- Nov 3, 2017 at 6:07 am #3500018
The crew leader and I worked with a plan that would divide out all the gear pretty evenly among everybody, scouts and adults included. We’re a small-ish crew (6 scouts, 3 adults), so we kind of worked it out so that everybody has a base weight of under 24 pounds.
But I’ve read a few things that indicate that maybe the Scouts are supposed to carry all the crew gear? I’m hoping that’s not true, as it shifts things about significantly. Can anybody confirm or deny?
Thanks in advance,
.Nov 3, 2017 at 6:39 am #3500023
Bob ShuffBPL Member
Why not have adults carry the first aid and accessories, and leave the pots, cookware, ropes to the scouts?
Size of crew and age/strength of scouts should be considered, ideally by the scouts themselves. I think the Rangers want to avoid the advisors running the show.
Everyone has to carry their share of tent, food, Bear bag, etc.Nov 3, 2017 at 7:57 am #3500028
“Size of crew and age/strength of scouts should be considered, ideally by the scouts themselves. I think the Rangers want to avoid the advisors running the show.”
Yeah, the crew leader pretty much had it down, but he divided the crew gear up among everybody, I’m just trying to verify that’s copacetic. He did a great job, if there’s no reason to change it, then we’d prefer to leave well enough alone.Nov 3, 2017 at 1:12 pm #3500049
Jay LashBPL Member
If your CL came up with the plan then go with it.
Each time Ive been we had a full crew (8y+4a on one trek, 9y+3a on the other) but the adults carried our share. Granted our share was not much because we had a full crew – I think I carried the tarp on one trek and the first aid kit on the other. Plus, of course, food split with our meal buddy.
If it is clear to the ranger that the youth are in charge and the adults are staying in the background, she will be happy.
Nov 3, 2017 at 1:37 pm #3500056
- This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Jay Lash.
TAG in AZBPL Member
There is no hard and fast rule. On our trip this year, the crew carried most of the daily use gear – things like bear bags, pots, tarps, etc. Our adults had the 1st aid training, so we carried the 1st aid kit. We also carried random stuff — basically the extra stuff.Nov 3, 2017 at 3:17 pm #3500068
Matt DirksenBPL Member
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
“If your CL came up with the plan then go with it.”
+1 to that – although as an adult adviser, it would be good to “advise” the crew leader on the idea that some kids won’t be able to carry as much crew gear as others (baseweight or otherwise), and that all members (adults included), should be willing and able to adapt, in order to support folks who are having a harder time.
When my son went in 2014, he and another boy were 95/100 lbs., whereas the crew leader and the three other 17 year old boys were almost twice their size & stamina. Because of the imbalance, me & the other advisers pitched in. For the first couple days, my son and the other 95lb-er had a real tough time. But over time, they got better and some of the older boys were more fatigued. Every morning & mid-day, the crew checked in to see how everyone was feeling, and made adjustments as needed.Nov 3, 2017 at 7:06 pm #3500098
Jason YBPL Member
In 2014 we took 7 youth and 2 adults, Taking some crew gear was in my opinion only fair. Comfort on the trail is probably more important that saving a few pounds. I did prepare the crew to pack light. Be cautious how hard you push not carrying extra weight. Your crew may not want to carry non-personal gear.
Sounds silly but some of our crew tried to hit a pack weight number (and made sacrifices to meet that goal) now you ask them to carry crew gear and their plan has failed(and it’s your fault).
Make sure the crew you are helping to prepare knows about how much crew gear they each will be carrying to avoid any hurt feelings.
We had a scout who was out of shape and felling the effects of altitude sickness. The crew split up his pack and each member carried 3 extra pounds for the first couple days. Accept that you are part of one crew (Brothers till the end). He did get his gear back to carry, but we were not going to leave a man behind. A good/positive attitude is like 10 pounds removed from each persons bag.
Make sure you provide weights for the split up crew gear. We made 9 piles of gear that all weighed the same. Each member chose a pile that would fit in there pack. Some of us had smaller packs and could not take the cook pots so we chose smaller more dense items like fuel canisters or bear lines that could be attached externally to a pack.
The greatest impact on how a crew does is how happy they are. Once your team truly becomes a crew nothing NOTHING can stop them!
Nov 6, 2017 at 5:06 pm #3500594
- This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Jason Y.
TAG in AZBPL Member
For pack sizing, I asked each member of the crew to make sure they had enough room in their pack for the pillow off their bed at home. That made sure they had enough room for crew gear and food pickup on the trail. This came in handy for us on our “heavy” day. On our heaviest day, we had 3.5 days of food heading into a dry camp. We had a few packs that we pushed to the max, but no one had to carry anything in their hands heading up to Schaefers Pass.
