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Philmont gear selection..
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Bryce Abbott
(Icthawk) - F
Re: Re: Re: ATTENTION Scouter and Scouts on 08/07/2011 10:00:13 MDT Print View

We just returned from Philmont Trek 24 on August 5, 2011. Five peaks including Mt. Baldy. We reviewed this thread quite a bit during the planning stages. We had a lot of discussion on going light weight. There was some compromise because of cost so let me make some suggestions based upon our experience. We relied a bunch on the opinions of those who went before us. Read all you want but the experience of others is invaluable. First, if you want to go ultralight you need the commitment of everyone in the crew to the effort. When you decide to go ultralight there are sacrifices to pay when you shed the weight. The primary sacrifice is weight to volume. Backpacks will give you a volume figure but remember that there are things that will not get lighter on your trek: primarily food and water. Then there is personal gear and crew gear. They only thing you have any degree of control over is personal gear and crew gear. We did not get a commitment from the entire crew but we did have tent mates that went ultralight. They carried ULA backs and a Tarptent Rainbow II. Both performed well. Two years ago when a single Scout showed up with a ULA it was not a good experience. The pack could not handle the weight of a load equal to the other boys. Halfway through the trek they were sewing it together with dental floss. My son and his tent mate carried Lowe Alpine TFX Appalachian 65:85 backpacks ( Check for fall sales. They are slightly over 4 pounds. These packs are the middle of the road for cost and performed flawlessly. They shared a Big Agnes Slide Mountain SL 2. This was a close out tent that we got for less than half price. It was very light weight and performed flawlessly. Where everybody saved weight was crew gear and personal gear. On the crew gear side we took a Fly from Cooke Custom Sewing. This company was great to work with and they are on the internet ( The fly was never used for anything except a garage to cover packs and gear at night. We used their bear ropes but had plans to use lighter ropes. We used Rubbermaid food storage tubs for each hiker to re-hydrate food. We had to demonstrate this to our Ranger before they let us use it but it works really well. No bags, No pots to clean. Each hike sumps their own tub and they get stored until the following day as crew gear. Before they are used again they get dipped into boiling water to sanitize. All of the boys had rain pants. They were the heaviest and most expensive piece of clothing in the pack. No one ever used them. They took two pair of Northface zip off pants but only one set of legs. Everyone used their gaiters. Finally boots. Several boys purchased Lowa Renegade Boots. Not a single problem. One boy wore a borrowed pair of Renegades that had done Philmont twice before. One other thing. All of the boys got a Frog Tog Chillypad for the trail. Take bandanas instead. After three days the Chillypad smelled so bad that they were by far the grossest thing to come out of the pack.

John Sloan
(jsloan256) - F
More on boots on 02/15/2012 14:13:47 MST Print View

I went to Philmont in 2009 with my son and we both wore lightweight boots and we both had some minor blistering. Since then I've started hiking in five-fingers including a five day backcountry trip in Yellowstone; I'll never go back to heavy boots.

I'm going back to Philmont this summer with my daughter (2012). We are planning on hiking in Merrell Barefoot Trail Gloves. I've contacted my old ranger from 2009 and it was his opinion that we'd be 'Philmont legal' for hiking as long as we wear socks with the trail gloves (or with five-fingers for that matter). My question for the group is: Are there any other non-hiking shoe requirements that we should consider. I'm specifically concerned about sparpole climbing and conservation work. I'm considering adding some Merrell Moab Ventilators in our packs for conservation work if we have to (I'd rather have that weight in my pack than on my feet).

Any thoughts?