Risk Advisory

Philmont has almost 400 miles of trails.

Philmont has an excellent health and safety record, with over 950,000 adults and young people having attended since our founding in 1938. Philmont strives to minimize risks to participants and advisers 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 must 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, which will be mailed to you in mid-March. 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 accident possibilities include injuries from tripping and falling, motor vehicle accidents, worsening of underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or asthma, incidents, 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’s staff is trained in first aid, CPR, and preventing accidents, 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 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 hours or more.

The Philmont Trek Experience

A Philmont trek is physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding. Each person will carry a 35 to 50-pound pack while hiking 5 to 12 miles per day in an isolated mountain wilderness ranging from 6,500 to 12,500 feet in elevation. Weather could include temperatures from 30 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, low humidity (10 percent to 30 percent). A trek could include numerous activities such as rappelling, challenge events, pole climbing, black-powder shooting, 12-gauge trap shooting, .30-06 shooting, trail building, mountain biking, and other activities that have potential for injury. Philmont strives to minimize risks to participants and advisers by emphasizing proper safety precautions. Refer to the Guidebook to Adventure, which is mailed to participants in mid-March, for specific information. Philmont staff instruct 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.