Saving on equipment for Philmont
Scott Begin (34RXESC@CMUVM.BITNET)
Fri, 29 Mar 1991 13:31:33 EST
Chris Haggerty brings up some valid points about not buying new equipment,
but I would like to add to and correct some things from the point
of view of a Philmont Staff Member.
Do not have your scouts buy backpacks. Philmont rents BSA Black Bull backpacks
for your trip. The cost is $10 for an expedition. The packs work great for
the price. During my two years as a ranger, I used my own personal Black Bull
pack which is the same as what Philmont Rents. The biggest problem I saw with
the rental packs was making sure the hip belt would fit the scout wearing it.
If you have bigger scouts who are at least 14, this may not be the problem, but
some of those pre-pubescent 13 year olds cannot find a hip belt small enough
to fit them.
The second thing is that Philmont requires scouts to carry tents. If you
wish to carry tarps, there is a liability waiver which the leaders are
required to sign stating that they relieve Philmont and the Boy Scouts
of all Liability for the entire trip. (I havn't seen it, but that is what
I heard about it...call Philmont for more information about it). Philmont1
will provide each crew with 2-man backpacking tents such that each person
is in a tent. There is no charge for this, unless you bring the tent back
damaged from something other than normal wear or natural causes. The tents
supplied are the same ones sold in the BSA Catalogs as Philmont Backpacker
Tents. There is enough room for two persons to lay side by side in them.
(no room for gear ... leave it outside, covered of course.). I prefered the
warmth of sleeping in a tent at philmont, and the rain protection was also
something that made the tent worth carrying. The weight of Philmont tents is
5 1/4 lbs, something I have not seen beat by other commercial tents. A word of
advice: Some of the tents used at Philmont are 3-4 years old and get used
almost every night: Some tent floors do not repell water well any more. Be
sure to bring a plastic ground cloth, if you want to be safe, carry two: one
for inside the tent, one for outside. Also, tent stakes are not provided.
Each tent requires a minimum of 10 stakes, and set up better with 12 stakes.
Aluminum or steel stakes work the best. Plastic stakes (or steel ones with
plastic tops) tend to get broken by the end of ten days. You don't have to
buy your stakes, light homemade steel and alumnium stakes are acceptable
(it's what I used). Also, take extras: scouts tend to loose them. (btw,
I have seen rangers who could set up tents with 8 stakes, but I don't recommend
it.) Cook kits are also provided (4 pots, 2 frying pans, 2-3 lids, spatula,
two spoons, hot pot tongs, sump strainer), as well as bear bags, bear bag
rope, spade, ax (if desired), and dining fly. The biggest pieces of equipment
your crew needs to provide is gas stoves (recommended 2 per crew), fuel bottle
2 qts. per crew, and water containers (2 2.5 gallon per crew recommended).
Keep in mind that the trail food is included in your Philont Fee. (Don't
Laugh, I've heard about crews bringing 10 days worth of food with them. Talk
I hope this can help cut costs....
Yours in Scouting,
Scott A. Begin Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 551
The Graveyard Madman Galien, Michigan
34RXESC@CMUVM.BITNET Sawasabee District, LaSalle Council
1401 E. Bellows #E-1 Philmont Staff Association
Mt.Pleasant, Mi 48858 Alpha Phi Omega, Epsilon Beta Chapter
(517) 773-9424 Central Michigan University
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City