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Philmont Weight Requirements

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Regardless of ones physical fitness, don't forget the horses. A physically fit 250 lb male is just as taxing to a poor horse as a 5ft 4inch fat slob 250 lb male. I believe Philmont has a separate weight requirement for riding.


And don't forget, no gay tri-atheletes either!

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  • 7 months later...


The weight limit for horses is 200lbs if I am not mistaken.



Actually the weight limit for riders is 200lbs.


The weight limit for horses is much higher. Most of the horses I've riden have been well over 1,000 pounds.


Seriously though, I wonder how much the height/weight requirements imposed by Philmont for backcountry hikers is a risk management issue linked to their insurance costs?


Ancient anecdote.


On my first Philmont trip as a Scout many many years ago, Philmont doctors didn't want to let my Scoutmaster on the trail. He wasn't overweight at all, but was 63 years old with a history of heart problems. His personal physician had OK'd his physical form.


They finally let him go on the trail and he did just fine. He was a tough old man.


A crew from Ohio that came out on the same train with us went home without one of their leaders. He died on the trail. There was also a Philmont camper who died just after we left the ranch. They quarantined thousands of Scouts on the ranch while investigating his death. That back in was 1970.


Deaths have occured from lightening and falls over the years. Philmont can be a very dangerous place.


I guess they're just doing what they can to manage some of the risk by setting certain limits on who can participate.



Cliff Golden

Scoutmaster Troop 33

DeKalb, Illinois

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Another anecdote:

Day before we went out on the trail (I can't remember if this was 1988 or 1990) 5 scouts died in a lightning strike. The had just rolled into their camp as it was starting to rain. A detail was dispatched to get the bear bags up before the storm hit while the rest of the crew got the tents up. Lightning struck the bear bag cable as the boys were hoisting up the bags.



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"I guess they're just doing what they can to manage some of the risk by setting certain limits on who can participate."


That's exactly what it is. A few deserving people may be declined unfortunately. Philmont could potentially be liable if they allowed someone on the trail who is overweight and has trouble, despite the waivers I would imagine advisors have to sign.


I know smoker's would have similar problems, and that's why they'll check your blood pressure at the health lodge.



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Boys!... boys!

Try to remember who the program is for...not us old fat guys...It is for the scouts and whether or not we think we 'can' do it, the question is should we...for our own reasons (good or ill) chance screwing it up for a crew by keeling over dead on them???


Last year, I had to 'pass' on a High Adventure Camp. I had two son attending and I REALLY WANTED TO GO! (since my Big "C" surgery, My doc won't sign me off on a Class III Phys). Every adult on the trip said I could have 'handled it'...And even though I could probably find a 'doc' out there, somewhere, who would 'sign off', even the smallest chance that I would/could ruin eight young men's summer was more than this 'osfg' (old slightly fat guy) could risk. Like some others said... in the high adventure treks...the heart attacks are almost always adult leaders, not the kids...so, my feeling is, as my boss loves to say, "If ya want to die...do it on your own time".


The one (maybe) exception, I could see, would be if you routinely participated in 'higher altitude' treks...say 5 or 6 times a year, or more... maybe, then, you would have an argument....but if it is once a decade or once in a 'recent' life-time adventure...do it on your own time...don't chance giving the scouts a life-time memory no one would want...

huffing and puffing along


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