Planning ahead to Philmont next year, there are some items that we've found to be quite useful and waiting too long to take care of them can be troublesome.
- Boots - of course you shouldn't wait until the week before your trek to buy new boots. A growing scout might outgrow boots in 6 months so don't buy them for Christmas. Shopping for the right boot and figuring out which one to buy can be done now, but actually buy the right size about 3 months before the trek.
- Duffel Bag - transporting backpacks by plane or bus is a great way to break off buckles, straps, and webbing. Our crew just got these canvas duffels delivered today. They are an inexpensive way to put a layer of protection between your pack and the roughhousing you know goes on by the baggage guys.
- Stoves - If your troop already has and uses backpacking stoves, you're set. If not, be sure to purchase them early and train all crew members on their use.
- Water Filters - we use the Katadyn Guide filters. They've worked well for our troop backpacking but are getting more difficult to find. There is a new ultralight filter coming out in early 2008 called the Katadyn Mini and it has gotten a lot of good reviews. It is around $100 though.
- Crew Shirts - one of the highlights of a Philmont or any other high adventure trek is adding YATS (yet another t-shirt) to my collection. It's a good idea to get a design done and figure out where to get the shirts made - all of it can be handled by scouts.
- Transportation - if you haven't started on plane, bus, hotel, shuttle arrangements yet, you'd best get started. The shuttles to Philmont from Albuquerque and Denver are convenient, but expensive and popular.
- Backpack Cover - it rains at Philmont and a rainproof cover is essential for keeping your gear dry. A couple garbage bags may last the whole trek, but I doubt it. Garbage bags to wrap around your sleeping bag are a good idea, and so is putting clothes inside plastic ziploc bags.
Posted: 18:02 12-11-2007 277
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