LIghtweight Philmont Experince
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Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
LIghtweight Philmont Experince on 06/24/2008 21:16:41 MDT Print View

When you complete your trek, particularly with lightweight gear, please share your experience with the rest of us: What went well, but more importantly what didn't. Seems like I learn a lot more when things don't go as well as would have liked.

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Re: LIghtweight Philmont Experince on 06/25/2008 11:55:46 MDT Print View

We returned last night. Our expedition was 612. Awesome trek.

My pack base weight was 19 lbs which included my video camera, GPS and some troop emergency items such as a sewing kit, extra boot laces, safety pins, eyeglass repair kit, extra rope, tent stakes, duct tape, super glue, etc.

Here are my thoughts:

Silnylon dining fly (18 oz). Saved about 4 lbs over the Philmont issue fly and poles. We had trekking poles but never used them, just tied the fly to trees.

Gossamer Gear Squall Classic tent (22 oz). Some light condensation 2 nights but worked awesome overall.

Tyvek ground cloth (7.5 oz). Worked great.

MSR Windpro stove (10 oz). Worked great, clean flame and easy to use. Backcountry commissaries had plenty of fuel.

MSR Whisperlite (13 oz). We much preferred the canister fuel stove. This liquid fuel stove was harder to light, sooty and don't adjust flame as well. It did perform it's intended function though.

4 quart Open Country pots (13 oz). Took 2. Worked well but will trade one for a 6 quart pot next time. Would have been better to have one bigger pot.

JRB Rocky Mountain Sniveler quilt (28 oz). Awesome. I much prefer a quilt to a bag, but YMMV.

Big Agnes insulated air core pad (23 oz). This is a heavier pad but I sure enjoyed the comfort on those hard rocky tent areas.

GoLite Pinacle pack (25 oz). Worked well with my gear, but shoulder straps hurt after about 5 hours of hiking with full load (food/water/troop gear).

Titanium Goat treking poles (6 oz). Worked great. Had never used poles before but came to like them as the trek progressed. I used one for the front pole of the tent.

SteriPen Adventurer (4 oz). Never used it. Troop had 2 Katadyn filters and the boys filtered all the water.

Vasque Breeze XCR boots (48 oz). Very good boot for me, they fit my feet well. I have heard of the use of trail runner shoes but the trails we took were extremely rocky and I was very glad to have some ankle support. I recommend boots there.

DriDucks raingear (12.5 oz top & bottom total). Only used the top once so I can't report on their effectiveness over extended use.

Slinglight chair (22 oz). Loved it. Bulky to strap to the back of pack, but didn't hinder me any and I sure did enjoy the comfort of a chair with a back and headrest. I would also consider some of the lighter 3 legged stools that are more practical for eating/cooking, etc.

Glad ForceFlex trash bag for pack liner (1 oz). Worked ok but added to the hassle of packing the pack. Will consider a few more ounces for an external pack cover next time.

Blue shop towels (2 oz). Came in really handy. I took 10 and used them all.

Rains Skinni Mini umbrella (4.5 oz) Never used it. I wanted to try this out for rain and sun protection, but didn't really have the chance. Would have used it for sun protection on the section from Tooth of Time to base camp but it was cloudy so I didn't need it.

Would have liked to have taken some lighter bear bag rope but ran out of time. The boys carried the ropes and it didn't seem to matter to them.

Well... hope that helps.

John

IWTGBTP!

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Re: LIghtweight Philmont Experince on 06/25/2008 20:46:03 MDT Print View

THANKS, John. Great report. I can't wait to go. Less than 2 weeks to go.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Pack Base Weight on 06/26/2008 08:41:30 MDT Print View

John,

Thanks for the report.

Did your 19 lbs. include water?
How much weight do you think the food is on a typical resupply day?

Sounds like a great time.

Scott

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Pack Weight on 06/26/2008 15:19:54 MDT Print View

No, that weight was without food or water. Our maximum food supply was 4 days x 3 meals per day x 6 packages per meal (each package supplies 2 meals) = 72 packages. We had 11 in our crew so each took 6 or 7 meal packages. We didn't have a way to weigh them and each meal has slightly different weight. Lunches seemed to be the heaviest. I estimate the average weight to be around 1 to 1.5 lbs per package. That adds about 10 lbs max after resupply and diminishes with each meal.

I am now curious how much the food actually weighs. Maybe someone can 'weigh in' on that.

John

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Pack Weight on 06/26/2008 16:19:24 MDT Print View

> I am now curious how much the food actually weighs.
On a sustainable basis with carefully selected totally dry foods you need about 750 g (26.5 oz) per person per day. You can reduce this a little by swapping some carbos out in favour of fats, but that has problems for some.

On a non-sustainable basis ... I know one guy who runs on about 300 g per day (much cheese and salami), but he has a body weight loss (ie fat) each day of about 450 - 500 g!

Cheers

Joe Johnstone
(entropy) - F
Some ideas on 06/30/2008 16:13:26 MDT Print View

After the first food pickup, we realized hardly anybody drank the gatorade, so on the next pickup, we put it all in the swap boxes, and anyone that wanted gatorade had to carry their own.

We used a Kelty Noah 12z12 tarp with the kely poles. Saved a good deal of weight over the Philmont. I'm suprised that your ranger let you tie off the tarp to trees.

If we would have been able to and afford it, using three man tents for the boys would have ben a good idea.

We also used 2 - 4qt pots, and while ok, having one 6 qt qould have been better.

Douglas Prosser
(daprosser) - MLife

Locale: Camarillo, California (SCAL)
Re: Some ideas on 07/02/2008 22:36:52 MDT Print View

Yes. We always get rid of the Gatorade out of our food.

I think our tarp is either 8X10 or 10X12 but we use our trekking poles to set it up. Philmont usually does not want you to tie off to trees.

An Yes again to the 6 liter pot. I also felt that 2-4 liter are too smaill unless using multiple food groups for your crew. We always cook as one crew.
Here is the link for the pot: http://antigravitygear.com/proddetail.php?prod=ECA166&cat=99

I had our troop purchase a number of the
Sierra Designs Origami 2 Ultralight Two-person, 3-season Tarp - 2007 Model ~2lbs!! for Philmont this year.
Our Price: $139.00
Sale: $79.95

http://www.sunnysports.com/Prod/SDSTOR2UL.html?Search=op%3ddtSearch%26Term%3dorgami%26SearchFlag%3dall%26AdvSrchSortField%3dRelevance%26DescSort%3d0%26Description%3don%26Hit%3d1

Enjoy the trek.

