Dec 9, 2017 at 3:38 am #3506440
721 – 103
I guess we get our letter after the deposit gets paid.
ASM Troop 4
Ketchikan, AlaskaDec 13, 2017 at 6:06 pm #3507296Charles LBPL Member
That’s very cool. I mean, I dunno nuthin’, taking my troop to Philmont for the first time this July.
But as a Kayhi grad (Go Kings! Class of 89), rock on!
About logistics and getting there:
Alaska Airlines still the only outfit that flies out of Ketchikan? You guys gonna fly to Albuquerque or Denver and commute down?
I live in Hawai’i (Big Island). Getting to Philmont has taken some serious thinking.
Most troops from here seem to fly to LA, then take a train from LAX to Raton, then the bus or shuttle. When we looked at that, it was fairly terrible: the only direct flight from Hilo to LAX was the red-eye, you end up in the airport early in the morning, wait all day through to 6pm to catch the train, then you have a 24 hour overnight train ride in what is essentially similar conditions as the flight. Then the ride back was kinda worse, you don’t get into LAX early enough to catch a convenient flight back to Hawai’i.
We found that we could fly to Pheonix pretty easily, and they had some car rental specials going on. If we leave on the same day as we would have to do the Hilo-LAX-train journey, we end up with two days to cruise over to Philmont, which should work out pretty well. We’re actually leaving a day earlier now, going to spend a night at the Grand Canyon and a second night up near the Santa Fe Nat’l Forest, hoping that will at least mentally acclimatize us to the alititude. Assuming that’s a thing.
-CharlesDec 13, 2017 at 7:09 pm #3507310Brad PBPL Member
We did, too, but now the troop is leaning more toward Northern Tier in 2019 and Philmont in 2020. Sigh….Dec 13, 2017 at 9:24 pm #3507341Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
You can also arrange to get to Philmont a day early and stay at basecamp. The additional cost was very reasonable.
The adult leader and the crew chief have a long list of check in chores on day 1. So having a day to just get your gear sorted, relax, soak in the Philmont,New Mexico sights was worth it for me as the adult leader.Dec 14, 2017 at 12:01 am #3507365Charles LBPL Member
That day early thing sounds like a good idea.
Coming from sea level, did the extra day help get used to the altitude at all? I’m dragging about half the crew on an overnighter this weekend to sleep out at 10K feet, hopefully to see if folks have problems with it or not. And to make sure everybody understands what cold is ( it’s supposed to be in the 30s (F) this weekend ). Thinking of dragging them up there once a month until we depart.
-CharlesDec 14, 2017 at 3:07 am #3507408
Charles and all,
Yes, we fly Alaska Airlines from Ketchikan to Seattle then to Denver. There we usually meet Blue Sky Charters who take us to Colorado Springs area for a day or two for acclimation to the climate and altitude not to mention a cog railroad ride to Pikes Peak, white water rafting, and other activities.
The really nice thing about Blue Sky is from the time you meet them at the airport/Philmont until they drop you off as an adult leader you can relax a bit as they have things covered and you are not paying rent on van(s) that are parked.
The day zero idea is interesting I may have to float that idea to the committee/crew.
-PhilDec 15, 2017 at 7:46 pm #3507676TAG in AZBPL Member
Highly recommend that you arrive a day early. It is well worth it. It really helps the Lead Advisor and Crew Lead get through all the “stuff” the day before you hit the trail.
On your first day in camp, they walk you all over the place. They do that on purpose. Walking around at altitude helps the crew get used to altitude faster.Dec 15, 2017 at 11:56 pm #3507720Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Did the extra help with acclimating to the altitude? Probably, yes. Base Camp is what 8 or 9K in elevation if not higher.
