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General National Camping Etiquette

Old 01-10-20, 12:26 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Collecting 30 branches and stacking them up though...it isnt something that I could bring myself to condemn another person for doing. In most cases, that isnt going to negatively impact an environment. Dead branches are already fallen and they will continue to decompose whether spread over a 400sqft area or balanced vertically. Will knocking down the shelter so the branches are back on the ground actually do anything more than just keep the random next person passing by from knowing someone stacked some sticks in the distance.
I initially had the same reaction that you did. I initially likened it to making sand castles at a beach. We're just moving sand around into a different shape -- how bad is that?

But then it clicked with me -- what if everybody built sand castles and then walked away? Sure, one person doing it on a remote beach may not ever be noticed by anyone. And one person building a wind shelter and leaving it there in a remote woods may, also, not ever be noticed by anyone. But if this was the general rule (to build something and then walk away), and tens, or hundreds, or thousands of people did that, especially at areas enjoyed by many (like more popular beaches or state/national park areas), then the place wouldn't look so...natural anymore. Joggers probably wouldn't care to dodge dilapidated sand castles everywhere as they ran the beach, and hikers probably wouldn't care to look at or even have to hike around dilapidated wind shelters as they tried to enjoy the grandeur of the mountains or woods or wherever it is.

Like many things, this seems to be an issue only in aggregate numbers. If one guy does it, then it's probably not a big deal. But if everyone thinks they're just that one guy, and building-and-walking-away becomes the general practice, the nature will eventually start to look...less natural. I acknowledge, though, that there's probably a wide spectrum of scenarios where this is either more or less applicable. Again, something in the remote bush is likely to never be seen by anyone else again. But it would be more visible, and more problematic, if in a popular hiking area or state park situation.
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Old 01-10-20, 12:41 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
This is a really odd thread, but its been entertaining. The questions are just so out there and only someone who is seriously socially inept would need guidance as an adult. But they are hypothetical so my insult isnt actually directed at anyone. I do enjoy hypotheticals!
Whether it is being directed at a person or not is not pertinent. Surprisingly to me, however, I would say that your statement is a fair reminder to those suffering from the most authentic social anxiety disorders.
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Old 01-10-20, 01:40 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
I initially had the same reaction that you did. I initially likened it to making sand castles at a beach. We're just moving sand around into a different shape -- how bad is that?

But then it clicked with me -- what if everybody built sand castles and then walked away? Sure, one person doing it on a remote beach may not ever be noticed by anyone. And one person building a wind shelter and leaving it there in a remote woods may, also, not ever be noticed by anyone. But if this was the general rule (to build something and then walk away), and tens, or hundreds, or thousands of people did that, especially at areas enjoyed by many (like more popular beaches or state/national park areas), then the place wouldn't look so...natural anymore. Joggers probably wouldn't care to dodge dilapidated sand castles everywhere as they ran the beach, and hikers probably wouldn't care to look at or even have to hike around dilapidated wind shelters as they tried to enjoy the grandeur of the mountains or woods or wherever it is.

Like many things, this seems to be an issue only in aggregate numbers. If one guy does it, then it's probably not a big deal. But if everyone thinks they're just that one guy, and building-and-walking-away becomes the general practice, the nature will eventually start to look...less natural. I acknowledge, though, that there's probably a wide spectrum of scenarios where this is either more or less applicable. Again, something in the remote bush is likely to never be seen by anyone else again. But it would be more visible, and more problematic, if in a popular hiking area or state park situation.
Well said- totally agree.
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Old 01-10-20, 01:42 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Aznman View Post
Whether it is being directed at a person or not is not pertinent. Surprisingly to me, however, I would say that your statement is a fair reminder to those suffering from the most authentic social anxiety disorders.
Let me know what anxiety disorder your question falls under.


2. Say that you are a light packer and are proficient at building comfortable shelters out of dead woods and other natural material. You've built one shelter on a spot that you really love returning to. You've returned several months later and it looks like a person has camped in and added to the structural remains of your dead-wood shelter. Given that you have no problem building another shelter far from the site, would you approach the person for a friendly, small talk about ownership? Assuming that the person is not hostile but believed that he now owned the shelter, the current camper/squatter is now legally considered to be the owner, correct? Keep in mind that your shelter was not in use for several months and you've not left any personal items in the camp, only the dead-wood structures.
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Old 01-10-20, 02:37 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Disassembling makeshift shelters wasn't a big deal really, and only a summertime, 1st retirement activity. The harder part was hauling all those nasty, shredded tarps for miles, out to the trailheads.
Sounds like you needed a 3- or 4-wheeler, to drag those puppies. 🤔

Iíve always been reasonably good about picking up my own messes, but over the last few years, Iíve caught myself picking up after other people, too. It just really irks me, to see something like an ocean-front beach, with beer cans & cigarette butts thrown around. But you get a nice feeling, when itís done, and you can see what itís ďsupposedĒ to look like. 😎
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Old 01-10-20, 02:55 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
Sounds like you needed a 3- or 4-wheeler, to drag those puppies. 🤔
Except that no motors of any kind are permitted in designated Wilderness Areas. Not even a chainsaw to clear trails from tree falls. Everything by hand.

