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Philmont Crew Tents
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Doug Parker
(BuffaloSkipper) - F

Locale: Gulf Coast
Philmont Crew Tents on 10/25/2011 08:52:11 MDT Print View

I am looking for some suggestions for 3 or 4 man tents for Philmont Scouts.

Doug Prosser's crew back in 2006 used MH Kiva tents, which, weight wise, works out nicely. I was fortunate enough to locate a used Black Diamond Megamid with floor and pole used for $100. As our troop is sending 4 scouts as part of a 3 contingent group, this is a great deal. Tent-42 oz, Floor-30 oz, Pole-13 oz.

Black Diamond Megamid

In 3 weeks, I will be doing a presentation to the whole contingent (30+ scouts and adults) on Philmont Lighweight Backpacking, based on much of Doug Prosser's philosophy and experiences. I am looking for some ideas of other tents I can offer to these scouts and their parents. In a week or so, I hope to take many of your suggestions and post in the Gear Swap section looking for some reasonable bargins.

Thanks in advance for your ideas and suggestions.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Philmont Crew Tents on 10/25/2011 11:40:40 MDT Print View

Our troop picked up a Golite Shangri-la 4+ on one of their 40% off sales and I made a silnylon floor for it. I was in a Philmont crew that used it for 5 not small scouts in 2010 ... a bit snug but it worked well and they enjoyed it. We also used it for 4 scouts the past weekend on a 3 day Superior Hiking Trail trip.

We also picked up a mesh inner on the Gear Swap forum so it'll work for our insect season.

It's been a great addition to the troop's gear.

Edited by jcolten on 10/25/2011 11:41:26 MDT.

Doug Parker
(BuffaloSkipper) - F

Locale: Gulf Coast
Philmont Crew Tents list on 10/26/2011 08:57:49 MDT Print View

Thanks, Jim, I had overlooked that one. So to sum up, looking at multi-man pyramid tents in the 5 lbs or less range, thus far I have 3 options:

Black Diamond Megamid

Mountain Hardware Kiva

Golite Shangri-la 4+

Are there any other lightweight pyramid or non-pyramid tents we could be looking at? Specifically, we are looking at a price effective tent, so ultimately used tents will be considered, so even those no longer manufactured would be on the table.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
large mid on 10/26/2011 09:18:53 MDT Print View

To toot my horn.

I make large mids from 8x8 to fit the small tent sites at Philmont up to 11x11 to
fit a half dozen scouts. Scouts get a discount too. Give me a call if I can help.

I have some lightly used ones in a couple of sizes as well as cheaper 70d fabric

Walter Underwood
(wunder) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Mids at Philmont on 11/09/2011 11:48:26 MST Print View

We took an MLD Speedmid and a Black Diamond Betamid to Philmont. Note that you will not be strictly compling with the Philmont rules that require "fully enclosed tents."

My writeup and photos are here:

used on 11/10/2011 06:43:03 MST Print View

Almost any high quality lightwt tent will work. 1-2 lb per kid is reasonable.

I wouldnt be too hung up on cost. Buy them used high quality gear, use them (take care of them) and resell for same price paid when done and the cost is basically just some shipping fees. Cant go wrong.

However, if they buy new gear, they will eat some cost on resale, and cheap gear with no resale is basically a total loss.

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Philmont requirement for 'enclosed tents" on 01/04/2012 07:15:19 MST Print View

We're headed back to Philmont in June with a new batch of boys. Several of them need lighter tent options.

Obviously your ranger allowed the floorless shelters even though they do not officially comply with their 'enclosed tent' requirements.

Can we expect the same consideration, or does it depend on the ranger?


Sarah Kuhn
(SCKuhn) - MLife

Locale: Mountainous Ohio
Floorless tents at Philmont on 01/04/2012 08:13:27 MST Print View

It will totally depend on your ranger.... and the confidence demonstrated by your crew. Adults get to slide under the radar much more than the youth do...

None of the current Philmont documentation references 'enclosed' or 'floored' tents, simply states, from the 2011 Guidebook (the most current publication as the 2012 won't be out until March)-
"A 5'6"x 7'6" nylon or plastic ground cloth MUST be used under your tent. Tent mates can share the ground cloth. It is REQUIRED that everyone sleep in a tent. The use of tents provides protection from weather and also is part of Philmont's Bear and Wildlife safety practice."

I added the emphasis on the ground cloth MUST be used and REQUIRED that everyone sleep in a tent. So..... what's the definition of a tent????

Walter Underwood
(wunder) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Floorless tents allowed? on 01/09/2012 15:58:07 MST Print View

Also in the 2011 Guidebook (page 32) under Hantavirus: "Do not sleep on the bare ground. Use tents with floors or good ground

This is great, and is a change in the Guidebook. The 2011 edition said, "If possible, do not sleep on the bare ground. Use tents with floors."

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Floors on 01/09/2012 18:21:00 MST Print View

Never been to Philemont but heres an idea if you're in doubt. Buy the inner tents from someplace with a good return policy and keep them in the packaging. If the ranger lets you get away with floorless shelters great, return the inner tent when you get home. If not you're covered and you won't be stuff borrowing something really heavy. Another idea if you have someone who can sew among the troops parents would be to just sew the ground cloth on with a bit of bug net in between.

Donald Howard
(DonH) - F
Philmont Tents on 04/09/2012 19:41:51 MDT Print View

We're considering Tarptent Double Rainbow tents for the crew.
What do you do when you have an odd number of boys? Can they take a one person tent?
How about the adults, can each take one person tents for themselves?

Bruce Tolley

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Philmont Tents Odd Number of Boys on 04/09/2012 21:00:48 MDT Print View

To follow Youth Protection and PSR guidelines, no Scout is supposed to be in a tent by himself.

