The following is an excerpt from the Philmont Unit Registration packet.  These are not Troop 17 rules, they are Philmont rules.  The Troop cannot grant any exception to these rules.  The Troop, however, may set more stringent rules and qualifications to participate in a Philmont Trek.

The Philmont Trek Experience

A Philmont trek is physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. Each participant must be able to carry a 35 to 50 lb. pack (but no more than 25-30% of their body weight) while hiking 5 to 12 miles per day in an isolated mountain wilderness, ranging from 6,500 to 12,500 feet in elevation. Climatic conditions include temperatures from 30 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, low humidity (10-30%) and frequent, sometimes severe, afternoon thunderstorms. Activities include horseback riding, rock climbing and rappelling, challenge events, pole climbing, black powder shooting, 12 gauge trap shooting, .30-06 shooting, trail building, mountain biking and other activities that may have potential for injury. Philmont strives to minimize risks to participants and advisors by emphasizing proper safety precautions. Refer to the Guidebook to Adventure for specific information. Philmont staff instructs participants in safety measures to be followed. Each participant and crew is expected to follow these safety measures and to accept responsibility for the health and safety of each of its members.


Philmont has an excellent health and safety record with over 910,000 adults and young people having attended since 1938. Philmont strives to minimize risks to participants and advisors by emphasizing proper safety precautions. Most participants in Philmont programs do not experience injuries because they are prepared, are conscious of risks, and take safety precautions. If you decide to attend Philmont, you should be physically fit, have proper clothing and equipment, be willing to follow instructions and work as a team with your crew and take responsibility for your own health and safety. For further information please thoroughly read the Guidebook to Adventure. Like other wilderness areas, Philmont is not risk free and you should be prepared to listen to safety instructions carefully, follow directions and take appropriate steps to safeguard yourself and others.

Parents, guardians and potential participants in Philmont programs are advised that journeying to and from Philmont, and one's stay at Philmont, can involve exposure to accident, illness, and/or injury associated with a high elevation, physically demanding, high adventure program in a remote mountainous area. Campers may be exposed to occasional severe weather conditions such as lightning, hail, flash floods and heat. Other potential problems include: injuries from tripping and falling, motor vehicle accidents, worsening of underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or asthma, heart attacks, heat exhaustion and falls from horses.

Philmont's trails are steep and rocky. Wild animals such as bears, rattlesnakes and mountain lions are native and usually present little danger if proper precautions are taken. Please refer to the Guidebook to Adventure, speak with previous Philmont participants, or call Philmont for further information concerning risks and measures which can be taken to avoid accidents. Philmont has staff trained in first aid, CPR and accident prevention, and is prepared to assist in recognizing, reacting, and responding to accidents, injuries and illnesses. Each crew is also required to have at least one member trained in wilderness first aid and CPR. Medical and search and rescue services are provided by Philmont in response to an accident or emergency. However, response times can be affected by location, weather or other emergencies and could be delayed six (6) or more hours.

Philmont trail food is, by necessity, a high carbohydrate, high caloric diet. The trail food is high in wheat, milk products, sugar and corn syrup, and artificial coloring/flavoring. Most dinner meals contain meat. If participant has a problem with the diet described above, contact Philmont for a copy of the trail menu and ingredients and plan to send supplemental food. Philmont will deliver supplemental food to the appropriate pickup places.


Each participant in a Philmont trek must not exceed the maximum acceptable limit in the weight for height chart shown below. The right hand column shows the maximum acceptable weight for a person's height in order to participate in a Philmont trek. Those who fall within the limits are more likely to have an enjoyable trek and avoid incurring health risks. These guidelines are used because overweight individuals are at a greater risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, altitude illness, sleep problems and injury.

Participants 21 years and older who exceed the maximum acceptable weight limit for their height at the Philmont medical recheck WILL NOT be permitted to backpack or hike at Philmont. For example, a person 70 inches tall cannot weigh more than 226 lbs. All heights and weights will be measured in stocking feet.

For participants under 21 years of age who exceed the maximum acceptable weight for height, the Philmont physicians will use their best professional judgment in determining participation in a Philmont trek. Participants under 21 years of age are strongly encouraged to meet the weight limit for their height. Exceptions are not made automatically and discussion in advance with Philmont is required regarding any exception to the weight limit for persons under 21 years of age, whether it is over or under. Phi Philmont will consider up to 20 lbs. over the maximum acceptable as stated on the chart, however, the exception will never exceed 295 lbs. Philmont’s phone number is 575-376-2281.

Under no circumstances will any individual weighing more than 295 pounds be permitted to participate in backcountry programs. This requiremen This requirement is necessary because of limitations of rescue equipment and for safety of search and rescue personnel. Individuals who do not meet Philmont’s weight for height requirements will not be allowed on the trail and will be sent home.

Height and Weight Chart

This table is based on the revised Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and the Dept. of Health & Human Services.

Adult Leadership

The best available adult leadership should be recruited to accompany each crew. In keeping with the policy of the Boy Scouts of America, there are no gender restrictions for adult leadership at Philmont, except that each coed crew must have coed adult advisors at least 21 years of age or older.

Each Philmont Expedition must have at least two qualified adult advisors one of whom must be 21 years of age or older. The second advisor must be at least 18 years of age. Because Philmont's objective is to serve youth; every crew is required to have a majority of youth participants and no more than four (4) adult advisors over 21.

Philmont does not have facilities or program opportunities for the families of Expedition advisors.  No family program is available at Camping Headquarters.