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Temps in Philmont in June & backpack size

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  • Temps in Philmont in June & backpack size

    Just had our Philmont prep meeting for the Troop trip to Philmont in June 2014. The Philmont equipment list states that a 20 deg sleeping bag is needed. Is that to take into account that many scouts will have bags that aren't EN tested?

    The equipment list also recommends a internal backpack of at least 70L or external of 65L. Is this for most scout gear that is not minimal size (i.e. synthetic sleepingbag, etc..)? My local outfitter thought should go with a smaller backpack.

    What sort of gear did you use at Philmont?

    Looking forward to comments and the June trek.

  • #2
    I've seen it snow in June. Worse, I've seen thunderstorms with hail, which really lowers the temperature. I'm not sure about the EN tested, but we would be recommending 20 degree bags for a June trek. 65L to 70L is the average pack size our scouts use, some externals might be a little smaller. But crew gear and food take up a lot of room on the Philmont treks. Equipment has improved a lot over the years, but 10 years ago we tried to arrive at Philmont with a maximum weight of 24lbs before crew gear and food. I think it should be less with todays gear. Barry


    • #3
      Yep seen it snow, rain, hail and be hot all in one day, A Good sleeping bag is a must,My Last Trek our packs weighed in near 80 Lbs, one came in at 98... But we carried Hot Sauce, Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, Salt, Pepper, Sugar and a lot of Extra Food...We had Steaks first 3 Nights because we Froze them and Carried Dry Ice. Our Ranger Susie Dobbs freaked out but after 3 Days with Us she knew We could handle it. That Trek was all experienced Philmonters. We Slept in Hammocks no Tents, No Tetrox on Pans.


      • #4
        Son went 2 years ago first week of July. He took a fleece blanket/bag. I believe he said he slept on top of it most nights. I think he said one night he was chilly. I took a 3lb poly fill bag back in '76. Sweated most nights. Depends on the weather. 20 degree bag seems like overkill to me.


        • #5
          Sounds like a very fun trek, my favorite trek was with our most experienced backpackers. They liked going fast to challenge themselves. We followed another Troop of very experienced backpackers that sang songs and wore Full Class A Uniforms during the whole trek. They even impressed my very seasoned guys. How did you get by the "No Hammocks" policy? Barry


          • #6
            Waaaay back when, the fashion was a pack board that one lashed whatever to. My original Troop went to Philmont with war surplus M4 plywood packboards. I couldnt afford the trip, maybe that was a good thing, but I took the example seriously and got dad to take me to Sunny's Surplus and I still have that M4 pack board and Yucca pack I bolted to it. Saw no reason to merely lash it on. Very adaptable, but overly heavy before equipping. Good for a lugh from today's Scouts when I show it off.
            Then came Mr. Kelty's aluminum pack frame and pin on pack bag. Much lighter and very adaptable. Internal frames and built in stuff sacks for the poly sleep bag. Scoutson has tried both innies and outies, and says he likes the innies, IF they have lots of lash on rings for extraneous stuff. Always pack food seperate, in a bag that can be immediately hoisted aloft at camp. Seperate cover for pack (packs are usually NOT waterproof)..Use lots of plastic bags to pack and organize . Take extra plastic bags (bread bags are good) Ziplocks are best). Seperate rain coat . Dress in layers. Wool jacket, gortex clone stuff jacket over the wool jacket. Broad brim hat, with chin strap.


            • #7
              I still have the backpack my mom got me when I crossed over: purple and black Vaude with 65-70 L. In the past 20 (!) years the waterproof lining of the top has faded and I had to replace one plastic buckle. Such a great piece of gear. But I got myself a new one this summer: Tasmanian Tiger Pathfinder. TT is the german army version of Tattonka. A 92 L green monster with 2 detachable pockets that can be used as a day pack. So many MOLLE straps I can fit my entire ALICE collection on it LOL.
              Bought the US Army sleeping bag a couple of years ago - a green and a black sleeping back that can be used seperate or in combination for varying temperatures. With the optional bivy bag
              as a 3rd layer its really cozy.
              Carried around 35-40 lbs up a mountain, touring europe due to airlines I was limited to 65 lbs ... ouch my back. Even thinking of 80-98 lbs ... good to know people out there even more crazy than me ;-)


              • #8
                I'll join the choir and say that having been to Philmont in June-early July, I'd say you can always sleep on top of your 20-degree bag. Options are better than being cold for ten nights.

                As for the pack, you'll see and hear some pretty crazy stuff about how much space you really need for Philmont, how much gear you really need, weight (that insane guy who saws off the handle of his toothbrush, etc.), but the answer is always how much space you think you need for your personal gear, with plenty of space for crew gear. Use the shakedown hikes to figure this out, and know that when you get to base camp, your guides will be pitching stuff out of your pack left and right. You never realize just how little you really need out there.


                • Eagledad
                  Eagledad commented
                  Editing a comment
                  We took a single bed size sheet with us incase we only needed to sleep on the sleeping bag. It is very light doesn't take up much room. Our experience is if you pack right, personal gear only takes up about 3rd of the pack at most. I found the scouts had fun creating ways to ligten up their gear. I agree that even in the 80's we used gear and wore clothing that seems obsurd now (cowboy boots). But the greatest additon to modern gear that I will never be without is the hip belt. That one thing made all the difference for me between being miserable and having a great day. Barry

              • #9
                a we were crazy...Back in the 80's No One was Complaining we used Hammocks..Plain Hammocks not Fancy Tent Hammocks.. We Carried a Change of Underware and 2 Pairs of Socks for Each Day.. I wore Cowboy Boots...we Snuck of Trek to Go Buy steaks several times. I carried 15 Lbs of sugar alone...just For sweet Tea. We Hung packs in place of Bear Bags...we ate Good...we had a Great time...