November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Cooking Systems
Display Avatars Sort By:
Curtis Ware
(ware_curtis) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Cooking Systems on 05/21/2008 11:42:31 MDT Print View

Fellow Scouts,

Our two crews that are going to Philmont in August are experimenting with using large cozys and Gallon Freezer bags to cook their meals. Has anyone had success or failure with this "Freezer Bag" approach? Some of the adult leadership and Crew Leaders have been to Philmont before and they are trying to lighten load and get away from the dreaded Pot cleaning.

They are trying out the new large cozy next weekend. I will post trip report and pictures when they get back.

Michael Crosby
(djjmikie) - MLife

Locale: Ky
RE: Freezerbag "Cooking Systems" on 05/21/2008 12:08:05 MDT Print View

As it happens, we are lucky enough to have 2 ladies that specialize in freezerbag cooking as members of this forum.

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Cooking Systems on 05/21/2008 15:48:40 MDT Print View

Curtis, there's a discussion about bag cooking right here in the Philmont forum --

There are a number of crews that have adopted bag cooking. Works great. Uses less fuel. Minimizes clean up.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Curtis on 05/25/2008 17:44:36 MDT Print View

Don't hesitate to ask questions!

Btw...for big groups the turkey bags (or roaster/oven bags/crock pot liners) may work better. They can hold quite a bit - especially if you are cooking for 3-4 people at a time.
In some ways though doing meals for 2 at a time can be easier and work out better.
All you'd need to do is boil up water and share the water.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Cooking Options on 06/05/2008 08:38:52 MDT Print View

Okay Philmont Experts:

Typically, when we go as a group we do the following:

Break down dehydrated food into individual serving sizes
Heat water (usually a pot that can heat enough water for 4)
Empty food into a lightweight plastic cup or container
Cover with tinfoil and wait the prescribed amount.
No cooking in bag. Just one cup to clean.

I am thinking of doing the same at Philmont with the 12 of us. This will eliminate the need for bringing turkey bags, no one will have to scoop out of the bag and there will be no bag to dispose of other than the bag the food is originally provided to us.

Cleaning will be the same since everyone has to eat out of something.

Any flaws in my plan. Since many of you plan on turkey bagging what part am I missing?


Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Cooking Options on 06/05/2008 09:54:37 MDT Print View

Just make sure your container you use is rated for microwave and dishwasher use so it can handle hot water.
If you want to go that route, well your better off to hand out individual servings and have the boys make them in insulated mugs. But....make sure they clean them right so you don't get mold and funk!

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Thanks Sarah on 06/05/2008 12:53:33 MDT Print View

We get the kids to use either a cottage cheese tub or a large drink cup from a fast food restaurant. Serving goes in, water goes in, alum foil on top and wait. Just clean when done. No extra bags.

Does anyone else use this at Philmont? When we get there will we have a problem using this method with the Philmont Rangers?


Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Re: Thanks Sarah on 06/05/2008 19:14:26 MDT Print View

It should work. The only 2 problems I see are if you got the right serving, or if the tubs / cups are stout enough to be packed for 12 days.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Cooking in cups (heating food) on 06/06/2008 14:48:09 MDT Print View

Yea, I have to make sure the cups are stout enough. I'll use both methods on the shakedown hikes and let the troop decide. I think it would be nice not to have to carry out more dirty bags than necessary.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
How is Food Distributed? on 06/06/2008 16:21:28 MDT Print View

This is a general question of food distribution, principally dehydrated dinners. I understand that you get your allotment of food at the beginning and resupplies.

Do the dehydrated meals come broken down for 2 people for example, or are they bagged in bulk for the entire crew (12 in our case)?

I bring this up because Mike mentioned portions. I guess it would be easier if the food came in bulk to cook it in a turkey bag instead of breaking it down to individual portions.

Do other cooked foods, basically oatmeal, come in bulk for the entire crew, or do they come individually packaged.

Once again, thanks for your replies.

Curt Ward
(cward508) - F
Re: How is Food Distributed? on 06/08/2008 10:53:06 MDT Print View

Each of your meals come packaged for two people. At breakfast we boiled the water and let each person add hot water to thier own individual bag of oatmeal. The lunches are all no cook. At dinner we combined all the packages to a common turkey bag and added the correct amount of water. It worked great in 2006 and we will do the same in 2008.

Only 25 days till we depart:)

Mark White
(wmwhite) - F
Bag sizes on 06/09/2008 14:14:02 MDT Print View

Reynolds makes a Turkey bag and a smaller Roasting bag. Is the smaller Roasting bag large enough? I'll be using the Philmont pots so I have no way to test.

Depart in 19 days....

Edited by wmwhite on 06/09/2008 14:14:37 MDT.

Curt Ward
(cward508) - F
Re: Bag sizes on 06/09/2008 15:40:33 MDT Print View

Use the Turkey bags. They are more heavy duty and less likely to split. With a full crew you will need the space they offer.

2008 Trek 705K

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Bag sizes on 06/09/2008 17:14:35 MDT Print View

I'd agree on the turkey bags - they are bit heftier :-)

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Unpackaging Philmont Food on 06/23/2008 14:50:24 MDT Print View

I am wondering how you get the food. Someone answered me that it comes ready for 2 persons, however, how much packaging comes with it. Do the freeze dried meals come in the vacuum sealed pouches or are they broken down by the Philmont staff and placed in zip locks?