For me I came right from work to the airport to meet the crew for our Southwest flight out of San Jose. Arriving a day early in NM also enabled me to get rested and mentally ready to be the adult leader. It also gave me and the crew chief time to get the big list of chores done and allow time to rest a bit before the first day of hiking. We also used the extra time to go over the packing lists, sort through gear, and leave stuff BEHIND in the lockers and socialize as a crew,Dec 16, 2017 at 6:05 am #3507751Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
+1 on arriving a day early. And congrats! It will be a memorable experience for you all. It remains one of the most impactive experiences I’ve ever had in Scouting.
They (“the moderators”) are going to hassle you about pack weight if you try to go “ultralight” but don’t sweat it. Carry the extra ounces and enjoy the experience. It’s an amazing place!Dec 16, 2017 at 4:36 pm #3507827David YBPL Member
@moonshineLocale: Mid Tenn
I think it’s important to acclimate to altitude a day or two before you start your trek. Base Camp (Camping Headquarters) is above 7,000 feet and you go up from there. Much of your trek will be spent between 8,000 to 10,000 feet.
Several years ago we had a father and son in one of our Philmont crews try to go ultralight. Their packs were too small to carry their share of crew gear and food which put extra burden on the rest of the crew. And they didn’t have warm enough sleep gear and froze every night. After several nights they were worn out and miserable.
I’m not saying not to go light as you can. Weight is your enemy. We are diligent about reducing individual pack and crew gear weight. We do pack shakedowns before every training trip to remove un-necessary and duplicate items and clothes and have assembled the lightest crew gear to train with and take much of it to Philmont. Just be sure you have a pack large enough to carry your share of all the food and crew gear and warm clothes and an adequate sleeping bag and pad.Dec 16, 2017 at 11:41 pm #3507878
This will be my fourth Philmont backcountry experience. The last two times in 2012 (608-W) and 2016 (721-A) we acclimated in Colorado Springs, CO with Blue Sky Charters.white water rafting, cog railroad to Pikes Peak, etc.
In 2016 I was happy to have a pack weight of 45 pounds including my gear, crew gear, food, and water.
-PhilFeb 3, 2018 at 5:31 pm #3516318Carl ZimmermanBPL Member
Our Venture Crew got a slot in 2019 as well. This will be my 4th summer Philmont Trek (1 being a Cavalcade trek). Looking forward to it. Our crew will be lightweight for sure. Happy trails!!Feb 19, 2018 at 10:22 pm #3519315Jason TBPL Member
We got a trek as well for 2019. And now I have more scouts interested and might need to split up into two treks. Sigh.
We went in 2013 and 2016. Base weight was 40lbs in 2013 (Before i knew what light meant!) and 30 lbs in 2016. In 2019 I’m shooting for a 25lbs base weight. Those Philmont rules can kill ya in the weight department.Mar 7, 2019 at 7:40 pm #3582286
T minus 133 days <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>and counting </span>until departure,
Flight schedule is firm and nailing down our tour with Blue Sky Adventures. This time through Albuquerque to acclimatize and yes I will be sure to make at least one left turn while there.
Itinerary 7 this time, three nights at or near 10,000′ I may have to think about actually taking the silk weight thermals. Base weight at first shakedown was 30lbs with a bit more fine tuning to do.
Crew Advisor 721-H (That’s Halibut not Hotel)Mar 8, 2019 at 3:06 am #3582382David YBPL Member
@moonshineLocale: Mid Tenn
Many items on gear lists, including Philmont’s, are suggested options, but not necessarily required.
Some things like waterproof rain gear, tent with sewn in floor, backpack stoves, etc. are required. But multiple layers of coats and jackets, long sleeve shirts and sweaters, pants and long johns are options. Pick one or the other but not all.
Guidebook to Adventure, page 11, “Take only what you need. After several overnight camps you should be able to conduct your own shakedown to eliminate items that you don’t need. Remember, the key to successful backpacking is to go lightly. Check your equipment against the recommended list. This is the maximum. All backpackers can reduce this list and still be comfortable, clean and safe.”
Page 14, “Check your pack weight. 20 – 25 pounds without food and water is preferred.”
“Philmont should be enjoyed, not endured.”, Moonshine
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