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Philmont Food
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Joseph Jacaruso
(CaptainJac) - MLife

Locale: Southeast
Philmont Food on 05/23/2009 03:43:18 MDT Print View

I have a crew going out the first of August. I want them to get a chance to practice preparing Philmont food using freezer bags. Does anyone have a source for Philmont meals? I checked Tooth of Time Traders but all they have on line is ice cream.

Glenn Smith

Locale: Southern Arizona
Philmont Meals on 05/23/2009 06:45:16 MDT Print View

Contact Richmoor. You will be able to get a Scout discount for the suppers and other lunch/breakfast ingredients. If you go to, you can get a list of the 2009 meals and ingredients as well as a list of nutrional information which includes the suppliers. You will be able to put together the breakfasts and lunches by purchasing most of the ingredients at your local grocery store and packaging them in plastic bags. Purchase the different bars (pro bar, lara bar, stinger gummies, etc.) online at or other sources.

Richmoor also supplies some of the stuff for the breakfasts and lunches but you can substitute other similar things found at your grocery store. The kids will get the idea.

Email me at for more information.

Good Luck!

Joseph Jacaruso
(CaptainJac) - MLife

Locale: Southeast
Philmont Food on 05/23/2009 14:16:20 MDT Print View

Thanks Glenn

Sarah Kuhn
(SCKuhn) - MLife

Locale: Mountainous Ohio
Philmont Food on 05/26/2009 08:13:18 MDT Print View

Joseph -
If you want the 'real thing' you can order leftover meals directly from Philmont. At this point they may not have anything left, but might be worth an email or a phone call. Contact at the ranch is Pat Adams, Commissary Director. (padams at netbsa dot org or 505-376-2281 ext 252)
Also, at one time I had a link to an on-line store that sold items exactly like what was used at Philmont - squeeze cheese, etc. Can't find it right now, I'll post it if I locate it.

Good Luck!

Ty Wagner
(ty27wagner) - F

Locale: Wisconsin
Water required for Philmont food - use the packaging amounts? on 12/03/2009 21:54:57 MST Print View

I just received my Philmont food my troop is going to use for our shake down trips. I read that one troop only used 60% of the recommended water amount in their turkey bag cooking to eliminate the "runny" food.

We were hoping to rehydrate the food in the foil bags (ie. Al Geist method) that the food comes in and was wondering what is the consensus for the amount of water to use.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Water required for Philmont food - use the packaging amounts? on 12/04/2009 16:52:47 MST Print View

> We were hoping to rehydrate the food in the foil bags
> (ie. Al Geist method) that the food comes in and was
> wondering what is the consensus for the amount of water to use.

Hi Ty,

We used the amount of water specified on the bag.
(Note the food is divided into two foil bags so each bag gets half the water). In our pre-Philmont food tests we tried less water, but found that the amount specified worked best. Another tip - stir well and let the food rehydrate AT LEAST as long as specified. A few extra minutes often helped thicken the food and eliminate the crunchies.

Ty Wagner
(ty27wagner) - F

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Water required for Philmont food - use the packaging amounts? on 12/06/2009 11:42:21 MST Print View

Thanks Al.

btw - I'm amazed at how heavy and bulky the Phimont food it. for 1 day of food, the total weight per person is 1.9 pounds.

Question: If you have an odd number crew size, let's say 9, does Philmont give you food for 10 or do they have a single serving size meal package?

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Water required for Philmont food - use the packaging amounts? on 12/06/2009 14:47:00 MST Print View

> Question: If you have an odd number crew size, let's say 9, does Philmont give you food for 10

Hi Ty,

Yes you will get food for 10 (5 dual meal bags for
breakfast, lunch and dinner). Our crew had an odd number.
It was nice for the first couple days, because we included
our Ranger in our super-efficient food prep method
and showed him we had practiced and had it down.

Yes. VERY bulky, and I think that the weight has increased
over the past couple years because of feedback forms
from expeditions saying they did not have enough food.

