you’d have any problem flying with one.Mar 27, 2019 at 1:33 pm #3585727Matt DrewryBPL Member
First of all thanks to all you kind folks for helping with answers and your perspective! Especially @moonshine! looking forward to using your “Philmont is meant to be enjoyed not endured” quote often this summer. It really speaks to the take less do more idea but in a Philmont tailored context which is just perfect!
Your reactor situation is like to be a ranger by ranger basis as the other fellas mentioned. I see no problems with it but I can tell clearly the ends (you staying overall LNT and using the sumps correctly) justify the means (the reactor is just an overall simpler and lighter method to cook and get there) and understand that one won’t sacrifice the other. Another ranger with a purely Philmont method thought process might not get that and want you to leave them behind. I think roughly 75% of the rangers would be ok with it and 25 would want to power trip about it if I had to give it a percentage breakdown. If I’m around base I’d be happy to lend my opinion pro canister if it comes to it.
The good news is Philmont owns everything for the normal method so if you get a strong no they’ll have all the gear for you already (pots and whisperlite)Mar 27, 2019 at 3:02 pm #3585740David YBPL Member
@moonshineLocale: Mid Tenn
What are the capacities of you MSR Reactor stove pots? Some Philmont dinners require 1 ½ cups of water per camper. For a crew of 7 that’s 2 ¾ quarts and for 12 that’s 4 ½ quarts.
Philmont does not issue, loan or rent stoves. But it has several brands and styles for sale at its Tooth of Time Trader store.
Staffed Camps do not have stove fuel. It is only available for purchase at Camping Head Quarters and at backcountry Commissaries which are indicated by the fork & knife symbols on your trek map.
Yes, you need to ship your stoves but with no fuel canisters. Buy fuel after you get to Philmont. It’s an airliner thing. Even liquid fuel stoves and their bottles have the be clean, dry and order free (with no fuel) before shipping. It’s a shipper thing.Mar 27, 2019 at 3:32 pm #3585745James ABPL Member
David, thank you for clarifying that fuel is only at the commissaries. That’s important to know.
TSA does allow you to fly with a stove. Their site says you can put it in a carry-on, but I would put it in checked backage. I checked an MSR Pocket Rocket 2 on a trip to Washington State (flying Delta) in October and had no issue.
MRS’s website has a few more details on flying with a stove. They say there are no guarantees that TSA will let the stove through, but then again, there are not guarantees the post office won’t lose your package or the airline won’t lose your entire backpack. :)Mar 27, 2019 at 4:17 pm #3585757Matt DirksenBPL Member
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
“What are the capacities of you MSR Reactor stove pots? Some Philmont dinners require 1 ½ cups of water per camper. For a crew of 7 that’s 2 ¾ quarts and for 12 that’s 4 ½ quarts.”
MSR makes 1.7 & 2.5L pots for the Reactor, so I suspect a crew could easily get by with a pair of them.Mar 27, 2019 at 6:11 pm #3585781Bob ShuffBPL Member
I like those ziploc bowls when my son and I camp on our own. We’ve made cozies for a bunch of those that we gave them to scouts when my son was cookmaster on a patrol trek.
I was curious if they would be big enough for the Philmont meals. Did your crew keep them together with the cook gear, or did each crew member keep track of their own in their personal gear? I’ve heard of some crews all having the same bowls, utensils, cups, and keeping them together.Mar 27, 2019 at 7:11 pm #3585785Phillip MBPL Member
After washing and drying the fuel container/bottle and the cap, spray a bit air freshener inside and out, it will help to pass the sniff test.Mar 27, 2019 at 11:27 pm #3585825Stephen EversonBPL Member
Thank you to everyone for your responses. We have the 2.5L pots for our stoves and we take two of them so it is very easy to heat up water AND lots of it. AND, if we need another pot of water to heat up, it takes no time at all with the efficiency design of the reactor stove. I find you have to be careful with the amounts of water for a meal. We had a measuring cup (the one that comes in the useless mess kits..probably the only thing of value in the mess kit :) ) and would measure out the water. It seems like some meals the amount of water recommended was perfect. Others were like soup. Welcome to rehydration.
