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Beesun300
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05/11/2021 02:05PM  
Interested in experience BWCA'ers insight.

When looking for a campsite and you approach your desired location, you may see people milling around and not be sure if they are staying or leaving.

Is it appropriate to pull up close and ask?

Many times you can see them packing and you are sure they are leaving. Others, you can see them heading out or they are already out for the day and clearly are staying. I would not care if someone asked me and then moved on....but I don't want to break some unwritten rule of etiquette.

Thoughts?
 
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Speckled
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05/11/2021 02:20PM  
If I see someone at the site - I don't approach.
05/11/2021 03:28PM  
I use to not approach a group and just fish or wait until they leave, but one time while we were hanging out, another group paddled up and proceeded to ask and then take the site. We were a bit furious. We were trying to be respectful, but got screwed. Now, I don’t see anything wrong with approaching and asking. The worst they can say is no. If someone approaches me and I’m leaving soon, I’ll tell them so. They can drop their packs if they want. But I’m not going to let the group get out and start unpacking while I’m enjoying my time. On most lakes this isn’t really an issue, but given the number of permits already reserved this year , I’d definitely ask-especially if it’s a high traffic lake.
05/11/2021 03:36PM  
Some people would mind, some would not. I take the same approach as Speckled.
schweady
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05/11/2021 03:49PM  
I think that egknuti has nailed it. Sure, there will be those miffed that their wilderness experience was ruined by hearing your voice, but I think they are in the minority.

I just try not to get too close or steam right in. A simple "You stayin' tonight?" will do it. Most people can easily tell when you're looking for a site and know the open/taken percentages situation and might initiate the conversation themselves.

In a polite society, you'll get one of:
"You got it. Good luck out there."
"No, we're just about to leave, but can you give us some space/time?"
"Yeah, we're just going off on a day trip/going fishing."
"C'mon up. Let me show you where we nailed the walleye."

I remember being on Shell and all sites were taken. We checked the site on Little Shell, too. Back on Shell, we floated across from one of our top pick sites, and the party gave a whistle and hollered, "We're just having lunch! Need this site?!" I thought a bit about their breach of etiquette, but then, quickly forgave them.
MikeinMpls
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05/11/2021 04:17PM  
Consider me with egknuti and schweady. I have no problem asking. I have done it on two occasions, both while soloing, and both times the groups appeared to be packing up. One group invited me up, and I stayed in the woods until they cleared. Another told me I could leave my pack. I fished for an hour until they moved on.

My wife and I don't move campsites as much as we used to, and when we do it's in the afternoon, so campsite occupancy or vacancy is pretty obvious.

But I do this with some regularity: when putting in at an EP, I often strike up friendly conversation with another party putting in. Sometimes they initiate the conversation, sometimes I do. If the conversation is pleasant and mutual, I ask where they are intend on camping that first night. That gives me some indication, albeit small, if I might be "competing" for a site. Or if it's a big and loud group, where I might NOT want to stay.

Mike
thegildedgopher
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05/11/2021 05:36PM  
I wouldn’t think twice about asking. If they showed the slightest sign of annoyance with my question I’d be gone in a flash.

We use sites for shore lunch all the time. I would also alert any site-seekers that this one is available.
Northwoodsman
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05/11/2021 06:01PM  
I would probably ask in a nice way. On my exit days if I see someone who appears to be interested in my site I won't wait for them to ask, I'll tell them we are leaving and they can have it shortly if they are looking for one. On most days you can hear a canoe approaching your site so I'll often go to the shore and offer a friendly wave. I'm also willing to share my site with most solo paddlers or duo's if it's the end of the paddling day and I know all the nearby sites are taken. I'm out there to get away from my normal daily grind, not get away from people or society altogether.
EddyTurn
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05/11/2021 06:38PM  
If someone comes to my site - or the doors of my suburban house - and asks me a polite question - why would it bother me? Being on a wilderness trip doesn't makes me neither less nor more civilized than usual. If I want a place totally sans human interaction I won't go to a park.
KarlBAndersen1
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05/11/2021 06:55PM  
EddyTurn: " If someone comes to my site - or the doors of my suburban house - and asks me a polite question - why would it bother me? Being on a wilderness trip doesn't makes me neither less nor more civilized than usual. If I want a place totally sans human interaction I won't go to a park."


