DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME : Text files and message bases are for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. Do not undertake any project based upon any information obtained from this or any other web site.We are not responsible for, nor do we assume any liability for, damages resulting from the use of any information on this site.During the summer of 95 six members of our varsity attended Philmont scout ranch located in Cimarron, New Mexico. After a 3 day bus trip, including a side trip through Santa Fe, we arrived at base camp. After checking in we were introduced to the famous ’tent city’. This area contains hundreds of tents for incoming and outgoing scouts. Before we left, we had a gear shakedown where we emptied our packs completely to get rid of unessential gear. In this shakedown we met our guide who gave us an orientation of the back country. Though most of the advice was good, his suggestion for one flashlight per person was ludicrous. We recommend taking at least three extra flashlights. After the shakedown, we then started our 10 day trek. Some of the activities we participated in included: rock climbing, tour mine shafts, spar pole climbing, burrow racing, chugging root bear, horse back riding, shotgun shooting, black powder shooting, black smithing and panning for gold. Philmont is for the adventurous scout, who is looking for excitement in the outdoors. On day four we took a day hike to the top of Baldy. It was a beautiful day at 12,442 feet. On the way up we experienced a large patch of snow where we used our backpack covers as sleds. At the Baldy camp, one member, Josh, had a special experience with wildlife.
’It being four o’clock in the morning, I was very tired and could not see well. When I went to the bushes to relieve myself, I noticed a motion in the bushes. It turned out to be a porcupine. I HAD JUST PEED ON A PORCUPINE, I was sincerely scared and preceded to run.’ (By Crash.)
The food at Philmont is not as commendable as its outdoor experiences. Such foods as the pemican bar, power bar, spreadables, and wild rice pudding should be avoided at all costs. You can get rid of these little nasties at the swap boxes found at the commissaries on various points of the trail. Some of the better foods that Philmont has to offer include the lemon pie and the beef stroganoff. I hope you all enjoy your adventure at Philmont.
On July 27,1994 we left Knoxville, TN and headed for Atikokan, Ontario. It was a grueling 26 hour bus trip that took us through Deluth ,MN. then across the border into Canada. The scout camp in Atikokan is a somewhat remote base camp with limited facilities ,but not nearly as limited as what was in Quetico Provincial Park, where we were headed on the 29th.
We departed from the Nyme Lake ranger station, crossed the Jump lake portage into Batchewaung Lake and made our first camp after a couple of hours of paddling. The next day included several portages. Before the Jesse Lake portage we saw a very large moose , the rack must have been six feet across, we just sat in the canoes and watched as he ate at the waters edge, when he finally departed we crossed into the next lake. We soon learned to be in the tents by 8:30 or fight a losing battle with mosquitoes. They sound like fighter planes coming in for refueling (on YOU). Fishing was great, Kent and myself never missed an evening while the boys where cooking super . Its perfect for adult leaders because the boys work with the interpreter on setting up camp, cooking and cleanup.
On day three we camped on an island that was great for fishing and catching crawdads, which we fixed for supper. To go to the bathroom you had to paddle to a larger island ,because ours was to small. The boys had a great time taking the other guys canoe or paddle while they were taking care of business in the woods. Beaver dams are everywhere causing alot of short portages but also creating some beautiful ponds. On day four we crossed the Oriana Portage into Quetico lake , after paddling about 16 kilometers, we passed another crew that was part of our contingent , they were taking a route opposite of ours. While in Quetico Lake we passed some cliffs with pictographs on them. The weather was really great for us ,cool in the evenings for sleeping ,sunny in the daytime for paddling and swimming. We never got caught on the lake in a rainstorm, it always rained at night, when it did rain.
The wildlife was fantastic, we saw eagles ,otter, beaver, and on the last day we saw a mother bear and her three cubs. We found out the next day that she had been in one of our traveling companions camp early that morning. On the last day we crossed back into Batchwaung Bay to head back to Nyme Lake ranger station. It was so windy we decided to sail across the bay; we tied the dining fly to two paddles , the guys in the front held the paddles , the guys in the middle held the down lines ,and the guys in the back steered. I was setting in the middle(the garbage seat) so I had to hold all three canoes together.
When we got back to camp we got cleaned up and headed to a fish camp to feast on hamburgers, fries ,baked beans and cokes. It doesn’t sound much like a feast, but when you’ve been surviving on dried boy scout food for eight days a hamburger is a feast. The next morning we got an early start for the 26 hour return trip, this time through Thunder Bay, Canada. It was a great trip, one I hope to repeat in 1998 or 1999. The scout camp does a pretty good job of outfitting but it definitely isn’t high tech. I would suggest your own lightweight canoe, if you own one. The tents and the cook gear were fine, but you will want to take a couple of backpacking stoves. I would also suggest a compression sack for your sleeping bag and a self inflating thermarest is definitely worth the investment.