Philmont by the numbers

Crews pick up meals for the next few days of their trek at Phillips Junction. Photo by Monica Dunn. 

Summer 2019 has been a record-breaking year for Philmont in terms of numbers.

In order to show just how massive the Summer 2019 season has been, several departments around Base Camp have shared their numbers. Through the raw data, it’s possible to finally put the season into perspective.

First, the participants. While the numbers won’t be final until the last Crews have left Philmont, the estimated number of participants that took to the Backcountry this summer was just over 24,000. That’s roughly 480 Greyhound buses worth of youth and adults over the course of approximately two months.

Those 24,000 participants, between 7-day and 12-day treks, hiked over 1,630,000 miles combined. That’s more than 3 trips to the moon and back. Or, to keep things terrestrial, Philmont participants walked the circumference of the Earth 65.5 times over.

Inside the borders of Philmont, participants saw nearly every inch of the Backcountry. As far as numbers for staff camps go, Ponil saw the most campers this summer with 8,305 visitors coming from 828 crews. As part of their Chuckwagon Dinner program, 7,963 of those participants were served dinner. 

Speaking of meals, around 385,800 meal bags were prepared and distributed to campers for their treks. With each meal bag weighing about half a pound, those meals come to a grand total of 192,900 lbs. Altogether, that means that participants carried the equivalent of about 15  Africant elephants through the Backcountry. The most prepared and distributed meal was Lunch 4, which consisted of bagels, Sun Butter and strips of jerky. The most popular spot for Crews to pick up meals in the Backcountry was Baldy Town, which distributed nearly 60,000 meal bags to 12,335 Participants. 

In Base Camp, the number of meals served at the three dining halls tell a similar story. By the end of the season, food service staff at Philmont estimates that they’ll have served around 330,000 meals. Using those numbers, they can calculate that they’ve served more than 100,000 burritos and 720,000 sausage links, for instance. 

As far as the Philmont Staff goes, all 50 states and many US territories were represented during the summer. Texas had the most Philmont Staffers with 173 of the 1,302 that were here this summer. Only one other state had over 100 Staffers: Colorado with 101. New Mexico came close with 98. Additionally, Philmont saw the inclusion of 29 international staffers throughout the season.

With the end of Philmont’s largest season in recent memory coming up quickly, these approximations show just how massive this season has been. Behind each of these numbers was a person, whether they were preparing meal bags, hiking the trails or cooking Chuckwagon dinners. Each of those people, from participants to Staff, helped make summer 2019 Philmont’s best season yet.

Picture of Mark Cordeiro

Mark Cordeiro

Mark Cordeiro is a second-year Philmont staffer out of Edmond, Oklahoma. He’s currently a senior at the University of Oklahoma studying professional writing. Mark spent several summers of his youth at the PTC’s youth programs and went on his first trek in 2014.