Douglas Prosser
(daprosser) - MLife

Locale: Camarillo, California (SCAL)
Another Idea on Rain Gear for Philmont: on 07/02/2008 22:50:57 MDT Print View

I have tried Frogg Toggs, Dri-ducks, and last year Patagonia Spraymaster top & bottoms. The Patagonia worked the best but cost & weighed the most. This year something new.
Mountain Hardwear Stimulus jacket (no hood) size large 6.4 oz on my scale. Nice long tail, welded seams. http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Product.aspx?top=1241&cat=1281&prod=2588
ULA Rain Wrap 3.0 oz on my scale for Med
http://www.ula-equipment.com/rain_wrap.htm

With signing up for the Treking I course here (BPL.com) we were able to get ProPricing from Mountain Hardwear & GoLite. This alone saved a bunch of the cost for the course. The Stimulus Jacket above was only 50% of retail.

Jeff S
(jds43) - F
Lightweight at Philmont on 07/12/2008 09:45:26 MDT Print View

Just returned from a lightweight Philmont trek.
38 lbs out of basecamp with water and 5 days food.

Key weight saving items:
8 x 10 siltarp
Golite Shangri La 3 Tent
Golite Pinnacle backpack
Big Agnes Clearview Sleeping Pad
JetBoil Cooking

We checked out one Philmont Tent,the Philmont Frisbee and 5 bear bags with ropes for our crew gear.

The tent was a sacrifice as it was not as waterproof, bugproof or rodent proof as we would have liked. It will not make the next trip (although it is really light).

The Big Agnes Clearview pad is great! 2.5 inches of inflatable, side sleeper comfort. I was worried about durability, but combined with the clearview pillow and I was sleeping comfortably all trip.

The GoLite Pinnacle backpack is perfect for Philmont, just don't get stuck carrying more than 40lbs because someone else has gone 'heavy'. Packing well takes some practice. We had 3 on our trek. A little hot due to the large contact area on your back, so take this into consideration.

Marmot Precip raingear was great. My advise is NOT to skimp on raingear as being soaked can severely impact your enjoyment!

I carried a Crazy Creek chair as my one luxury item, and I'm glad I did. It's nice to have a cushioned place to sit and to have some back support while out on the trail. I'd to it again.

Go lite at Philmont!

Blevin Davis
(pinger) - MLife

Locale: Florida
Re: LIghtweight Philmont Experince on 07/12/2008 19:03:47 MDT Print View

We returned a couple of days ago. Our expedition was 627-F2. Trek 27; it was an awesome trek.

My pack weight trail bound was 31 lbs on the Philmont scales. This included my camera, crew gear, 4 days of food and 3 liters of water. My pack, quilt and tent were MYO items. I weighed my pack again when we returned to base camp. With a little food left over from breakfast and lunch and about ½ liter of water it weighed 17 lbs. Here's my report:

MYO Mariposa style pack. I made this pack based on a friend's GG Mariposa. It worked great. The only complaint I had was my belt would roll in the belt pocket for some reason. The real GG packs didn't do this; I am still trying to determine what caused this.

MYO Climashield Combat quilt. I was pleased with the quilt overall, however I was cold several nights. My watch indicated it was in the low 40s (upper 30's one night at Ute Meadows). The 32-degree rating for the insulation was very optimistic. With a silk weight base layer, 100-weight fleece and my Frogg Toggs I did OK. If I did it over again I would make the quilt out of 7.5 oz insulation! And bring mid-weight base layers to sleep in.

MYO Bigley style tarp tent w/ tyvek ground cloth. Several nights we had some light condensation but it worked great overall.

Big Agnes insulated air core pad. I was able to use the mid length mummy size pad. It was great for the comfort on those hard rocky tent areas.

Montrail Hardrock Trail Runners. These shoes were great. They gave me plenty of support and held up well. Don't fall for the "you must wear boots at Philmont" line.

Frogg Toggs raingear. We had heavy thunderstorms on 3 afternoons. The rain suits held up well. I also wore it to sleep and in the mornings as we were breaking camp. It's showing some wear but has no holes and has not wet through yet.

REI Traverse treking poles. These worked great. Got them on sale and a customer discount too so I can't complain about the weight. I used one for the front pole of the tent.

I used trash compactor bags to waterproof my pack. This worked well. I only put my quilt and clothes in the bag.

For our crew gear:

MSR Whisperlite. The stove worked well. One of our sister crews had MSR canister stoves; we seemed to be boiling water at the same rate as them. Our fuel seemed to last longer. I think they had some issues with fuel re-supplies, canisters were limited. Backcountry commissaries had plenty of liquid fuel.

10-quart Open Country pots. Took 2. Worked well, crews that only took the 4-quart pots had to boil water twice. We used one to boil the water and "cooked" the meals in turkey roasting bags in the second pot. On the nights when we had 2 hot items they both fit in the bigger pot while they rehydrated. This helped to keep the food warm.

Silnylon dining fly (18 oz). We used treking poles to set it up along with Ti stakes. This was much better than the issue 4-5 lbs tarp.

Safe trek to those of you on your way. Watch out for the Mini Bears, they are vicious!


Blevin

Timothy Akin
(tj)

Locale: Northern California
our Philmont gear on 07/13/2008 16:15:22 MDT Print View

We’re recently returned from Philmont, trek 619-M. Had thundershowers almost everyday. Marmot rain pants worked great. They kept me dry and they were very easy to don quickly with the large zips up and down the outside of each leg. I love my rain jacket: REI’s Elements. It may be a bit heavy (15oz.), but it kept me dry, and is very durable.

Used two trash compactor bags (3oz. each); one for my sleeping bag compartment liner, and the other for the main compartment liner. Also used an REI silnylon pack cover that performed very well. Everything stayed dry, even in heavy rain.

Our ranger allowed us to use trees to run the rain-fly ridgeline, but we were not allowed to use rocks to hammer in tent stakes. Said it put scratches on the rocks. Had to use deadwood branches to hammer stakes. We used the issued 5 lb. fly, (should have brought our own silnylon rain-fly).

