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Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get the most accurate navigation information for my Philmont trek?

We have made every effort to make sure the information on this site is as accurate as possible, but the most accurate information will always come from the official Philmont publications.  For the itinerary information, check the official Itinerary Guide.  For the best navigation information, acquire the official Philmont topographic maps.  (You will receive on overview map covering the entire ranch with your official Philmont package; you definitely want to acquire the specific maps for your trek for on-trail navigation.)

How is the navigation information in the trail guide produced?

Personal GPS traces from Philmont were compared to the official Philmont maps using ExpertGPS to confirm the accuracy of the traces.  The confirmed traces were refined in ExpertGPS and elevation data was downloaded from Yahoo.

The resulting GPX file was processed with custom software to produce a smoothed track with halfmile waypoints and smooth elevation data.  The elevation data was imported into Illustrator and plotted on a line graph.  The basic trail information was imported into Photoshop to produce the topographic map overlay and into Illustrator to produce the itinerary outline.

Note the Philmont copyright topographic maps are extremely accurate.  If there is a disagreement between your personal GPS and the official Philmont maps, check your GPS.

How will the information on this website help me on the trail?

Obviously, the information on this website will not generally be available to you while you’re on the trail (most of Philmont does not have cellular/Internet access).  However, you can print out a one-page summary of your itinerary information and a one-page detail for each of the routes on your itinerary.  You can also download an index card-sized summary for your itinerary.  The one-page summary is useful for your expedition advisor and crew leader (consider printing on waterproof paper or encasing in plastic).  The route detail could be combined into a 5-1/2” x 8” booklet if you wish.  The card-size summary is suitable to create luggage tags for each of your scouts.

How do I use the GPX download files with my handheld GPS?

Links go here to the GPS manufacturer help sites...