^^^The best answer here.
05/11/2021 07:31PM  
EddyTurn: " If someone comes to my site - or the doors of my suburban house - and asks me a polite question - why would it bother me? Being on a wilderness trip doesn't makes me neither less nor more civilized than usual. If I want a place totally sans human interaction I won't go to a park." Some of us don’t live in a suburban home and would be surprised or cautious if somebody came to our door to ask a polite question.
05/11/2021 08:31PM  
I try to avoid paddling up to another site, but in this case - especially around lunch, and if there seems to be no gear set up in camp, and they don’t seem to be unloading - I’d probably ask. People do stop for lunch, bathroom breaks, or just to scout out future sites.
cyclones30
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05/11/2021 09:21PM  
I tend not to ask, just figure if they've got tarp and tents setup and stuff that even if they're leaving it'll be a while. If all I see is a canoe and a person and no gear...I might see if they're staying if I'm at the end of my day and looking. I've been asked before...never had a bad experience. Happy to help whether it's an open site I saw a bit ago while fishing or if I'm leaving later or whatnot.

We did get called over by a group on Fourtown one year. They were packing up and we were fishing and weren't really sure if we were going to stay on that lake or head all the way out to the EP. They said they were leaving so we decided to dump our stuff and stay another night. We had at least 6 groups ask us if we were staying....so the busier the lake the more it happens I'm sure.
straighthairedcurly
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05/11/2021 09:47PM  
I agree if tarps or tents are set up, I don't ask. But if they seem to be packing or just hanging out for lunch, I do not hesitate to ask. I am never bothered if someone politely asks me if we are leaving. Last summer, we hurried from Paulson to Brant in hopes of getting my son's favorite site. We were tired and hungry when we arrived, relieved to find it open. We sat down to eat lunch before setting up camp. Within 20 minutes another group just entering from Round asked if we were camped or just lunching. We let them know we were camping, but leaving the next morning if they were sticking around Brant for more days . They were planning to base camp and happily moved to our site when we left the next morn. Pays to be polite yet chatty :)
bottomtothetap
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05/11/2021 10:06PM  
schweady: "I think that egknuti has nailed it. Sure, there will be those miffed that their wilderness experience was ruined by hearing your voice, but I think they are in the minority.


I just try not to get too close or steam right in. A simple "You stayin' tonight?" will do it. Most people can easily tell when you're looking for a site and know the open/taken percentages situation and might initiate the conversation themselves.


In a polite society, you'll get one of:
"You got it. Good luck out there."
"No, we're just about to leave, but can you give us some space/time?"
"Yeah, we're just going off on a day trip/going fishing."
"C'mon up. Let me show you where we nailed the walleye."


I remember being on Shell and all sites were taken. We checked the site on Little Shell, too. Back on Shell, we floated across from one of our top pick sites, and the party gave a whistle and hollered, "We're just having lunch! Need this site?!" I thought a bit about their breach of etiquette, but then, quickly forgave them.
"


Just curious: What was their breach of etiquette? I suppose it would have been better had they not had to communicate with you with a whistle and a holler.

This past summer as we paddled past a site on Sawbill, I noticed a couple sitting there out on the lakeside rocks. As we went by, I said good morning and asked if they were camped there. They replied that they were not, were only stopped for a cup of coffee and would be leaving in a few minutes. They said if we were looking for a site, it was a good one and we should take it when they were gone. We were actually thinking about moving further up the lake but with the other traffic we'd seen, I thought taking them up on their suggestion was a good idea. We caught up to the rest of our party, revised our plan and returned to this site just as this couple was leaving.

We liked this site enough that we stayed for three nights and this all happened from a little friendliness and brief conversation.

I'd say if the circumstances feel comfortable to you, don't be afraid to politely ask.
scotttimm
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05/12/2021 07:15AM  
I have no problem with a very quick, very polite, "Excuse me, sorry to bother you... can I ask how long you are staying at this site?"

When passing paddlers/portagers exiting an area I am heading into, if they seem friendly/chatty, I also ask, "Could I bother you to ask which site you just left to save us some time?" This got us our preferred site on LLC last year. And the guys said proudly, "best site in the area, get up there and snag it!". Having kids in tow maybe helps folks have mercy on us.