For shelter, I used my silnylon Contrail Tarptent (20 oz.). This worked great and I would use it again. Full bathtub floor kept us (son and I) dry during an overnight heavy rainstorm. My groundsheet worked fine as well (Gossamer Gear polypro). Could not get groundsheet to stay under my tent on one windy day, but the Contrail does not really require a groundsheet.

For a sleep pad, I used Gossamer Gear’s, closed cell, Nightlight (7 oz.). This worked great as I don’t require much padding. It seemed a bit too long for me, so I cut about 14 inches off one end and folded the small piece in two to be used as a sit pad. My son had a Thermarest Trekker chair (10 oz.) rolled up in his Thermarest Prolite 4R pad (26 oz.). We used the chair maybe twice, so I would not bring it again.

I have become very dependent on my trekking poles (Black Dia. Alpine CF). The FlickLocks are awesome. Simple, quick, and held tight all day. I never had to mess around with my poles like others in my crew did with the friction locks on their Leki poles. I was very happy to have poles for the steep descent off the NW side of Mt. Phillips and another steep descent along Bonito Creek approaching Abreu.

For eating, I purchased the $9 Philmont 18 fl oz. Glacier Stainless Steel mug from the trading post (5 oz. weight). It was all I needed for meals and worked great for evening Advisors Coffee on the porches. I also used a Ti spork, but a spoon would have worked much better. It was difficult to really do a good job scraping out my cup with the toothy spork.

Enjoy your trek,

Edited by tj on 07/14/2008 16:34:09 MDT.

paul buzzard
(troop208) - F
Philmont 630 H3 trek responses on 07/14/2008 10:05:02 MDT Print View

Just got back as well. Some feedback:

As crew advisor, the constant harp for lightweight preparation went somewhere between nowhere and listened to.

My pack weighed 35# with 4 days food, 1/3 tent, 3+ liters of water, and my share crew gear when leaving first day. Fine for me. Others in our crew ranged from high 30's to more like mid 40's, including 44 for a 98 pound scout. Highest was 49 for another advisor. We had a large group, 13 people.
What worked: Amsteel rope, noted in other post. Great purchase, although almost didn't make the trek. We had a brand new ranger, 5th trip out, and her position was no substitute ropes. Had to go over her head to get cleared up. Loved it and the weight savings was over 3#. Silnylon 12 x 12 shelter with hiking poles, weight savings over 5# if you count using separate poles. We had rain a few times, and we could rig this a number of ways, using rubber innertubes to securely hold the poles together. 100% great. We took one 12 quart pot and one 4 quart pot with al. pie pans for lids. This was just right for our group. Coffee and/or second dinner item in the smaller pot, dinner in the big one. Micropur was very easy to use and really didn't have any taste, at least to me. Way easier than filtering.
What didn't work/couldn't use: Had to bring sump frisbee, couldn't persuade ranger to use paint strainers. Didn't make my day, but after the bear bag rope issue, I really didn't want to push anymore on the first day. Turkey bags: We brought them, used them the first couple days, then stopped. Boys will be boys, and mixing the dinner to avoid lumps always punctured the bags, even when taking care. So the pot had to be cleaned anyway, although only liquids were in there. And getting all the goods out of the bags was messy. So we just used the big pot and the scraper. We had pot cleaner hungry scouts who learned to use the scraper very well, LOL. We used Zip loc or turkey bags for pudding and potatoes and they did work well.
Stoves: We have very nice Optimus Nova stoves. The white gas at Philmont, basically sucked. We have never had a problem with these stoves at altitude or anywhere, using Coleman fuel. I made sure the fuel was filtered with my filers, but stove performance was frustrating. We cleaned them pretrip and had performance issues. Had to be the fuel. They did work, just not the way they should have. That being said, our fuel consumption was very low. Coffee every day for 3, and dinner every night. We brought 2 20 ounce bottles and one liter bottle filled to the lines for cooking at base camp, meaning not filled to the brim, probably 4/5ths. We never refilled and had about 1/2 liter left over. That's about it on equipment.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Bear Bag Rope on 07/15/2008 14:54:23 MDT Print View

I am wondering what type of rope they do give out.

We have decided to use a method using 3 caribiners to make a 2/1 mechanical pulley. We are using parachute cord. Will they let us use that rope.

Ideally, I would like to use Amsteel, however, I cannot locate it at a decent price.

Any ideas?

Scott

paul buzzard
(troop208) - F
rope on 07/16/2008 07:06:00 MDT Print View

The Philmont rope is some very large 1/2" diameter nylon. Two 150' lengths. Big and heavy, but works. We got the Amsteel from the same place as mentioned in, I think this thread, Redden Marine Supply, Bellingham WA. 360-733-0250
or google it. 7/64ths inch size was .14 per foot. We used 1 150' length for main bag, and 1 100' piece for the oops bag. They were about the right length. We got hassled, but proved the rope was tougher than the nylon one. I would print out specs for both and bring, if you buy, to prove your point. Cost was $49 delivered. Parachute cord isn't allowed, and believe me, the bags are very heavy with initial food load. I am not sure that is strong enough. Any way I doubt that will pass muster.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
7/64 Amsteel on 07/16/2008 12:17:41 MDT Print View

Paul,

I wish I had seen your post sooner. I ordered 150' of rope. I had heard that 75' would do. We are planning on using a 3 caribiner method.

My question is would 75' be long enough to tie the main rope? With that method you tie 2 biners together, throw them over the wire and lower. Pass rope from upper biner, down to bag attched with another biner, and then through the biner at the top. It's a 2-1 mechanical advantage. You can see it on Gossamer Gear's website. I should have bought more but I paid a bit more than I wanted. I found it for 6 cents a foot cheaper later in the day. At least I didn't get it at West Marine or the like for .73 cents a foot.

Scott

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
lightweight line on 07/16/2008 12:39:58 MDT Print View

http://www.cbknot.com/LashIt.htm

this stuff is high quality
dont know if they'll allow it, but man it sure would work a bunch of other places... fwiw

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 07/16/2008 14:23:59 MDT.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Samson Twine on 07/16/2008 12:44:54 MDT Print View

I could just imagine showing up with "twine" to hang the bear bag. If they have problems with the 7/64 stuff could you imagine if you said, "Hey, we'll just use this twine". Looks like strong stuff.

