Although the list of crew gear needed in order to complete an 11 day backpacking tip is long, the list of crew gear that units are required to bring with them to Philmont is a very short list. Philmont can and will provide almost all of the crew gear your crew will need to complete a Philmont trek. The items that Philmont doesn’t provide can be purchased in the Tooth of Time Traders (TOTT). To me, this is both a blessing and a curse.
By having such an extensive line of gear in the TOTT, a well prepared crew that gets to Philmont and finds a piece of their gear broken is not in serious trouble. They can purchase a replacement and get on with their fun.
Ill-prepared crews are a different story. They usually only have one or at most two shakedown activities before the trip. These crews are depending on Philmont’s loaner equipment to get them through the trip. They haven’t practiced using the gear they will be depending on for the next 11 days. They purchase gear they don’t need and won’t use in the TOTT.
Now, I am not saying that every crew that uses Philmont’s gear is an ill-prepared crew. Please do not read this that way. I fully understand that crews come from thousands of miles away, and carting all of that extra gear via planes, trains, or automobiles can be impossible and unnecessary when free loaners are available at Philmont. These crews should still put together crew gear kits that will be very similar to the gear the borrow from Philmont in order to prepare properly.
I would suggest that if at all possible, bring every piece of crew gear that you can with you to Philmont. Just a few of the advantages of using your own gear include:
• You have used this gear and you know what you can do with it and what its limits are.
• You don’t have to take the time on Day 1 to check out the equipment (depending on the time of day, the line at the equipment check-out can be LONG).
• You don’t have to take the time on Day 12 to clean, repair, turn in, or replace the equipment (again, expect LONG lines, and Philmont will only accept loaned gear returns in PRISTINE condition).