At the resupply we asked the boys if they wanted to
open the bags and ditch the 5 extra breakfast, lunch, and
dinner items (except the dinner entrees which can't be split).
The boys decided they want to keep it all - pick and
choose the good items from the extras and ditch the
unliked items from the other meals in the swap boxes as we made our way through the second half of the trek.
We let the boys run the trek. So we ended up carrying the
extra bulk and weight until the last day.

paul buzzard
(troop208) - F
odd number crew on 12/07/2009 07:28:24 MST Print View

We had 13 in our crew, shoulda seen the piles of stuff at resupply depots, getting 3-4 days of food. They give you +1 on the food. we did the exact same thing as the previous poster. Some extra things got eaten, either by scouts or adults, then swap boxed the extras every day. More rather then less food worked out well for our group. We mostly ate the extra portion, not much made the swap boxes. Gator aid and some of the least desirable breakfast bars was about it.

We pretty much used the proper amount of water asked for, at least for 12 servings, then we added the last 2 person serving to the big pot and guessed from there. Seemed to be right all the time. Or just cook a little more if runny.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Philmont Food on 12/17/2009 15:48:52 MST Print View

As you can see, Philmont food is heavy and bulky. No worries. You will start out as a lightweight crew (right?) so you will be ahead of the game.

As for runny food: Always add a bit less water than required. You can always add water but you can't take it out. Some items are runnier than others.

We didn't freezer bag or use the big pot to cook in. We each took our own plastic cup with lid, i.e. glad or a plastic drink cup with tinfoil lid. Each of us cooked our own meal right in that cup. At the end add a bit of water, swish it around and drink it. No dirty bags. No frisbees. No dirty pots.


Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Philmont Food weight and bulk on 12/17/2009 17:39:02 MST Print View

I was at Philmont in 2007 and having heard about food bulk and weight I bought a larger pack (GraniteGear Vapor Trail). But once I had all my gear packed I decided to stick with a trusty old GraniteGear Virga. Very glad I did, even with 4 2/3 days of food I wasn't using more than a couple inches of the extension collar and I had to work at keeping the pack "full" when food supply was low (critical in a frameless pack). I was happily "disappointed" that the food seemed neither as heavy nor bulky as I feared.

We're returning in 2010 with two crews and ordered one each of all 10 of the 2009 dinners for testing alternative cooking methods and practicing before we go.

SO, it's time to get quantitative! Remember, each meal package feeds two.

Weight: There was a moderate amount of variation in weight but the average package weighed 15.2 ounces. That's 7.6oz (216 grams) per dinner serving.

Bulk: Stored in a 5 gallon pail (packed as snug as I could can make it without fear of crushing) the 10 packages occupied approx 950 cubic inches. That's approx 48 cubic inches (0.79 liters) per dinner serving.

Unfortunately I don't have calorie, fat, carbohydrate and protein info for the meals.

Edited by jcolten on 12/17/2009 17:41:45 MST.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Philmont Food weight and bulk on 12/18/2009 11:10:36 MST Print View

> Bulk: Stored in a 5 gallon pail (packed as snug as I could
> can make it without fear of crushing) the 10 packages
> occupied approx 950 cubic inches. That's approx 48 cubic
> inches (0.79 liters) per dinner serving.

Here is more quantitative bulk data for your planning
Given the dinners average 48 per dinner,
breakfasts average about 40 per serving.

Lunches are much more bulky and uncompressible
due to having a BIG box of crackers in each package
I'd estimate that lunches averaged 65 per serving.

Ty Wagner
(ty27wagner) - F

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Philmont Food weight and bulk on 12/20/2009 14:39:11 MST Print View

Here's the weights of the 2009 Philmont food I purchased for our 2010 shake down hikes to prep for our 2010 Philmont trip. As you can see lunches and breakfasts weigh considerably more than the dinners. I've been told that there is a lot of gatoraid that can be removed to slim down the food weight - lots of sugar in Gatoraid. The last column show the amount of water (in fluid oz) required per meal packet (each packet feeds two Scouts).

I don't have any hard data, but I found that both the lunches and breakfasts take up more space than the dinners (with the luches being the largest as mentioned by Al above).

