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Lightweight & Inexpensive - Philmont 2006
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Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Lightweight & Inexpensive - Philmont 2006 on 09/05/2005 23:04:57 MDT Print View

Hi, I'm new to BPL, and appreciate all the input in various threads.

We're taking a crew to Philmont in June 2006. Several of our Scouts can't afford to go out and purchase a $200 (or $100) tent, backpack, sleeping bag or other accessories.
Their current weekend backpack weights are around 30 - 35 lbs, that's pre-Philmont required gear. Their typical weights are a 4 - 6 lb pack, 5 - 6 lb sleeping bag, 5-8 lb 2 man tent, etc. Not a big deal for a 5 mile hike, but I understand this + crew gear, food and water may become a problem for a 50 - 65 mile journey.

While the 3 adults going can pick up some of the slack, we can't pick it all up. So, I'm looking for cost-effective / weight effective suggestions, on how we can get their pack weights down, as well as taking some of the other 2006 Philmont thread suggestions of leaving much of the suggested (not mandatory) equipment behind.

By the way, could we use a 9 x 9 sheet of Tyvek (1 lb)to cover the packs instead of carrying the 4 lb Philmont tarp?
Thanks in advance,
Mike B

Edited by eaglemb on 09/05/2005 23:07:27 MDT.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Lightweight & Inexpensive - Philmont 2006 on 09/06/2005 01:53:36 MDT Print View

This answer assumes the goal is lightweight rather than ultralight.

tyvek would work for a gear tarp but be warned, tyvek is *LOUD* in the wind.

If you have access to a few sewing machines you can save $$ by making some simple projects (stuff sacks, poncho, tarp, a sleeping quilt maybe)

thru-hiker is a good source of low cost silnylon and other materials.

Approx $40 of material and 2 hours of sewing would make a 9x10 silnylon tarp

Approx $20 of material and 2 hours of sewing would make a silnylon poncho

Stuff sacks are easy, thru-hiker has instructions, for scouts I'd probably avoid the lightest material but 1.9oz nylon would be tough enough, and low cost at the nearest mill-end fabric shop.

Single wall tents are doable but would be a large project for most youth.

ray-way quilts kits are about $55 and are light and appear to be easy to make

While not one of the big three (for weight and cost), use 1 and 2 liter plastic beverage bottles for water cotainers.

3 lb coffee cans with wire coat hanger bales are workable pots for Philmont's "human sump" regimen

I'm not sure I'd be ready to suggest homemade alcohol stoves for scouts but the cost is low.

Edited by jcolten on 09/06/2005 01:59:54 MDT.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Lightweight & Inexpensive - Philmont 2006 on 09/06/2005 09:12:14 MDT Print View

On the sleeping bag front I would suggest either the campmor 2lb 20f down bag (often less than $100) which I think can be used comfortably down to around 35F, or making a 1-2lb sleeping quilt insulated with down ( kit is $124) or primaloft or polarguard quilt ( is $55).

On the tent front... that's an issue. Normally I would suggest using tarps... but Philmont has been requiring closed tent. My best suggestion would be find some tents you can borrow ot see if a local outdoor supplier would like to sponser the trip.

As to backpacks. Think about making or buying a 1lb G4 backpack.


AK Hiker
(akhiker) - F
Packs on 09/06/2005 12:10:16 MDT Print View

Rodney makes great backpacks at a very good price.

For sleeping bags, make your own. Or buy the Kelty lightyear. The 45 degree bags are on sale at

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Lightweight & Inexpensive - Philmont 2006 on 09/06/2005 20:58:12 MDT Print View

I haven't personally used this but have seen it in the REI store. The REI Gimme Shelter Tent is on sale for $79.93. It looks very functional for 2. Weight is 2lb 10oz. It does require use of hiking poles. Could be a less expensive option for your trek.