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      Winter Camping rules?     

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Cedarleaf
senior member (92)senior membersenior member
 
12/19/2013 03:21PM
I just read this message:

"•Fires are allowed within the steel fire grates at designated campsites or as specifically approved on your visitor's permit. "
Choose a Campsite
• On the ice, in a protected bay, or in a natural
forest opening such as a swamp.
• At least 150-200 feet from trails, summer
campsites or other groups.
• Make just one trail connecting the shoreline
to camp.
• Bury human waste in snow 150-200 feet
from water, campsites, summer trails and
portages (pack out toilet paper).

Campfires
It is preferable to make a campfire on
the ice to minimize fire scars on rocks
and shorelines. Use base logs or a
portable fire pan for your campfire on
the ice. Use a campstove or fire pan for a
campfire on land to avoid leaving fire
scars on vegetation or rocks.
• Collect only dead and down wood far
from shorelines, trails or campsites.
• Make sure your fire is out cold to the
touch when you leave.
• Scatter ashes in the woods away from
the shoreline and cover the campfire
scar with snow.

---------------------------------------------

Are these actual rules? Who's rules? Where do I find a complete list?

So I am to read this that we cannot camp in campsites while winter camping in the BWCA?
 
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inspector13
distinguished member(3919)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/19/2013 04:08PM

See page 7 of this US Forest Service brochure.
If you feel the need for a complete list of rules have fun. For instance here is the Code of Federal Regulations Title 36.

And remember some rules are policies that may change over time to better uphold the various provisions of the Wilderness act such as the 1978 Act. ...Or even such policies themselves such as Leave No Trace.

The various laws pertaining to fish, game, criminal, and other civil matters can be found in the statutes of the state of Minnesota. : )

Cedarleaf
senior member (92)senior membersenior member
 
12/19/2013 04:30PM
Thanks. I still don't see anything that says I cannot have a campfire in the approved grate during the winter.

Arlo Pankook
distinguished member(2534)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/19/2013 06:09PM
I think one big concern is trampling of the underbrush. In the summer you can see paths here and there through the foliage and can tread lightly. In the winter people tend to walk right over and through anything in their path. Put a stove tent on a patch of ground that isn't a tent pad and it could look quite different come spring. A lot of people break the rules.
Doughboy12
distinguished member(2188)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/20/2013 08:51AM
quote Cedarleaf: "Thanks. I still don't see anything that says I cannot have a campfire in the approved grate during the winter.


"

I have had them and see NO reason why you cannot...a call to the Ranger station would clear it up.

Those guidelines are for when you are NOT camping at a site with a fire grate and pit toilet.
12/20/2013 10:16AM
quote Doughboy12: "quote Cedarleaf: "Thanks. I still don't see anything that says I cannot have a campfire in the approved grate during the winter.



"

I have had them and see NO reason why you cannot...a call to the Ranger station would clear it up.

Those guidelines are for when you are NOT camping at a site with a fire grate and pit toilet."


In order to lessen the wear and tear upon the summer sites, they want you to stay away from them whilst winter camping. In addition, you'll have a lot better luck finding something to burn the farther you are away from a summer site.
2old4U
distinguished member(1460)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/20/2013 10:30AM
One rule I have always wondered about is why in the summer if I leave a cache hidden to use later I can get a ticket, but in the winter if I have a dog sled team haul my gear into the BWCA and leave it for my later arrival that's considered "freight hauling"? Is that "legal"?

Another thing I've wondered is when do the "winter" rules take over...October 1st., deer season, first snow, December 21st.???

I think a lot of the interpretation (or misinterpretation) of the rules derives from the fact that at the time the rules were written few if any used the wilderness in the off-season. Just my opinion, but with the popularity of winter adventure trips maybe they need to revisit and rewrite the rules more clearly.
SevenofNine
distinguished member(2372)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/20/2013 10:41AM
I think the key word here is "preferable". They want you to not use a summer site but you can still use it.
Cedarleaf
senior member (92)senior membersenior member
 
12/20/2013 11:03AM
I had no idea. Last year we used a summer site because we wanted to camp off the ice. Now that I am more aware of what is "preferable" we will hopefully try a location in a marsh or on the lake.

Question...is it colder to camp on the lake?
Doughboy12
distinguished member(2188)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/20/2013 12:02PM
quote Cedarleaf: "Question...is it colder to camp on the lake?"
Sure is if you pick the wrong "side" and the wind is a blowin'...!
never saw a problem camping in the winter at the established sites..sure is nice to be able to sit down to take a "break" with some good reading material.

The word "preferable" is in reference to where to make a fire, not where to camp. In addition the 150-200 feet from a summer site is so you don't go setting up camp on the "fringe" of a summer site thus expanding the site for summer use. No where does it state you can't use a summer site...IMHO summer sites are fair game in the winter and I for one am NOT going to be changing my use of them any time soon.

Please feel free to call a Ranger Station and confirm it for yourself but please don't tell people NOT to use them...unless an uninformed over zealous ranger tells you NOT to use them.

"In order to lessen the wear and tear..." Good one...So as a winter camper I am a second class citizen and the summer sites are off limits...? I don't think there is any fear of filling up the pit from winter use. And I'm not going to pitch a tent in the middle of the bushes any time of year...

As for something to burn...I almost never have a fire in the winter and thus no need for "something to burn."

Lets be smart about it and use our heads...I assure you I have seen more damage done by one group of summer fools in and around a campsites than all the winter campers combined could ever do.