In this case mountainous Cascade hiking trails.


Last edited by Wildwood; 01-10-20 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 01-10-20, 03:53 PM
  #32  
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^^^Thanks!
From a flatlander.
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Old 01-10-20, 03:57 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Let me know what anxiety disorder your question falls under.


2. Say that you are a light packer and are proficient at building comfortable shelters out of dead woods and other natural material. You've built one shelter on a spot that you really love returning to. You've returned several months later and it looks like a person has camped in and added to the structural remains of your dead-wood shelter. Given that you have no problem building another shelter far from the site, would you approach the person for a friendly, small talk about ownership? Assuming that the person is not hostile but believed that he now owned the shelter, the current camper/squatter is now legally considered to be the owner, correct? Keep in mind that your shelter was not in use for several months and you've not left any personal items in the camp, only the dead-wood structures.
As defined, it would be about social interactions. About my particular question, keep in mind that there is a precedent of problems arising with camping (whether hiking or touring on a bicycle), infrequently or ultimately 'out of your hands, so don't bother with prevention' they may be.
Start at 13:00 for the pertinent parts
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Old 01-10-20, 04:31 PM
  #34  
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Just to dispel any ideas i was merely a destroyer of illegal fire rings, improvised human shelters, etc.
More than a trash hauler.

I dug, dug, dug,... dug, and assembled some mighty fine structures.
Appreciated by many. And a few positioned with a lofty penthouse view.
Think about it for a while.

Last edited by Wildwood; 01-10-20 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 01-10-20, 05:39 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Aznman View Post
As defined, it would be about social interactions.
Anxiety over social interaction? Your scenario describes someone who politely has a small chat about ownership of a site.
nothing in your scenario suggests anxious behavior.
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Old 01-10-20, 06:08 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Aznman View Post
As defined, it would be about social interactions. About my particular question, keep in mind that there is a precedent of problems arising with camping (whether hiking or touring on a bicycle), infrequently or ultimately 'out of your hands, so don't bother with prevention' they may be.
Start at 13:00 for the pertinent parts
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJZN3TC5nSs
A few things to note:
1. The pinned comment with this video on YouTube tells us the shelter was built on private property. So this isn't a case of someone going onto public lands, building a shelter and asserting ownership
2. Comments on Youtube suggest this shelter is in Austria. Also note that materials include more than things found in the wild.
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Old 01-10-20, 07:37 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Just to dispel any ideas i was merely a destroyer of illegal fire rings, improvised human shelters, etc.
More than a trash hauler.

I dug, dug, dug,... dug, and assembled some mighty fine structures.
Appreciated by many. And a few positioned with a lofty penthouse view.
Think about it for a while.
LOL. 😁 It came to me pretty quickly, but Iíve done a lot of plumbing in the past. I couldnít help but think of the title of an Erma Bombeck book, ďThe Grass Is Always Greener Over The Septic Tank.Ē. 😲 🙄 😁
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Old 01-10-20, 08:33 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
A few things to note:
1. The pinned comment with this video on YouTube tells us the shelter was built on private property. So this isn't a case of someone going onto public lands, building a shelter and asserting ownership
2. Comments on Youtube suggest this shelter is in Austria. Also note that materials include more than things found in the wild.
All true, but those points are the reason why I was asking questions in the first place. Now I know that building shelters 'bushcraft style' on public land is highly considered to not be a good idea and my future camping plans would have to adjust for that.

The Survival Lilly's scenario is similar to my hypotheticals primarily because of the expected remoteness of the bushcraft shelters. I guess that it was quite virtuous of her to be tolerant of drunkards on her private shelter (different situation from her stalker).

Last edited by Aznman; 01-10-20 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 01-11-20, 01:06 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Aznman View Post
All true, but those points are the reason why I was asking questions in the first place. Now I know that building shelters 'bushcraft style' on public land is highly considered to not be a good idea and my future camping plans would have to adjust for that.
Huh? I have no problem building bushcraft type shelters and taught many youth how to do so as a scout leader. But our ethos also contained the idea of disassembly once one was finished with them. It's just a common sense sort of thing.
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Old 01-11-20, 07:07 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Huh? I have no problem building bushcraft type shelters and taught many youth how to do so as a scout leader. But our ethos also contained the idea of disassembly once one was finished with them. It's just a common sense sort of thing.
'Huh?' right back at your Happy Feet and machka. As already as pointed out by the thread itself, many people do not know (or do not care) about taking down their 'bushcraft style' shelters once they are done, effectively blurring the lines of what is the 'right procedure' to those who are just starting out.

Frankly, it is more common sense to understand why I was asking hypotheticals in the first place and it is surprising that a few of you seem to require very basic explanations from me.

Last edited by Aznman; 01-11-20 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 01-11-20, 07:53 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Aznman View Post
'Huh?' right back at your Happy Feet and machka. As already as pointed out by the thread itself, many people do not know (or do not care) about taking down their 'bushcraft style' shelters once they are done, effectively blurring the lines of what is the 'right procedure' to those who are just starting out.

