A couple questions on Phlmont (tents, gaiters, boots).
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Bill Rose
(BRnPA) - F

Locale: Philly suburbs
A couple questions on Phlmont (tents, gaiters, boots). on 02/13/2012 12:42:20 MST Print View

We're planning a Philmont trip in 2013 and preparations have begun. The troop went in 2009 so we have some of the logistics worked out but this will be the first trip for many of us. I have a couple questions:
1. We have light-weight backpacking tents that were used in 2009 and have been subsequently used for troop camping since. I'm sure some scouts have eaten in these tents, so is there any way to wash, rinse & repeat to get any smells from the tents?
2. We'll be wearing light-weight mid-height boots and I'm thinking of making some DIY gaiters. I've seen both sides of the conversation (necessary/not necessary at Philmont). So, are low gaiters a help/hindrance at Philmont?
3. How many of you have hiked Philmont in trail shoes vs. boots? If we plan on packing lightly, is it advisable to wear a much lighter shoe or if the boys have decent light-weight boots, is that really the best way to go?

I'm sure I'll be having more questions as it gets nearer so thanks in advance to any responses. :)

Carl Zimmerman
(CarlZ993) - MLife
Philmont questions on 02/13/2012 15:02:04 MST Print View

I'll add my $0.02 worth...

1. I'd wash and dry your tents w/ water only. Soap adds another smell. Just air out the tents for a day or two.
2. I always wear gaiters. Personal preference. I think it helps keeps gunk out of your shoes/boots and keeps your socks a little cleaner (very little). I tell this to all the youth I've taken on Philmont treks (3 treks so far). To date, no youth have ever worn gaiters. They occasionally have to stop and empty out their boots. I don't.
3. If their pack weight is light, they can go w/ lighter footwear. I think it's more important that their footwear fits well. I suggest that the youth NOT buy Goretex footwear. I think its hotter and increases the likelihood for blisters.

Have a great hike. Hopefully, I'll be going back for a 4th trek in 2013 (high on the waiting list right now).

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
boots on 02/13/2012 16:55:12 MST Print View

Encourage them to wear trail runners. Parents should like this because its a footwear they can actually get more use out of, wear around town, to school, etc.

It is amazingly hard to dissaude people from the heavily ingrained stereotype that you have to have boots to go outdoors. Thats all it is, an image, and marketing.

Boots are great for tramping thru heavy brush, sticks, debris, puddles. They simply arent needed on most trails.

Sarah Kuhn
(SCKuhn) - MLife

Locale: Mountainous Ohio
Gaiters on 02/14/2012 09:24:18 MST Print View

I ended up wearing very thin long pants the entire time due to the awful trail dust at Philmont and plan to do the same again this summer. One of the other adults on my prior trek wished he had gaiters (he had heavier pants and didn't want to hike in them due to the 'heat' - he even tried making gaiters out of the zip off portion of the pant legs.)
The kids tend to scuff their feet alot as they walk so they kick up a sizeable dust cloud that I got to hike through..... the pants kept the dust out of my boots and kept my legs relatively clean vs the kids were pretty nasty above the sock/boot line.
Trail dust didn't seem to bother the kids..... see what works for you.
Sarah

Mark Rash
(markrvp) - M

Locale: North Texas
Pants - Gaiters on 02/14/2012 09:54:26 MST Print View

I am going to Philmont in June. I'm planning to wear both long pants (REI Sahara zip-offs) and Dirty Girl Gaiters.

Bill Rose
(BRnPA) - F

Locale: Philly suburbs
Tents, Gaiters, and Boots... on 02/14/2012 11:43:23 MST Print View

Thanks guys. Good comments. The kids don't normally eat in the tents but an occasional Cliff bar or something similar has probably been eaten, so a good washing is warranted. Gaiters sound like a good idea so I'll make a pair for me and my son and pass on the pattern to the rest of our crews. I have some fairly light Garmont Zenith GTX mid boots that are very comfortable so I'll most likely stick with them but I won't demand the boys wear heavy hikers. Staying light so that they'll be comfortable in light boots or trail running shoes sounds like a great idea.

Glenn Smith
(gosmithpa) - M

Locale: Southern Arizona
A couple questions on Phlmont (tents, gaiters, boots) on 02/14/2012 13:17:36 MST Print View

Bill,

Try this product for washing your gear - Active Wash (http://www.trek7.com/products/active-wash-outdoor-and-patio-fabric-cleaner). It does a terrific job. I used it after our Philmont trek this past summer. It was a really dusty trek due to the lack of rain so everything was coated in dust and dirt. It took a few soakings and rinses but everything looked like new again. It can be used for just about everything.

