Prior Experience and Trip Preparation

Prior Experience and Trip Preparation:

In my past experience as a Boy Scout, I've earned a number of awards and gone on several memorable trips and experiences. From earning the rank of an Eagle Scout at age 14, to white water rafting on the New River, WV, or to backpacking 50 miles on the Appalachian Trail. To those not familiar with scouting or Philmont, allow me to shed some light on the importance of Philmont to Scouting. Philmont is considered the premier scouting ranch or camp in the country. Many scouts aspire to be able to travel its famed back country and many peaks. So having this opportunity was quite important to me. 
In preparing for this trip, I was sent a packing list and other information on the trip. My only thoughts when seeing this list was that the amount of clothing and really personal gear brought, were kept to a minimum. In backpacking, one tries to reduce as much weight and bulk in their pack as possible, while still retaining all necessary gear and provisions. The list looked similar to this:

  • Two hiking shirts (no cotton)
  • One pair of hiking shorts 
  • One pair of hiking pants
  • A set of rain gear (pants and jacket)
  • One set of sleep clothing ( shorts and shirt)
  • Two sets of socks (crew length, wool)
  • Two sets of sock liners (no show length, "dry fit")
  • One pair of Hiking boots- broken in
  • One pair of camp shoes or sandels
  • Bowl and spoon
  • First aid kit
  • 3-4 litters of water in bladder or nalgene
  • 55-75 Litter Pack with rain cover
  • Two flashlights
  • camera
  • journal and pen
  • Toiletries (NO Deodorant)
  • Waterproof bags for all of these
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
After looking through this, there are a few things that would catch someones eye that need explaining. First of all, as far as the two shirts went, it meant one on your back and one in your pack. Clothing takes up a lot of space in backpacks and this allowed for the carrying of more crew gear. Second, Philmont provided the meals and so our only utensils needed were only a bowl and a spoon. Third, keeping deodorant of the list was a serious thing and one they checked us for. Philmont is home to bears, and wearing deodorant makes you considered a "smellable" a term i'll describe more and will come to more importance later.
As far as physical preparation, I considered myself to be in good physical condition, due to my cross country training although, I had a serious bike accident the week before this trip. I had a couple abrasions bandaged but wasn't really hindered.

Personal Gear layed out before the trip (minus clothing)

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