Make sure sharing the crew gear is part of every discussion and every shakedown hike. By time we got to Philmont, there wasn’t any question about carrying crew gear. As Jason mentioned, we make roughly equal piles during shakedown at basecamp and everyone picked one. Things shifted a bit as we went along, butNov 7, 2017 at 6:32 pm #3500854
Brad PBPL Member
I’m appreciating the advice here, particularly the “enough room for a pillow” in the pack.
When we go in 2019, we’ll have a young crew and I’m not sure how many youth we’ll have to split up the gear. I anticipate adults taking on some of the load.
overloaded scouts and we need to point that out to the crew leader if the crew leader
Our primary role as adult leaders is safety. It’s a safety issue if there are doesn’t see it.Nov 8, 2017 at 7:04 pm #3501063
We had our first “official Philmont shakedown hike,” I didn’t think of pillows, we told everybody to bring their personal gear, packed, then we gave everybody two one-gallon bottles of water at the trailhead. At 16 pounds, that represented 6 pounds of food, 6 pounds of crew gear, and a liter of cooking water.Nov 8, 2017 at 8:55 pm #3501090
Philmont is the Scouts’ adventure and they need own it.
No matter how much weight you pack on the Scouts they can still (but don’t) walk off and leave the adults in their dust. The Scouts should carry all their crew gear and each Scout carry and be responsible for the same gear items the entire trek. Adults only carry their person gear. After a day or two everyone knows where everything is and set-up and take-down becomes automatic.
After a commissary pick-up there may be so much food that it all won’t fit in the Scouts’ packs so the adults pick-up the slack. But by the next morning, and every morning thereafter, the Crew Leader should fairly (according to ability) re-distributed all the food among all the Scouts.
During the year before we go we conduct 4 shakedown trips of two nights and 10+ miles using all the techniques and methods needed at Philmont. We have all the Philmont crew gear, use some of Philmont’s surplus meals and duplicate others with super market trail foods.
All our troop backpacking trips are done the Philmont way, train them the right way the first time and you won’t have to re-train them.
We understand and believe in Philmont’s methods and techniques.
“Philmont should be enjoyed, not endured”, David YoungNov 8, 2017 at 10:19 pm #3501107
Youth decide what is fair. If the youth say the adults carry a portion, carry it.
I believe you won’t find any youth that truly believe the advisors are “on vacation” and won’t let them carry at least some food. I know for a fact that my son has already mentioned that I need to carry my share.
The youth are not porters and bell-hops, nor are the advisors frail. It is the scouts’ adventure, but nobody MADE that particular adult go on the trek, they volunteered.
Team spirit and morale require everyone with a pulse to follow the 12 points.Nov 9, 2017 at 1:51 am #3501163
Charles L scout3801
Read and believe Philmont’s Guidebook to Adventure, Council and Unit Planning Guide, Crew Leader and Adult Advisor guide sheets and listen, at least with a grain of salt, to experienced people’s advice.
Gerry H geeteeh, whoa, don’t get your bandana in a wad.
Have you been to Philmont yet? I think the reason people ask questions on these forums is to get good advice from those with experience.
During Ranger training what I posted will be explained to you and is Philmont’s philosophy. If it were not for Two Deep Leadership and transportation to and from requirements adults would not be needed at Philmont, also Philmont’s philosophy.
“Philmont should be enjoyed not endured”, David YoungNov 14, 2017 at 11:28 am #3502052
On my previous three treks the adults did their share. I have had a Philmont Ranger say ” you are part of this crew”…..meaning help with gear…help with decisions (when you need to)
Saw one person say “6lbs for crew gear” I plan on about 2lb to 4lbs, but we have ALL of our own crew gear that is much lighter than Philmonts issued stuff. Who caries the heavier items depends on that Scout’s size/abilities and their pack weights.
We have always carried our own food…it’s packaged by “two’s” so each tent gets their bags and they distribute them between themselves. I’ve also given each person their own bear bag to keep things separated. Once the items get low enough, each tent will combine into one BB. Makes the mornings much more efficient.
My two cents….may not work for all but it has worked for my three previous trips and that’s what we will do in ’18.Nov 15, 2017 at 11:30 pm #3502322
Terry HooverBPL Member
We divided it all up. Bulky items went to those with the larger packs. I guess if the boys just wanted to carry everything we might let them, but, they didn’t…
We used a 10L stuff sack to represent food…put enough stuff in it to make it weigh 8 lbs. 2 lbs/day x 4 days was about the largest food supply/resupply.
I do like the idea of the two one gallon water bottles to get everyone used to the volume requirements.
