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I just wash the Gatorade bottles out really well - never had a critter problem with them. But then, I've never been in real ba'r country, either!


It's not a weight issue for me - I just don't like Nalgenes all that much. Plus I'm cheap. ;-)(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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I thought that Delaware had a few Brown Bears?

I had to Google sopapillas!


In Central Chile sopaipillas are made from wheat flour, lard, pumpkin and salt. In Chile, they are fried and made from pumpkin or squash based dough called zapallo. The sopaipilla is very popular in Chile. Sopaipillas with pumpkin are eaten as a dessert.

Might make a nice change from my MIL's terrible pies at Thanksgiving!

Haven't had a good fed of lard since I left England!


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Once in a while there's a report of a bear wandering around hopelessly lost over on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I believe DNR usually picks them up and takes them back across the bay, only charging them for the cost of the cab ride.


Delaware has had the occasional report of a cougar (not THAT kind of cougar...) wandering back yards, generally up around Pennsylvania. But it's been a while.

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I don't live in bear country, so I don't have to worry about what kind of drink or drink mix has been in whatever bottle I'm using on a campout. However, when in bear country, any bottle used for a drink mix goes in the bear bag. Bottle that have only had water in them can stay out. We have the boys mark their bear bag bottle so they are sure to reuse it for drink mixes and to know which one goes in the bag.


Likewise with clothes. If you are cooking or eating and you get something on your clothing or boots......in the bear bag it goes.


Do a google search on the bear's sense of smell sensitivity. They can smell things from miles away and come in search of the source.


Is it overkill? Perhaps. But one thing is for sure. If you follow good bear country procedures, you mitigate the risk of bear problems greatly. Better safe than sorry.

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Roll up sleeping clothes and leave in the sleeping bag each day for sleeping only. Only sleep in these, nothing else. You don't want to be in a shirt with food stain (and smell) in bear country.


An ounce in the morning feels like a pound in the afternoon. Pack light and compare items weight. Cut where you can.


Do shakedowns hikes where you camp overnight. If you bring an item & don't use it, decide if you *really* need to carry it. Many new backpakcers way overpack!


Get lightweight boots, or better yet no boots! I hike in New Balance trail runners. Think heavy duty running shoes. If it's good enough for the rock & root strewn AT, it's good enough for Philmont. Leave the heavy "SUV" boots at home. Heavy boots = tired legs. If you gotta have boots get lightweight hightops. Northface makes good ones. Do NOT go cheap on footwear! Spend some money here.


Your big weight items are shelter (tents @ philmont, no hammocks boo!!), backpack, bag & stove. Comparison shop and pay attention to weight.


Get a good water filter & learn to use it. Water is heavy, watch how much you carry, read your maps & know where sources are.


Cotton is rotten. Get synthetics and develop a layering system to keep you cool or warm depending on the weather.


Two words: sock liners.

Two more words: Mole Skin (okay one word... moleskin)


Google ultralight backpacking. Read up & think about how you can shave some weight. Less weight = more enjoyable treks at Philmont and anywhere else your trail runners take you.


Don't try out anything at Philmont. Try it on a shakedown trip *before* any long term trip.

(This message has been edited by knot head)

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Great advice, Knot Head!

I am an Assistant Scoutmaster, female, and have been on two recent Philmont treks ('08 and '09). The BEST advice for any crew is to shakedown, shakedown, shakedown - at least three, ! It's here you learn what works and what doesn't. Best advice for Venture females: get comfortable p**ing in the woods. And bearbag everything that's smellable; mini-bears can be more destructable than the regular ones! You're going to have a blast!

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