Scott

paul buzzard
(troop208) - F
amsteel/hanging methods on 07/18/2008 06:51:24 MDT Print View

Scott,

I didn't want to fight our ranger on hanging methods. Good luck with using another non philmont way, depends on the ranger, no doubt. Make sure you test your biners for weight holding capacity. If they are climbing ones, no problems, but any other style, make sure they can hold at least 75#. Practice hang would be my adivse at least once with that much weight. We already had enough disagreements, so I didn't care. So we used the regular Philmont method, which is simple and relatively easy to do. And it has double safety, meaning if one rope breaks, or is chewed by a bear, or whatever, the main bag{s} will still stay up, given the single rope can hold the weight. The oops bag is held by a single rope only. But all your food is on the main rope, the double one. Our 150' main rope worked everywhere, double tied to two trees, meaning 75' each "side". Close a couple of camps, but no problems. The oops rope was 100', overkill all but one place. We used a pulley for the oops rope, worked great, but 'biner would be fine as well.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Thanks for the Reports/I'm Out on 07/18/2008 11:54:52 MDT Print View

Hey all,

Thanks for all of the reports and especially to those that have been posting on this site since its inception (thanks BPL!). I'm on the train Sunday on my way to Trek 23.

These last posts have reminded me of what it is like to deal with scouting leaders. I've done all I can do so I will just go along with what they say as long as I can use my Sil-Nylon tarp, amsteel rope, paint strainers and not cooking in a big pot. We'll see what happens.

The biggest part of our preparations is to have taught the kids how to go out safely without having a ton of extra stuff. We had our last shakedown hike last week and it was impressive to see all of the packs tight, light and compact, without any extraneous items hanging off. We've been working on our packs for a long time and I think we did a great job.

What am I looking forward to? Getting to camp and taking a nap!

See you on the return.

Thanks again!

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Trek 23 on 07/18/2008 16:15:14 MDT Print View

Scott,
We were on trek 23 also. It was fantastic.
Hope you have a great time.
Please give us a full report when you get back.
John

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Trek 23, July 10-22 on 07/24/2008 20:33:33 MDT Print View

We just returned from Philmont. Wow. It was a much bigger and better experience than I anticipated. Our 2 crews had a great time. This was my first trip to Philmont. Our guys benefited greatly from the info shared here at BPL.

The significance of Philmont is helping the transformation of boys to young men. That it happens in a landscape as beautiful as the Sangre de Cristo is incredible. Here I will focus on our crew's experience with lightweight gear in the Philmont backcountry.

My crew was on Trek 23 starting July 10. We used lightweight gear and skills. Our 6 crew members and 3 advisors were relatively comfortable on the trail and in camp.

Leaving basecamp our packs carried 3 quarts of water and 2 days of food. Pack weights ranged from 20 to 35 pounds. We had an advisor with even more but he is a really large fellow. This one dad carried a huge pack, over 5,000 cubic inches. I am still amazed at all the stuff he had in there.

Here are some of my observations and experiences for lighter gear at Philmont --

We began last fall encouraging all of our crew members to go light with backpacks, sleeping bags, and other personal gear. Most did. Some changes were as simple as replacing Nalgene bottles with a Platypus or Aquafina bottle. The biggest weight reductions were in crew gear.

6 guys from the 2 crews used the Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus. My son's only complaint was that the hipbelt was uncomfortable when he had to carry 4 days of food and 4 liters of water on a long, warm day.

Several guys used packs that they already owned or had available. Even so no one had an outrageously heavy load. Almost all our guys carried packs in the range of 3,000-4,000 cubic inches capacity.

I used a ULA P-1 pack that I've had for several years. It's a great pack for me and comfortable to carry. I used a MLD 3/8" foam pad as a sit pad and pack frame. The greatest feature of my pack is the hipbelt pockets where I carried my map, compass, camera, sanitizer, sunscreen, and such. Another advisor with a ULA Circuit also had a positive experience.

We had guys using both down and synthetic sleeping bags. Several of the boys carried 2.5-3 pound 20 degree synthetic bags. 2 of the boys carried the REI Sub-Kilo down bag. We had 2 guys use 45 degree down bags with a fleece jacket and fleece pants.

My sleep system used a Western Mountaineering HighLite, a 35 degree, 18 oz. sleeping bag plus a BMW Cocoon UL 60 Hoody, fleece beanie, and liner gloves. I was plenty warm. Philmont stresses separate sleep clothes. For me that was army surplus Polartec silkweight underwear. It was too warm to use the long underwear on at least 3 nights. Overall my sleep system worked fine. The lowest temperature we encountered was around 42F at Mount Phillips Camp.

My pure luxury item was a Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad. It provided the best backcountry sleep I've ever had. I could comfortably sleep on my side on rough ground. Bliss. Even though it looks like a kiddie pool toy, I had no problems with puncture.

Most of our guys used a z-Lite pad. A couple of guys used Therm-a-rest ProLite 3 pads.

Our shelters were all Tarptents. Our crew used 1 Rainshadow 2 (slept 3), 2 Squall 2 (sleeping 2 and 1), a Squall (slept 2), and my solo shelter, a floorless Virga. The Tarptents worked fine through fair weather as well as wind, rain, and hail. My only refinement on the Virga would be more headroom but 18 ounces is hard to beat. Our other crew also used entirely Tarptents with no problems. We did not carry ground cloths for the floored tents.

We used a Campmor 10' x 12' silnylon tarp for our dining fly. The guy lines were 50' of triptease cord. The dining fly was our only damaged gear. On the last night the crew did not pitch the fly taut. A grommet was ripped out in the wind. It should be easily repaired.

All crew members used light footwear (light boots or trail runners). Only one preferred a sock and liner over a single light wool sock. We used Leukotape for blisters. One crew member had some foot issues. He had even more blisters on a previous trek. I wore Brooks Cascadia shoes and Smartwool Adrenaline mini-crew socks. I also wore Integral Designs eVent Shortie Gaiters. I had no blisters.

My standard hiking clothes worked just fine -- Tilley LT6 hat, RailRiders Adventure Shirt, Mountain Hardwear zip-off pants, and Patagonia briefs. The one thing I'd change on clothing would be to bring a second pair of underwear. Since we had so many opportunities for showers (5 of our 10 days on the trail) it would have made it easier to wash. In a lot of ways, Philmont is luxury backpacking. Our trek had access to abundant water and hot showers.