Here's my "chatting can be good" story - a few years ago discovered we had forgotten our fishing net at the base of a falls, near a portage, and after a full day of fishing we were grudgingly paddling back to get it. Did not want to do those two portages twice more. Three canoes were coming our way, and the stern paddler had that look...like he wanted to chat but was unsure.
"How full is it up here?"
"Totally full, but pull up and I'll show you a great site we passed earlier that is empty, save you some time."
"Thanks, where are you guys going?"
"We left our fishing net at the waterfall, only one we have, not looking forward to those portages again."
They all looked at each other in silence. One guy reached underneath his seat.
"THIS fishing net?"
Speckled
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05/12/2021 08:46AM  
If I were sitting at camp relaxing and someone paddled up to ask how long we'd be staying...I'm not 100% sure how I'd feel about it. I guess I won't know for certain until it happens. I know I wouldn't be rude and it wouldn't bother me much, but I do think I'd feel a little put off by it.

For me it would also depend on the circumstances...meaning if it's super busy and there's a strong chance all the sites are taken, then I'd get it and be totally understanding, but if they just happen to want that site, a little rude in my opinion.

Chatting while out and about and you happen to cross paths either on the portage, or in a narrows section of a lake or river - no problem.

schwartyman
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05/12/2021 09:48AM  
Every situation is different, so it depends. Typically i prefer avoiding approaching campsites with people at it at all.

Last year I had to leave my comfort zone regarding this. After a few hours traveling to a destination lake with 3 sites on it, I saw all 3 sites were occupied. This was a short 4 days trip and camping elsewhere meant portaging 2 lakes over which i was trying to avoid.

At one of the sites I saw no gear, an empty canoe, and a father/son fishing from shore. I felt this was appropriate to ask if they were staying there. They said they were not, just having lunch and fishing. I said take your time, enjoy yourself and asked if we may occupy the site when they are finished? They said of course not a problem.

My group and I ate lunch in the canoes on the lake, then fished for 30 minutes, the father/son left, and we swooped in and set up.

I have not and likely will not ask anyone with tarps/tents set up at a site how long they will be there, unless in an emergency.

To me, it depends on the situation, and no matter what always be polite and respectful :)
05/12/2021 09:52AM  
I wouldn't mind if someone asked me so I don't have any issue with asking another.
scotttimm
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05/12/2021 09:58AM  
Speckled: "If I were sitting at camp relaxing and someone paddled up to ask how long we'd be staying...I'm not 100% sure how I'd feel about it. I guess I won't know for certain until it happens. I know I wouldn't be rude and it wouldn't bother me much, but I do think I'd feel a little put off by it.


For me it would also depend on the circumstances...meaning if it's super busy and there's a strong chance all the sites are taken, then I'd get it and be totally understanding, but if they just happen to want that site, a little rude in my opinion.


Chatting while out and about and you happen to cross paths either on the portage, or in a narrows section of a lake or river - no problem.


"

To be clear, my response of "Excuse me, can I ask how long are you staying" is based on the OP's situation of people milling about, unsure if they are packing up. If a site is obviously occupied, we don't approach. If site after site is occupied as in schwartyman's situation, I'd absolutely ask. I try to model being very polite, friendly, and helpful to my kids - as well as how to read body language. If someone looks friendly, or someone looks like they don't want to talk, it is pretty obvious. I get and respect that some people want solitude and don't want to talk to anyone, but that's not really our style of being humans, and I think both types need to respect each other. I have no problem chatting with people when an encounter happens, I think that type of fellowship makes the BWCA special.

Last year on a portage - a man, woman, and probably their 20-something daughter pulled right up next to us as we were unloading at a tight portage, stern-like and kinda unfriendly, unloaded right next to me as I was trying to get everyone out and barged right past us without saying a word. THAT, to me, felt rude.
schweady
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05/12/2021 10:33AM  
bottomtothetap: "Just curious: What was their breach of etiquette?...
Not a big one, but just thought I'd preemptively cut off comments from those sensitive to folks using campsites for lunch. Especially on busy lakes near entries. We've done it, too, but usually while out fishing... maybe a candy bar and a water by the shore. A place to stretch our legs and use the latrine. That way, I usually think that it's easy enough to show folks coming by that we are not staying, but it can become less obvious, I guess. An actual, unmistakable breach might be in setting up a tarp and cooking a hot lunch while your camp is set up on another site.
mgraber
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05/12/2021 11:06AM  
One of the campsite etiquette questions raised here is if it is OK to use a campsite for lunch or rest stops. According to the FS that would be a no. It clearly states in the LNT principles, "Do not take a campsite for day use". A quick phone call confirmed their stance on this, it is not OK to occupy a campsite that you have no intention of staying at. They said a restroom break would be OK, but not stopping for lunch. We have done this in the past, but have stopped. I have no idea if it would actually be enforced.
thegildedgopher
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05/12/2021 11:10AM  
schweady: "bottomtothetap: "Just curious: What was their breach of etiquette?...
Not a big one, but just thought I'd preemptively cut off comments from those sensitive to folks using campsites for lunch. Especially on busy lakes near entries. We've done it, too, but usually while out fishing... maybe a candy bar and a water by the shore. A place to stretch our legs and use the latrine. That way, I usually think that it's easy enough to show folks coming by that we are not staying, but it can become less obvious, I guess. An actual, unmistakable breach might be in setting up a tarp and cooking a hot lunch while your camp is set up on another site.
"


