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Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
hantavirus on 08/28/2012 07:55:09 MDT Print View

Hantavirus at Yosemite ... 3 confirmed cases, one other possible, 2 deaths. IIRC, there were folks using the wall tent cities.

Hantavirus is known to be present at Philmont. Pls take their warnings about not entering abandoned structures seriously.

Also, consider the risks if you are inclined to push back on their policy on floorless shelters.

Note that I'm not advocating for traditional double walled tents, I used a shaped tarp and MYOG Meteor bivy (modified to have bathtub floor) at Philmont. But since I'm borrowing other people's children these days I'm inclined to be a bit more cautious about what I advocate for them.

Sarah Kuhn
(SCKuhn) - MLife

Locale: Mountainous Ohio
hantavirus on 08/28/2012 09:06:17 MDT Print View

And with the new Philmont tents.... not quite the need for the youth to bring their own tent as in the past.
Not the water absorbing, semi-canvas, 20 stake tents they had in the past!

David Ebert

Locale: Midwest
Philmont tents on 10/08/2012 11:02:22 MDT Print View

But they are heavier than most "lightweight" tents and you waste time with check out and check in especially if they are wet or dirty. Practice with your own and use your own tents!

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: hantavirus on 10/08/2012 14:11:52 MDT Print View


Just what are you saying about hantavirus and tents? Does Philmont have tents set up
for years at a time like Curry Village?

Stephen Everson
(mrevets) - F
Re: Philmont tents on 10/08/2012 15:18:36 MDT Print View

David/Sarah - Which do you think is the better tent? The brand new tents that Philmont is changing over to, or the blue 16 stake tent that I am used to seeing and they sell surplus?

Your point is well taken that we can avoid the check out/check in process if we bring our own less headache....

One item I have seen people say to just take from Philmont is the bear bag/rope system, versus bringing your own.

The tent was the one thing I was thinking about NOT taking Philmont and using the ones that are out there now they have a different style. It is probably not a sure thing that we would be issued the "new" tents...

Appreciate your opinions on such.

Thanks for posting.

Sarah Kuhn
(SCKuhn) - MLife

Locale: Mountainous Ohio
Philmont Tents on 10/09/2012 07:23:38 MDT Print View

I have NOT used the 'new' Philmont tents, but just from description they sound MUCH better then the prior version.
I have NEVER carried a Philmont tent at Philmont - I purchased one of the '16 stake' tents to use when we do our Council Contingent presentations. Scouts get a chance to see, climb in, set up actual Phil tent. I tried to purchase one of the 'new' tents from Phil supply for the same purpose, but they don't have any going out of rotation that would be available for purchase. (MSR took back all damaged or defective tents to re-evaluate construction. Nice job MSR!!)
The 'new' tents are a custom construction from MSR they look very similar to the MSR Carbon Reflex, but not exactly.
Philmont MSR tents
If your crews already has fairly light-weight tents that they are familiar with and room when traveling to Philmont is not an issue, then my 2 cents is bring your own. If you are looking at purchasing tents 'for Philmont' I wouldn't encourage it with the availability of the 'new' tents. The 'new' tents do muddy water a bit, I just don't have enough information to argue either way other than familiarity. I think most crews will be receiving the 'new' tents this year, but I'm sure there will still be some of the '16 stakes' in rotation. (Take a treat to the guys in supply!!!)

Don't bother with your own bear rope.... Philmont's is NOT that heavy and Philmont's is MUCH easier on the hands than Amsteel.

Have Fun!!! I'll miss the mountains this summer, but SeaBase calls!

Edited by SCKuhn on 10/09/2012 07:26:28 MDT.

Sean Heenan

Locale: Southeast mountains
New Philmont tents on 10/09/2012 08:44:21 MDT Print View

These tents do look like the MSR carbon reflex 3 person tents. Does anyone know, are these tents 3 person tents? How much do they weigh? Any experience this past summer with them? Trying to decide whether to take our troop tents or just use the tents at Philmont this coming summer.

