1. What is the "Philmont Medical Form?"
The "Philmont Medical Form" is a short name for the official multi-page BSA Annual Health and Medical Record required for all participants.



2. Can a physical form from school or from summer camp be used at Philmont in place of the Philmont Health and Medical Record?
NO, the specific BSA Annual Health and Medical Record is required for all participants, and absolutely no substitute is accepted.  Patriots’ Path Council recommends that no physical activities (day hikes or overnight campouts) be undertaken without the advisors’ full knowledge of the medical status of each member of the crew, both youth and adults.  This is best accomplished by having the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record completed and certified by a doctor as soon as possible and prior to any physical activities.  If that is not possible (insurance issues usually), then the participant portions of the form (Parts A and B) should be completed and a copy given to the Crew Advisor along with a copy of the most recent school or camp physical until such time as the Philmont Medical Form is completed.
3. What are Philmont's rules regarding the date of a participant's physical?
Philmont requires that the physical be performed within 12 months of the participation date.
4. How should crew advisors manage the Philmont Medical Forms for crew members when traveling to Philmont?
The lead Advisor is the keeper of the original, completed multi-page record, with a photocopy of both sides of the crew member’s medical insurance card, and hand carries the entire crew’s medical records to Philmont. 

In addition, each member of the crew should have in their carry-on bag a copy of their record and both sides of their insurance card in case of an emergency during travel to and from Philmont.  A second copy of each crew member’s medical record should be left at home with the family or someone else who will be available by telephone the day of arrival at Philmont AND who has access to a fax machine.  A third copy of the form, including both sides of the medical insurance card, is needed to make a complete set of back-up copies that will be carried to Philmont by a second advisor.

5. When making photocopies of the Philmont Medical Form, do all pages need to be copied?
It is necessary to copy only the pages containing participant and physical/doctor data along with both sides of the crew member’s medical insurance card.  However, keep the original record intact, not separating the pages, when making copies.
6. What are common problems regarding the Philmont Health and Medical Record that occur during the medical re-check at Philmont?
Common problems with the Philmont Medical Form during the medical re-check on Day 1 at Philmont include:
  • The failure to complete EVERY line (using "NA" for items that are "not applicable")
  • Not signing and dating the form (including the parent's signature on forms for youth members of the crew)
  • Not attaching photocopies of the front and back of medical insurance cards
  • The doctor's name and contact information being illegible. HINT: Attach a business card if available.

The adult advisors are responsible for reviewing and making sure all medical forms for their crew are correct and complete BEFORE departing for Philmont.  NOTE: "Other" should used on the "Religious Preference" line if the crew member is not a member of a particular religion, rather than "NA" or "none."

7. What are the procedures for handling prescription drugs or other medications at Philmont?
Each crew member who has a condition requiring medication must bring an appropriate supply to Philmont.  All prescription medications must be listed on Part A of the medical form, and must be taken to the Health Lodge during the medical re-check on Day 1 at Philmont.  The use of medications at Philmont is an issue between each individual and the Philmont Medical Staff, and advisors should not administer any medications except as authorized by the parents and Philmont.
8. What are Philmont's recommendations for individuals with health issues such as diabetes, asthma, etc?
The Philmont Health and Medical Record includes discussions of a number of medical issues such as these.  Each participant and his physician should read all of the risk advisories, recommendations, and limitations on the form.  The Philmont Medical Staff should be contacted in advance at 575-376-2281 regarding specific questions.  Philmont strictly enforces their medical rules for safety and security.
9. What are Philmont's policies regarding weight limits for backpacking and hiking?  Are there exceptions if a crew member's weight doesn’t meet Philmont’s standards but he or she is in good health?

Each participant in a Philmont trek must not exceed the maximum acceptable weight for their height as shown on the BSA Health and Medical Record form. This policy is strictly enforced. There are no exceptions for crew members 21 years old and over.  However, in the past for youth the form has stated “For participants under 21 years of age who exceed the maximum acceptable weight for height, the Philmont physicians will use their best professional judgment in determining participation in a Philmont trek.  Philmont will consider up to 20 pounds over the maximum acceptable as stated on the chart, however exceptions are not made automatically, and discussion in advance with Philmont is required regarding any exception to the weight limit for persons under 21 years of age.  Philmont's phone number is 575-376-2281.  Under no circumstances will any individual weighing more than 295 pounds be permitted to participate in backcountry programs."