If the freeze dried food does come in vacuum bags do people open them up and put them in their own smaller, less bulky and lighter bag? Also, can you get rid of that type of trash on the trail at the campsites?

I talked to someone the other day at REI that has been on 2 Philmont treks. He was quite proud of his 47 pound pack. I tried to interest him in some ways to lighten the load but said it can't be done the "Philmont way".

By the way; how many cooking pots would you take (4 or 6 quart) if you were turkey bagging. I assume 2, 1 to boil for cooking and 1 to boil for clean up.

Thanks in advance for your responses.

Edited by scottbentz on 06/23/2008 14:51:07 MDT.

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Re: Unpackaging Philmont Food on 06/23/2008 20:33:03 MDT Print View

Scott, to your questions:

If you want to be the uber-Philmont-minimalist, then you'd dump about 1/2 the packaging to save about 2 ounces per meal for 12, not worth the effort for most I'd imagine. Where you can save a little more weight is to dump what you don't want/won't eat (ie "Gorp").

I don't think the bags are vacuum packed, but they are freeze dried / rehydrate meals, they are in plastic bags, not zip lock. You can get rid of the packaging and other trash when you get to the next staffed camp.

47 lbs is probably about average. We saw 2 trekkers in 2006 that were very proud (on day 1) of their 80 and 84 lb packs. We saw 1 of them later and he was really dragging (but this was not the guy that was carrying the 12" cast iron frying pan and fresh eggs for the whole trip in a cooler). (My pack was 24 lbs to start with 1 L of water (short hike to 1st stop with known water, and only 2 days of food). Doug Prosser and Phil Barton are probably in that same range, and I expect they are well equipped "The Philmont Way".

We're taking two 4 qt pots with turkey bags, both to boil water for 2 different components of dinner. Once the water is boiled, we pour it into the turkey bag, followed by the food. The bag sits in a cozy which gives it support and minimized heat loss.

Cleanup of the pots is to dump out any remaining water.
When finished, the turkey bag is human sumped, meaning someone licks it clean, then it goes into the trash bag.

While another piece of plastic in the trash is regretable, the amount of effort it takes to clean a pot with spaggetti reminants is likely much greater :)

When do you leave?


Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Our Itinerary on 06/23/2008 22:45:20 MDT Print View

Our trek starts July 22. Train from LA on July 20th.

Thanks for the info. We have a shakedown hike this weekend and I want to get some of the details down. Philmont food seems quite heavy.

I guess the 47 lb. pack was not bad.

Thanks for the info.


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Unpackaging Philmont Food on 06/24/2008 01:57:17 MDT Print View

> While another piece of plastic in the trash is regretable, the amount of effort it takes to clean a pot with spaggetti reminants is likely much greater :)

Not in my experience. I cook (& simmer) IN the pot (for 2), and dispense with the bags completely. Washing up - a quick rinse is usually enough.

I really can't see why you have to decant the water from a perfectly good cooking pot in the first place. Weird.

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Re: Re: Re: Unpackaging Philmont Food on 06/24/2008 06:59:47 MDT Print View

Hi Roger,
is it possibly because they also use the meat sauce from Philmont as the basis for super glue??? :) :) :)

We've done it both ways, and the turkey bagging was easily much faster. Also, you can use the turkey bag for the trash bag, which saves the petroleum in the large black plastic bag for high test gas, thusly and proportionally reducing the overall global petroleum demand. <(;-)

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Re: Re: Re: Unpackaging Philmont Food on 06/24/2008 08:16:13 MDT Print View

The big thing about turkey bag cooking in my mind is that I'm not washing dishes. Actually that responsibility belongs to the young guys on our Philmont crew. They don't want to wash dishes any more than I do. For the cost of a turkey bag (about 0.4 oz or 11g) we eliminate an irksome chore. The extra weight for our crew of 9 is negligible. In the end we have a happier crew and a little more time for the fun stuff at Philmont.

Scott, there are some fellow Scouters that are outspoken skeptics that anyone can hike at Philmont with a light pack. I appreciate Mike's confidence. I am a first-timer at Philmont this year, crew 710-B2. Our guys have been working hard to learn a lighter way of doing things. I am really looking forward to our trip.

Our cook kit is:
2 x MSR WindPro stoves
6 x 227g fuel canisters
2 x GSI 2qt aluminum pots with lid
1 x long handle plastic spoon
1 x 12"x12" fiberglass screen (for sump)
1 x 4oz bottle Dr Bronner's soap

We have found that heating 4 quarts of water on the 2 stoves is fast and easy. We use a cup to scoop water for cleaning dishes.

Our entire cook kit weighs less a lot less than the standard Philmont issue. A larger crew will need bigger pots. We have used this on our shakedown hikes.

Then because I won't go without coffee I am also carrying a SnowPeak Trek900 pot and foil lid. I filter cowboy coffee with a MSR coffee filter basket. Mmmmm.

Edited by flyfast on 06/24/2008 08:27:15 MDT.