+1 on the Dirty Girl Gaiters. They are terrific. I use them for all my hiking here in the Tucson area and at Philmont.

I use trail runners (Inov-8). Determine what the best shoe (boot or trail runner) and sock combination work best for your feet then stick with it. +1 on the GoreTex issue. Waterproof shoes in the southwest just don't make sense. This is the case at Philmont. I used Vasque Sundowners in 2007 and switched to trail runners for the subsequent treks. Get in the habit of cleaning your feet daily as well as using a clean pair of socks. I take three pair of the same socks ~ low cut socks; two for hiking and one for sleeping but that pair can be used in the rotation. Rinse out a pair each morning and then hang on your pack to dry. I think the combination of the socks and the shoes can make or break the trek. Also, blisters really don't present themselves on shakedown hikes but they will be prevalent at Philmont in places you can't imagine.

I take a pair of Mountain Hardwear convertible pants. I hike in shorts and use the zip-on bottoms as needed for cold temps, conservation work, horse riding, spar pole climbing, etc. I just make sure I keep myself clean each day.

Glenn

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: boots on 02/14/2012 13:24:07 MST Print View

"Boots are great for tramping thru heavy brush, sticks, debris, puddles. They simply arent needed on most trails."

For people in shape for it. Have witnessed several trip ending ankle twists by
kids hiking in runners.

peter vacco
(fluff@inreach.com) - M

Locale: no. california
Re: Re: boots on 02/14/2012 14:14:36 MST Print View

peter knows more about boots, and destroying your feet, as well as multiple thousands of dollars worth of trips being ruined, and loss of totally irreplaceable time, than almost anybody.
you can use any kind of boot you want.
and they will all pretty much cause a lot of trouble.

runners, of low and lighter boots will fare much much better.
it's philmont for goodness sake, not eff'n K2.
they will be fine.
you'll get driven nuts .. but the kids will be fine.

you can soak the stench out of tents most of the time with ... gott'a remember the name .. is from mcnett, and it eats smells and funk out of things ... it might even de-stink the smell of scout's feet. maybe.
... MiraZyme.. that's it !
use that, it will destink almost anything.

Bill Rose
(BRnPA) - F

Locale: Philly suburbs
Boots (East vs. West) on 02/14/2012 18:03:09 MST Print View

Good point on Philmont being the desert and not full of thickets and brambles, which is exactly the sort of hiking we do on the east coast. I think our (eastern) mind-set is just that: Thick brush, occasionally muddy, and prickly bushes that tug at your shins and ankles. Obviously Philmont is not that. Well-worn trails of sand and rock that don't require the type of boots sold/peddled by the Establishment (maybe Ray Jardine is right...). Thanks for the input. Here's the link to the mini gaiters I'm thinking making: http://adventurelisa.blogspot.com/2009/11/make-your-own-mini-gaiters.html

Sarah Kuhn
(SCKuhn) - MLife

Locale: Mountainous Ohio
East vs West on 02/15/2012 08:49:59 MST Print View

Just remember that not EVERY trail at Philmont is a dusty, well worn path.... the ankle twisters are everywhere...

philmont trail
Philmont trail 2

Edited by SCKuhn on 02/15/2012 08:51:10 MST.

ed dzierzak
(dzierzak) - F

Locale: SE
gaiters on 02/15/2012 09:53:11 MST Print View

+1 on the Dirty Girl's

http://dirtygirlgaiters.com/

Keeps the trail out of my shoes/boots...

Bill Rose
(BRnPA) - F

Locale: Philly suburbs
Re: East vs West on 02/15/2012 13:11:13 MST Print View

Great shots! Very valuable in ascertaining footwear and what we might experience there. Thanks!

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Re: Philmont rocky trails on 02/15/2012 13:39:12 MST Print View

Good photos and shows the reality of some of the trails there.

But the question still remains, is it better to hike those trails in boots or trail runners?

I took boots last time but am using trail runners this year. I just think less weight on my feet translates to less tiredness. Less tiredness translates to less chance to stumble or trip.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Training on 02/15/2012 15:15:11 MST Print View

Everyone should be in shape for the trip. Make sure all train in the shoes they
will wear. Ankles will be strong and shoes broken in. If they haven't done a
bunch of hiking on rough trails with a pack and low top shoes before they go,
a multi day trip is not the time to start.

Edited by oware on 02/15/2012 15:17:48 MST.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Philmont rocky trails on 02/15/2012 16:51:54 MST Print View

> less weight on my feet translates to less tiredness. Less tiredness translates to less chance to stumble or trip.

+1!

> If they haven't done a bunch of hiking on rough trails with a pack and low top shoes before they go, a multi day trip is not the time to start.