We had our own crew t-shirt printed. We found a synthetic t-shirt at Wal-Mart ($6). With a silkscreen for our own small logo the entire shirt was less than $10. Most of our boys wore the crew t-shirt and shorts as their hiking clothes.

All our crew members except me carried a Crazy Creek chair. With the opportunity to sit on a porch most evenings for advisor coffee, I never felt deprived not having a chair.

The largest weight savings were in the kitchen. We built around 2 MSR Windpro stoves for each crew. Each crew carried 6 227g (1/2 pound) canisters. There were plenty of canisters at the 2 trading posts we visited. I bought 2 extra canisters at Ute Gulch but we didn't use them.

We used turkey bags for cooking our hot dinners at Philmont. We heated water in two 2-quart GSI aluminum pots with lids.The boys would combine the supper's 5 x 2-man freeze dried meals in a bag. Usually they would reinforce the turkey bag with a Philmont meal bag. They learned to add about 60% of the recommended hot water to the meals. We never had a soupy dinner. Using the bag cooking we never cleaned pots except for one spilled meal and coffee. We were able to sanitize our bowls and spoons for each meal in the 2 quart pots. A crew will need larger pots or a third stove to make this approach work.

There's been some discussion about the need for sanitizing It's part of the routine taught by Philmont rangers. So, it's not worth fussing over. It helps to remember that teenagers may not be completely hygenic. So, it's cheap insurance for a gastric event.

We had a small issue with serving food from turkey bags. It's not easy to serve from a bag using a spoon. So, we started cutting off a corner and squeezing the bag like a pastry bag. The technique works well but it's hard for the boys to master. We did have an accident where dinner hit the dirt. We recovered OK but not every crew member was equally able to server food this way.

Most of our guys carried an Orikasa bowl and a generic Lexan spoon. This was ideal for our hot meals.

We carried a 1 foot square of fiberglass screen for our sump filter rather than the frisbee. We used a long handled plastic kitchen spoon for mixing.

At wash time, everyone would lick his bowl and spoon clean. Then we'd add 2 drops of Dr Bronners soap and a little hot water. There was no food mess. This approach also insured that every crew member got his hands clean once a day.

Our ranger had no issues with our approach. I was surprised that we were only the second crew he had encountered this year using bag cooking. It is fast and easy. There is almost no mess to clean.

The only Philmont issued gear that we carried were the bear bags and ropes. The Philmont system works fine even if it is a bit heavy. With our light packs the boys hardly noticed. We provided our own oops bag, a large nylon stuff sack, and a carabiner to attach to the bear bags. We made sure that each guy's stuff was in a ziploc bag or stuff sack rather than just tossed in the oops bag.

For cutting tape and food bags I used the scissors of a Leatherman Micra. That was shared with crew members. I don't think I ever used the knife. We did use the screwdriver to repair a pair of glasses.

We used the Philmont provided Micropur chlorine dioxide tablets for the few times that we needed to treat water. Most of the time we were able to get water at a staffed camp where chlorinated water is available. The best water we found was at Ute Springs. One of our advisors carried a Katadyn Hiker. I think he used it at Porupine where we were alongside Rayado Creek.

We enjoyed delicious coffee on the trail. Every morning we would make 3 or so pots of cowboy coffee in my SnowPeak Trek 900 pot. After boiling the water we'd move the pot to a cozy and add 3 heaping spoonfuls of coffee grounds. The coffee would steep for 3 to 5 minutes. We would filter by pouring it through an MSR coffee filter basket. Within days we had 5 coffee drinkers. We carried two 12 oz. bags of Starbucks coffee and had plenty for the trip. Coffee grounds can be discarded using a yum-yum bag (1 gallon ziploc).

Our crew navigator used a map and compass flawlessly never taking a wrong turn. I carried a Garmin Geko 301 GPS as a backup. We did not need it. I saw a few crews carrying large GPS units with map displays. These were overkill.

We didn't go quite as light as I was first inclined on our first aid kit. That was a wise choice. We carried some skin lubricant (lanolin creme for cycling) that worked well for chafing. We had a few things that thankfully were never used -- Epi-Pen, band-aids, non-stick dressings, and antibiotic ointment. Meds we carried included ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, acetaminophen, Immodium, Gaviscon, cortisone cream, Lamisil AT, and Benadryl. We could have used some simethicone for flatulence! The trail diet didn't agree with everyone. Since we split the kit between the crew medic and me weight was not an issue.

We also provided each boy with a baggie containing 8 or so band-aids, moleskin, and a 2 oz. bottle of sanitizer. We could have skipped the moleskin since everyone used tape for blisters.

Finally, there are obviously challenges on every Philmont trek. The crew learned to work together well by about the fourth day.

I somehow sprained my left ankle on the 9th trail day. A very helpful staff member at Abreu found some ice for me. With the ice, a compression bandage, and a handful of Aleve I returned to the trail pain-free the next morning. That simply wouldn't happen with a 50 pound pack.

I also learned to check your Scouts' packs again on the morning you leave basecamp. They may sneak some items back in that they will later regret. They also may make some questionable decisions about what to leave behind.

Our best guess is that the crew walked somewhere around 80 miles on our trek. We found ourselves in search of extra calories all the time. Our guys would hit the swap box at every staffed camp we entered. Most of our guys lost some weight. Our other crew on trek 4 had a different experience. Walking only 50 something miles they had more food than they could eat. Their crew was dumping extra food in the swap boxes.

We owe thanks to the great gear manufacturers that helped us out. Gossamer Gear, Tarptent, and ULA all provide deals for Boy Scouts.

I was quite surprised to see the very large, heavy packs carried by many crews at Philmont. Based on questions from some other advisors I think that many crews just aren't aware of ways to take weight out of their packs. Our experience is that lightweight gear doesn't have to be expensive. It does take planning, careful buying, and a lot of coaching for the Scouts. Philmont is a much bigger experience than I anticipated. Our crew found that we could carry a lot less weight than most and have a wonderful time.

IWTGBTP!

Edited by flyfast on 07/27/2008 17:31:23 MDT.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Trek 23, July 10-22 on 07/24/2008 21:36:56 MDT Print View

Phil,

Thanks for the great trip/gear report.