Sarah Kuhn
(SCKuhn) - MLife

Locale: Mountainous Ohio
Philmont 'New' Tents on 10/09/2012 09:11:46 MDT Print View

Found this article in the Philnews from July 6, 2012.... a bit of info, but no real specs...
Thunder Ridge Tent Design
By Beverly Ponterio
Staff Writer
Philmont’s new tents were designed to last longer. The old Philmont models have been around since the 1970s and have survived well, but have needed many repairs. The new tent, called the Thunder Ridge, was sent out for its first trial by participants on June 27. Philmont ordered 300 tents this year as a trial, and if they work as expected, 500 more will be ordered for next year.
Though the previous Philmont tents are a bit lighter, the new tents were intended to cut down set-up time and take a beating.
“If people are out on their first backpacking experience, putting up a tent and throwing poles around et cetera, it’s gotta be pretty tough,” said Shelley O’Neill, Trading Post Manager, when describing the durability of the Thunder Ridge.
According to O’Neill, tent poles break most often in todays’ tents, but these poles are DAC aluminum, which is lightweight and strong. They also went with heavier material and reinforced stitching, which makes the tent a little bit heavier and sturdier.
Philmont went through several manufacturers to find the best design for the new tents and chose MSR’s design. The tents are specifically designed for Philmont and even include some special customizations. Upon entry into the tent, one can find the “Bearmuda Triangle” silk-screened on the bottom. One will also find the Philmont Wilderness pledge sewn inside.
O’Neill calls herself a “gear freak,” and owns several tents of her own. When she got involved in the new tent design, she set up the Thunder Ridge prototype and then began to set up the old blue A-frame Philmont model. She said it was embarrassing how
long it took her in comparison and how labor intensive it was. She thinks crews will be thrilled that when it is about to rain, they will be able to set up the tent in enough time to stay dry.
The tents have already seen improvement. Due to a flaw in one small piece during manufacturing, the strap that holds the fly on was too silky and would slip out, but with the new parts finally here, O’Neill is confident that crews will be wholly satisfied with their Thunder Ridge experience.
The tents will not be sold in any stores, not even the Trading Post. It is strictly a Philmont Scout Ranch tent geared towards making treks even better.

Mimi Hatch
(theturtlebear) - M

Locale: Baltimore
New Philmont Tents on 10/09/2012 09:31:49 MDT Print View

Hi - Here is an excerpt from "The Philmont Advisor's Guide" 2013 edition that I updated earlier this month( ). It gives you some reliable info about these tents and Philmont's experience this summer:

"Until 2012, the only tent issued by Philmont was the BSA Philmont Backpacker tent. With poles, it weighs about 5.5 pounds. In late June 2012, Philmont piloted the use of proprietary tents manufactured for Philmont by MSR. These tents, called the “Thunder Ridge,” are based on the popular MSR two-man Hubba Hubba tents, which weigh about 4.5 pounds fully packed. They are green and have the “bearmuda triangle” emblazened on the floor and the Philmont Wilderness Pledge and the LNT principles sewed into the pockets. Ranger Trainer Rick Gibbs says that the tent feedback from campers and staff was great. Logistics Manager Sid Covington said that the design held up well to the rigors of Philmont camping, and there were only two instances of tent pole replacement orders – far less than the prior Philmont Backpacker tents. Going forward, the new tents will be distributed whenever available, utilizing the older Backpacker tents for overflow purposes or early arrival crews who are set up in the meadow. Sid recommends that contingent crews use Philmont’s tents, saying that they are often cleaner and no heavier than typical personal tents, and new enough that water proofing isn’t an issue. Sid says that Philmont sends huge numbers of Philtents to the backcountry to replace personal tents that die during a trek, and if it rains toward the end of the trek, it’s lots better to give the wet tent to Services than have it mildew all the way home!"

MSR was scheduled to go to the ranch this Fall for a debrief on the tents and figure out what tweaks are needed moving forward. Sid also told me that original batch were deployed at the end of June after a slight delay at the beginning of the season, due to the fact that the strap on the ridgeline of the rainfly didn't have enough folds in it and it pulled through the buckle. Philmont's tent repair team put in a few more folds and stitched, and then they were fine.