The pots are big enough to allow the santizing of the ziploc bowls, which is very important since the last thing I wanted on the trip was anyone getting sick. We are NOT using turkey bags, so we are not part of the problem turkey bags cause by generating lots of waste. You need a bowl on the trip to eat out of so our ziploc bowls fulfill that need. The scouts kept the bowls to themselves but everyone had the exact same bowl. We were able to split the meals into the bowls with no problems. In 2013 and now, we practiced using the Philmont surplus meals and did not find any problems. Even with the “thanksgiving” meal as we called it (the one that has the Stovetop stuffing).
For the record, I am NOT a MSR salesman. I am an engineer by degree and 30 years experience and find the design of the Reactor stove great at trying to maximize heat transfer into the water. Nothing against JetBoil, but my preference is for the MSR design.
Our Ranger in 2013 was intrigued by our method and thought it was a good idea. He was working at Philmont before heading to the Air Force Academy.
In 2013, we purchased another canister of fuel at the commissary, mainily out of fear of running out. We had three 8 oz cans on the trip from what I can remember. Hard to believe six years have past since I was last there.
We sent the stoves ahead of us since we flew out to Philmont in 2013. We purchased our canisters at ToTT before we headed out on the trail. This year, we will have our own transportation so I can stop into a camping store in Colorado Springs and pick up our fuel there.
Again, thank you to everyone that responded back to my posting.
StephenMar 27, 2019 at 11:49 pm #3585835
I think you are on the path of prudence.
The 2019 Guide To Adventure is available on the Philmont website. In the section about gear, “one and two person” stoves are prohibited. But a stove that heats up 2.5 ltiers of water is a group stove.
Second, Philmont aims for the cooking and cleanup to follow the BSA patrol method. In fact, cooking is the only specific example in the paragraph in the Guide to Adventure on the patrol method. From page 11
<div class=”page” title=”Page 11″>
“The camping methods practiced at Philmont Scout Ranch support the Patrol Method concept. Two examples of this include cooking and washing dishes as one group. Members of the crew will rotate through the trek and fulfill these important responsibilities. This allows crew members to practice servant leadership as they take on a task that will support the entire crew.” From what you describe, your crew is planning the meals, setting up the stoves, and cooking in the tupperware containers as a crew. So you are following the letter and the spirit of the BSA patrol method.
Third, when this topic comes up, I would think it would be more powerful and persuasive if it were your Scouts showing the Ranger their preferred way of cooking (meaning not the adults). This would most likely happen on the first night of the trek.
</div>Apr 2, 2019 at 11:44 am #3586654
Trekking pole rubber tips. I’ve been trying to get used to these. They’re dangerous.
Granted, there are a lot of leaves on the AT right now that might not be at Philmont, but my poles slipped many times on leaves and wet rocks during stream crossings due to the rubber tips. I got to test out how quickly my Altras dry out because of those rubber tips.
I removed them for the rest of my hike and didn’t have any further problems. I really don’t see how I’m leaving any more trace than my footprints. However, if I fall, I might be leaving traces of blood.
I think the safety issue trumps the tiny LNT issue.Apr 2, 2019 at 2:26 pm #3586673Jay LBPL Member
One other suggestion on fuel – before buying fuel at Base Camp Services or ToTT, check the advisors “break room” building (near the security building). Homebound crews that cannot take it with them will leave excess fuel and fuel canisters there for Trailbound crews that need some.Apr 2, 2019 at 3:24 pm #3586680
Homebound crews that cannot take it with them will leave excess fuel and fuel canisters there for Trailbound crews that need some.
That might be particularly good for my personal stove for adult coffee. Only issue is judging how much is left.Apr 2, 2019 at 10:06 pm #3586722David YBPL Member
@moonshineLocale: Mid Tenn
MSR IsoPro has a scale printed on the side so if you set it in a pan of water it will sink / float depending on how much fuel is left. If it sinks near all the way it is F (full), if it sinks about half way it is ½ full and if it bobs almost out it is E (empty).
This may apply / work for other brands.Apr 3, 2019 at 6:56 pm #3586840
@ Brad P “Trekking pole rubber tips.”
If you are talking about the soft rubber ones with the tread nips on the bottom that Leki sells, those are for the sport of Nordic Walking where you are using the poles to exercise the upper body when walking on concrete or asphalt surfaces. I use them to cover the sharp steel ends when travelling by air and checking my poles as hold baggage since the little plastic sleeves often fall off or get lost.