+1!

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Footwear@Philmont on 02/15/2012 19:29:32 MST Print View

+1 for trail running shoes. Your feet will be happy.

I also have used low gaiters and found them helpful.

Phil

Dylan Flanagan
(dcf001)
Re: Footwear@Philmont on 02/18/2012 21:14:47 MST Print View

I was a ranger on staff last summer and am planning on coming back this summer. I used trail runners most of the time, but I did still use heavier Gore-Tex boots when the ranch got a lot of rain, especially late in the summer.

There are a lot of rocky trails so it is important to have a comfortable pair boots or trail runners. There are some really well-worn trails, but there are also some very rocky ones that do cause problems for some scouts. Have a great trek

Edited by dcf001 on 02/20/2012 18:30:24 MST.

Walter Underwood
(wunder) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Philmont trails and shoes on 03/21/2012 22:46:22 MDT Print View

Some trails at Philmont are tough, mostly the one with rocks that will roll, but most of the trails we hiked were in excellent shape.

I hiked in Vasque Blur GTX's, a shoe on the heavy end of trail runners with Gore-Tex. We didn't have much rain, so I mostly had sweaty feet. The current equivalent Vasque is the Mindbender.

I believe the best protection for your ankles is a light pack and trekking poles.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Philmont trails and shoes on 03/22/2012 06:14:37 MDT Print View

Walter offered: I believe the best protection for your ankles is a light pack and trekking poles.

Light pack and trekking poles DO help a lot but I believe that foot fitness is even more important. David said it well:

Everyone should be in shape for the trip. Make sure all train in the shoes they
will wear. Ankles will be strong and shoes broken in. If they haven't done a
bunch of hiking on rough trails with a pack and low top shoes before they go,
a multi day trip is not the time to start.


Hike a LOT as part of your training and wear your pack starting with low weight in it and build up to at least 3/4 of max you'll carry at Philmont. Seek out rough trails like David mentioned, consciously look for bad foot placements that torque your feet and ankle some. Do all that and your feet/ankles will be strong and tough and trails like Sarah's photos depict will be no problem.

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
Happy feet, happy hiker, happy crew on 03/22/2012 21:54:47 MDT Print View

You need a light pack, trail runners with a little extra room for foot swelling, trekking poles, strong ankles (can work on this before you go), and Dirty Girl gaiters to keep debris out and to impress other crews with your cutting edge savoir faire.

Douglas Prosser
(daprosser) - MLife

Locale: Camarillo, California (SCAL)
Re: Re: Philmont trails and shoes on 04/02/2012 23:53:57 MDT Print View

Jim is right on with the training (just walking), weight, a little extra room in the trail runners, keeping the pack light (<25lbs), and just have fun

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Philmont footwear - revisited on 06/22/2012 13:37:09 MDT Print View

I know this thread is a little old and I already posted once, but since I just got back I wanted to weigh in on the footwear issue again.

I went in 2008 with some reasonably lightweight boots (Vasque) and just finished our 2012 trek where I wore Inov8 Rocklite 295 trail runners.

On both treks we experienced just about every kind of trail you find at Philmont and did similar mileage with similar weight packs, so I have a pretty good "apples to apples" comparison.

I can now say with certainty that I believe trail runners are superior to boots for the trails there, even the very rocky ones. I expected to have some times where I wished I had worn boots, but that never happened.

Like others have posted, foot and ankle conditioning is necessary for whatever footwear you choose.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Trail Runners at Philmont on 06/22/2012 14:19:04 MDT Print View

I agree on the Trail Runners. I got our whole troop to wear trail runners or just running shoes. Of course, this was coupled with light pack weights. I remember when we got to one camp. We went to the staff cabin for our orientation and site assignment. It was a rock climbing camp and the staff member told us to head to our campsite to take off our boots and change into... he just stopped and said he had never seen a whole troop that all had trail runners. Pretty funny. The boys just dropped their packs in camp and headed up to the climbing wall.

david richardson
(drichi) - MLife

Locale: midwest
Re: Trail Runners at Philmont on 06/22/2012 17:46:06 MDT Print View

John, What kind of sock did you use with 295 roclite's? thanks, dave

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
trail shoes on 06/22/2012 18:03:04 MDT Print View

Runners are superior to boots everywhere, not just at Philmont. Seriously.

If you dont believe, hike a few hundred miles of rocks, roots, water in each to make up your mind.

I have hiked some unfriendly terrain. Miles of boulder fields downhill, miles of trail that is filled in with softball sized rocks, wet feet for days, trails that are nothing but roots, steep uphills that require hand over hand climbing, etc. Runners do great in all of it.

