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Traditional Philmont Trek Time Line

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In this time line, dates are given as "Trek Year," "Trek Year-1," and "Trek Year-2."  If your trek is in the year 2009, then Trek Year = 2009, Trek Year-1 = 2008, and Trek Year-2 = 2007. 

October-November of Trek Year-2 - Enter the Philmont Trek Lottery

  • Philmont grants reservations for the traditional 12 day hiking trek by internet lottery.  Each unit interested in requesting a reservation has one entry in the lottery.  Each unit can request to bring more than one trail crew in their one reservation.  Units are assigned a week-long window of time to enter their request.  The units assigned week is based on which BSA region they reside in.  Once all regions have been covered the reservation window closes.  Sometime shortly after, a computer somewhere picks units "at random" to fill the available reservation slots for the season two years later (lottery in 2006 is for the 2008 Philmont season).
  • Units can request specific dates to begin their treks, but this could greatly decrease the amount of open reservation slots the crew may be eligible for.
  • Request trek reservation information from Philmont.  You call them at 1-505-376-2281, or you can e-mail them at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

December of Trek Year-2 - Reservation Confirmation, Individual Sign-ups, and Philmont Deposit Due

  • "CONGRATULATIONS!  Your unit has been awarded a reservation for a Philmont trek... "  This is the e-mail that everyone waits for.  This e-mail usually arrives in mid-December after the reservation process has ended.  You must act quickly at this point, because Philmont expects a $50.00 deposit PER INDIVIDUAL by Feb 1 of the year before your trek.
  • Develop your Troop's/Crew's requirements to participate in the Philmont trek.  Include these requirements IN DETAIL on your individual participant reservation form.

February 1 of Trek Year-1 - Philmont Deposits are due to Philmont

September to November of Trek Year -1 - Shakedown Planning

  • Set specific tasks or skills to be covered and learned at each shakedown, then plan shakedown locations that will complement the tasks or skills to be covered while allowing for backpacking at least 6 miles each day.  Try to cover 12 to 15 miles on each shakedown if at all possible.  Some of the skills to cover include: "Philmont-style" camp set up (bear-muda triangle, smellables, bear bagging); Camp tear down; "Philmont-style" cooking, KP, and sumping; Map & compass; Crew and individual hiking techniques; Water purification, use, and conservation
  • If possible, purchase some of Philmont's trail meals to use on your shakedowns.  This will allow the crew to perfect their cooking technique before arriving at Philmont.

September of Trek Year-1 - Crew Building

Contingents made up of only a single crew do not have to worry about building multiple crews that can work at teams, but they must worry about building that single crew into a group that works well together. 

Contingents that will consist of more than one crew have the added responsibility of selecting members for each crew.  There will be individuals who want to crew with one another, and individuals who don't work well with others in the group.  Much planning and thought must be put into building crews from large groups that have the best opportunity for Philmont success.

Criteria to consider when putting crews together are:

  • Type of trek each individual would like to participate in
  • Top 5 or 6 back-country programs individual would like to participate in
  • 2 or 3 preferred crew mates
  • Parent participating in the Philmont trek
  • Willingness to participate in a coed crew (if applicable)

Putting crews together is not the end of the task, it is only the beginning.  The most important task adult advisors have now comes into play - teaching Philmont techniques and teamwork to the crew.  The goal is to build crews that can plan and carry out all required tasks without adult intervention.  That is where the shakedown process comes in.

September of Trek Year-1 - Finalize any Pre- or Post-Philmont activities

If you are just driving straight to Philmont and straight home afterwards, this doesn't apply to you.  If you are going to extend your trip with other activities either before or after your trek, now is the time to finalize your plans and reservations.

October 1 of Trek Year-1 - "First Payment" due to Philmont 

November of Trek Year-1 - Begin your physical preparations

Please become familiar with Philmont's weight limit chart AS SOON AS you receive your units Philmont reservation.  One, two, four, or even six months is not enough time for over-weight advisors to make weight and get in good enough physical condition for Philmont.

A Philmont trek is physically and mentally challenging.  Participants (both youth and adult) that do not take the time to become physically strong before the trek should not be allowed to participate in the Philmont experience.  These individuals become a burden and a danger to the rest of the crew that did take the time to get ready for the challenge.

The rule of thumb for physical preparation is as for everything else you do:  You will get out of the activity what you put into the activity.

December of Trek Year-1 - Receive Philmont physical examination forms. 

January through Day 1 of Trek Year - Shakedown Activities

  • The purpose of shakedown campouts is two-fold:  1) To build a team out of each crew that will work together to get required tasks done efficiently; and, 2) To scare the adult advisors into taking seriously the need for strenuous physical conditioning and training before attempting the Philmont trek (walking a couple of miles a week will not cut it).
  • Set and communicate the contingent's expectations for individual participation in shakedown activities in advance.
  • If possible, purchase some of Philmont's trail meals to use on your shakedowns.  This will allow the crew to perfect their cooking technique before arriving at Philmont.

March 1 of Trek Year - "Final Payment" due to Philmont 

Early to mid-March of Trek Year - Advisors Kits are mailed from Philmont

These kits contain the TREKS, individual copies of the Philmont Guidebook to Adventure,  and other documentation.

March of Trek Year - Itinerary Selection

  • Philmont assigns itinerary choices based on a first come first served basis BY ONLINE SUBMISSION ONLY (new beginning 2010).  The TREKS book in the March advisor's packet will have information and instructions on the online itinerary selection process.
  • Philmont will only allow two crews to begin each itinerary each day.  Therefore, if your request for a specific itinerary is the third request received for that itinerary on your expedition date, you will be assigned one of your other 4 itinerary choices.
  • A confirmation e-mail is sent by Philmont logistics when your crew's itinerary has been assigned.  This is usually done very quickly.
  • Please keep in mind that events at Philmont might dictate a change in your itinerary before you arrive (example - the Ponil Complex fire during the 2002 season - all itineraries were re-routed to stay in the south and central parts of Philmont).
Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 May 2011 15:04