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Pilmont 2011 8/1/11--8/13/11
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sean mccutcheon

Locale: East Bay
Pilmont 2011 8/1/11--8/13/11 on 09/22/2010 16:47:11 MDT Print View

Troop 948 Pleasanton,Ca was just moved off the Pilmont waiting list. Received our 2011 Trek, August 1-13. Now let the planning and tune-up treks start.
I can't wait to start teaching my scouts how to lighten up. Lighten Up, an ultralight makeover, will be shown at our fist meeting. I would love to hear from any of you that have tried UL techinques at Pilmont, both that have and have not worked.
Thanks ~SeanPlimont 2009 Trek #24

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Philmont on 09/23/2010 11:36:42 MDT Print View

Sean, don't know how much info on the site you've already read. There is a forum with many threads on Philmont experience --

The place to start is with Doug Prosser's excellent article.

Have a blast at Philmont.


Sarah Kuhn
(SCKuhn) - MLife

Locale: Mountainous Ohio
UL Philmont on 09/24/2010 08:25:34 MDT Print View

Sean -
We borrowed our CS Packs Pinewood Derby scale and weighed EVERYTHING. Making a spreadsheet and having to fill in all the weights really put it out there in their faces to see how it all adds up... and all the extra junk they tend to take!
I'd save your $ on bear ropes, after this summer's bear activity I doubt that there will be many exceptions made.
Minimal clothing was our biggest savings and only the gear you need - no condiment bag, extra this or that.
Have fun!!! Approximately 630 days till I'm HOmE again!

Ty Wagner
(ty27wagner) - F

Locale: Wisconsin
Bear ropes on 09/25/2010 22:20:01 MDT Print View

Philmont had no issues with our blue amsteel bear ropes this summer. Trek 701P3. We were incredibly careful with our bear protocols and didn't have any issues. We did see bears and unfortunately not all crews were careful.

PM me and I will send you my gear lists that we put together for our crew, kids and what I took.


Cameron Melvin
(cameronm99) - F

Locale: Colorado Front Range
Re: Pilmont 2011 8/1/11--8/13/11 on 11/02/2010 16:30:40 MDT Print View

My only experience w/ Philmont was as a scout. However, our trek was at the same time of year and I don't think we had a dry day our entire trek. Make sure you go prepared for the wet weather. I remember that we were hiking, more like sliding, down the trail because of how hard it was raining. Not really a problem, just something to keep in mind as you plan your rain gear. There is a good possibility that you might be wearing it a lot.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Lightweight at Philmont on 11/02/2010 17:45:26 MDT Print View


We went 2 years ago. I started in January with a rundown including the video "Lighten Up". My main reason to get everyone to go lightweight was for the leaders. One of the leaders could not have made the trek if we had not done so. Most of the boys had a lot of backpacking experience and had already learned how not to take too much stuff. I also provided pack lists much like you find on this site. It makes you much more responsible if you have to put it on paper. It's a good exercise.

We had a few shakedowns to learn new gear/techniques along with how to do it the Philmont way. The payoff for me was when our 62 year old adult (not the one I was worrying about) told me he had given up on backpacking but when he went out with 26 lbs. loaded with food and water he said that he could see himself backpacking for years to come and has done so.

We had a great trek. We literally flew past other troops. Most kids had a total weight of about 22-26 lbs. with food, water included. Not bad since you see many 45-65 lb packs leaving the first day.

What I felt was important is to let them know that you are not going out for 12 days but pack like you are going out on three 4 day trips. It makes it more manageable. Have fun planning.

paul buzzard
(troop208) - F
philmont stuff on 11/09/2010 09:39:43 MST Print View

You are already on the right path. IMO, your issue may also involve the other parents spending $ on new equipment. It was with our troop. But if you plan it right, have a meeting with parents and scouts, like now, and if possible, show the alternatives in light/compact vs. what some may have, you can convert some. Bag, packs, and pad are your biggest bang for the buck, weight wise. We used campmor 20 bags, great value and small pack size, and BA pads. That cut a lot of space as well for some scouts in their pack. Don't underestimate the size of the food pick ups. 3/4 days of food is a major pile, and packs need to be big enough to get it all in them. What we did more or less is say the trip was X dollars, and depending on what your son's gear is like, the additional cost may be X more to get them the proper gear for a good hike.

FWIW, you may also want to buy some crew gear. We bought a 12' x 12' silnylon tarp that was great, way lighter and smaller than the Philmont one. It came in handy. Again, additional cost per scout that parents should be made aware of soon. Good planning, have fun.

sean mccutcheon

Locale: East Bay
Pilmont 2011 8/1/11--8/13/11 on 11/16/2010 18:15:54 MST Print View

We took our first training trek this last weekend, 13 miles at Point Reyes NP. Most of the boys are really excited about lightening up their packs. I love watching it turn into a game of "who can get their pack weight down the most" and still feel safe. One scout showed up at 38lb. We dumped out his pack and talked about what he had inside. After dumping mom's old REI bag for a polar pod, big blue tarp, large can of bug spray, shampoo and a 2lb. Coleman rain jacket, he weighed in at 26lb. When we got back to the cars at the end of the trek we changed up roses, buds, and thorns to be about what about your equipment you liked, didn't like, and how you can lighten up your pack. Next on my list is my other adults.

Bruce Tolley

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Philmont 2011 8/1/11 to 8/13/11 on 11/21/2010 13:15:50 MST Print View

Sounds like you are off to a great start
1. Read Doug Prosser's article
2. Repeat step 1
3. Get a scale and weigh packs and gear at the pack inspections. Focus on dual use gear, sharing gear, and selecting lighter gear from among gear folks might already own. For example, a crew of 12 does not need to take 12 pocket knives.
4. Big weight savings can be accomplished by using Prosser's recommendations for common gear
5. And remember "A Scout is thrifty." We are still in the middle of a recession and you do not want your Troop audience for the 2013 trip put off by rumors of how much the 2011 crew spent on new, lightweight gear.