So your odd Scout can be in a tent with two other Scouts. You could probably fit 4 or 5 scouts into a BlackDiamond Megamid. If a parent is one of the adult advisors, the Scout can sleep in the tent with his parent.

It is OK for parents to sleep in solo tent. In our trek we had two parents solo, each in a SMD 1 person single walled tent.

I did not see any Philmont Scout crews using floor less shelters but I did see one or two work crews using pyramid tarps.

I do not recommend asking for clarification of the "enclosed tent" policy before you go because the answer is likely to be use only double walled tents with floors and extra footprints.

I also think with proper camp site selection, if using a shelter with a floor, you could leave the footprint back at base camp.

Donald Howard
(DonH) - F
Tarptent Rainbow on 04/10/2012 06:38:16 MDT Print View

The Tarptent Rainbow is a fully enclosed tent with a floor.

I'm not aware of a rule in the Guide to Safe Scouting which prohibits Scouts sleeping in a tent by themselves. We routinely have Scouts sleeping in one man tents while backpacking. As long as everyone is camped near each other I consider the Buddy System in effect. I don't know if Philmont has a rule against it, if they do could you please give me a reference?

Sarah Kuhn
(SCKuhn) - MLife

Locale: Mountainous Ohio
Scouts tenting alone at Philmont on 04/10/2012 11:38:06 MDT Print View

Philmont is more lenient on adults sleeping alone, not so much on youth...
Not to be overlooked is the footprint/space issue - some sites a Philmont are quite small - fitting 12 people in 2 man tents is a challenge, let alone fitting in multiple 1 men tents.
In 2010 I used a TT Rainbow, as a female on an all male crew it was perfect!! This summer my daughter and I will use a SMD Lunar Duo and my husband will probably use the TT Rainbow or the Double Rainbow if he and my son tent together.

Below is a direct/unedited copy and paste from the '2011 Guidebook to Adventure'
Tents must be carried and used while at Philmont. Sudden downpours and gusty winds require appropriate shelter. Every member of your crew should know how to pitch, strike and fold a backpacking tent. Philmont issues the BSA Philmont Backpacker tent. (Footprint 5'6" x 7' .6", approximate weight 5.6 lbs.) If you bring your own tent it must be a 2-person tent and free of all food smells. Philmont will allow a single person tent in the event of an odd numbered crew. (No bivey sacks.)
Space for tents in most campsites is limited. Use of two-person tents minimizes the footprint and avoids encroaching on the "Bearmuda" Triangle (page 27). Two one-person tents take up nearly twice as much space as one 2-person tent.
A 5'6"x 7'6" nylon or plastic ground cloth must be used under your tent. Tent mates can share the ground cloth. It is required that everyone sleep in a tent. The use of tents provides protection from weather and also is part of Philmont's Bear and Wildlife safety practice. No food or smellables should ever be allowed inside a tent."

Donald Howard
(DonH) - F
Tents on 04/10/2012 11:56:42 MDT Print View

Our crew will consist of 5 youth and two adults. The plan is to use two TT Double Rainbow (two man) and one TT Rainbow (one man) for the scouts and the adults will each bring their own one person tent. Is this a problem?

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
SIngle scout tent on 04/10/2012 12:22:06 MDT Print View

Donald, that should not be a problem. They do allow a single scout in a tent in the case of odd numbered crews.

ed dzierzak
(dzierzak) - F

Locale: SE
Guidebook to Adventure on 04/12/2012 08:42:09 MDT Print View

The 2012 Guidebook says essentially the same thing as Sarah posted. Minor wording changes.

Bruce Tolley

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Philmont Tents Odd Number of Boys on 04/12/2012 11:03:38 MDT Print View

There are rules, there are principles, there is risk, and there is liability.

My recollection is that there was a rule in the advisors guide.

Even if Philmont has no specific rule disallowing the placement of scouts in solo tents, there is a principle of setting up outings to prevent the risk of 1 on 1 contact.

If you as trek leader have a scout in a solo tent, and there is 1 on 1 contact, I doubt you can make a case that the scout in the tent 5 feet away was acting as a buddy.

It is not a risk I would assume for a 12 night outing.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Philmont Tents Odd Number of Boys on 04/12/2012 14:53:55 MDT Print View

Here's an opinion ... but it's based on 25 years of scouting.

Talk of scouts in solo tents is likely an exercise in applying adult sensibilities on youth. Does not work well.

A friend and longtime scouter speaks of the "goofy factor" ... the larger the group (up to a point) the higher the youth enjoyment. Unless he is an introvert and a loner, the solo tenting scout will likely feel unfairly left out of the fun.

Similar with a scout tenting with a parent.

IIRC, the OP was leaning towards TarpTent Double Rainbows. Henry's RainShadow 2 works well for 3 scouts unless they are adult sized scouts. Our troop has used them for two adults on two Philmont trips and numerous other backpacking and canoe camping trips.

My last trip to Philmont we crammed 5 scouts into a golite SL-4+ ... tight but they loved it.

Donald Howard
(DonH) - F
Philmont Tents Odd Number of Boys on 04/12/2012 16:27:35 MDT Print View

I like Shire's tents, I bought one of his first Rainbows and have hiked a thousand miles with it.

On this trip I'll bring my Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo. I spent 5 months in it last year during my AT thru-hike.

I looked at the Rainshadow 2 but was trying to avoid a tent that needs hiking poles to pitch since none of the boys use them. If the boys will commit to using hiking poles the Rainshadow 2 would be an excellent choice.
Add a Squall 2 and you have accommodations for 5 youth and no one sleeps alone.