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  • Philmont Father and Son Trip

    My 15 year old son has agree to do a Phimont trip in 2015, if I go with him. Now I do not know too much about Philmont and would like to try to plan for next summer. I have been a scout leader since he was a tiger scout, but I feel that I am over my head on how to approach this. I am getting very little info from Counsel about Philmont Continguents.

    I have see the Philmont videos and read the website, but I feel all the programs are about the same skill set.


    So any suggestion on how to approach this?

  • #2
    Depending on your physical conditioning at the present time, you will need to start training for it. I was 50 years old and started a year in advance. By the time I was getting on the train to go to Philmont I could carry twice the recommended weight up and down very steep hills here in the Midwest.

    Well, I hit the thin air of New Mexico and it was a whole new ballgame! Because I over trained I could back off on the weight and slow the pace down and I did just fine. I couldn't keep up with the 18 year olds, but I got to where I needed to be at a reasonable amount of time. If BSA recommends being able to carry 50# of pack, for 15 miles on uneven terrain, and that's all you do and you come from low altitude, you're going to be in a world of hurt.

    Besides conditioning, read up on backpacking and learn to take seriously any and all suggestions the experts have to tell you. The heavy leather hiking boots might help protect your ankles over the course of a march, but by the end of the day, those 1# shoes are going to feel like 10#'s.

    I'd say it would be important that you and your son do this together. On my contingent, we had two father/son combos and what ended up happening for both was when the son weenied out, the dad's took on extra weight to help them out. Make sure your son has some skin in the game and can handle himself.

    Stosh

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    • #3
      What JB said. Phimont is not your hike up the local hill. And it is camping with low weight gear. Meals are planned out for no left overs. Water is often carried further than one might ordinarily expect. You do not camp next to the pump. Order the topo map of the area. Talk to the Troop leaders. FInd the District Camp Director (not Council) and ask them for the name of a Philmont veteran to speak to.
      And expect the memories for a life time.

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      • #4
        I just did a 61 mile Scout trip on the AT with my 2 boys and the going up and down the Roan Mountain Area kicked my butt. Cannot agree enough about training, training, training. Lunges, strength training for the back, etc. I had to use poles on the uneven terrain or I couldn't have made it. Research online--there is lots of Philmont advice.

        Every pound you can eliminate, both fat on you and unnecessary or heavy gear will pay off big time.

        Bone up on Wilderness First Aid just in case.

        If my crippled 52 year old carcass could do it most likely you can too. Of course my 15 year old son ended up carrying 8 pounds of my gear on the last day so we could get out in time. And 50 pounds is a LOT to carry.

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        • #5
          Yes to what Stosh said, TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN.

          My son is 10, so I have 4 or 5 years to get ready....I already quit smoking!

          What ever we do we are going for the 50 Miler A Foot or A Float. I am excited.

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          • #6
            Forgot to mention, the Philmont trek I did was 110 miles and we stood on the top of all 5 highest peaks. It was a lot easier paddling the 62 mile trek in the BWCA the following year.

            If one is going to go for real adventure for the boys, ya gotta be in shape to keep up.

            At almost 64, I can still out hike, out paddle and out bike most of the couch potato boys I have in the troop.

            Stosh

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            • #7
              I agree with all that has been said. I would also find a local packpacking expert learn how to lighten up your packs. Your food, crew gear, and water will add between 15 and 20lbs per person when you start on the trail, so I would try to set a max pack weight goal of 30lbs before you leave for camp. Some of us got it down to 25 lbs and a couple scouts even less. When your crew is waiting to load the bus to your trail head, you can watch all the crews weigh their packs. There was one young crew where nobodies pack weighed less than 55 lbs. I have to this day wondered how the they made out. Some of those boys weighed only a 130lbs. So get sharp and learn about your gear. Learn just what you have to have to enjoy the trek. An don't worry about it too much, we sent two dads (both in their late 50s) who had never camped in their life. Their sons' patrol was our very experience crew who were going on their 3rd or 4th Philmont trek, so we didn't feel they needed adults, but sent their dads to cover the requirment. The boys took veyr good care of their dads. And their dads have memories of a liftetime. Barry

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              • #8
                Are you actually registered yet? Plenty of dads find out the hard way that Philmont is not a father-son vacation and contingents dole out spots to youth first accordingly.

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