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Posted: 6/14/2009 6:36:34 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 6:41:33 AM EST by Waldo]
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:43:50 AM EST
you might want to notify search and rescue now.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:45:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 6:45:45 AM EST by Hghgrad]
I hiked Philmont back in '94 and it was by far one of the coolest experiences I've ever had. We had a few stragglers that we ended up having to split their gear between the rest of us so they could finish the trek. Made it a little harder on the rest of us, but we would have done about anything to keep them from having to sit at base camp and wait for us.

Some of the hardest work I've ever done...but a great experience.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 7:25:39 AM EST
Hell at least he is doing the "shake down" hikes, thats better than 50% of the Dads who go. I hope he is carying a full pack too. We had a guy who was overweight to start with decide that the full extent of his training would be to go from a 12 pack to a 6 pack a night, no BS. Needless to say he didnt make it to the top of the mountian on the fourth day or past the Tooth of Time. Turns out that a few more days in the gym would have done alot better than that extra $1000 in crap from REI. I would really suggest that if you are flying to Philmont you really take some time to aclimatise to the altitude, acute mountian sickness is no joke.

You are absolutely correct about carying the lightest pack you possibly can, I think mine was right around 37 lbs when some kids were carying 60 lbs plus. We knocked them down into the upper 40's but every oz. at morining feels like a pound at night. Philmont is a wonderful experience and I loved every min of it, but dont be the guy who makes everyone stop every 10 min to take a rest.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 7:49:11 AM EST
Originally Posted By Waldo:
He's already wearing those elastic knee support things on both knees just from doing the "get ready" hikes. I looked at the itinerary that he had with each days miles and elevation change. A few of those days would be hard on a mule.

He's not a backpacker at all and just wants to do this with his son. That's not a bad thing at all, but man is he unprepared for what he's about to face. I tied to talk him into some lighter gear, but you know how that goes as he'll probably never hike again after this trip. It should be an interesting AAR.



How old is he? Is he in good shape? How old is his son?
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 8:10:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 8:11:09 AM EST by Kar15]
Waldo, might have your neighbor check this out... Tell him to look at Lenhok'sin high adventure camp. I volunteered at Lenhok'sin back in 97 at the Foxfire Outpost. It was a lot of fun. It's closer to OH then Philmont, so traveling costs should be less and it's lot flatter here on the East coast then i hear Philmont to be. I've not been to Philmont myself. However, some of the counselors would travel back and forth and pull time at both. There was one guy who was a straight up hippie who who would just wander back and forth between the two just working at either end of the trip for a couple months and then bum around the whole way back to the other. I met some real good people and some real screwballs while working there, wish i had the time and ability to take off and do it agian...

Anyway just a thought...

K.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 8:19:35 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:28:04 AM EST
We trained for a solid year before we went. It came down to me even push mowing my parents 3 acre yard with my backpack filled with my regular gear and sand bags to make sure. Most of our packs were around 50lbs to start...and after distributing some of the gear that the chubby kids couldn't carry there were a few of us at around 70lbs each.


It's definitely worth the effort to get as much training as possible. I was probably in some of the best shape of my life back then...so it was all good times the entire time I was out there. I don't remember a single time that I felt like I needed to stop and call it a day.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:41:28 PM EST
I went twice when i was a kid. First time did one of the moderate hikes and that was relaatively tough with a full pack. I was in pretty good shape at the time, but not prepared for the elevation. Second time I went my old man went with me. We got into shape about 6 months before leaving and were doing 60lb packs and 5-10 mile hikes to get prepared. Much better the second time around, however we did one of the hardest/ longest hikes that time. I really hope I'll get the chance to do it with my kids.

If your neighbor is just wearing them for support, he should be ok, but if he's had bad knee problems in the past, he's gonna be screwed.

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 5:12:12 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/15/2009 6:05:06 AM EST by gkmiami]
Originally Posted By Waldo:
He's already wearing those elastic knee support things on both knees just from doing the "get ready" hikes. I looked at the itinerary that he had with each days miles and elevation change. A few of those days would be hard on a mule.

He's not a backpacker at all and just wants to do this with his son. That's not a bad thing at all, but man is he unprepared for what he's about to face. I tied to talk him into some lighter gear, but you know how that goes as he'll probably never hike again after this trip. It should be an interesting AAR.