Pete Ziolkowski
(omegaman) - F
Re: LIghtweight Philmont Experince on 08/01/2008 12:35:20 MDT Print View

Hi,
I am on a 809 crew on trek 27. I was planning on using my homemade silnylon tent (no floor) with tyvek ground cloth. I had read this is not allowed and I am about ready to install a floor. Does anyone know if having a floor is a requirement?:
Omegaman

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Re: LIghtweight Philmont Experince on 08/01/2008 12:53:47 MDT Print View

Pete, are you an advisor? I was for 710-B2. I used a Tarptent Virga with no floor and a Tyvek ground cloth. No one said a word to me about it. I know that Doug Prosser also describes using a floorless tent. John Meyer describes using a GG Squall Classic with a Tyvek ground cloth.

Hope you have a great time. We sure did.

All the best,
Phil

Edited by flyfast on 08/01/2008 13:52:08 MDT.

Douglas Prosser
(daprosser) - MLife

Locale: Camarillo, California (SCAL)
Leaving for Philmont tommorrow AM on 08/02/2008 00:09:50 MDT Print View

I am off for Philmont. I am enrolled in the Trekking 1 course here at BPL.com (Desert Southwest)so I have attempted to push my pack weight as light as I could with the help of Don Wilson & the rest of our class. So far my pack weight without food & water but with tents, stakes, water containers is 7.5 lbs. I hope to be able to write an update to my article here highlighting a number of the items we have been talking about & implementing at Philmont. Our group gear is extremely light so I hope to be well under 20 lbs with food & water , maybe even 15 lbs when I get on the bus next Tuesday morning. I'll post an update when I return after August 18th.

Pete Ziolkowski
(omegaman) - F
Re: Re: Re: LIghtweight Philmont Experince on 08/02/2008 20:23:32 MDT Print View

Thanks Phil,
I am 809R1. I made the classic Shires tarptent (bigger version) from the plans posted on the internet. I typically use a tyvex just big enough for my sleeping pad. I went and bought some more tyvek and am in process of having a ground cloth that covers the full foot print. I plan to velcro it in just in case. I went to PSR in 2004 and no one checked my tent and probably the first person to really see it is the ranger on day one and realistically I doubt if they would say anything but to be compliant, I thought this was the right route.

Pete

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
floorless tent on 08/04/2008 15:24:00 MDT Print View

Pete,
The Philmont requirement is for a fully enclosed tent. This is at least partly due to the attempt to prevent the hantavirus carried by rodent droppings. I believe the "Guide to Adventure" booklet has pretty good detail on the requirements.

We did our best to follow their rules out of courtesy to the staff and an example to the Scouts. That being said, it is unlikely that the ranger will check the advisor's tents. Ours didn't.

enjoy your trek!

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Tents without floors on 08/04/2008 18:15:36 MDT Print View

Pete,

I just got back from my trek. I will post a critique when I get a chance. However, as regards to a floor, I would seriously consider taking a tarp with floor or a tent with a floor. Most of the time I use a Six Moon Gatewood Cape as I usually hike in the Sierras with little rain.

At Philmont we had 6 days of rain. Some of it was real hard rain. I am glad I took my Gossamer Gear The One since it has a bathtub floor. We had rain in the day, rain at night. Never in the AM. Water would pool, and run under the crews tents on many occasions no matter how well we thought we placed them.

I know others use floorless tents but I would feel more comfortable with a floor.

Scott

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Our Lightweight Experience on 08/08/2008 18:25:36 MDT Print View

Since last January, I have been working with our crew, 4 adults and 8 scouts, regarding pack weight and philosophies. This Forum helped me tremendously since Philmont has its own way of doing things. We were somewhat prepared for the Philmont way.

Since we arrived by train one day early we had time to sit by the hanging scale at the Welcome Center to watch the many scouts and leaders weighing their packs. I would say that 43 pounds was an average. I saw one 59 lb. pack and 2 young women had 36 and 39 lb. packs. Good for them. Lightweight for Philmont!

We all made a trip over to the scale before or Ranger went through our gear. No food or water. I had 14.5 lbs. The majority had 16-20 lbs. My son, with his new G-4 that he recently had sewn came it at 12.5 lbs. We went back to the tents for our Ranger review and took various items out. I went back and had a base weight of 13 lbs. High for me but I was carrying a few more clothes due to the time on the trail. Most kids and adults also took items out of their packs and reduced by about the same.

When we finally packed our packs with all of the crew gear, i.e., pots (we brought our own 4 qt. pots, rope (amsteel blue 7/64), stoves (3 canister type), canisters 3- 1 lb., + 3 extra ½ lb. canisters (way too many), bear bags from Philmont spread out in the group, water, frisbee sump and food. Food at Philmont is heavy. We set our packs on the scales and ranged from 20.5 lbs to 39 lbs. For me this was a great triumph. I had concentrated on the pack weights and this was highly acceptable. I had 2 adults I was concerned with and the fact that they came it at 28 and 30 lbs. respectively was impressive. It’s not ultra light, but at Philmont it might as well be. One leader is 63 and he said this gave him a new lease on life. He had given up on packing his own gear and was recently using pack animals. He’s in good shape and at 28 lbs. (including all of his fishing gear) he said he would be backpacking again.

It took me awhile to get into Philmont. We usually do our packing in the Eastern and Western Sierras with no supervision. The first days with a Ranger were slow but necessary. Our Ranger was great but since we were experienced she was finished with us early on but had to remain until the 3rd. morning. Anyway, I really got into the camps, cold, lukewarm and hot showers; sit down toilets and even bombardiers. We had a chuck wagon dinner, cantina dinner and great hiking. During the beginning of the trek I thought I wouldn’t ever return again. After the trek I would gladly accept an invitation to take a crew to Philmont.

My highlights of our Trek 23 were the following: 3 ½ hours of hail, rain, thunder and lightning at Harlan. We got a good lesson in camping in the wet. A beautiful sunset and sunrise at Deer Lake. Constant views of Tooth of Time as we transversed the valley back and forth. Commanche Peak. Camping at Mt. Phillips. Black powder shooting. Tomahawk throwing. Spar pole climbing. Rock climbing. Hike to Trail Peak. Hiking between camps, etc., etc.

It is funny to talk to people about the weight of our packs. Most don’t seem to care and seem to wear a 45 lb. pack as a badge of honor. That’s a badge I can do without. The one thing that really bugged me was when I saw a kid ready to go out with 32 lbs. His advisor came back and weighed it again and said he had to “even it out”. I asked why the kid had to be penalized with more weight just because others had over packed. If the kid was carrying his fair share of crew equip. why should he be penalized?

