Philmont Council Contingents

Crew Equipment

Each Philmont trek crew should bring the following equipment items.

NOTE:  Blue comments are those of the Contingent Advisor.  You should also click the button below for additional suggestions.
 Sid's Suggestions


Miscellaneous equipment:   

  • *metal tent pins. 10 per person --

you will need to bring tent pins for dining fly even if crew uses its own tents! 
Each Philmont tent requires 14 tent pins and the dining fly requires 10. 
Skewer stakes like the one shown are generally available at the Tooth of Time Traders at Philmont for $0.25 each.  They are 7" in length and work very well in Philmont's rocky soil.  Bring small stuff sacks for these stakes -- one for the dining fly and individual ones for the tents.  This helps keep organized as well as keeping the packs clean.

  • *2-3 collapsible water containers, 2-1/2 gal. each -- these are a must if you have dry camps

  • *2 or 3 backpacking stoves -- see below -- you can buy white gas & Coleman Max fuel in the backcountry at some commissaries

  • *2 one qt. fuel bottles and funnel with filter or coffee pot filter paper filters to use when purchasing fuel

  • 1 crew first aid kit (BB) -- see below

  • Sharpie or other "thick" marking pen.  Use to mark the name of the person carrying food bags on the bags when they are picked up from the commissary -- this makes it much faster to distribute the food when the bear bags are taken down in the morning.  You'll find lots of other uses as well.

  • spices for cooking (optional) (BB) -- they really aren't optional!

  • padlock for your crew locker (extra security) -- should be combination lock--leave combination with Contingent Advisor & Security

  • *waterproof ground cloth, 5'6" x 7'6"', 1 per tent -- if using Philmont tents

  • *3 fifty ft. 1/8" nylon cord -- will use with dining fly (stays attached for duration of trek) and around camp

  • Crews hiking into the Valle Vidal, where there are no bear bag cables, should bring an extra rope (3/8", 50') for hanging bear bags.

  • *Philmont Fieldguide -- a great book that can be purchased at Philmont's Tooth of Time Traders.

  • *sunscreen and shampoo (BB)

  • *insect repellent -- not aerosol (BB)      

  • *2 or 3 water purifiers/filters --

you may not need these -- you can leave in locker at base camp after checking with Logistics -- Contingent Advisor recommends taking paper coffee filters or extra bandanas and your own bottle of Polar Pure in addition to the MicroPur tablets each crew is provided by Philmont.

  • *1 camp shovel/trowel -- used to dig catholes or latrine's.  You can bring the plastic backpacking type but may want to go to a garden shop and find one that is more heavy duty (you don't need to get a steel one).  If you are going into the Valle Vidal where you have to dig catholes, you may wish to purchase a "Camp Shovel" from BSA National Supply or the Scout Shop (Item number D1269).  It is heavy (28.6 oz) but is well worth the weight.  Don't let your Ranger or others talk you into leaving it behind because it is heavy!  You will learn to love it!  It will be your friend!  Be sure to bring a garden trowel for personal use.

  • Philmont sectional maps (Contingent crew members will each be given a set of maps for their itinerary.  Crews should take no more than 2 or 3 sets on the trail).


Repair kit:

  • 1 sewing kit with heavy thread and needle & regular thread and needle & spare buttons

  • duct tape for equipment repair (BB) -- wrap a length of duct tape around a water bottle (some suggest wrapping it around your trekking pole(s); if you do this, the pole(s) become smellables and cannot be used to support the dining fly)

  • 1 multi-type tool -- everyone on the crew doesn't need to carry one!

  • pack repair parts -- extra pins, wire rings, plastic electric wire ties, etc.

  • length of bailing wire -- wrap around section of external pack frame

  • spare buckles for waist belts

  • stove repair kit (be sure you have the tools you need to take a stove apart and repair it)


*Available at Philmont's Tooth of Time Traders

(BB) Packed in plastic bag to be placed in bear bag at night. 