While I would never set up a tarp, we definitely cook hot meals at campsites. Day-trippers have every right to be in the BWCA, same as campers. If somebody wishes, they can get a day permit and set up all day on a campsite to relax, fish, eat, take a nap in the shade, whatever. Different folks have different ideas and goals and reasons for going to the BWCA. As long as LNT is followed and courtesy is extended, all those different uses can coexist peacefully.
mgraber
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05/12/2021 11:18AM  
thegildedgopher: "schweady: "bottomtothetap: "Just curious: What was their breach of etiquette?...
Not a big one, but just thought I'd preemptively cut off comments from those sensitive to folks using campsites for lunch. Especially on busy lakes near entries. We've done it, too, but usually while out fishing... maybe a candy bar and a water by the shore. A place to stretch our legs and use the latrine. That way, I usually think that it's easy enough to show folks coming by that we are not staying, but it can become less obvious, I guess. An actual, unmistakable breach might be in setting up a tarp and cooking a hot lunch while your camp is set up on another site.
"



While I would never set up a tarp, we definitely cook hot meals at campsites. Day-trippers have every right to be in the BWCA, same as campers. If somebody wishes, they can get a day permit and set up all day on a campsite to relax, fish, eat, take a nap in the shade, whatever. Different folks have different ideas and goals and reasons for going to the BWCA. As long as LNT is followed and courtesy is extended, all those different uses can coexist peacefully."


Not according to the FS. See my comment above. From the LNT rules,"Do not take campsite for day use".
thegildedgopher
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05/12/2021 12:10PM  
mgraber: "thegildedgopher: "schweady: "bottomtothetap: "Just curious: What was their breach of etiquette?...
Not a big one, but just thought I'd preemptively cut off comments from those sensitive to folks using campsites for lunch. Especially on busy lakes near entries. We've done it, too, but usually while out fishing... maybe a candy bar and a water by the shore. A place to stretch our legs and use the latrine. That way, I usually think that it's easy enough to show folks coming by that we are not staying, but it can become less obvious, I guess. An actual, unmistakable breach might be in setting up a tarp and cooking a hot lunch while your camp is set up on another site.
"




While I would never set up a tarp, we definitely cook hot meals at campsites. Day-trippers have every right to be in the BWCA, same as campers. If somebody wishes, they can get a day permit and set up all day on a campsite to relax, fish, eat, take a nap in the shade, whatever. Different folks have different ideas and goals and reasons for going to the BWCA. As long as LNT is followed and courtesy is extended, all those different uses can coexist peacefully."



Not according to the FS. See my comment above. From the LNT rules,"Do not take campsite for day use"."


I believe you are confusing the "LNT Principles" for the "BWCA Rules/Regulations." Much of the LNT principles inform and also appear in the rules section, in which case they are rules and they are enforceable. The language you're referring to is under the "Be Considerate of Others" heading in the LNT principles, but it is not in the rules section.

LNT info is found on page 4 of this PDF from the USFS. The actual enforceable rules are found on page 5.

Again -- I agree we should all be courteous and limit time spent on sites where we don't intend to camp. But it's not breaking the rules.
MikeinMpls
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05/12/2021 12:14PM  
mgraber: "One of the campsite etiquette questions raised here is if it is OK to use a campsite for lunch or rest stops. According to the FS that would be a no. It clearly states in the LNT principles, "Do not take a campsite for day use". A quick phone call confirmed their stance on this, it is not OK to occupy a campsite that you have no intention of staying at. They said a restroom break would be OK, but not stopping for lunch. We have done this in the past, but have stopped. I have no idea if it would actually be enforced."

