Philmont New Mexico high adventure backpacking trek
by Chris Berardi
This year our troop sent seven scouts and two adults, along with three guests, to
Philmont. The trek included eleven days on the trail. The first two days our ranger,
Jason, accompanied our crew. Jason taught us about low impact camping and basic
backpacking skills that ranged from orienting a map to raising a bear-bag. On the third
morning, Jason left, leaving us on our own. Each day consisted of hiking four to thirteen
miles, setting up camp, doing an activity and cooking our meals.
Each morning we woke between 4:30 and 5:30 depending on the hike and the activity for
the day. The activities ranged from a tour of Indian writings to rock climbing. Breakfast
consisted of hot cocoa, dry cereal, beef jerky, or oatmeal. Lunch was made up of crackers,
along with either squeeze cheese, peanut butter, jelly, or spreadable tuna, chicken, or
turkey salad. Boiling water and adding dehydrated food such as chicken, beef, beans, corn,
etc made dinner. We went to bed between 9:00 and 12:00 depending on how quickly we cooked
and cleaned up after dinner.
Probably the best part of the week was the hike up Baldy Mountain, elevation 12.441
feet. It took about 2 hours to climb. Along the way we encountered snow and wind. The wind
was awful, sending dirt in your eyes and forcing us to stay low to the ground. The hike
was well worth it; the view was astounding. The pain and suffering from the last few days
of hiking were gone.
Philmont was a great adventure that everyone should experience. It teaches you respect
for the wilderness, the animals, and each other. Nobody should pass up the opportunity to
go to this "scouting paradise".