Cat Type Item Grams oz lbs H2O

S 1 434 15.3 0.96 24.00
S 2 414 14.6 0.91 30.00
S 3 422 14.9 0.93 22.00
S 4 463 16.3 1.02 30.00
S 5 433 15.3 0.95 26.00
S 6 427 15.1 0.94 18.00
S 7 355 12.5 0.78 28.00
S 8 468 16.5 1.03 20.00
S 9 424 15.0 0.93 28.00
S 10 406 14.3 0.90 34.00
avg Dinner 425 15.0 0.94

B 2 456 16.1 1.01
B 8 663 23.4 1.46
B 10 675 23.8 1.49
avg Breakfast 598 21.1 1.32

L 7 644 22.7 1.42
L 8 809 28.5 1.78
L 9 681 24.0 1.50
avg Lunch 711 25.1 1.57

P.S. When I get around to determing how much gatoraid we can reduce, I'll let everyone one.

One last data point. Four days of food for a crew of 10 will weigh approximately 76.5 lbs based on the weights above. Seven meals filled my 18L Granite Gear dry bag (4 day supply for a crew of nine).

Hope this helps.

Philmont Suppers

18L dry bag filled with 7 meal packets

Conrad Stoll
(cnstoll) - F
Food Prep on 01/30/2010 20:20:54 MST Print View

I'll share with ya'll the way that I usually teach meal prep for Philmont dinners. It does involve both large cooking pots, and a normal whisperlite style stove, but to be honest, it isn't too much to expect a 12 man expedition to carry these things.

Since none of the food requires cooking, all you have to do is rehydrate it. Simply boil about 4-5 liters of water (for the entire crew) in one pot (or if you're really enterprising and have two stoves, boil 2-3 liters in two pots!).

After the water boils start out with one of the pots completely empty, and add a few cups full of water to it. Then start dumping all the food packets in (mashed potatoes, chicken pot pie, etc.). The things that don't make sense to mix (i.e. green beens and mac and cheese) don't mix, but the majority of meal items go very nicely together in a 1 pot method.

Meanwhile, have the cook add a cup of water to the pot with the food in it, until it looks to be about the right consistency. Keep stirring, and cover and let sit. A few minutes later your meal should be ready to eat.

The beauty of this is it eliminates the clean up mess that comes from trying to cook dehydrated food over a stove. You just end up with burned stuff on your pot. Once you eat all the food, cleaning the "cook" pot requires no more than a few wipes with a sponge and you're done. You can even use the leftover hydrating water (which should still be warm) as your cleaning water.

I noticed someone mentioned the individual tupperware method. From what I could tell that method also works really well. Just make sure if you're planning to use that method to incorporate it in all of your training hikes so the boys all know how to do it properly.

What I would not recommend are turkey bags or especially trying to rehydrate the food in the foil packages. It's usually just a disaster waiting to happen. Especially the foil package method. The bags are too small to add water to with all the food inside, and it'll just spill everywhere. Turkey bags really aren't worth the effort in cleanup that they save either.

I hope that helps some. Also, a note on the food bulk. Yes it is a lot of food, and yes it does take up a good bit of space, but it all usually tends to get eaten :)

Good luck on your treks.

Edited by cnstoll on 01/30/2010 20:24:20 MST.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Food Prep on 01/31/2010 22:12:49 MST Print View

> What I would not recommend are turkey bags or especially
> trying to rehydrate the food in the foil packages.
> The bags are too small to add water to with all the
> food inside

To each his own. The foil packages are not too small.
Our crew used them for our entire 2009 trek without
any problems.

No matter what food prep method your crew plans to use at Philmont: pots, tupperware, turkey, or foil, they should practice it several times on practice hikes and be comfortable with it before arriving at Philmont.
Our boys tried all four methods on preparation outings before deciding which method they liked best.

Edited by geist on 01/31/2010 22:14:03 MST.

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Philmont Food on 05/20/2010 08:14:34 MDT Print View


There are many ways to prep freeze dried meals at Philmont. Al is dead-on, each crew needs to practice and find the technique that works for them.

Bottom line is that there is no need at all to cook in heavy Philmont pots and deal with all the ensuing cleaning.

Greg Bohm
(GregInMI) - F

Locale: SE Michigan
Does this sound realistic? on 05/27/2010 13:43:34 MDT Print View

We're going to Philmont the last week of July/1st week of August and I'm trying to help break some old habits.

All the adults going have gone previously and stand by using a FairShare mug for eating their meals.

The truth is I'm not a big fan of the whole sumping idea and wonder if a few quart freezer bags would do the job. I regularly use freezer bag "cooking" techniques during our other outings and wonder if the same approach will work at Philmont.