Waldo,

Very familiar with Philmont. We live nearby and the wife works for them. I don't know how close a friend your neighbor is but you might let him know (if he doesn't know already) that everyone who comes to Philmont (especially adult leaders) go through a physical/medical check at the health lodge as soon as they arrive. If they can't cut the mustard there they will NOT let them in the back country. They are pretty strict and have had some leaders fairly well put out in the past when they're told they have to stay at base camp while everybody else is enjoying their trek. It's not often really, but it happens. Base camp is about 6300' and it goes up from there. They've got several different treks and he could possibly go over 10,000'. Not saying he'll make it to the top of the mountain though, even if does pass the physical. They're trying to weed out the ones they might have to go up an drag down the mountain. It's good that he's getting tuned up.

Whatever you think of the Boy Scouts, of its' kind, this is one first class operation. They have about 1200 temporary staff people hired for the summer and run over 20,000 people through there in 10 weeks! 140,00 acres.

gk
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 5:49:40 AM EST
Philmont is a beautiful place. One of my biggest mistakes was not going with the Scouts. I was however lucky enough to kill a black bear there a few years back and it was alot of fun.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 6:11:37 AM EST
I had a great trip back in the day. We did 94 miles in a week. It was one of the harder trails, but it was alot of fun. Of course, I was only 14 at the time, so my knees wheren't a problem.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 6:27:36 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/15/2009 6:30:25 AM EST by SOG-Sniper]
Originally Posted By Waldo:
Originally Posted By zeekh:

How old is he? Is he in good shape? How old is his son?


IDK, maybe late 30's or early 40's. He's not fat or anything, just not conditioned or experienced for that sort of thing. Not to mention he's going to hauling a ton of shitty gear. The boy is probably 15 1/2.

I know a trip like that would kill me (at my age) unless I added a few more days to it and just really took my good old time.





Wait till he tries to go up Baldy mountain! And if he is crazy enough to go with a full 80+ pound pack. It just won't happen. He better day pack that one and start early, real early, like at 3:30am so he can get back to camp before sundown that night. I remember passing all the older (30+ year olds at the time) going up and I had a full pack. Not many are conditioned to go up Baldy with even no pack, if he tries with any weight on his back I doubt he will make it past the tree line. Heavy, old, cheap gear and Philmont do not mix well. Tell him he should go buy new light gear. Heck, he might only use it once, but if he doesn't get the good stuff he might not have the opportunity to ever do anything again. Yes, people have died there, more flown (or carried) out, but some have died.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 8:15:30 AM EST
I did Philmont twice as a Scout about 30 years ago.

Our troop has a crew going again this year. I did a hike up Old Rag a couple of years ago without a pack and my knees were killing me.

I've done a couple of the shake down hikes with the crew from our troop, but carefully choosing which ones I go on. 3 days on the C+O Canal for the first shake down was pretty easy. 3 days on the AT was about all I could handle.

I've done Sea Base and Northern Tier with my older son, and will do them again with my younger son, but I told them they have to do Philmont on their own.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 8:18:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By Kar15:
Waldo, might have your neighbor check this out... Tell him to look at Lenhok'sin high adventure camp. I volunteered at Lenhok'sin back in 97 at the Foxfire Outpost. It was a lot of fun. It's closer to OH then Philmont, so traveling costs should be less and it's lot flatter here on the East coast then i hear Philmont to be. I've not been to Philmont myself. However, some of the counselors would travel back and forth and pull time at both. There was one guy who was a straight up hippie who who would just wander back and forth between the two just working at either end of the trip for a couple months and then bum around the whole way back to the other. I met some real good people and some real screwballs while working there, wish i had the time and ability to take off and do it agian...

Anyway just a thought...

K.


I've heard from a couple of people who have done Philmont and Lenhok'sin, and they thought Lenhok'sin was worse due to the heat and humidity of VA summers.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 8:23:00 AM EST
A failure may be better for him than a successful trip. It's good for us to lose every now and again to remind us how good winning feels whether the opponent is another team or a mountain. Or zombies.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 9:18:38 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/15/2009 9:22:27 AM EST by Kar15]
Originally Posted By VaFish:
Originally Posted By Kar15:
Waldo, might have your neighbor check this out... Tell him to look at Lenhok'sin high adventure camp. I volunteered at Lenhok'sin back in 97 at the Foxfire Outpost. It was a lot of fun. It's closer to OH then Philmont, so traveling costs should be less and it's lot flatter here on the East coast then i hear Philmont to be. I've not been to Philmont myself. However, some of the counselors would travel back and forth and pull time at both. There was one guy who was a straight up hippie who who would just wander back and forth between the two just working at either end of the trip for a couple months and then bum around the whole way back to the other. I met some real good people and some real screwballs while working there, wish i had the time and ability to take off and do it agian...