Eight lbs food, eight lbs water, and 2-4 lbs crew gear should be the absolute max weight for non personal items. Food works its way down as you eat it, and 4 liters of water is generally on the high side. I drink a lot so generally started with 4 liters (2-3 in a camelbak and the rest in water bottles). I was initially worried about having to “refill” the camelbak while on the move; however, I always started with it full and then just refilled it at camp at night. If I picked up extra water during the day I would just use my water bottles (one Nalgene and a 2L platy). Regarding the Nalgene, I found that filling a platy or camelbak out of a tank or stream is quite difficult. Worth it to have one Nalgene on hand.
Sorry for getting off the OP question.Nov 28, 2017 at 3:19 am #3504431
Tony RoncoBPL Member
I would agree that the fitness level, physical size & body weight of the Scouts are key to determining the splitting up of the crew gear. Not just base the determination from the weight of a person’s pack … it should take into a consideration what the percentage of body weight is being carried. IMPORTANT: All members of a crew should practice a lightweight approach (which our crews do) that way the bigger lads will have more “room” within their carry weight for crew gear (referencing the % of body weight carried) to help out the crew’s smaller lads and still be fair to all. Otherwise, the following cautionary tale may possibly unfold.
A cautionary tale: I’ve seen two backpackers outside of our crew (one in 2011 & one in 2013 that were carrying Gossamer Gear packs (both had Gorillas). I had a chance to briefly chat with both …
In 2011 the backpacker I saw (an adult advisor Scouter) had this story: After the food was distributed between him & his food buddy and the crew gear was distributed among the crew. The crew then weighted their packs using the analog scales that Philmont provides, upon seeing that this particular adult advisor had the lightest pack by far, the lead advisor insisted that the person carry all the crew gear, and portion of others’ food in order “to be fair” that everyone had the same carry weight (A lot was hanging outside his pack)
The second was in 2013 (a Scout youth), who just simply said “I’m carrying more than my share” and a little later said “I wish my crew was like yours”
Both complained that trying to go lightweight was cancelled out by getting a lion’s share of the crew gear and consumables. (With the case of that Scouter being in the extreme). As you may know, Gossamer Gear packs are not designed to carry (& be comfortable) those “traditional” Philmont carry weights. So it’s fair to assume those two folks had an uncomfortable time while hiking on the trail.
Make sure that all of your crew practices the lightweight approach … looking at % of body weight carried and fitness level …otherwise you might need to reconsider things.Nov 28, 2017 at 1:38 pm #3504483
Brad PBPL Member
I would have told that lead advisor NO. In both cases, it shouldn’t have been necessary. The distribution of gear should have been established well before arriving at Philmont.
Fairness is not rewarding those who don’t make the effort to go lightweight by punishing those who do the right thing and go lightweight.
Fairness is seeing a crew member who is physically not capable of a heavy load, but did his best to go lightweight and shifting SOME gear from that person to someone more capable. I’m talking about a scout who brought no heavy luxuries, but perhaps the scout is small and young.
The people who wanted all packs to weigh the same should read Animal Farm.Nov 28, 2017 at 2:52 pm #3504493
I have to heartily agree in condemning the “all packs should weigh the same” philosophy. Just the thought of that scenario happening in front of me leads me to thinking very unscout-like responses. Just how prevalent is that mindset? If it is wide-spread I can’t help but wonder how many “advisor accidents” are caused by this (only half joking).
In a clear-cut “the advisor told me I have to do something asinine” situation, should I just shrug it off, or talk with their advisor, or a ranger if present? Is that a time to find a staff member?
In camporee settings I have once or twice had side conversations with adults pulling ridiculous shenanigans. Probably didn’t “fix” anything, but learning to release frustration “in the moment” has helped my mental health a great deal.
In the perfect boy-led world, I suppose our crew leader could tell the other youth that things don’t have to be so messed up. (maybe with a nudge from me)Nov 28, 2017 at 5:00 pm #3504511
Nate Ward said, “I’ve also given each person their own bear bag to keep things separated. Once the items get low enough, each tent will combine into one BB. Makes the mornings much more efficient.”
We still do it the Philmont way. We do however bring our own 4 Bear Bags per crew we use to train with. We made our 30” x 40” bags out of 1.9 oz. rip-stop nylon in colors different from the heavy tan polypropylene bags Philmont issues so we can distinguish ours from ever other crew’s in those few camps we share Bear Cables (BC) with. And ours are much lighter than Philmont’s.
We also have each crew member carry all his Smellables in his personal and unique Smellables Bag so all his Smellables can be quickly and completely removed from his pack anytime it will be left unattended. Each morning it is easy to find and retrieve his Smellables Bag from the downed Bear Bags.
