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I'm with SA. The mindset that goes with waking up the second day and realizing you're going to be backpacking all day and setting up again that night needs to be experienced at least once before you hit the "real" trail.


John, I haven't done Philmont but I have really fond memories of Inyo and Los Padres, along with some of the northern CA trails.



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When I did a Philmont trek, it turned out that for maybe 1/2 of the other Scouts, it was their first time outside of their own state. We drove in a couple vans. Made stops along the way at historic places, even a pony express station.


Flying and the train are faster, but I'd drive again if it were offered. Plus, by driving, we worked the extra day into the schedule to help get acclimated to the altitude. (Have the boys hike up Pikes Peak, one day, then drive to Philmont from there ;)


You definitely need practice hikes and backpack trips. You don't need a boy 3 days into a 10 day expedition saying, "I don't like this, can I go home now?"

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  • 2 months later...

Troop 25 (Truman Elementary, St Louis, MO) is looking for a Scout and parent, or two Scouts who would like to go on a Philmont trek leaving 25-Jul-09 and returning 8-Aug-09. Scouts must be 14 years of age (or 13 and in 8th grade) and have attained the 1st Class rank to attend. The boys have selected and been granted itenerary #5 at Philmont.




The contact at Troop 25 is Steve Rudolph at sprudo@gmail.com.

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I went to Philmont last summer with a crew and I made the travel plans. We flew South West to Albuquerque and rented a 15 pass. van for the crew of 12 and all the gear. When you add up the train tickets to Raton and shuttle buses fees and worry about meeting someone elses schedules the extra $20 or so per person was money well spent. The other advisers and I looked at the other options as well but renting the van and leaving it in the lot made sense to us.

As for crew gear, we brought most of it with us. It is lighter than the Philmont stuff and it is familiar. Shake down offer the scouts a chance to practice with the gear before having to rely on it at Philmont. The only Philmont issued gear we took with us was the bear bags, bear bag rope, one pot, ladle, and strainer.

We were hiking locally every other weekend to get used to duration hiking with full packs. With several over nights included with the final one with a 6,000' elevation.

The scouts should be fine at Philmont because kids bounce back after a rough day but the adults do not bounce back as well. I wish I had done more cardio before we went.

You and your crew are in for an amazing adventure just remember to enjoy it and don't let the stresses get to you.



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Thanks all for your information and support. Our Crew got the trek we reqeusted, #32! We're all pretty stoked and ready to go. We are flying out of Charlotte, NC directly to Denver. In Denver we got a great deal on two minivans for our crew of 12. Nobody will be crunched together with Scouts and rucksacks for the 5 hour drive to Philmont. We're spending two days at the US Air Force Academy, then another night at Trinidad State Park before driving into Philmont.


We've conducted one major equipment shakedown, are taking all our own Crew gear, with exception of food strainer, bear bag stuff. We've completed a couple of Crew shakedown overnight hikes to work out the kinks in our Crew SOP, practice map, compass and GPS skills. Got our Crew patches on the uniforms, Crew wicking Tshirts ordered and everybody has their boots and have at least started breaking them in. One more major shakedown trip the weekend of 24-26April at Grayson Highlands/Mt. Rogers area of Southwestern, VA, about a two drive from home, at elevation above 5200ft. We're ready. Last minute illness or injury are about all that will stop us at this point.


Kids much more resilent to altitude than the 3 old farts. This old fart is doing major cardio daily with 3-5 mile runs in the morning and rucking in the afternoon/evening. Elevation sucks, but who cares when you're having a great time with a good Crew on the Trek we selected in beautiful country. Besides, that's what Motrin is for, Airborne Candy! Thanks again for all who have given their advise and experience.

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