I didn't know this. My wife and I often go ashore to use the latrine and check out the campsite for our own curiosity. I will remember that for lunches.

Mike
thegildedgopher
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05/12/2021 12:24PM  
MikeinMpls: "mgraber: "One of the campsite etiquette questions raised here is if it is OK to use a campsite for lunch or rest stops. According to the FS that would be a no. It clearly states in the LNT principles, "Do not take a campsite for day use". A quick phone call confirmed their stance on this, it is not OK to occupy a campsite that you have no intention of staying at. They said a restroom break would be OK, but not stopping for lunch. We have done this in the past, but have stopped. I have no idea if it would actually be enforced."


I didn't know this. My wife and I often go ashore to use the latrine and check out the campsite for our own curiosity. I will remember that for lunches.


Mike"

See the PDF and explanation in my post directly above this one. IMO you are totally fine having lunch.
mgraber
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05/12/2021 02:42PM  
thegildedgopher: "MikeinMpls: "mgraber: "One of the campsite etiquette questions raised here is if it is OK to use a campsite for lunch or rest stops. According to the FS that would be a no. It clearly states in the LNT principles, "Do not take a campsite for day use". A quick phone call confirmed their stance on this, it is not OK to occupy a campsite that you have no intention of staying at. They said a restroom break would be OK, but not stopping for lunch. We have done this in the past, but have stopped. I have no idea if it would actually be enforced."



I didn't know this. My wife and I often go ashore to use the latrine and check out the campsite for our own curiosity. I will remember that for lunches.



Mike"

See the PDF and explanation in my post directly above this one. IMO you are totally fine having lunch."


I clearly stated that it was found in the "Principles" section in my post, and that I called about it, and what their answer was. I'm not sure where you thought I was confused. I was just passing info along, but yeah, lets just ignore recommended principles as long as they are not enforceable rules. smh
EddyTurn
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05/12/2021 03:14PM  
mgraber: "I was just passing info along, but yeah, lets just ignore recommended principles as long as they are not enforceable rules. smh"
Unless you never drive at 70 mph in 65mph zone, I can't see where the irony comes from. Most people ignore authorities' recommendations and rules daily and routinely challenge the said authorities competence (sometimes for good reason). There are few well-known for their competence wilderness trippers that question some LNT principles.
BTW, BWCA Rules and Regulations state: make camp early in the day... - I wonder if this rule is enforceable.
thegildedgopher
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05/12/2021 03:34PM  
EddyTurn: "mgraber: "I was just passing info along, but yeah, lets just ignore recommended principles as long as they are not enforceable rules. smh"
Unless you never drive at 70 mph in 65mph zone, I can't see where the irony comes from. Most people ignore authorities' recommendations and rules daily and routinely challenge the said authorities competence (sometimes for good reason). There are few well-known for their competence wilderness trippers that question some LNT principles.
BTW, BWCA Rules and Regulations state: make camp early in the day... - I wonder if this rule is enforceable."


Or unless you skip lead fishing tackle in the BWCA, which is also on that page of LNT principles.

Hogging a site you won't camp at all day is not good form, but it is within the rules. And if hanging out all day is within the rules, then stopping an hour for lunch or to do some shore fishing is not something I'm going to sweat.
Speckled
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05/12/2021 03:36PM  
What page of the PDF does it talk about using a campsite for day use? I'd like to read it.

I wonder the the FS employee you spoke with could be assuming you were already camped at another site and then stopped while out day tripping or fishing, thus occupying two sites with a single permit? Which I agree is against the rules, but stopping along the way on a long travel day for lunch. As far as I can tell, that's permitted.
thegildedgopher
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05/12/2021 04:01PM  
Speckled: "What page of the PDF does it talk about using a campsite for day use? I'd like to read it.

I wonder the the FS employee you spoke with could be assuming you were already camped at another site and then stopped while out day tripping or fishing, thus occupying two sites with a single permit? Which I agree is against the rules, but stopping along the way on a long travel day for lunch. As far as I can tell, that's permitted."


I think that's a good point Speckled. Makes a lot of sense.

