yet another practice hike

Kennesaw mountain is one of the best local simulacrums of Philmont trails.  (at least if you don’t mind hiking in 90F (34) weather.  There is a new off-site parking area about 400m from park headquarters off of old 41.  The trails are well maintained, and well-used.  But it is possible to imagine yourself in the wilds.  Lizards and cacti abound, and there are a few deer.

Kennesaw mountain, pigeon hill loop

Kennesaw mountain, pigeon hill loop

Two trips are shown on this map. It is probably more realistic to do the flat area first and then come up little kennesaw mountain. It is about 8.5 miles (the mapping software got confused) and a not unreasonable climb.  If you can do this without whining then you’re ready to go!

We saw a couple of individuals practicing and a few crews.

Written by Rob in: backpacking,outdoors,scouting,trail map |

Getting ready for Philmont (yet again)

Sorry for the long gap in posts, it’s been a crazy (yzarc??) spring.  Classes are finally over and well, I’ve been very busy.

Anyway it’s off to Philmont again, this time with a new crew.  We were really lucky that we could put together a second crew and get the same trip dates.  So we have two crews that correspond nicely to two patrols.  I’m excited because my crew is going off the reservation where the trails aren’t marked on the map.   This is going to be more like real backpacking than Disneyland backpacking.

A view from Mt. Phillips

A view from Mt. Phillips

Weight matters, and yet again I’m proselytizing about light-weight backpacking. This unit backpacks much more that the other one, so I’m not overly worried, except when they went last time many scouts had 40-55 lbs packs. (mine was all of 32 lbs, with food and 7 litres of water). Internal troop tensions are going to be an issue, as there are a number of the adults, all “pillars of the troop”, who don’t believe I know what I’m talking about. (they aren’t going and don’t have children in either crew – not that this stops them from trying to throw a monkey wrench into things). Apparently, in their opinion, I was a fool to go solo backpacking in Henry Coe state park, and it was only luck that I did about a third of our trek in a weekend. If all went by rights I should have been eaten by a bear or panther.  That I came back, un-bitten and unhurt, was a gross miscarriage of justice.  Being prepared, filing a backcountry permit, and knowing what I’m doing had nothing to do with it – in their opinion.

So I do what I can to educate. Those who listen will have a great time. (the rest will too, but have a higher risk of problems).

Some new ideas to think about:

  1. not just turkeybag cooking, but use the packets themselves to rehydrate. Sort of like the AT method of eating oatmeal.
  2. leukotape P. Various backpacking blogs have raved about this as a replacement for both moleskin and duct tape.
  3. treats – what to bring along for the inevitable low points on the trail. I  took some hard candy, wrapped in a nondescript paper wrapper saying road flares, last time.  Wonder if something else would be better?

Crew Gear list (approximate)

  • 2 pots (big and medium or small), cooking utensils (minimal – at least/most one measuring cup & a spoon)
  • turkey bags for easy cooking of some meals.
  • 2 stoves & fuel.
  • cleaning things – scraper maybe a scrubby
  • the infamous frisbee filter (philmont supplies)
  • bear bag setup (4 bags, ropes and pulleys (heavy – philmont supplies) )
  • tarp
  • tarp stakes (6-8)
  • tarp poles (not needed if enough people bring hiking poles – I’m bringing mine, but need one of the two for my tent)
  • water purification pills. (Philmont issues micropure and they work).
  • first aid kit
Written by Rob in: backpacking,gear lists,outdoors,scouting |

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