Anyway just a thought...

K.


I've heard from a couple of people who have done Philmont and Lenhok'sin, and they thought Lenhok'sin was worse due to the heat and humidity of VA summers.


could be, i dunno... i worked at foxfire so we were under the shade of the forest canopy the whole time and next to kelso spring(don't drink the water, we all did, and we all got giardia). now i have been to NV/AZ twice and have traveled a fair bit of the west/south west back in '97(wasn't at Lenhok'sin the whole summer, i traveled 8,000mi cross country sight seeing for 26 days with my parents, only family vacation we ever took), and i will say western heat is kinda pleasent comparred to the humidity back East, even real hot out west feels like hot here with the humidity index. consequently i've never expierenced Midwestern Northern winters but i've talked to people from MI/MN/WI who say they'll take the snow, cold, and climate of the Midwestern North over the humidity of VA winters too, so i don't know... but i've lived in VA my entire life so i guess i'm just kinda used to it...

Lenhok'sin i believe is a bit smaller but we do have a shit load of National forrest to help make up for it, and the topography is a bit flatter and the elevation much lower(peaks lower than phlmonts posted base elevation), so it might make a better choice if one is looking to enjoy the boy scout expierence and get in a good outing but not a huge challenge...

K.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 12:11:50 PM EST
His ranger should strip his gear down to a manageble amount. When I went, our ranger ended up pulling 2/3 of my gear and leaving it at base camp. I was grateful I cut my pack weight in half.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 2:51:01 PM EST
This is the one trip in scouts I missed and I still regret it to this day. I am hoping I can do it with my son some day. Northern Tier and the Seabase were awesome though.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 3:40:12 PM EST
I spent all weekend partying with former Philmont folks... mostly Cons staff. James Bakener, Clay Folk, Ray Tilly and some others...
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 3:54:02 PM EST
He's not a backpacker at all and just wants to do this with his son.


i dont need to say much more

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 3:54:54 PM EST
I did Philmont when I was a Scout, 10, no 11, ... err ... 14 years ago (damn, I am getting old). The guides that start out with each patrol for the first few days do a good job of shaking down packs and tearing down loads.
My troop was BIG TIME into hiking and backpacking and by the time I got to Philmont, I had done the 100 Mile Wilderness (Northern end of the AT in Maine), 60+ miles of the AT in Vermont and the 100 miles stretch of the AT South from Harper's Ferry. Those were just the 10 day summer trips. True the altitude is a little higher and the peaks a little steeper out West, but we were a seasoned patrol of backpackers (and I was the one of the oldest at 16). But the guide went through every pack, and stripped out 'unnecessary' gear with a vengeance to lighten the load an ounce here or two there.
Fortunately we didn't listen to him on a lot of issues and brought extra tarps (it rained a lot), a pen knife and flashlight each (he advocated one per tent), etc... We also brought our hammocks, tubs of peanut butter and other crap along None of us complained a bit as we carried it along and it was a wonderful look on his face when he caught up with us a 3-4 days in and found us laid out in the between the trees napping the afternoon away...

The adults went through a fairly good medical screening before they were let out on the trail. One of ours was almost pulled from the trip because of blood pressure when he got out there (coffee + altitude + 45 years old + some added stress of 8 Scouts running wild ≠ reduction in blood pressure)

The advise to go light on in the backpack is worthwhile (you are gonna smell, 2-3 changes of clothes in the pack is almost excessive), a spoon will suit 90% of the feeding needs you have, a mug will hold the food you need and a decent pen knife will do the rest. Beyond that, a small flashlight, tarp, tent, sleeping bag and ground pad (I have only recently discovered the WONDERS of a thermarest, will never go back...) and Gore-Tex is your best friend (yes even in New Mexico, it'll rain every afternoon at a minimum).
I am sure he'll have a tough time for a bit and he'll complain a lot about the blisters when he gets home, but give him 3 months and he'll have nothing but great things to say.

Philmont is also quite used to having 35-60 year old men backpacking through their mountains for the first time in a few decades, there response units for anything from a sprained ankle to a lightning strike is probably close to as good as you'll find.