It's on page 4, LNT Principles, under the heading "Be Considerate of Others." The actual rules are on page 5 and don't include anything about this.
05/12/2021 04:59PM  
mgraber: "One of the campsite etiquette questions raised here is if it is OK to use a campsite for lunch or rest stops. According to the FS that would be a no. It clearly states in the LNT principles, "Do not take a campsite for day use". A quick phone call confirmed their stance on this, it is not OK to occupy a campsite that you have no intention of staying at. They said a restroom break would be OK, but not stopping for lunch. We have done this in the past, but have stopped. I have no idea if it would actually be enforced."
I’m curious what “day use” means. Does stopping for a 20 minute lunch qualify as “day use?” Staying at a site to fish or to swim all day seems like “day use” to me. The LNT also states to take breaks away from portages and other visitors. I definitely don’t take breaks on portages, unless I know I’m the only one around. I think common sense should prevail here. Be aware, if you’re on a busy lake that other groups may be searching for a site. On the hand, if you’re the only group on a lake, I don’t see a problem stopping for lunch. Also, there are many lakes where the only safe areas to pull ashore are campsites.
billconner
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05/12/2021 05:58PM  
I've always interpreted that day use to mean don't occupy two or more sites. Day use = day tripping from a base camp?

EddyTurn
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05/12/2021 06:18PM  
From the way the term is used on government and outfitters sites I can deduct the only meaning: day use equals to day trips that don’t include an overnight stay in the park. If one stays at an overnight camp it comprises overnight stay.
Savage Voyageur
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05/13/2021 07:53AM  
EddyTurn: " If someone comes to my site - or the doors of my suburban house - and asks me a polite question - why would it bother me? Being on a wilderness trip doesn't makes me neither less nor more civilized than usual. If I want a place totally sans human interaction I won't go to a park."


Some people get super annoyed by Anyone talking to them. More than one time I’ve had people not respond to me when I pass them at a portage trail. I simply say good morning or hi and get absolutely nothing back. It must take a lot of effort for some people to be civil to others. Many groups have come up to our campsites over the years wondering if we are leaving or not. We always just tell them our plans and everyone moves on with their trip. Maybe it has something to do with people that live in a big city around millions of others and people who live in the country.
Speckled
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05/13/2021 07:58AM  
I've read whatever rules I could find and here's how I think it works.

Permit Type - Overnight paddle

Lunch at a campsite while on a travel day (entry, exit or moving sites): This is ok and is allowed by the rules. You are allowed to occupy a site with an OP permit.

Lunch at a campsite while on a day trip from your already established campsites: Not allowed, as you are occupying two sites with a single permit.

Permit Type - Day Use

Lunch or any other occupying of a site - not allowed. If you were allowed to occupy a site on a day use permit you would in theory be able to enter a day early from your OP permit. Occupying he site a day in advance of your OP permit by using the day permit.
thegildedgopher
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05/13/2021 08:20AM  
Speckled: "I've read whatever rules I could find and here's how I think it works.


Permit Type - Overnight paddle


Lunch at a campsite while on a travel day (entry, exit or moving sites): This is ok and is allowed by the rules. You are allowed to occupy a site with an OP permit.


Lunch at a campsite while on a day trip from your already established campsites: Not allowed, as you are occupying two sites with a single permit.


Permit Type - Day Use


Lunch or any other occupying of a site - not allowed. If you were allowed to occupy a site on a day use permit you would in theory be able to enter a day early from your OP permit. Occupying he site a day in advance of your OP permit by using the day permit.
"


With all due respect, these are merely your own interpretations and I think you're inferring way too much. I'll stick with just following the basic clear rules as written and also being courteous to everyone I meet.

On your last point -- that's false. If you enter Monday on a day permit, you must exit the wilderness, bringing all gear with you, and re-enter on Tuesday with an overnight entry permit. You can't "enter" the wilderness if you're already in the wilderness.
05/13/2021 08:38AM  
Beesun300: "Interested in experience BWCA'ers insight.

When looking for a campsite and you approach your desired location, you may see people milling around and not be sure if they are staying or leaving.

Is it appropriate to pull up close and ask?

Many times you can see them packing and you are sure they are leaving. Others, you can see them heading out or they are already out for the day and clearly are staying. I would not care if someone asked me and then moved on....but I don't want to break some unwritten rule of etiquette.

Thoughts?"


Totally appropriate to ask...in fact most if they see you coming will ask “are you looking for a site...we are leaving.” That’s what I would do.

Now if you see gear and no people and land...then you are an a hole :) I’ve read stories of people waking people up from a nap or in the AM to ask...that is one rude a-hole move.