Crew First Aid Kit

 The most common injuries and illnesses treated at the Philmont Health Lodge are:

     Sprains (knee or ankle) Sore throat
     Abrasions/lacerations Upset stomach
     Upper respiratory infections       Hypertension (high blood pressure)

First aid providers should be knowledgeable in recognizing and treating these ailments.

These items are recommended for a first aid kit to be used by a crew traveling to, during, and returning home from a Philmont trek:

     Band-aids (assorted sizes) Moleskin/Molefoam/Spyroflex  (Spyroflex works very well)
     Gauze pads 3" x 3" Second Skin
     Adhesive tape 1" x 5 yd. Antihistamine (Benadryl)
     4" Elastic bandage (take several Ace bandages) Cold caplets
     Disposable alcohol wipes Small bar soap
     Sunscreen lotion (25 SPF or above) Ana-Kit (if needed)
     Antibiotic ointment (Mycitracin, Terramycin, polysporin)       Triangular Bandage
     Steroid cream (Hydrocortison, Cortaid, Lanacort) Oval eye patch
     Insect repellent (containing DEET) Tweezers
     Acetaminophen (Tylenol or Panadol) Needle
     Ibuprofen tablets Scissors
     Antacids (Maalox, Tums, Rolaids) Safety Pins
     Foot powder Side cutters
     Latex gloves Chemical ice packs
     Chapstick Thermometer
     Barrier device for resuscitation Diarrhea medication (Imodium)
     Throat lozenges Saline Solution nose spray


Backpacking Stoves

Philmont requires that crews use backpacking stoves.  They will save time throughout your trek, particularly on wet mornings or when you need to start hiking early to avoid high afternoon temperatures.

You must bring your own stoves.  Philmont trading posts carry white gas, max fuel, Peak I stoves, and spare parts.  If your crew uses butane, plan to carry the empty cartridges with you since they create a hazardous disposal problem in the backcountry.

Fuel may not be carried on the bus.  Fuel bottles must be empty before being loaded on the bus (on both trips--to and from Philmont).  There will be time on Day 1 to purchase fuel and fill the bottles before heading out on the trail on Day 2.  When you come back into base camp following your trek, take your leftover fuel to Services or try to give it to a trailbound crew (lurk around trailbound tent city).  The fuel bottles need to be empty and aired out before the return trip.

Backpacking stoves must be used with adult supervision and should never be used in or near tents because of excessive fire danger.  Bottles designed for fuel (available in the Philmont trading post) should be used only to carry fuel.  For safety, fuel should be purchased at Philmont rather than carrying it from home.  Check the gasket of your fuel bottles to make sure they will not leak.  A small funnel (filter funnel is preferable) is needed for easy transfer of liquid fuels. 

One stove per four persons is generally best.  Learn and follow these safety tips:

  1. Keep fuel containers away from hot stoves and fires.  Never use fuel to start a campfire.
  2. Let hot stoves cool before changing cylinders or refueling.
  3. Never fuel or operate a stove in a tent, building, or dining fly.
  4. Place stove on a level, secure surface before operating.
  5. When lighting a stove, keep fuel bottles and extra canisters well away, do not hover over stove, open fuel valve slowly, and light carefully.  The pressure differential is greater at Philmont's high altitudes.
  6. Refill stoves away from open flames.   Recap all containers before lighting stoves.
  7. Do not overload the stove.
  8. Do not leave a lighted stove unattended.
  9. Perform stove maintenance regularly, at home and at Philmont.
  10. Store fuel in proper containers.
  11. Carry out empty compressed fuel containers:  they will explode if heated.
  12. Use stoves only with knowledgeable adult supervision.

    MSR WhisperLite stoves are strongly recommended.  They can be taken apart, cleaned, and put back in operation with a Leatherman or other pocket tool and will almost always work.  They will also burn almost any liquid fuel -- regardless of how clean it is.  There have been instances when the backcountry commissaries have been out of propane fuel bottles but they always have liquid fuel.  A filter funnel or coffee filters with a regular funnel can help with the cleanliness of your fuel.