AFAIK there is no LNT benefit. You are already traveling on a durable surface.Apr 4, 2019 at 1:26 am #3586901
From the Guidebook to Adventure:
1 pr Rubber tips to prevent erosion. Can
reduce impact on ankles and knees
by up to 25%. Improve balance.
I got the tips at REI. They are different from ones that are just for safely transporting the poles.
Our position on trekking pole use is simple: We feel that trekking poles, when used properly, can help people enjoy the outdoors safely by giving an added level of stability and traction to those who otherwise may not be able to hike safely without them, e.g. those with joint issues, knee issues, etc.
That said, we encourage trekking pole users to give some thought to when and where poles could or should be used, depending on the environment. In some areas trekking pole use causes little damage whereas in other areas the damage can be severe.
As for the use of rubber tips, there is evidence that they can reduce impacts but there is also the logical counter position that they can reduce traction. To use or not to use is an individual decision. If someone were to use them, we’d ask that they secure them to the pole (use a small hose clamp for example) so they don’t inadvertently fall off and become litter.Apr 5, 2019 at 2:18 pm #3587149
- Adult weight. My soul is a very spry hiker, but my body is former linebacker. Sadly, Phimont cares more about that actual size part…. I’m at 18% body fat right now and will have to get down to 13% body fat to hit the target for my height by next year. How strict are they? Does an exercise log help mitigate a couple extra pounds?
- Where in Wisconsin would you recommend an Illinois troop get some miles and experience in preparation? Anywhere else you backpacked before Philmont to get ready (Colorado, etc.)?
Thank you!Apr 5, 2019 at 2:23 pm #3587150
Brad, I bought a propane “transfer valve” for $5 on eBay that will transfer fuel from one semi-full canister to another. Use hot and cold water to create pressure differential between the two cans and presto. Only drawback is that the mix of fuels will be wonky, so you need to invert the now-fuller canister whenever you use it AND use a stove (MSR Whisperlight or other) that can run on an inverted canister.Apr 5, 2019 at 3:07 pm #3587157
Only drawback is that the mix of fuels will be wonky, so you need to invert the now-fuller canister whenever you use it AND use a stove (MSR Whisperlight or other) that can run on an inverted canister.
I’ll probably get new canisters for the crew. Using a used canister is an option for my coffee. My personal coffee stove is Soto Amicus, so it sits on the canister.Apr 5, 2019 at 6:13 pm #3587178Bob ShuffBPL Member
You mean Isobutane transfer. No one should even think about putting propane in the backpacking canisters
there are propane transfer connectors to refill the green Colman canisters – not to confused with the ones to consolidate isobutane. I’ve heard you can refill isobutane backpacking canisters with butane, which is cheaper. Another topic I guess.Apr 5, 2019 at 7:48 pm #3587199
Bob, each canister from each maker contains a different mix of different fuels; one of them is propane. Lets’ save a differential vapor point / flash point discussion for another thread. See this from MSR on their mix: https://www.msrgear.com/blog/ins-outs-canister-fuels/Apr 6, 2019 at 12:58 am #3587246chris whitmoyerBPL Member
Todd, I know other athletes that had the same issue with muscle mass skewing the weight charts. They submitted letters from their doctor to Philmont and were allowed to participate even though their weight was over the chart.
Also just putting miles in backpacking even without elevation helps prepare the crew. I am from Central PA so we start at 500′ and max out at 1500′. We tour for 2 days before arriving at Philmont but will have logged close to 100 miles before getting there.Apr 7, 2019 at 1:11 am #3587423Jeffrey PetersBPL Member
Brad P Don’t worry to much about the rubber caps for your treking poles. Everyone on my crew who used treking poles wore through them in several days.Apr 7, 2019 at 1:26 am #3587426
Thanks, Jeffrey. They’re useless for hiking. I had them slip out on me several times on wet leaves.Apr 7, 2019 at 1:47 am #3587428
@ Jeffrey and Brad
I thought we were talking about the rubber walking tips by Leki and others, not the free protective plastic sleeves. See here: https://www.rei.com/product/750120/leki-rubber-walking-tips-pair
The Leki rubber walking tips would not wear through in a matter of days. But they are useless once you leave pavement since they are designed for Nordic walking.
I personally think hiking poles are helpful for when ascending, descending, going cross country over rough ground and crossing streams but the rest of the time they are just dead weight. Since I am usually carrying a camera and need the use of my hands for photography, for normal trail travel, I keep my BD foldables on my pack and only pull them out when I need them.
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