Lessons from my Philmont Trek

I was privileged to accompany our Troop to Philmont Scout Ranch this year.  We had many trials and tribulations as a crew, and I had mine trying to be a project manager in a situation where the Serenity Prayer really had more bearing than the Five Knowledge Areas or 45 Process Groups.

On the other hand the issues the crew faced were not covered by “Be Happy”, but finding the balance took many days and many miles.

For the record we were Expedition 624-X on Itinerary 8 (65 miles if you don’t get lost, 12,000 ft max altitude atop Mt Phillips).  I did personally see a live, 250 lb bear in camp at a disance of about 100 ft.  The bear was NOT impressed with my pan banging skills.

Things I learned:

Serenity Prayer

Sleeping clothing is really different than hiking clothing in that you will move around camp first thing in the morning (until you recover your hiking clothis from the bear bags or the pack) and last thing in the evening (after dinner).

All forms of Duct tape are evil because they are a “Smellable”  Including anything you patch with it!.

Gatorade is evil – as it makes anything it touches a smellable.

DryDucks are your friend to go with the sleeping clothes – but not when you are hiking (they get hot in a hurry).  Red Ledge are the opposite – awesome while hiking – but almost worthless at keeping you warm.

Layers layers layers – I did fine with 2 pairs of synthetic underwear Ex-Officio ($25 and worth it) for hiking, hiking pants (2 pair), running shirts (2), thin Merino wool base layer, thicker synthetic fleece, and then the rain gear.  THREE pair Mid weight socks (SmartWool) with REI CoolMax liners.  One wool cap and one wide brimmed hiking hat.  

And… bandannas.  I made my own from sewing together new Handi-Wipes.  They worked great but they looked VERY STUPID (see pics).  Yeah, Philmont is NOT a fashion show.

I should have brought 1 pair of cotton boxers (NOT WHITE) to go with my sleeping shorts.

No issues with our 9lb 3 person tent (Mountain Hardware as we split it up between two adults. 

Pics are here under news – most are before our awesome 4xEagle Ceromony:



More later


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