10. What are Philmont's policies regarding high blood pressure?
Each individual over 18 years of age will have his or her blood pressure taken during the medical re-check prior to being allowed into the backcountry.  Persons coming to Philmont should have a normal blood pressure (less than 140/90). The BSA Annual Health and Medical Record states that "individuals with blood pressure consistently greater than 160/100 may be kept off the trail until their blood pressure decreases." Since altitude, excitement /anticipation, stress, and just the disruption of travel compared to one's normal routine all can raise blood pressure above what it would be otherwise, the form notes that "persons with significant hypertension (blood pressure greater than 140/90) should be treated and controlled before attending any high adventure base, and should continue on medications while participating".
11. How are special dietary needs for a crew member handled?
This question requires three-part answer.
AT THE WATCHU MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE: Philmont trail meals will be provided to each crew; the specific meals from the prior year will be announced shortly before the weekend. A complete list of ingredients for the prior year Trail Menu is posted on the Medical tab of the Trek Preparation page. Any crew member who has allergies to items in those meals will need to bring suitable substitutes, the same as they will do at Philmont.
WHILE ON TOUR:  For those with special needs, work with the crew's advisor who will inform the tour operator in advance.  Be prepared to bring limited items from home, as needed.
WHILE AT PHILMONT:  The Medical Department at Philmont (575-376-2281) MUST be consulted when there are medical or religious issues with food.  In May, Philmont will provide a comprehensive list of the ingredients of each food item being served in the trail meals for the coming summer's treks (in the meantime, see the prior year Trail Menu for an idea of the kinds of items typically included).  Also, optional vegetarian meals are available at the dining hall.  When there are issues, be prepared to bring food items from home to supplement or replace Philmont food items.  Such supplemental trail food items must be delivered to the Logistics Department during the check-in process. They will have the items delivered to commissaries where the crew's normal food pickups will be made. See the "Dining in the Backcountry" page of the Philmont Web site for additional information.
12. How can one tell which Philmont meals will be picked up at each commissary stop during a trek?
The Philmont Trail Menu has different meals for ten (10) days, which correspond to the ten days in the backcountry during a Philmont trek.  In June and July the meals are issued based on the last digit of the date – Meals #9 for the 9th, 19th, and 29th, Meals #10 on the 10th, 20th, and 30th, etc. (in August, the meal numbers are one greater than the date to avoid having Meals #1 twice in a row on July 31 and August 1).  A pickup is for that day's supper and the following day's breakfast and lunch, since a crew may not arrive at a commissary until after lunch.  So, for instance, at a pickup on July 22 a crew would get Supper #2 for that evening, and Breakfast #3 and Lunch #3 for the following day.
13. Is altitude sickness a problem at Philmont?
While no one can say who will or will not have altitude sickness, also called “Acute Mountain Sickness” (AMS), very few people attending Philmont in the past few years have reported problems.  All treks since 2000 have been designed to be below 10,000' for the first two nights on the trail.  With gradual acclimation through programs like Patriots’ Path Council’s Colorado tour and Philmont's policy of lower elevation camps at the beginning of the trek, there has been a reduction in reported cases of AMS.
14. What are the symptoms and treatment for altitude or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)?
One of the main symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness is headache.  It may be possible to help prevent or minimize AMS by doing the following before arriving in New Mexico:

     ·    Get regular vigorous exercise to condition your lungs and your body

     ·   Drinking plenty of fluids while avoiding alcohol several days before traveling

     ·   Acclimate yourself gradually to higher elevations to give your body time to adapt.

In the unlikely event of AMS in Colorado or at Philmont, the mainstay of treatment is rest, fluids, and mild analgesics such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen.  Persons with a history of AMS may wish to consult their physician AND the medical staff at Philmont about a prescription drug called Diamox.