Backcountry Sneak Peak

Backcountry Sneak Peak is a progressive, challenging backpacking expedition that provides the opportunity to experience the Philmont backcountry in preparation and training for a full Philmont Trek experience 

 Participation in the Backcountry Sneak Peak program is designed for Scouting Units with individuals 13-18 and their advisorsParticipants must be registered in any of the Boy Scouts of America programs to participate. Crews are placed under the supervision of two highly qualified Philmont Rangers who plan the trek to meet the abilities and experience of the crew. 

Your adventure will begin as you depart for your first hike into Philmont’s backcountry.  As your week progresses, so will your hikes from easier terrain and length to moderate and more difficult.  The end of the week will mark the end of your skills progression with an overnight experience in Philmont’s backcountry with a Philmont Ranger. 

Participants will enjoy a hands-on introduction to Philmont’s backcountry and achieve a thorough understanding of the following: 

  • Efficient setting up and breaking down camp 
  • Bear bags and smellable procedures 
  • Dining fly and tent set up 
  • Gas stove care and operation 
  • Philmont’s backcountry cooking method 
  • Dishwashing and sump use 
  • Choosing gear that is right for you 
  • Philmont Shakedown 
  • Philmont base camp operations   

The curriculum will also be provided for adult Crew Advisors attending Sneak Peak to learn more about topics like: 

  • How to go on a prep-hike 
  • Crew dynamics 
  • Your role as a crew advisor 
  • Physical Conditioning 
  • Crew Leadership Positions 

Participants will also enjoy other adventures of their choice before or after their day hikes.  Some of the choices include touring the National Scouting Museum, visiting the shooting range or the craft center and more. Participants must be 13 years or older (or have completed the 7th grade) and must be accompanied by an adult.  Units are welcome with two deep leadership, and families or parent(s) are welcome with age-eligible children. All participants must meet the height and weight requirements listed in the BSA Medical Form and must have a completed BSA physical (Parts A, B, & C). Participants will then return to the PTC on Saturday morning to check in equipment, clean up, and prepare for the trip home. 

Packing List


____ Pack with padded hip belt Capacity: 60-70 liters (rental available)* 
____ Pack cover (waterproof nylon)*
____ Stuff Sacks or Large Ziploc bags to keep gear organized and dry in your pack* 
____ Day Pack for hikes early in the week* 


____ Sleeping bag in waterproof stuff sack. (Line the inside of stuff sack with a garbage bag to make it waterproof.) Sleeping bag should be rated to 20 degrees F.*
____ Sleep clothes (T-shirt and gym shorts) to be worn only in sleeping bag*
____ Lashing Straps to hold sleeping bag and pad onto pack* 


Participants should be dressed for the trail when they check in on Sunday afternoon.  Quantities below include what you are wearing at check-inAvoid bringing cotton items on the trail. 

____ Hiking boots*  
Boots should be well broken in. High-top boots that provide ankle support are highly recommended   
____ Lightweight tennis shoes to wear around camp* 
____ Two pair heavy hiking socks, wool or synthetic, NO COTTON.* 
____ Two pair liner socks, polypropylene* 
____ Two pair underwear* 
____ Two hiking shirts*  
____ One pair hiking shorts (zip-off pants can double as both shorts and pants)*
____ One pair long pants Not jeans (for cold weather, pole climbing, horse rides)*
____ One pair insulated underwear (optional, bring if you get cold easy)* 
____ One sweater or jacket, fleece or wool*
____ Hat or cap with brim for protection from the sun* 
____ Stocking cap* 
____ Rain jacket* 
____ Rain pants* 

Personal & Miscellaneous 

____ Small flashlight or headlamp* with new batteries* 
____ Compass*  
____ Bandana*  
____ Lip balm* 
____ Small sunscreen* 
____ Toothbrush and small toothpaste* 
____ Tampons/sanitary napkins* 
____ Sunglasses* 
____ Ditty bag (small stuff sack or Ziplocfor personal smellables in bear bag* 
____ Comb/Brush* 


____ Bowl (plastic)*
____ Spoon (only utensil needed)*
____ Three – quart/liter carrying capacity bottles*


____ Money – in small bills for use at trading post
____ Camera*

Philmont provides tents. If you have a good quality backpacking tent you may bring it for consideration. 

All crew gear and food will be provided. You do not need to bring any extra food.  Please do not bring toilet paper from home.  Philmont supplies toilet paper that is non-smellable and biodegradable. 

Do Not Bring: Cell phones, radios, iPods, video game devices, hammocks, makeup, or deodorant 

*Available at the Tooth of Time Traders ( www.toothoftimetraders.com ) If you need to make purchases once arriving at Philmont, please plan to arrive early enough to visit the trading post before 2:00 pm check-in. 

Sample Schedule**

Gear Breakdown with Expert @ Tooth of Time Traders

T-Rex Hike & Instruction on:
-Red Roofs
-Emergency Procedures

Practice Practical Skills

-First Aid
-Crew Dynamics 

Program in the Morning:
-Shooting Sports
-Kit Carson Museum
-National Scouting Museum 
-Small Hike


How to Pack


Option 1: 

Option 2: 

Option 3: 

OTHER OPTIONS MAY BE USED – This is just to show an example of possible itinerary. 

Return from hikes in the afternoon

Closing Experience

**Subject to change based on crew needs, crew loads, weather, availability, etc.