I went to Philmont as a scout in 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1990 (Raydo) and am returning for the first time in 22 years. Since then I have done a number of high adventure trips using Freezer bag cooking with alcohol stoves and the Antigravity Gear caldera cones(AGG 2Q titanium pots). I use cozies made out of Reflectix and aluminum tape.
I recently found my Philmont Guide book from 1984. The Philmont issued gear list has not changed in 28 years! It is almost word-for-word identical with the only real difference being that they now issue one set of tongs now instead of two. There is absolutely no reason to cook the "Philmont" way. I remember lugging those huge cook kits and Peak One stoves around. My days of having a 50+ lb pack are long gone.
Our crew of 11 will be using the freezer bag cooking method. We have tried out a few meals and it works great. I have used Freezer Bag cooking quite successfuly on a number of other Scouting high adventure trips (off BSA property). We usually make our own meals but this time we will use the food Philmont gives us. We have been rehydrating meals in the original bag and then dumping half of it into a quart size freezer bag. We need five bags per meal fore a crew of 11. A couple people have found that they prefer to have a collapsible bowl to hold the freezer bag in. I have found that the food grade plastic storage container for my AGG caldera cone and stove also works great for this. It screws apart and splits into two usable containers (each half is 1.5 oz). Because we will not be doing dishes we will not even take the Philmont sump system, unless they make us.
We tried three stove options. Two MSR whisper lights with my 2Q pots (4.5 oz each), two Jet Boils, and two alcohol stoves (same pots but hanging in a caldera cone. Hands down the Jet Boils won. I will admit that I was skeptical of them before seeing them in action. I have loved my alcohol stoves for too long. We used slightly more fuel with the Jet Boils but in the end we save on weight because we were going to carry two bottles of white gas anyway. We calculated that we can easily do the whole trip on three 7.5 oz canisters for the Jet Boils (13oz actual weight). We will purchase additional fuel in the back country if needed.
The Jet Boils have the following benefits over the other stove options:
1) Built in measuring marks. We will heat the amount of water needed to rehyrdrate one food bag in each Jet Boil. We will do six Jet Boils of water at each meal and then a seventh to sanatize spoons at the end. No need to carry a measuring cup, scoop water, etc. Just pour the water out of the Jet Boil pot.
2) You can grab the outside of the pot when it's hot. No need for gingerly handling a hot 2L pot of water. Just grab the pot when it's done and pour it into a meal bag.
3) Built in boil indicator (changes color on the side)
4) Incredibly stable compared to the Whisper Lights. The pot locks on to the stove.
5) Incredibly simple to start...just turn on the fuel and push a button.
6) Incredibly fast. We pitted two teams against each other: one with the two Jet Boils and one with the two MSRs. The Jet Boils team was happily enjoying their meal a few minutes before the MSR team.
The only thing I dislike about the whole setup is the amount of trash generated. I love my alcohol stoves because there is no canister to dispose of at the end of a trip. My conscience also gnaws at me for generating at least 50 quart size freezer bags of trash, especially given that they take about 1,000 years to decompose. For this reason alone I am still on the fence about just using five bowls for our trip and "swishing" them out at the end of a meal.