Jan 19, 2019 at 2:18 pm #3573840
Our Troop’s 2 crews from Dayton, OH are going to Philmont this summer and picking Treks tomorrow. None of the boys have backpacked outside of the Midwest. In an attempt to introduce them to the differences and how to mitigate problems that will arise, I’m proposing a ~20-minute presentation.
Thoughts?Jan 19, 2019 at 2:47 pm #3573843
Oh, and you’ll see I completely stole ideas from this forum’s David Y. (Thanks @moonshine !)Jan 19, 2019 at 3:06 pm #3573846S. SongBPL Member
@songfamilyLocale: Bay Area
Calling out lightening the load, and factoring in elevation change are very spot on!
Other very specific tasks are:
- Bear bag (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLHz2iWKJrE), it is crucial to avoid bear attack but very time consuming (esp. when bags are heavy).
- Hike safely under rain/thunder (backpack cover, breathable rain gears, thunder position)
- Navigation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIh43ViXVY8) without clear trail signs (rain/overgrown grass makes things even harder)
Your ranger will guide the crew for the first 2-3 days. The shakedown process will help the crew to acquire proper gears (there is a large trading post at the Philmont Ranch).Jan 19, 2019 at 3:19 pm #3573847Brad PBPL Member
Very nice and I appreciate all the advice, but ignore the activities?Jan 19, 2019 at 3:35 pm #3573852
You’re very welcome. Very nice presentation. Thanks, that’s quite a compliment.Jan 19, 2019 at 6:39 pm #3573870Aubrey W. BogardBPL Member
I would argue against the “ignore the activities” advice. Philmont provides a unique experience, and the activities are a huge part of that uniqueness. The staffed camps and their various activities really are excellent. There are unlimited opportunities outside of Philmont for scenery. As a lead advisor, I really wanted to plan for maximum mileage and more scenery, but I had to remind myself that the Philmont experience is for the Scouts and for the opportunity that it provides for them to learn to lead and to learn to storm/norm/perform as a team. Choosing common interests in activities is part of that team-building experience.Jan 19, 2019 at 6:55 pm #3573872Steve GBPL Member
@groversanLocale: Middle East-Levant
Nice presentation — I like your emphasis on staying hydrated. Some of your Scouts may get to “experience dehydration” on a training hike (and it’s a lesson they are unlikely to forget).
How about a mission statement / goal for your crew? something like, “Everyone has fun / everyone finishes / no injuries — we accomplish that by preparation, hard work and teamwork.” Philmont is an awesome leadership laboratory for Scouts!
Sorry, but I don’t like the temperature graphs — you could throw a few numbers on the chart and it would be much more readable. You note “Few Clouds / Little Rain” — a better description would be “Usually dry with low humidity, except when it is pouring rain.”
If you can get your crew on the trail by first light — you guys are amazing. There is a lot to do in the morning and there will likely be a big learning curve for (at least some of) the Scouts. Leaving so early, you may be packing wet tents and ground cloths — you can spread them in the sun during a long break or at lunch to dry. 550 cord is great for clotheslines (when set up for low impact, of course).
The most important days to get an early start are: Summit Day (e.g., Baldy) and Service Project Day. Those are long ones…
I like that Darwin YouTube video about desert hiking tips — all are very good and I am a huge believer in a long sleeve high UV-factor shirt (such as the fishing shirts that Columbia makes — avail on Sierra Trading Post under $30.) Throw in a $1 cotton bandana and you have a great way to keep the sun off your neck and when dunked in water it is awesome at evaporative cooling when tied loosely around your neck, cowboy style.
Trail shoes are perfect for Philmont and reducing pack weight and taking care of feet will make everyone’s trek much better. Remember that your crew is only as fast as your slowest member, so encourage Scouts to look out for one another. Have fun!! Wish I were going back this summer.Jan 20, 2019 at 9:32 pm #3574032
True. Activities could be another, 30-minute presentation in itself.
For our Troop, we covered that earlier by showing many Philmont videos and talking down the activity list. Being a high-activity Troop most of the boys going already knew about and/or did almost all of those events at various camps. Additionally, we’ve only 1 adult who’s done Philmont a few times and could talk about it – thus no presentation.
If someone out there has a Philmont Activities presentation, video, or such kindly share.
Agree on Navigation, Bear Bags, Safety, and many other skills — but for us, those are / will be covered in all the Shakedowns, Training Sessions, and other hands-on meetings.Jan 20, 2019 at 10:41 pm #3574044David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Nice presentation, you touched on all the topics I’d have covered. To the list of reasons to drink more water, add or substitute in “Dark yellow urine? Drink more water!” and I’d say, specifically down a full liter right then AND increase your consumption going forward.
While seasonal temps are interesting, I’d focus more on how temps increase through the day. Likewise with UV exposure.
The kid who gets sunburned on the first day is going to be religious about sun protection for the rest of the trip, but will uncomfortable the whole time. So how do you impress on them not getting sunburned in the first place? I like a cotton button-down dress shirt (it can be from Goodwill and tossed after the trip) to stop the sun and hold cooling water next to the skin. I find water applied to my shirt or the bandana around my neck less exhausting than sweating out the same amount of water. Particularly in a group, I’ll leave untreated water in the untreated water bottle and dispense it onto people’s necks for the mile or two after a water stop.
I’d specify a broad-brimmed hat versus a baseball hat, although a baseball hat plus a bandana can work. In the California High Sierra in the summer – a similar setting – I find it feels 10-15F cooler under a sun-brella like a Chrome Dome and that it’s worth the 8 ounces to me. It’s also nice for mid-day breaks to have a spot of solid shade versus the partial shade found under trees – to the point that I’ll use a tarp or tent component to create a shaded spot for a siesta on a desert trip.Jan 21, 2019 at 3:30 am #3574098
I wear a rolled red 100% cotton bandana around my neck (my only exception for cotton). Every time I pass a water source I dip and rinse it out and go again, so refreshing. When it stops cooling I shake it out (the evaporation cools it) and go again.Jan 21, 2019 at 11:33 pm #3574323
Thanks for all the comments. I’ll update it … soon. Feel free to (re)use.Jan 22, 2019 at 2:14 am #3574366
Thank you, I’d be glad to use it.Jan 28, 2019 at 5:44 am #3575468SFOldManClanSpectator
@sfoldmanclanLocale: Washington DC
Nice presentation. Just pulled it to make some edits… nice work..
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