You will roll an ankle from time to time in any shoe, especially if you are careless. Boots dont help that at all, they actually may make it worse by reducing feel and making you clumsy with heavy weight on your feet. They are heavy, they tire you out, they make your feet hurt, they dont breathe, they dont dry, and they just might cause blisters.

The only bad thing I can say about trail runners is your socks get dirty quicker due to the mesh, and require washing at least every 2 days or dirt buildup can start to cause foot abrasion. If you walk thru water they will clean themselves though and stay nice and clean.

Stephen Everson
(mrevets) - F
Re: Philmont footwear - revisited on 06/23/2012 17:55:25 MDT Print View

John -Question on trail runners - Since Philmont suggests you pack another shoe to change into from your boots...did this mean you did not take another pair of shoes..i.e. the only shoe you had on the trip was your Rocklite 295's?

Our trek is in 2013 and I am rethinking my footwear now after reading your post.

Since you wore trail runners, would you also recommend wearing gaiters?

Also, did you wear a sock liner and hiking sock or just a pair of hiking socks? I am torn on liners or not. I was at Philmont 30 years ago... The pictures of me at philmont back then, I was wearing the knee high boy scout socks(cotton back then..who else remembers official boy scout garters to hold them up. :) ) with a pair of low wool socks...and leather boots that ended up getting branded...

Alot has changed in 30 years with equipment...

Thanks

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Philmont shoes/socks/gaiters on 06/24/2012 18:26:11 MDT Print View

"John -Question on trail runners - Since Philmont suggests you pack another shoe to change into from your boots...did this mean you did not take another pair of shoes..i.e. the only shoe you had on the trip was your Rocklite 295's?

Since you wore trail runners, would you also recommend wearing gaiters?

Also, did you wear a sock liner and hiking sock or just a pair of hiking socks?"

The Rocklite's were the only shoes I took. I did take a pair of Croc's as camp shoes last time (when I wore boots) but found that with the trail runners I really could do without camp shoes.

I took a pair of gaiters but only wore them once. They didn't seem to make much difference so I would leave them at home next time.

I took 4 pair of hiking socks. One pair of regular BSA socks and 2 pair of black low cut socks (I think they were nylon) and 1 pair of sleep socks (to help keep my bag clean). I did not use sock liners like I did with the boots.

My feet did get dirtier with the trail runners but I would wash them every night before bed.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Philmont shoes/socks/gaiters on 06/24/2012 18:53:03 MDT Print View

Goodness, that's a lot of socks!

Dan Lee
(scoutbuff) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
TRAIL RUNNERS FOR PHILMONT... on 07/03/2012 14:46:39 MDT Print View

I just returned with the following observations...
1. Our crew had a mix of hiking shoes, light weight boots, and my GORETEX leather Sundowners.
2. Trail runners and hiking shoes will do fine for those that have a modest to light pack and have strong ankles.
3. Many of our crew had sore feet for a few days. Really need a stiffer sole than just the average street running shoe. I'm an avid trail runner here in Colorado and can attest to the value of a sturdier sole.
4. Gaiters? No experience but can tell you that everyone in our crew was filthy from dust. Don't think gaiters would make much of a difference...
5. The hike down from Baldy to Baldy Town is an extremely rocky trail with most stones about baseball size. Shoes or boots, the trail is rough... One of the Baldy Town staffers said that they have "a few ankle injuries each week" from that section of trail. Seems crazy that they don't have a cons project there to fix it.

Bill Rose
(BRnPA) - F

Locale: Philly suburbs
Re: TRAIL RUNNERS FOR PHILMONT... on 07/22/2012 06:15:13 MDT Print View

Thanks for keeping this thread alive Dan! Great observations.

Dan Lee
(scoutbuff) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
TRAIL RUNNERS... on 07/23/2012 11:45:15 MDT Print View

Bill-
I encourage you to be very vigilant when you talk to the crew about using trail runners in place of boots. Specifically, I've heard stories of boys hearing "trail running shoes" and then buying a pair of ASICS GT2160s or Nike Air Max.

Montrail, Inov-8, La Sportiva and Salomon are well known brands for real trail running. These will provide a much more stable foot bed than the usual running shoe. They will also help to minimize the sore, bruised foot soles that you're likely to encounter...

There has been a trend to much lighter, "natural feel" shoes like the Vibram Five Fingers or Merrell Trail Gloves. These would be fine for a camp shoe but not hiking. They simply don't have enough sole.

As an additional point, our ranger said that there are a number of crews that show up in their "trail running shoes" and are told to go over to the ToT Trading Post to get better shoes/boots.

Just something to consider... Hope this helps some.