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  • Philmont questions

    My son may be going to Philmont next summer, and we are looking at gear. I am a bit of an ultralight enthusiast (with a hammock) and my son would be on the verge of getting a hammock as well. But as hammocks are not allowed at Philmont (not sure if that is the backcountry or everywhere), we are now considering a lightweight solo tent. Knowing that also "tarp tents" are prohibited there is much gray area between tarps and tents.

    I am looking to define this gray area, but for those of you who are experienced in this area, we are specifically looking at the Lightheart Solo Standard, Six Moons Lunar Solo and TT Rainbow.

    Any thoughts on these (or other ultralight-) tents at Philmont?

  • #2
    I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the Philmont guidebook spells out pretty clearly the policy against single-person tents (even for adults) on their treks.

    Guy

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    • #3
      Philmont just published the 2012 planning guide this week on their website. Take a look at the gear listed at the back; tents are provided by the camp. I did not see any regulations about bringing your own, but it looks like there is no need to purchase one if you do not want to.

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      • #4
        Some of our guys just came back from there. They said the tents were provided and very welcome as the temps hit around 30 once or twice at night.

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        • #5
          Philmont requires that all scouts must share a tent. They also state no one person tents but don't enforce it with the adults. All of our adults had one person tents.

          While it's great that Philmont provides tents, they are bulky, not free standing, and require a lot of tent stakes - plus that special "flux capacitor". Be sure to set them up in base camp the night before to ensure they don't have any issues. We had a tent that the zipper wouldn't work because of a repair job they did to the tent but didn't notice until we were on the trail.

          reeddma

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          • #6
            So are contingent/personal tents prohibited?(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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            • #7
              Thanks for the info. As much scouting experience as I have (youth and adult), I have yet to make it to Philmont. I guess my concern here is that in our troop, we have been working to encourage an approach where the focus is on lightening ones load in order to enjoy the hike more. So far this has been a great success (for those who have gone this route). My son hates a heavy backpack (as do I!). Why carry (share) a 5 lb tent, when one can carry one that weighs 1.5 lbs (or share one that weighs less than 2.5 lbs). My load on a 3 day weekend has gone from 44 lbs down to under 20 (winter weight). He started around 35 lbs and is now under 25 and as we replace gear, his baseweight is dropping as well.

              I also question the 4 lb 12x12 tarp. Our troop uses 12x12 Kelty Noah's tarps which weigh an ounce or two over 2 lbs. With my hammock, I use a 10x12 sil nylon tarp which weighs just 22 oz (including tie outs and stakes). If Philmont is really the "mountaintop" experience it is cracked up to be, why "force" scouts to carry 10 lbs of extra gear in order to experience it?

              If 2 man tents are required, then a Six Moons Lunar Duo would be nice at a shade over 2.5 lbs.

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              • #8
                One more question. I did not see a suggested rating for a sleeping bag. There is (on the summer list) a section for cold clothing (polar fleece, etc) so is there an expectation to bring a 3-season (20F) or would a summer bag (40) suffice? Again, to the point, this would make a difference in weight....

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                • #9
                  Buffalo,

                  I know one of our adults said he was wearing a fleece outfit inside a (pretty good) 20 degree mummy bag and said he was cold on 2 night 2 weeks ago at a high elevation.

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                  • #10
                    Philmont is a mountain top experience because of the whole program during the trek, not just the trek itself. Philmont also has to contend with 40000 backpackers of all expereinces (or not experiences) every year and that number has its challenges. I honestly don't think that using a tent instead of a tarp is going to degrade your overall experience. It will just make it a little different. There will be other practices at Philmont you or your crew might question as well as far as a typical back county experience, but if you just accept it as part of the Philmont program experience, you will have a great time. There is no other experience like it and Im confident that you will come home wanting to do it again.

                    Barry

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                    • #11
                      Eagledad, sorry if I made my point poorly. I am not really talking about a tent vs a tarp. I am saying that if you knock off 2 lbs on a tarp, and 2 more on a tent and a little more here or there, you can easily save 10 lbs or more. That makes an incredible difference in a day's weight of hiking. For a hiker in good shape, that can mean coming into camp unwinded with plenty of energy; for a one in less than perfect shape, it could make the difference between approaching the breaking point and still being a ways from it. Having more energy and feeling better (physically and mentally) about one's accomplishment is a tremendous boost to the mountaintop experience.

                      For some of the scouts in our troop, they had no interest in doing any more hikes with 35-40 lbs on their back. But working with them to drop 10-15 lbs (or more, in one case) from their carried weight changed their whole attitude, and turned around what would otherwise become a very poor experience.

                      Back to my original question, are scouts allowed to bring their own (2-man) tents or prehaps a lighter tarp than those provided by Philmont?

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                      • #12
                        Did you ask them?

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                        • #13
                          >>Back to my original question, are scouts allowed to bring their own (2-man) tents or prehaps a lighter tarp than those provided by Philmont?

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                          • #14
                            My son went to Philmont last month - he had a blast.
                            He was carrying approximately 32 lbs + food and water. The only Philmont gear that they used was a large cookpot. They would pretty much dump all of the dehydrated food for a meal into the big pot and then all would share it. He took his REI Half Dome and of course carried half while his buddy carried the other half. He was using a light weight REI sleeping bag (~50F) and adding clothing as need for warmth.

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                            • #15
                              >>Did you ask them?>...But what really surprised us was the weight of our personal gear in the Northern Tier treks. We easily had one less bag per canoe than most crews simply because of our backpacking experiences. Duluth packs are rather large, so that is a lot of gear we left behind compared to other crews.>...He was carrying approximately 32 lbs + food and water.

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                              • Russ Willy
                                Russ Willy commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Personal two man tents are allowed ... have used person tents on 3 treks 1976, 2007 and 2009. And my Troop used personal two man tents in 2011 as well. Must be a tent, not a tarp though.
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