We kept our weights down by doing the following:

Lighter packs like G Gear Mariposa Plus and G-4, Go-Lite Pinnacles and Jam, REI UL 45, Granite Gear Vapor Trail, etc.
Lighter sleeping bags. No more than 2.5 lbs. My Montbell UL SS #5 weights 19 oz. My son had a WM Ultralite at 25 oz. My other had a North Face Kilo Down, etc.
Lighter tents: 2 G Gear The One, 1 Tarptent Contrail, 1 Tarptent Dbl. Rainbow, 1 Granite Gear Bivy Tent, 1 North Face wall tent (2+ lbs.). 2 of the tents were traditional backpacking tents but weighed 5 lbs. Each kid carried 2.5 lbs. each. They still only had about 23 lbs. in their packs.
Sleep pads: Torsolite, Z-Rest, REI pads, etc. Nothing too extravagant
Smaller pots. 3-4qt. pots. We only needed 2. Next time I’ll take 1-6qt. & 1-4qt.
Amsteel bear rope. 2-150’ lengths. 2nd length could have been shorter for oops bag.
Cooking: canister stoves. Plenty was available in the commissaries. Brought too many. We did not cook in a bag, nor in a pot. Each cooked in their own cup. We really had nothing to clean but the cup we were eating out of. Never had to clean a pot.
Rain Fly: 19 oz. silnylon with alum. stakes.

I really thing the best way to keep weight down is to concentrate on the basic system of pack, tent, sleeping bag, ground cloth and pad.

Clothing. We just brought 1 short shirt, 1 long shirt. 1 short and 1 long zip off pant. Underwear as wanted. Dry Ducks for rain gear. The kids really tore them up but for about $15.00 it’s worth every penny.

My favorite park of backpacking is the hiking itself. With a lighter pack we as a group were able to move along at a good pace and still enjoy the different views. Nobody came close to overtaking us. We often came upon groups that were pulled to the side in what I call the “fixing a flat” mode. They just needed to pull over to rest. We said hello, exchanged pleasantries, and then never saw them again. We just didn’t need to stop that often. I do enjoy hiking and not stopping all the time. To look at a good view, yes: to just catch my breath, no. It’s not necessary.

Thanks to all that posted on this site. It made us much more prepared than we would have been otherwise for the Philmont experience. I am now in withdrawals I miss the backcountry so much.

Scott

Albert K.
(archer) - F

Locale: Northeastern U.S.
Re: LIghtweight Philmont Experince on 08/20/2008 16:24:50 MDT Print View

Youth were 15 and 16 year old cross country runners; all boy scouts with limited backpacking experience (under 10 total prior trips). Only other adult was a 22 year old runner. I'm 44. UL was the only way I was keeping up with these guys, even with a reasonable level of fitness.

I hit the trail with a base weight of 12.6 lbs; heavier than my typical 3 season load, but our crew gear isn't ultra-light by any means (about 3 lbs per person).

Here's what worked:

Personal gear:

Contrail Tarptent - We were hit with a heck of a storm at Crater Lake. Hail, flash flood/river through the campsite, you name it. I didn't expect any of the tents to hold up to it. The Tarptent was fine, I staked it with 7 stakes. This thing is light and large. I brought a sep. pack towel to wipe down condensation - it was never needed.

SMD Starlight - Plenty big for Philmont. I used a cut up Z-rest as support and it doubled as my only ground pad. I'd estimate my max pack weight to be about 32 lbs (I carried a tent and some water for a sick scout who was struggling to make it up Trail Peak). 32 lbs is no problem for this pack.

JRB No Sniveller - I used it as a sleeping quilt and my sole insulating layer. OK, maybe dicey, but I did have silk sleep clothes and a full rain suit. So I wasn't totally hosed if it got wet; clearly it wouldn't have been pleasant, but I've been through worse. Plus it is pretty water resistant and I'm really good at keeping things dry. We got rained on almost every day and I was fine, even at Phillips Camp. Even under my rain jacket, though, I looked like the pillsbury dough boy on cold nights.

Olympus Stylus 790 SW - Waterproof and light. Maybe not true UL, but I like having pictures, what can I say.

Crew Gear:

MSR Reactors - Brought 3, which was deff. one too many (these things are lighting fast). Efficient too. We used less than 24 oz. of fuel the entire trek (10 people, 10 days).

Turkey bags - Light, and made clean up a snap.

Paint strainer bags instead of the Yum Yum thing.

Things that didn't work:

Personal Gear - With scouts, it might pay to ensure you have some nalgenes vs. all gaitorade bottles. I had a scout neglect to put his rain gear on at the first sign of a storm. He got wet and we got to practice field hypothermia treatment (warmed him in his sleeping bag with boiling water placed in nalgenes, covered by socks). This is where a little experience came in handy - it was something I saw a mountaineer buddy of mine once do to a hypothermia patient on a winter backpacker.

Crew Gear - Tried to do a pulley system for bear bagging. A 16 year old got it stuck on a cable - I didn't know anyone could tie such great knots 17' off the ground. Ended up going with the standard system after that. It was mighty sweet up until that point though, but not worth the expense.

MSR Miniworks - super slow; the Katadyn Vario blew it away. Again not UL, but I hate the idea of drinking deer poo tea and the idea of massive chems. Not convinced - scouts deff. pee in streams (yep, saw one), and there are lots of them out there.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Thanks for the report on 08/22/2008 15:50:39 MDT Print View

Albert,

Thanks for the report. I hope everyone chimes in here after they get back from their treks. The reports are very helpful.

My son took a Contrail and used it with another scout. Even with 2 in the tent they never got wet on some pretty wet nights. Not bad even though they were busting at the seams. I'd never put 2 adults unless it was with my wife.

We didn't use turkey bags. We just cooked in our own cups. Just sump a bit and clean. Not much to put in the sump. We didn't get to use our paint strainers due to Ranger not "allowing" it. We did take them and use them to strain our water after using it for sterilization since it had a bunch of twigs in it.

Not a bad way to spend 2 weeks.