Thoughts and feedback appreciated.


Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re:Does this sound realistic? on 05/27/2010 17:03:57 MDT Print View

My feeling is you need everyone on board at Philmont regarding cooking procedures. You may have to slow play this one if some of the other leaders have been before and say "this is the way we do it". You may be able to introduce them to other techniques on prep. hikes.

There are a few ways to cook at Philmont that can keep your weight down.

Freezer bag
Cook in mylar bag the food comes in
Heat water as a group and re-hydrate in your own cup

No dirty pots. It seems you do not like to have to sump your cup. We used method #3 with everyone bringing a Glad container with lid. After finishing food we rinsed a bit and drank. If you do it just as you finish your food it's easy.

The only reason I do not like freezer bag, or mylar bag cooking, is because the bag is dirty and you have to carry around a bag that has food particles in it. Not a real big problem at Philmont because you can empty trash at a camp the same or next day.

As far as amount of water (people were commenting on it earlier) make sure you use boiling water, not warm. Our Ranger also gave us good advice and said to add just a bit less water than the directions recommend. It's easier to add since you can't remove water.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Quart freezer bags on 05/27/2010 22:38:46 MDT Print View

> I regularly use freezer bag "cooking" techniques during our other outings and wonder
if the same approach will work at Philmont.
> Thoughts and feedback appreciated.

Hi Greg,

Scott has done a good job of laying out the Philmont cooking options. And I applaud you in trying to break old habits in favor of more efficient techniques. Let me add just a couple thoughts on the Philmont philosophy for you to consider.

A Philmont trek is supposed to be a boy led adventure - adult crew members are there for the ride (and safety)

1. Cooking method - boys should decided what method they want their crew to use at Philmont. Practice hikes are your opportunity to have them try different cooking methods, including the traditional Philmont large pot way, and see what they like best. My feeling is the same as Scott's that the whole crew should use the same technique whatever is decided.

2. Meals are dual packages - even if you wanted to use a different technique than the rest of the crew (which I don't recommend because it disrupts the Philmont experience of the crew really coming together during the trek) but even if you wanted to, you would have to get one other person to also want to use the different technique. You two would share a meal package each evening.

Edited by geist on 05/27/2010 22:43:20 MDT.

Perry Clark
(peterlake) - F
Food on our trek on 07/08/2010 16:28:38 MDT Print View

Meals this year feature Moutain House f-d products. Easily prepped in the plastic envelope, but we had one experienced guy who more or less insisted on "cooking" in pot, even though clean-up made more involved by doing so.

+1 on using slightly less (I'd recommend 85-90% of suggested) water than called for. Make sure hot/boiling, though.

+1 on trash disposal at staffed camps. Compact trash as much as possible, then dump in provided containers.

+2 on bulk/weight. Provided food packs were difficult to find space for, even when repacked. Weight less of an issue, but annoying.

Many meals were cold, featuring energy/carb/prot bars of various sorts, canned/foil-enclosed meats, etc.

Good: chili mac, spaghetti meals. Lots of campers liked canned smoked ham.

Not-so-good: Lots o' crackers. Bars got old.

Bad: BBQ whatever-it-was. Horrible.

Nate Ward
(tdaward) - F

Locale: The woods of the South
Cooking on 07/09/2010 21:47:47 MDT Print View

We rehydrated in the bags the food came in...alot of use would put those bags inside of a freezer bag, incase of a spill, since the bags were not resealable. Then one of use used a bowl and the other ate out of the bag....Half the trash and half the dishes...We also bought a stove per tent (5 stoves) sounds like a bunch but that is how we roll year round, not everyone is hungry at the same time. Two of the "kid" groups never change fuel canisters....

wyatt warthen
(warthen) - F
Philmont Food Bag Change on 07/28/2010 09:46:30 MDT Print View

I just got back from Philmont (July 2010) and was expecting to use the the hydrate-in-pouch method. Our ranger said that the bags had changed and that re-hydrating in the bags would melt the plastic. So while the ranger was with us we hydrated in our disposable tupperware (1.8 L - rectanguar). She made us take along a 8 Liter Aluminum pot for washing the tupperware. What a disappointment.

But once the ranger was gone we tried the new white bags out and they worked fine. We still needed the tupperware for the chuckwagon dinner and we also had about 40-50 1 qt freezer bags. We would split the philmont food between the white philmont bag and a freezer bag and used slightly less water than directed. No clean, no mess, no bears.

