Philmont Scout Ranch Backpacking - Giardia and water filters

Philmont Scout Ranch

Massive guzzling is a must.



"Philmont Scout Ranch water - the secret is to consume mass quantities..."
The Editor

The dry trails at Philmont Scout Ranch suck the water out of backpackers.

Philmont Scout Ranch backpacking

Philmont Scout Ranch

Philmont Scout Ranch biggest tip - drink water like a thirsty elephant in a mud hole. More problems arise here due to people not drinking water than any other. In fact, despite the constant push of Philmont rangers, I would say that nearly every crew has one or more who is dehydrated at some point on the trek.

The dehydration arises for two reasons. The humidity at Philmont Scout Ranch in this part of New Mexico is very low. You'll lose water rapidly even if you're doing nothing more than sitting on your hind end. Throw a pack on and dehydration is even more likely.

The other problem is that this is not the same as sitting in front of a TV and slowly going brain dead. Once someone actually feels thirsty, their body is already dehydrated. In hot weather here, it's necessary to drink a liter of water
each hour. It sounds like a lot, but it really is necessary.

Philmont Scout Ranch Backpacking

In my experience watching backpackers, the first sign of dehydration is fatigue. Backpackers get tired and lethargic more than would be usual. They complain. They want to stop. They're hot. They're often in a bad mood, they are either quiet or whining.

In worse cases, which I've seen, they actually lose their mental faculties. They become disoriented and can't make decisions well, or sometimes can't make decisions at all. The mental symptoms are somewhat similar to the early stages of hypothermia.

Drinking a lot of water will make life a lot easier for you and the crew at Philmont Scout Ranch. If there seems to be some problem with fatigue or moral - drinking water is the first thing to do. You'll need lots of water, and a good way to purify it.

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Rapid City, SD 57702


giardia water filters


Our Top 10 Giardia Tips

Giardia and water filters in the real world of hiking and backpacking.

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Polar Pure - a longtime favorite

Water Purification by boiling

Plus our Philmont recommended Backpacking List - and other backpacking info from Philmont Scout Ranch