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bad Philmont experiences?

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Do you see some re-occuring themes here?!


- Shakedowns!! - Get 30-50 lbs on his back and get some miles on him before coming out here to New Mexico. Get him to do some higher elevations if possible.


- Boots!! - Good boots are a must, and need to be broken in. Additionally, NO COTTON socks or pants/shorts. Temps get up in the 90's and 100's and sweat will make them uncomfortable or even cause blisters.


- Clean!! - If the scouters are clean and follow the rules about food (gotta love "swilling"!!) they will avoid problems with animals.


He will have a great time, see some of the most amazing country in the world and have an expierence of a lifetime.


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I am wondering how you could have a bad time a Philmont. There may be bad moments, but the whole trip will be the trip of a lifetime. Keys to a great time. Shakedown hikes, not 2 or 3 miles over one night. Put in 10 - 12 miles in 2-3 nights and go from there. It would be nice if you could do one 5-6 night trip before going to Philmont. Get a good pair of boots and were them a lot. I used my boots as my daily shoe for 4 months before going to Philmont, no blisters or problems. Take new socks. Have a good attitude.

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I have been biting my tongue but I have to say, I had a bad experience at philmont.


When I went I had the expectation that it would be a challenging trip with lots of hiking in remote areas on difficult trails. Our troop had done a number of trips on the AT. With no grade more than 5 degrees and distances less than I had expected, the trip did not live up to my expectations. There were a number of other people who I have spoken to who had the same experience in that philmont was not the challenging wilderness backpacking Mecca they had been led to believe. Also my group had one very slow person who was not motivated to get up in the morning; we missed a number of the activity areas for this reason. (I went on the trip in 2000, our rout was considered strenuous.)


I have also known people who went on trips at philmont, and because the group screening process was not done well the group dynamics were very bad and for this reason a number of people did not have a "great" time. I think this is an important factor when going on any high adventure trip, if the people in the group do not have similar physical abilities as well as similar goals for the trip things are not as peachy as every one wants them to be.


Just thought I would add a sobering note to this happy go lucky thread.


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You must have been on a different train that I was. I saw some pretty steep hills. In anycase, that's not a "bad" experience that's just "not up to expectations." In this context bad is "getting mauled by a bear," "starving," or "breaking both legs."



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I don't have a bad Philmont experience to report ... just the opposite.


My one trip to Philmont was in 1967 and it was the high point of my

Scouting experience.


My 'Expedition' group was '709I3' and we were comprised of a bunch of kids

from towns in the central Texas (Austin) area. The only mountains that I'd

ever seen were when my mother and I were taken to Carlsbad Caverns by her

aunt & uncle and then around Fort Davis in west Texas - so Philmont was

quite an eye-opener to me. I remember that I asked one of our Advisors

(before going) if we'd be able to go swimming .... he said 'yes' but he had

an odd look to his face. Within a day of being on-the-trail at Philmont I

'experienced' what a mountain stream is like (we made quite good jello by

securing a filled cooking pot in a shallow stream bed for about 45 minutes).


We were very careful about securing anything that might smell 'good' to a

bear well up in trees but one evening a 'small' bear wandered into the edge

of our camp. Instantly all of us were running-and-yelling towards the bear,

which promptly spun-around and headed back the way he came. Our Advisor

called after us "What're you going to do if it turns-around?" You could

practically hear our boots digging into the ground as we 'slammed-on-the-

brakes' .... we hadn't given that possibility consideration until it was

called-to-our-attention ....


With last year having been the 40th anniversary of going to Philmont I dug

out my Philmont Belt and have been wearing it a fair amount since then.

('True Confessions' - The buckle was fine but I had to order a new leather

belt from Tooth-Of-Time Traders .... strangely enough the old one had



By now I've almost gotten used to guys stopping me to swap stories ...


A few months ago friends and I was about to tour a salt water nature preserve

in SW Louisiana and as we were about to go in a couple was coming out and

they stopped to tell us things to watch for. As the man was talking I noticed

that he had a Philmont buckle on (I was wearing my Philmont Belt). I motioned

to his wife and she saw my belt and tapped her husband on the shoulder. When

he saw my Philmont Belt that shifted the conversation (my friends had kidded

me about wearing the belt but that stopped) and we exchanged stories. He had

been to Philmont in 1952 so I was the 'kid' in our conversation (grin).


There must be somebody who has had a bad experience

at Philmont .... but I haven't run across them.


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