Health Medical Requirements

Each participant in a backcountry Philmont trek must not exceed the maximum acceptable limit in the weight-for-height chart below. The right 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. Every Philmont trek involves hiking with a 35 to 50-pound backpack at elevations of 6,500 to 12,500 feet. Philmont recommends that participants carry a pack weighing no more than 25% to 30% of their body weight.

Height (inches) Max. Weight Height (Inches) Max. Weight
60 166 70 226
61 172 71 233
62 178 72 239
63 183 73 246
64 189 74 252
65 195 75 260
66 201 76 267
67 207 77 274
68 214 78 281
69 220 79 and over 295


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 5′ 10″ cannot weigh more than 226 pounds. 

The Philmont physicians will use their best professional judgment in determining participation in a Philmont trek by individuals under 21 years of age who exceed the maximum acceptable weight for their height. Participants under 21 years of age are strongly encouraged to meet the weight limit for their height, and exceptions are not made automatically, and the maximum allowable exception will be 20 pounds. Discussion in advance with Philmont regarding any exception to the weight limit for persons under 21 years of age is required, whether it is over or under. 

Under no circumstances will any individual over 295 pounds be allowed to participate regardless of height or age. This limit is necessary due to limitations of rescue equipment and for the safety of Philmont personnel. The maximum weight for any participant in a Cavalcade Trek and for horse rides is 200 pounds. 

Individuals not meeting the physical requirements for participation will not be allowed to participate, and will be sent home. This can put a crew’s participation at risk if the crew does not meet requirements for participation if the individual(s) removed were part of the required leadership or medical coverage. Please plan accordingly and understand that exceptions to Philmont’s physical requirements will not be made.