Pete Ziolkowski
(omegaman) - F
Report on 809R1 Trek 26 on 08/27/2008 18:40:53 MDT Print View

Here is my report on our trek. Itinerary #26 which basically starts in the south and ends up in Ponil (79 miles as listed). We were a crew of twelve (9 + 3). Typical weight of the boys was probably about 125 pounds so pack weight was a major issue for us. We had several gear scrubs. To get the weight down, we really limited hiking clothes to one set for wear and another as back up + one additional pair of socks. All the typical stuff (pocketknives, extra compasses, big flashlights etc.) were weeded out. One of our boys only weighed 105 and he was a big concern because he was not one of our strongest hikers. We did get him down to about 21 pounds without water or food.

Crew gear was minimized as much as possible. We used Philmont pots, we brought two stoves and a water filter. The dining fly was probably one area where we could of and should have gone lighter. I made a 10' x 9' silnylon tarp but it was decided that since we had twelve we needed something bigger. I actually carried the tarp as part of my crew gear and when it was wet it was heavy and when it was dry it was pretty heavy. I think we really could have gotten by with the smaller lighter tarp.

The weather we had (last full trek) was a lot different than my first trek in 2004. We had a three day period of wet weather before it went back to typical afternoon thunderstorm weather. We also went through four or five hail storms which included a fifty minute on while we were camping on Baldy skyline camp at dinner time. The first hail storm was on the tooth ridge and the hail was the size of rosary beads and was kind of fun. The hail during this storm was about 10-20x larger and it came down hard and fast. I mention this because this weather did give me pause to reflect on light weight backpacking. In 2004, I never used my warm hat and I was seriously thinking about doing without to save the weight. This hat became my most valuable piece of gear. The lesson here was that we still need to be prepared. I would add that the boys did survive.
In terms of other light gear, I brought my homemade tarp tent (single wall, silnylon). It was okay but average temperature at night was low forties and for those three nights of wet, I did get a lot of condensation. inside my tent but I just wiped it off each morning with my bandanna.
I also brought my homemade sleeping quilt and for the most part that was fine. I ended just using my long under wear as my dedicated sleep clothes though so the shorts and t-shirt I had planned for that became excess baggage. As an experiment I also wanted to see the level of clothes I could get by with and I actually went through the week with two t-shirts, two pairs of underwear, one pair of shorts and one pair of sock and liners. When I needed to wear long pants for program or conservation, I just wore my rain paints.

In terms of other things that seemed to work- Frogg's togs were seen all over and with the exception of that one hail storm seemed to work and crocs shoes also seemed to work.

The bottom line was that the boys had no issues doing the hike and even on long days seemed able to do more if they needed to. I think our crew was a data point for careful gear scrubs before Philmont and raising both parents and scouts awareness on the need for going light.

One final comment. I was really surprised that our ranger toed the company line and told us to bring items like the plastic cat hole trowel. I am not even sure how this got to NM because I had thought that we had pitched it. Alos he recommended that we carry 64 oz of fuel (which we did in three bottles). We only ended up using about 58-60 oz for the whole trek and this included using a real lot of fuel during that hail storm and boiling water for coffee on several of the mornings.

I don't want this to be too long so I will sigh off but.....

I want to go back, I want to go back, I want to go back to Philmont.

Pete

Confession- I pushed our boys to bring ridgerest closed foam pads instead of self inflators (faster to pack up and no chance of popping a hole). In an effort to cut down weight I took a ridgerest as well. I really, really missed my thermarest.

Joe Johnstone
(entropy) - F
Re: Thanks for the report on 08/27/2008 20:32:48 MDT Print View

Wow, two people in a contrail is staggering. I can't imagine it, without overflowing the bathtub with 2 sleeping bags.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
2 In a Conrail on 08/27/2008 23:41:28 MDT Print View

Joe,

I know. However, i have seen 5 scouts in a 3 man tent many times. It's like a bunch of puppy dogs at times. It was my son and his friend in the Contrail. They are both 18 but are trim and fit. It was a bit tight on rainy nights but they tried it out before the trek and got by fine albeit with A LOT of condensation on the wet nights.

Pete,

Thanks for the report. I also had a lot of condensation in my Gossamer Gear The One on the rainy nights. Wiped it with bandana. If I packed it wet I let it dry out during a stop at a staffed camp or at a lunch break. Spinnaker dries real fast.

Thanks for the report.

Scott W Ellis
(scott152) - F
Re: Philmont 630 H3 trek responses on 05/25/2009 16:09:23 MDT Print View

Paul,

You mention the Amsteel rope for bear bags. Where and what size rope did you purchase?

thanks,

Scott
Troop152, 2009 Philmont-bound

Glenn Smith
(gosmithpa) - M

Locale: Southern Arizona
Amsteel Rope on 05/25/2009 19:25:39 MDT Print View

Scott,

Try this link:

http://www.seattlemarine.net/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=9374&idcategory=0

7/64" - we ordered one spool for two Crews.

Glenn

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Amsteel on 05/26/2009 12:03:25 MDT Print View

Scott,

You may want to check Redden Marine also. I know I ordered the Amsteel rope on 2 different occasions. Even though I ordered form Seattle Marine it came from Redden or vice versa. One was cheaper than the other.

One caution: the rope is thin and hard on the hands, especially, when raising a lot of full bags. They can weigh A LOT! You may want to take a stick and make a clove hitch around it when raising.

paul buzzard
(troop208) - F
amsteel on 05/29/2009 15:00:58 MDT Print View

Scott,

Just look at my post on page one. All the info I know. Reddon was cheapest. I heard they wern't making the 7/64ths anymore, but hope you can find. Great rope, but thin as mentioned. When you have 3 or 4 days food, (we had crew of 13), the total weight is really heavy. We had the full crew for lifting the bags and pulling the rope, when we had full food load. You can wrap the rope around your waist for end guy to help lift. My earlier post summarizes the lengths needed if you do it the Philmont way, and at least when your ranger is there, you will have to. It really is a decent method.

Joseph Jacaruso
(CaptainJac) - MLife

Locale: Southeast
Amsteel Rope on 05/30/2009 06:28:32 MDT Print View

Seattle Marine has the 7/64" rope in stock at 14 cents a foot. They just shipped me 300'.

Any suggestions on replacement bear bags? I was thinking about a mesh bag for each crew member with OP liners. What size are the Philmont bags?

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Amsteel Rope on 05/30/2009 08:38:23 MDT Print View

This thread has wondered over many topics. I've forked a new thread to focus on Philmont Bearbagging discussions