Frankly, it is more common sense to understand why I was asking hypotheticals in the first place and it is surprising that a few of you seem to require very basic explanations from me.
Hypotheticals, indeed. Are you planning to (a) continue building shelters on public land and (b) continue leaving them built so that you can return to them during subsequent outings?
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Old 01-11-20, 08:28 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Hypotheticals, indeed. Are you planning to (a) continue building shelters on public land and (b) continue leaving them built so that you can return to them during subsequent outings?
With all of the advice given on this thread, I would have to say no to both of the scenarios. When touring, I think using a hammock-tent would be optimal in most situations I would likely encounter.
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Old 01-11-20, 05:56 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Aznman View Post
'Huh?' right back at your Happy Feet and machka. As already as pointed out by the thread itself, many people do not know (or do not care) about taking down their 'bushcraft style' shelters once they are done, effectively blurring the lines of what is the 'right procedure' to those who are just starting out.

Frankly, it is more common sense to understand why I was asking hypotheticals in the first place and it is surprising that a few of you seem to require very basic explanations from me.
No need to get snippy. My Huh was directed to the notion that building shelters was highly considered not to be a good idea, as indicated by my bolding of that part of the quote. I would say that, from my experience, most people don't care if you build a shelter - just that you clean up afterward. Of course, state, national and private properties operate under their own agendas and it's a good idea to follow those rules.

Boy Scouts have been building bushcraft shelters for nearly a century now and no one gets their knickers in a twist over it.

The main reason people don't build bush shelters while bike touring is just time. You usually stay in one spot for a night or two, arrive in the later afternoon, and it's just easier to pitch a tent; especially if you do the right thing and tear the shelter down again in the morning before leaving. If you return time and again to a favorite spot you have the problem of others either vandalizing or occupying the shelter ahead of you, as indicated by your first post. Again, easier to use a tent.

Here, someone built a bushcraft bridge to ford a creek. No complaints so far. One of many structures on the mountain where I live.


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Old 01-11-20, 06:38 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
No need to get snippy. My Huh was directed to the notion that building shelters was highly considered not to be a good idea, as indicated by my bolding of that part of the quote. I would say that, from my experience, most people don't care if you build a shelter - just that you clean up afterward. Of course, state, national and private properties operate under their own agendas and it's a good idea to follow those rules.

Boy Scouts have been building bushcraft shelters for nearly a century now and no one gets their knickers in a twist over it.

The main reason people don't build bush shelters while bike touring is just time. You usually stay in one spot for a night or two, arrive in the later afternoon, and it's just easier to pitch a tent; especially if you do the right thing and tear the shelter down again in the morning before leaving. If you return time and again to a favorite spot you have the problem of others either vandalizing or occupying the shelter ahead of you, as indicated by your first post. Again, easier to use a tent.

Here, someone built a bushcraft bridge to ford a creek. No complaints so far. One of many structures on the mountain where I live.

Apologies then for getting snippy too quickly. Thank you for this valuable post.
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Old 01-11-20, 07:11 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Aznman View Post
Frankly, it is more common sense to understand why I was asking hypotheticals in the first place and it is surprising that a few of you seem to require very basic explanations from me.
All right, since this seems to be there response you were actually after ... why?
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Old 01-13-20, 07:09 PM
  #46  
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Is there, perhaps, a continuum between the odd bushcraft shelter and a new MTB trail? What was the eventual resolution of the New Paradigm trail on Mt. Tam?
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Old 01-14-20, 01:35 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Boy Scouts have been building bushcraft shelters for nearly a century now and no one gets their knickers in a twist over it.
I'd be reasonably certain the scouts are not cutting live trees, even though that's what was taught, way back. In NY State and on state owned land, it's illegal to cut live trees, unless there are permits as such.
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Old 01-14-20, 04:18 PM
  #48  
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Did someone mention that?

I just reread the OP:

Originally Posted by Aznman View Post
...
...Say that you are a light packer and are proficient at building comfortable shelters out of dead woods and other natural material.
Part of my overall reply was that Boy Scouts have been doing bushcraft for a long time without complaint. Why try to create a tangential argument where none exists? They also don't wrap their pant legs in ankle putties or picket their horses much these days either.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 01-14-20 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 01-14-20, 06:49 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Did someone mention that?

I just reread the OP:



Part of my overall reply was that Boy Scouts have been doing bushcraft for a long time without complaint. Why try to create a tangential argument where none exists? They also don't wrap their pant legs in ankle putties or picket their horses much these days either.
Yea, you are entirely correct, apologies.
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Old 01-14-20, 08:10 PM
  #50  
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Can people imagine the damage and the eyesores that'd abound if EVERYONE made a bushcraft shelter or otherwise changed an area they camped in?

If you get to a camping spot you used before and it's occupied then it's a simple matter to just move along to an unoccupied site or area. How far that is depends on how much privacy you want.

Cheers
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