Instead of carrying another Philmont 100’ x ¼” Bear Rope which weighs 2lb. 8oz. we use our own Oops Cord to hang everyone’s Smellables Bags in another of our rip-stop nylon Bear Bags. The cord is 100’ x 1/8” (3mm) braided nylon cord with reflective strands so it shows in the dark with a flashlight. Very handy in the middle of the night should you need the first aid kit or medications.
We use our own Dining Flies. They are Equinox Ultra-Light 10’ x 12’ backpacking tarps made of 1.1 oz. Sil-nylon that only weigh 1 lb. 3 oz. as compared to Philmont’s 2lb. 3oz.tarps. They used to issue 4 pound tarps when we started using our own.
We do these and many other things because we need comparable and adequate crew gear to train with before we go. So we just tried to improve on Philmont’s near Scout Proof gear with lighter gear we plan to take better care of than maybe others might. Our gear won’t be on the trail with Scouts every day for two or three summers like Philmont’s crew gear must.Nov 28, 2017 at 5:27 pm #3504513
So you have gotten a ranger to approve your bags and oops rope? Anecdotally that seems like that is very hit or miss, with more missing than hitting. Well done if you managed to make it fly.
I suppose convincing a ranger that you are only replacing the oops rope would be easier than the stories of people trying to replace both ropes.
Color coding bags and ropes is a route I am pursuing. I had toyed with the idea of pinning/stitching a streamer to the big feed bag and at the tie-off point to handle crew to crew differentiation. We are definitely using the color personal bags inside the big bag idea.Nov 28, 2017 at 5:34 pm #3504514
Brad P I agree with all you said.
No one going to Philmont should be carrying a pack too small to carry his share of crew gear or food. He is just cheating the crew. Philmont gives the recommend pack sizes and everyone should bring one. If he can cut his pack weight by carrying lighter sleeping bag, pad, clothes, etc. or use alternatives that’s his prerogative as long as he has room in his pack for his share of crew gear, food, etc.
But shares are not based on equal pack weights or even item weight.
No two crew gear items are the same size or weight .So older or larger Scouts get the heavier items, younger or smaller scouts get lighter items. That’s the Scout Crew Leader’s responsibility to as fairly as possible distribute the crew gear and food, NOT the Lead Adult Advisor’s. The Lead Adult Advisor’s job is done after check-in at Camping Headquarters. On the trail the crew is led by the Scout Crew Leader, adults need to shut-up and hike at the rear
Our crew gear is assigned to a Scout to carry and be responsible for the entire trek. We find they are much more responsible for its safe keeping that way. And when you need the first aid kit or TP everyone knows who has it instead of searching through packs trying the figure out who had it last.Nov 28, 2017 at 8:45 pm #3504545
Backpacking at Philmont is different from solo, seat of your pants or even the Backpacking MB backpacking you may be used to. Because they have so many campers pass through every summer year after year they have some unique methods and very strict rules. Watch Philmont’s YouTube videos on how to cook, bear bag, etc.
Doing three or four training treks long before you go will solve many of these issue we are discussing here. You should be using the Backpacking Merit Badge requirements #10 as your guide. “At least three treks of at least three days each and at least 15 miles each using two different campsites on each trek.”
Practice makes better.
To train your troop needs to assemble all the crew gear Philmont issues and gear crews are expected to provide: cookware, utensils & cleaning gear, backpacking stoves & fuel bottles, bear bags, ropes & oops bag carabiner, dining flies, poles, cords & stakes, first aid kit, TP & camp trowel, etc.
You may choose to take and use some of your gear that Philmont would issue because yours is lighter, better or because your crew is accustomed to using it. KISS
Philmont should be enjoyed, not endured.Nov 29, 2017 at 3:25 am #3504595
I can say I will never allow a person on my trek, youth or adult, to be “punished” because they spent the time and money to get as light as they can. They will get the heavier crew gear, but not ALL of it so their pack weighs the same and the next guy.
I confess, I had the lightest pack on my last trek, my son had the next lightest (I had 39lbs he had 40) that was with our crew gear. Yes, we did take the heaviest items. It cost me several thousand dollars and many hours of research on gear to get that light…I’ll be lighter next summer….
I did many classes and gear checks to ensure everyone was as light as they could get. Our heaviest youth pack was 45lbs….The plan worked well.Nov 30, 2017 at 2:48 pm #3504804
Are those 39lbs, 40lbs & 45lbs pack weights before or after fully loaded with water, crew gear and food.Dec 2, 2017 at 1:14 am #3505089
That was full trail weight. Three days food and 4ltr of water. I’ve never added up my base weight, should be in the 12-15lb range.
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