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Weighty Matters at Philmont...

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  • Weighty Matters at Philmont...

    So, back from Trek 30 at Philmont and the number one impression I have is how just plain overweight some of the people on the trail were. I was aghast. After having our Council Rep keep telling us how serious BSA was about the weight limits, I was completely numb when I saw some of the rolly pollies walking around. I am not talking about big muscular guys, I mean the guys and girls with rolls and layers of fat (look up the word panniculus) that I had thought was the reason for the weight limits in the first place.

    I had thought the BSA was serious about being taken serious and all I can say is, BSA serious about weight? Not so much

  • #2
    sorry to hear that.....

    At the Summit they did have a 225 pounds limit on the zip line....


    • #3
      OGE, I'm guessing two factors are at play:

      - Hikers are "fudging" their actual weight on the form
      - Philmont is granting waivers ahead of time, or on the spot

      Neither should be happening, for obvious reasons.

      Did the Philmont medical staff ask hikers to step on the scales during in-processing?


      • #4
        Our troop went to Seabase, and the SM definately fudged his med form.. He was twice the size of my husband, my husband made it by 10 pounds..

        I used to do med forms for summer camp, and I was pretty sure the guy was just forging the Doctor part of the form, never getting the form properly filled out. Couldn't prove it, but my spidy senses were always sent to tingling with comments he made just before or after he handed it in..


        • #5
          The last time I went to Philmont, the inprocessing medical staff had scales available and they used them. If they really are waving people through then this is the worst combination of messages to everybody. Better to have no limitations if there is no intent to enforce them.


          • #6
            We're they on a true trek or there for PLC or other training program, with a day on the trail?

            5the weight limits are in place because extraction is harder or impossible at the higher weight limits.

            But can you think of a better place to croak?


            • #7
              I was at PTC in early June and there were many heavy scouters there but there was also a young man who came thinking he was going inn the backcounrty on a trek and was refused due to his weight. He was a wrestler and not a "rolly pollie", he was turned down for exceding the weight. A weeek later I was there fro a trek with my crew. The medical recheck there was more detailed, recheck blood pressure, etc. I saw a scale but they did not recheck my weight, I did not see any "rolly pollies" in the backcountry.


              • #8
                They really ought to just drop the stupid BMI business and have a day 1 conditioning test hike. Make it to the top of such and such hill in so many minutes and you pass. It's laudable that BSA is doing something about conditioning, but why did they pick an unscientific, discredited horsepucky method to use?


                • #9
                  I saw on the trail, on treks, guys who had rolls of fat hanging down. When I was checked in, the EMT doing the medical review said he eyeballs weight. I thought there would be a scale, there was none. Perhaps the staff changes from week to week but I am distressed that at the random nature of the weight issue. Maybe having a scale is a bit much, but so is making such a big deal about weight and then ignoring it


                  • #10
                    Ya know what Philmont would be a great place to croak..... Just bury me where I land..... Certainly better than one of the dead parking lots or being carted around in an urn.

                    This is great uncle B.....want to hold him......No thanks.


                    • #11
                      When we went in 2010, I made the limit by 5#. They did a Weight check 2x(screener and then MD), and BP (2x also screener and then MD).
                      I agree the BMI chart is inaccurate at best and it's noted that it isn't designed to accommodate people who have put on muscle on purpose has makes no accommodation for us.
                      That said, the proposed fitness test would have to be on some kind of standard equipment that you could do at your city of residence, who would want to go to Philmont to take a strenuous test and only then after the fees and vacation were expended find out if you were going to be able to hit the trail? At least with some(any) weight limit you do have some control before you go and know what the target is.


                      • #12
                        That said, the proposed fitness test would have to be on some kind of standard equipment that you could do at your city of residence...

                        Nah, just make it x feet of elevation gain in y distance, done in z minutes. Make the actual test at Philmont a little less than the published requirements (to account for elevation and to give a margin of error). Or have several requirements, passing any ONE of which is good:

                        Have a BMI under 30*
                        be able to make 500 feet elevation gain in 1 mile in under 30 minutes

                        Or, Philmont could say "A Scouter is trustworty" and ask people to sign a form stating they have been cleared by a doctor to engage in the type of activities they'll be engaging in.

                        I mean, there's the entire Part D to the med form that's supposed to inform the Scouter's MD what to expect.


                        • #13
                          Sounds like integrity is the root cause of the present problem.


                          • #14
                            Weight is not the sole judgement nore is it the final factor. On part C, there is even a paragraph explaining that the BMI may be used in place of just weight limits. 20% for females, 15% for males.

                            I weight in at 257 pounds right now. I sure could stand to lose 15 pounds. I am 6'2 1/4" tall.
                            But my BMI puts me in a good spot.

                            We have an ASM in our troop who weighs 270 +/- . This guy probably has less than 3 pounds of fat on his body. He is bulit like a brick outhouse! Strong, toned, and could bench press his own weaight without any problems.

                            Technically, he is grossly obese by the med forms. But realistical;ly, the man is a walking mass of muscle.

                            Not saying the rollie pollies are withing the BMI, just saying that weight alone should not be a factor


                            • #15
                              "It's laudable that BSA is doing something about conditioning, but why did they pick an unscientific, discredited horsepucky method to use?"

                              Because, it's the easiest way out for BSA to satisfy the insurance folks and lawyers! Test hikes?? Why, that would make SENSE, and create extra work for people!! Better off with a "one size fits all" (pardon the pun!) solution!