I have always had my own crews bring their own tents, but although I'd still bring my own Tarptent, I'll probably consider having my next crew of scouts use the Phil tents.

Edited by theturtlebear on 10/09/2012 09:32:39 MDT.

Sarah Kuhn
(SCKuhn) - MLife

Locale: Mountainous Ohio
Philmont Tents on 10/09/2012 09:42:53 MDT Print View

Thanks Mimi!!! I wondered if you guys would have an update regarding the tents in the new guide!
The picture I posted was from MSR's fall visit to the ranch.
I'm in the same position.... I carry my Tarptent, but in the past encouraged scouts to bring their own tent.... the new tents really make using Philmont's equipment a valid argument.

new tents on 10/09/2012 21:50:22 MDT Print View


But if you dont have a tent already, what do you do shakedown hikes with???

A lighter 4lb 2P tent can still be had for about $100. Not saying better, just lighter, and likely sufficient.

I think there is a lot of value in practicing with your own gear on shakedowns. Especially with regard to packing, as well as setting up.

Probably doesnt really matter though, if the first few days allow for learning and developing a routine. May not be necessary to hit the trail at full speed.

David Ebert

Locale: Midwest
Nice tent for Philmont on 10/16/2012 10:38:07 MDT Print View

Best money I spent was for the two Shangri-La 3's that we used on shakedowns, Philmont, and since. Our crew was a trekking pole crew, so we left the 1-pound aluminum center poles at home, and each tent partner (2 per tent) ended up with less than 2 pounds of tent/stakes/ground cover. Still lighter than the new Phil-tents. :)

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: hantavirus on 10/16/2012 12:23:11 MDT Print View

Just what are you saying about hantavirus and tents? Does Philmont have tents set up
for years at a time like Curry Village?


I was off the grid (or at least off the net) for several days and missed your question until now.

Philmont does have canvas tent cities for trekkers for one night on each end of their visit but I do not know if they are setup year round ... maybe not given their short season compared to Yosemite.

But for shelters while on trail they strongly encourage something that will keep out pooling water and also dust. The campsites get heavy use and level areas tend to be very compacted with a heavy layer of powdery dust. They are are ultra-cautious about those sort of things ... maybe unreasonably so but I need to remind myself that for a significant number of their trekkers this might be their first (and only) time backpacking. You can't rely on skills with those folks.

That said, we send kids to Philmont with Golite SL-4+ and SL-5 shelters with just a bathtub floor that clips to the mid at 8 places. To quote a scout "The Great Pyramids are the best tent EVER!" (That was just last night as they were packing for a three day Superior Hiking Trail trip)

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: New Philmont Tents on 10/16/2012 12:37:16 MDT Print View

It's great to see newer and lighter Philmont tents.

But for troops that backpack enough to justify the expense of owning their own backpacking tents you can't beat the weight/person you get from a large pyramid with a clip-in bathtub floor ... I can't beat that weight/person using a tarp and bivy for solo camping.

Also, for some reason it seems to help crew cohesion to have them crammed 4 or even 5 to a shelter. One of our adults credit's that to the "goofy factor". With youth; The more, the goofier ... the goofier the happier.

Tony Ronco
(tr-browsing) - MLife
Re: New Philmont Tents on 10/16/2012 23:42:09 MDT Print View

Per Jim's post: "It's great to see newer and lighter Philmont tents."

Newer - Yes. Lighter - No.

Here is a quote from PhilNews about the new MSR Thunder Ridge tents: (this was kind of buried in Sarah's earlier post)

Quote: "Though the previous Philmont tents are a bit lighter, the new tents were intended to cut down set-up time and take a beating."

Apparently the Philmont Thunder Ridge are made of heavier materials that the Hubba-Hubba it is based on.

Here is the link to the report: (page 6)

Edited by tr-browsing on 10/16/2012 23:48:11 MDT.

Mimi Hatch
(theturtlebear) - M

Locale: Baltimore
Re: New Philmont Tents on 04/24/2013 13:15:22 MDT Print View

The URL for the Philmont Advisor's Guide has changed. The new web address is: www.