T
Speckled
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05/13/2021 08:48AM  
thegildedgopher: "Speckled: "I've read whatever rules I could find and here's how I think it works.



Permit Type - Overnight paddle



Lunch at a campsite while on a travel day (entry, exit or moving sites): This is ok and is allowed by the rules. You are allowed to occupy a site with an OP permit.



Lunch at a campsite while on a day trip from your already established campsites: Not allowed, as you are occupying two sites with a single permit.



Permit Type - Day Use



Lunch or any other occupying of a site - not allowed. If you were allowed to occupy a site on a day use permit you would in theory be able to enter a day early from your OP permit. Occupying he site a day in advance of your OP permit by using the day permit.
"



With all due respect, these are merely your own interpretations and I think you're inferring way too much. I'll stick with just following the basic clear rules as written and also being courteous to everyone I meet.


On your last point -- that's false. If you enter Monday on a day permit, you must exit the wilderness, bringing all gear with you, and re-enter on Tuesday with an overnight entry permit. You can't "enter" the wilderness if you're already in the wilderness."


No worries - correct, my interpretations and we're saying the same thing on the day use permit, perhaps I just didn't word it clearly.
05/14/2021 07:21AM  
3 years ago - we got into Jordan lake and noticed the sites were full. There was one last site way on the southern side of the lake, kind of off the beaten path. There were two canoes sitting in the middle of the lake, fishing and what not. We scooted right past them, and took that final site. About 30 minutes later, they came through the narrow section leading to the site and yelled " are you guys staying " and we replied "yeah" and they say " are you sure? " and we said "yeah" that was it, and I didn't feel put off by it, neither did anyone in our group. It was kind of funny the way it was said, and it was something we joked about for the rest of our trip.
Northwoodsman
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05/14/2021 08:01AM  
If you were walking out to get your mail, or picking weeds in your yard, would you be put off by someone that was driving by stopping briefly to ask for directions? If you were hiking on a trail in Yellowstone and someone asked for directions, or how far it was to a certain point, or about trail conditions from where you came from, would you be put off by it? If someone in a canoe sees you on the shore, or even in the middle of a campsite that you are occupying, asks you a question without getting out of their canoe I don't see that as bad etiquette at all, now if they land their canoe, get out and enter your campsite to ask you a question that's another thing. If you want to spend a week without seeing people or interacting with anyone perhaps you shouldn't visit a wilderness area that gets 200,000 or so visitors a year.
mschi772
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05/14/2021 08:09PM  
What does it say about our community that people have to question whether or not a polite inquiry would be inappropriate?
jhb8426
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05/14/2021 11:59PM  
mschi772: "What does it say about our community that people have to question whether or not a polite inquiry would be inappropriate?"

++1
thegildedgopher
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05/15/2021 09:15AM  
jhb8426: "mschi772: "What does it say about our community that people have to question whether or not a polite inquiry would be inappropriate?"


++1"


I think it says more about humanity in general in the year 2021. Our little slice of humanity are probably on the friendly/polite part of the spectrum when it boils down to it.
missmolly
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05/15/2021 10:19AM  
mschi772: "What does it say about our community that people have to question whether or not a polite inquiry would be inappropriate?"

I think about the Texan man who just shot and killed two police officers for simply trying to catch a stray dog on his lawn. Territoriality can make some people insane and murderous.
gravelroad
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05/15/2021 02:32PM  
My first reaction was umbrage at the notion of someone asking, followed by an urge to tell any asker to bugger off, followed by the realization that the BWCAW has changed a great deal in the last few years.

My new policy: Come on over and ask. And if I see you looking hopefully from a discrete distance, I’m probably going to breach the stillness and invite you to occupy the site after I’ve loaded my boat.
ockycamper
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05/16/2021 01:46PM  
We have always taken the practice of when paddling by a site if we see anyone there we move on. Often we "scout" out the site with binoculars from a distance. Same principle.

To me, asking if someone is leaving their site that day puts an implied pressure on them. . .similar to having to get out of a motel room before cut off time.

There are lots of sites on most lakes. . .whey not just move on and let those at the site enjoy theirs?
EddyTurn
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05/16/2021 05:39PM  
Well, I always considered myself a timid person but after reading this topic my first reaction is to order some bear spray and beware anyone approaching me in the woods on the leeward side!
 
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