We heated the water in 2-2.5L titanum pots and 2 MSR simmerlite stoves and used less that 2 liters of white gas (crew of 8)for the whole trek.

By the time we had the bags ready the water was boiling. We always made a little extra water to rinse the spoons. The tupperware was also used to hold the bags during hydration and made distribution easier but they never really got dirty.

At the base camp we ran into the director of food service and talked at length about ultralight food prep and how the old methods (Alum - Cook kits) need to be elimintaed for lighter processes. We also talked about the lack of meat (protein) and the large volume of the food packs.

Ty Wagner
(ty27wagner) - F

Locale: Wisconsin
Trek 18 on 08/01/2010 21:29:21 MDT Print View

We were on Trek 18 in July 2010 and our Ranger tried to tell us that you couldn't use the Mtn House bags for rehydrating. So we were going to rehydrate only in the 1 qt zip locks. Fortunately, I saw a staff person eating out of a white bag at our first camp and asked our Ranger about it. She said the Official policy is that you can't use the white bags for rehydrating - sounded like a liability concern. The good news is that she said she couldn't stop us.

We didn't bring any Philmont issued crew gear except the camp suds. We rehydrated either in the white food bags or in 1 qt zip locks. We waited to split the food after the food was rehydrated since it was difficult to get the spices evenly split.

Additionally, our scouts decided pull food they didn't want to eat (like Gatoraid) from their meals before we left base camp or resupplies. Then we marked their names on the meals. This way we didn't have to carry probars or sun butter that no one would eat.

Crew 701P2
Crew Advisor

Walter Underwood
(wunder) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Eat the Philfood on 08/04/2010 22:36:08 MDT Print View

Leaving behind the Gatorade is not a good idea. You need the electrolytes when you are working that hard.

I was hit by low salt a couple of summers ago at a camp in west Texas. I was drinking plenty of water, but had headaches and was low on energy. I started salting my food at every meal and was fine after that.

The Probars provide some of that fiber that you need to keep regular on the trail. The Larabars provide the rest.

The sqeezefood was a bother, especially when opened as one-piece trash. I like last year's sliceable cheese food product better. I got better at applying the sunbutter, and found it pretty tasty. It was easier to just squeeze it into your mouth than to apply it to the crackers.

Our crew picked up lots of extra food from swapboxes and ate it all. One evening, they prepared 18 people worth of dinner for 10 people and ate it all.

Note: The freeze-dried corn can be added to nearly any meal. Don't cook it separately, just add it in. Also, refried beans taste OK added to the mac and cheese.

Edited by wunder on 08/04/2010 22:41:50 MDT.

Greg Bohm
(GregInMI) - F

Locale: SE Michigan
Re: Trek 18 on 08/12/2010 09:26:20 MDT Print View

Ty hit one of the biggest things we did during the trek we just completed last week.

We'd get our food at re-supply and sit down right there to sort through all the meals. Each pair of eaters would divide the contents of each meal bag and "swap box" what they didn't want. We saved a tremendous amount of weight by not leaving the commissary with excess food.


Sarah Kuhn
(SCKuhn) - MLife

Locale: Mountainous Ohio
Stripping meals/Swap box on 08/12/2010 11:42:57 MDT Print View

While I completely understand the desire to carry less weight... the practice of stripping meals should only be left to an experienced crew. We witnessed an advisor for a VERY young crew strip all of their meals of 'unwanted' items. This was roughly day 3 for them. The youth had little say in what was stripped - a casual/flip question... "do you like this?". I question if by day 6 or 7 if the youth would not have eaten many of the stripped items... the caloric deficit that this advisor was creating was significant and hungry scouts will eat things on the trail that they may not eat at home.
Strip with caution and always have a backup plan.

Ty Wagner
(ty27wagner) - F

Locale: Wisconsin
Phil food on 08/27/2010 18:30:37 MDT Print View

As Walt mentioned there was plenty of food and gatoraid in the swap boxes. Our boys were an experienced crew that hiked over 90 miles on three shake down hikes prior to Philmont. They made their own decisions on what to keep. Typically, there was a lot of horse trading going on during this process. All in all, no one went hungry.