Philmont Countdown #2

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Here's something cool you can look forward to at Philmont:
                  • ARCHAEOLOGY and PETROGLYPHS!  Crew2:  The Ponil country in the northern section is rich in the prehistoric background of the American Indian. Your crew can help reconstruct Philmont history while participating in this fascinating program and learning about Indians who inhabited this area.  An educated archaeologist and staff explain and supervise the program in the North Ponil Canyon. Activities may include assisting with excavations or preparing specimens and artifacts.  Also, tour the petroglyphs (rock carvings) that early Jicarilla Indian settlers created hundreds of years ago.

  • ROCK CLIMBING and RAPPELLING!  All crews: This fascinating and challenging sport is a favorite of all Philmont campers. You'll scale a steep pitch and rappel down a sheer cliff.  Philmont has carefully selected three areas to conduct this program where the rocks are safe and practical, but a distinct "Class Five" challenge.  Under the supervision of expert climbers, you will climb using your hands and feet while protected by rope, carabineers, and helmet. Safety is always stressed and practiced.

Your clothes should keep you cool if it's hot, warm if it's cold and always dry.  You will be hiking between 6,000 to 12,500 feet, with temperatures from the low 40s to mid 90s.
  • Cotton Kills - synthetics and lightweight wool keep you warm even when wet

  • boxer briefs can prevent chafing; synthetics here keep you dry
  • Comfort layer: shorts/zip-offs and a wicking t-shirt (not sleeveless)
  • hat: 360 brim hat or safari flaps
  • Warmth layer: fleece or wool and a lightweight warm hat
  • Shell (Protection) layer: a rainjacket and rain pants (Philmont discourages a poncho), plus a waterproof covering for your head (hood or rain hat; NOT just a ballcap)
  • Don't forget your sleeping clothes (gym shorts and T-shirt, stored inside sleeping bag and always away from smellables) 

Hiking Breaks
Trail breaks are an opportunity to take a swig of water, to adjust your pack or boots, and to rest.  There are two kinds of breaks, those less than 5 minutes long (short) and those 15 minutes or more (long).  
Plan on short breaks about every 45 minutes.  Also, it's a good idea to not take off your pack on a short break unless you have to.  If you rest for longer than 5 minutes, lactic acid begins to build up in your leg muscles which can cause cramping.  Plan long breaks to stop for a meal, take advantage of a view or a point of interest.  But don't lose sight of the goal: your next scheduled camp and/or program.

  • Bears - You'll spend a LOT of time learning about bears and bear protection from your Ranger, including smellables, the BearMuda triangle, and more.  Here are some pre-Ranger points to read and learn:
    1. Black bears are part of Philmont's habitat.  They eat plants, insects and carrion.
    2. If you see a bear, get in a group, make lots of noise, and make yourselves look big.
    3. If you hear something at night, make soft conversation.
    4. Store inhalers and epi-pens in a dirty sock in your boot at night.  MAKE SURE EVERYTHING ELSE THAT SHOULD BE IN THE BEAR BAG IS IN THE BEAR BAG.  If you forget, DON'T BLOW IT OFF.  GET UP AND PUT IT AWAY IN THE OOPS BAG.
    5. Police your campsite and each other for smellables.  Avoid carrying things that will easily generate a smellable, like gum (the gum AND the wrapper are wicked smellable, even if they're sugarless).
    6. Staff do campsite checks regularly and will take away your smellables if you didn't store them properly.
    7. Mountain lion procedures are the same as for bears.
    8. Report bear and mountain lion sightings to the nearest staffed camp.

A Crew on Top of Mount Phillips at 11,711 feet 
(all crews; our highest point at Philmont)