Make sure he packs a camera and batteries to last, that is weight he won't mind lugging along.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 5:53:51 PM EST
I hiked Philmont on multiple treks from easy to the super strenous..then followed it up with 2 years on staff - knocking out 20 hikes up Baldy in one summer. As a previous poster stated, he'll be re-evaluated at the health lodge before he ever gets on the trail - and his gear will be evaluated too. If he's done the shake-downs, gradually adding distance and pack weight, thats step one. Talk too him about signs of when to say when, talk to him about gear, and talk to him about attitude...if he doesn't seem to respond, casually mention to his kid that it's ok to ask for help. For the first few days they are out there they'll have a Ranger attached to them –– plus at every staff camp there's someone with med training and a radio...Ive assisted in 4x4 and air evacs for hypothermia, bear attacks, heart attacks and panic attacks...but people do die..

Great place - great people.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 6:13:05 PM EST
I did Philmont back in 84, alot depends on the trek you plan to do. My group did both "Baldy" and "Tooth of Time". Have fun and you will always remember it.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 6:17:58 PM EST
I went to philmont as a scout in '96, was duped into being crew leader (thinking it was like being a patrol leader) only to freak out on the first day when I was told the leaders were on a vacation couple days into it I go the hang of being the leader and loved every minute of it

btw my pack (including a full ration of food and crew gear) hit the trail just a shade under 70, that was after the shake down. Gear wasn't as lightweight as it is now I lost 25 pounds in 14 days on the trail

We did 14 prep hikes with the last being a two day with 12 miles a day, and it was still an adjustment wehn we got to base-camp.

If I had it to do over again, I would go back out on staff for a summer, but I was young and dumb and thought there were cooler things going on back home....

PTK
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 6:21:56 PM EST
Originally Posted By SOG-Sniper:
Originally Posted By Waldo:
Originally Posted By zeekh:

How old is he? Is he in good shape? How old is his son?


IDK, maybe late 30's or early 40's. He's not fat or anything, just not conditioned or experienced for that sort of thing. Not to mention he's going to hauling a ton of shitty gear. The boy is probably 15 1/2.

I know a trip like that would kill me (at my age) unless I added a few more days to it and just really took my good old time.




I remember Baldy. We just day packed it. A friend and I saw another trail that headed straight up instead of around the long way and we made it in 2 hours. Froze our butts off sitting up there waiting the other 3 or 4 hours for the rest of the guys to get there.

It was a great time!

We had out of shape (almost fat) dads with us and they still made all the hikes. They were sore, but they all survived.


Wait till he tries to go up Baldy mountain! And if he is crazy enough to go with a full 80+ pound pack. It just won't happen. He better day pack that one and start early, real early, like at 3:30am so he can get back to camp before sundown that night. I remember passing all the older (30+ year olds at the time) going up and I had a full pack. Not many are conditioned to go up Baldy with even no pack, if he tries with any weight on his back I doubt he will make it past the tree line. Heavy, old, cheap gear and Philmont do not mix well. Tell him he should go buy new light gear. Heck, he might only use it once, but if he doesn't get the good stuff he might not have the opportunity to ever do anything again. Yes, people have died there, more flown (or carried) out, but some have died.


Link Posted: 6/15/2009 6:59:17 PM EST
I did a Grand canyon hike with my old scout group a couple of years ago, down one day and up the next. One of the dads showed up with a 45 lbs pack with about 15 lbs of camera gear. His tent was rated for blizzards and so was his sleeping bag. He twisted his friggin knee on the way down, and I got stuck dragging his tent and his camera gear out. I got my ass kicked because this guy was a retard.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 1:04:29 AM EST
I went to Philmont back in '94 right before I turned 14. Hiked up Baldy, but didn't hike the Tooth of Time. I did a lot of whining and complaining at the time, but I wouldn't trade the memories for anything. I did Lenhok'sin a few years later. I think it was '96. Had a great time there, too. I'd love to get back into backpacking.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 10:48:23 AM EST
Did Philmont in 93' (crew number 628-G1) with my scout troop and again in 95' with my Explorer Post as Crew Chief.

Did Baldy 2x and Tooth of Time on the last leg of the trip home down to base camp. Both trips started at the Ponil Turnaround in the north country. We were Gung Ho!, we took side hikes up into the Val Vidal area up North just to see what it was like. We found an old airplane crash and hiked to it. I stood on what was left of the wing and took a piss. I estimated we were close to 10,000 feet in elevation, I can say that I've peed off an airplane wing at 10,000 feet. Man, those were some good times.

Miranda was one of the most beautiful camps I've ever stayed at,,,,scenic views of Baldy and nice cold well to get water from...can't beat it unless you've got a pack of vacuum sealed pre-cooked bacon and instant coffee!
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