1. What kind of stove fuel is available at Philmont?

White gas (Coleman fuel) is the most common and readily available in Base Camp and the backcountry trading posts at Ponil, Baldy Town, Ute Gulch, and Phillips Junction.  A variety of isobutane/propane fuel canisters (in the past including MSR, Optimus, and Primus) are normally available.   Some crews have reported sporadic shortages in the backcountry, so spare canisters are advisable in case the commissary has none the day you are there.  Empty canisters are not accepted as trash at Staff camps and must be carried back to Base Camp.  Fuels such as kerosene, butane or denatured alcohol are not available in the backcountry.

2. What kind of stove should a crew use at Philmont?
Name brand models from MSR, Coleman and others, make different models of lightweight backpacking stoves that use white gas (Coleman fuel) or isobutene/propane canisters will provide good service.  Crews will find it to their advantage if all stoves of the same make and model. Whatever stove is chosen, all members of the crew must know how to use it, and at least several crew members must know how to maintain it.  When possible, have spare parts available.  Philmont recommends 2 to 3 stoves plus fuel bottles for each crew.
3. What is the purpose for the 3 fifty foot lengths of 1/8" nylon cord listed in the Guidebook to Adventure under "Equipment Provided by Crew"?
Nylon cord is a backpacker's essential, and will be used for the tarp, tents, oops bag, wind tie down, emergency needs, an all purpose tool, and for other purposes that pop up along the way.
4. Does the crew need water purifier/filter pumps for Philmont?
Water purifier/filter pumps are an optional item.  Some crews choose to take purifier/filter pumps and use them with success.  Most purifier/filters do not treat all potential containments unless they are a “high end” (more expensive) unit that either has very fine screens and/or includes a separate purification stage.  Even if the filter has such features, it is a mechanical pump that can fail.  As Philmont provides water purification chemicals and will require a crew to carry them even if they have water filters, many crews consider water filters/pumps to be simply excess baggage.  In the end, it is a crew choice.  To view a recent memo from Philmont on the Micropur water purification tablets now being used, click HERE.
5. Can a crew bring its own equipment to Philmont, such as tents and tarps?
Yes, they certainly can.  The Philmont fee includes all the equipment Philmont will supply, and for the most part it is very good.  It is designed especially for high altitude, high winds, rain, sleet, cold, heat, and above all, is rugged enough to withstand teenagers for 11 days.  In addition, using Philmont's equipment saves wear and tear on your own gear.  One advantage of a crew using its own gear is eliminating the time for one step of the check-out and check-in processes.  Again, in the end, the crew makes the choice that works for them.
6. What type of tents does Philmont provide?
Philmont will issue Philmont designed "A" frame mountain tents.  They are excellent tents for Philmont - rugged, designed to survive high winds, provide room for two, are kid-friendly, and at approximately 5-1/2 pounds meet the current state-of-the-art weight target of approximately 3 pounds per person.  Philmont tents will be set up and on display for crews to inspect at the Watchu Mountain Adventure in May.
7. What is the size of the ground cloth needed for Philmont tents?
The Guidebook to Adventure under both “Tents” and “Equipment Provided by Crew” states the ground cloth needs to be 5’-6” x 7’-6”.  Hot Tip; use a $2.00 plastic party tablecloth for best results.  The price or the weight can’t be beat and they work just fine.  Cutting to size is the only “assembly required”.  Leave No Trace guidelines would suggest green is the best color.
8. Are the 10 tent pins per person listed in "Equipment Provided by Crew" in the Guidebook to Adventure tent stakes, and why so many?  That seems excessive.
Yes, "pins" are tent stakes.  Philmont issued tents rely on guy lines for stability and require 14 to 20 pins (the lowest number if two lines are run to a single pin in six cases).  In addition, 8 more of these pins are needed for the Philmont issued tarp.  A few spares results in the total of 10 per person.
9. How many bear bags does a 12-person crew need?
Philmont will issue a bear bag for each 2 persons in the crew, a total of 6 for a full crew of 12 persons.  Generally they are feed bags from the Philmont cattle operation, and weigh about 1/2 pound each.
10. What kinds of maps are available for Philmont and how can they be obtained?
Available maps are the overall (souvenir) map (scale of 1"=4,000') for general planning purposes and the detailed, larger scale (1"=2,000') sectional maps for navigation on the trail. Maps can be ordered from Philmont's Tooth of Time Traders at http://www.toothoftimetraders.com/philmont/ or by telephone at 575-376-2281, ext. 243.
11. Does a crew need a GPS receiver for Philmont?
No.  While GPS receivers are becoming more and more popular at Philmont, good map and compass skills are sufficient.
12. Where can coordinate information for Philmont be found for downloading into a GPS?
Go the the Watchu GPS page for tools related to Watchu Hidden Valley Trail and Philmont.