People that go in the winter are far better stewards of the wilderness than half of the summer visitors ever thought of being...present company excluded.
BigZig
distinguished member(1406)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/20/2013 03:02PM
Okay this will be a generality -

Summer sites are open to the wind. You want the breeze to blow for cooling and keeping bugs away. You want to keep out of the wind in the winter. Marshes, back bays, are out of the wind. Plus as someone pointed out there will be more firewood away from summer sites.

IMO - I think they 'suggest' to not use the designated camp sites as most winter campers will have a fire and this will avoid placing a burn scar outside of the fire grate area. Not sure how much wear and tear winter campers do...

Yes you can camp on the ice, but I prefer up in the trees. I like trying to find a campsite that isn't used in the summer. Personally, I consider more freedom and more like being in the wilderness to create my own spot.
12/20/2013 04:56PM
quote Doughboy12: "quote Cedarleaf: "Question...is it colder to camp on the lake?"
Sure is if you pick the wrong "side" and the wind is a blowin'...!
never saw a problem camping in the winter at the established sites..sure is nice to be able to sit down to take a "break" with some good reading material.


The word "preferable" is in reference to where to make a fire, not where to camp. In addition the 150-200 feet from a summer site is so you don't go setting up camp on the "fringe" of a summer site thus expanding the site for summer use. No where does it state you can't use a summer site...IMHO summer sites are fair game in the winter and I for one am NOT going to be changing my use of them any time soon.


Please feel free to call a Ranger Station and confirm it for yourself but please don't tell people NOT to use them...unless an uninformed over zealous ranger tells you NOT to use them.


"In order to lessen the wear and tear..." Good one...So as a winter camper I am a second class citizen and the summer sites are off limits...? I don't think there is any fear of filling up the pit from winter use. And I'm not going to pitch a tent in the middle of the bushes any time of year...


As for something to burn...I almost never have a fire in the winter and thus no need for "something to burn."


Lets be smart about it and use our heads...I assure you I have seen more damage done by one group of summer fools in and around a campsites than all the winter campers combined could ever do.


People that go in the winter are far better stewards of the wilderness than half of the summer visitors ever thought of being...present company excluded."


Doughboy, you seem to be defensive in regards to what the written instructions that the Forest Service provides the public in regards to winter camping.


Choose a Campsite
• On the ice, in a protected bay, or in a natural
forest opening such as a swamp.
• At least 150-200 feet from trails, summer
campsites or other groups.
• Make just one trail connecting the shoreline
to camp.
• Bury human waste in snow 150-200 feet
from water, campsites, summer trails and
portages (pack out toilet paper).

They specifically ask you to choose a campsite at least 150-200 feet from summer campsites.

I am not sure why you take offense to these instructions, nor why you choose to ignore them.

Cedarleaf
senior member (92)senior membersenior member
 
12/20/2013 05:13PM
quote BigZig: "Okay this will be a generality -


Summer sites are open to the wind. You want the breeze to blow for cooling and keeping bugs away. You want to keep out of the wind in the winter. Marshes, back bays, are out of the wind. Plus as someone pointed out there will be more firewood away from summer sites.


IMO - I think they 'suggest' to not use the designated camp sites as most winter campers will have a fire and this will avoid placing a burn scar outside of the fire grate area. Not sure how much wear and tear winter campers do...


Yes you can camp on the ice, but I prefer up in the trees. I like trying to find a campsite that isn't used in the summer. Personally, I consider more freedom and more like being in the wilderness to create my own spot."


Thank you BigZig! That's some great advice!
Tigers10
senior member (73)senior membersenior member
 
12/22/2013 10:05AM
Camping on the ice is colder and more slippery (especially in well traveled spots in your campsite and/or around your fire). However, you can generally have a bigger fire on the ice b.c don't have to keep it under the grate and you can get people 360 degrees around it for warmth.

Here is my question; what leaves a bigger impact on the resource…….winter camping in an existing campsite which allows you to use the toilet facilities OR camping away from the sites and making your own toilet facilities? I know you are supposed to be 100-200 feet away from shore but when snow is deep and there are not trails, I would think many people don't make it back that far.

12/22/2013 01:47PM
quote Tigers10: "Camping on the ice is colder and more slippery (especially in well traveled spots in your campsite and/or around your fire). However, you can generally have a bigger fire on the ice b.c don't have to keep it under the grate and you can get people 360 degrees around it for warmth.


Here is my question; what leaves a bigger impact on the resource…….winter camping in an existing campsite which allows you to use the toilet facilities OR camping away from the sites and making your own toilet facilities? I know you are supposed to be 100-200 feet away from shore but when snow is deep and there are not trails, I would think many people don't make it back that far.


"


I don't believe that under the existing usage levels and the winter camping instructions given by the Forest Service that an occasional use of a summer campsite is going to overuse it. However, imagine that every winter camper used a summer site and you may have a different result.

Your point of camping 100-200 feet away from "shore" is not correct. They ask you to camp this distance away from "trails, campsites or other groups."

Everyone seems to have a desire to use the thunderbox at an existing campsite. Nowhere in their regulations is it stated that you can't use a thunderbox. However, finding them in the winter is often times not that easy. They are many times buried.

Camping in an unused spot sheltered from the wind is wonderful. If you are a hot tenter, with no need to build a fire outside the tent, these sites are ideal.

I am a hot tenter. I don't camp on the ice for several reasons, the biggest of which is the fact that you might possibly wake up in a layer of slush.

I camp a ways back into the woods, protected from wind and with a readily available source of fire wood.

As far as toilet facilities go.......I have attached a short video that winter campers would find useful in regards to this subject.

Winter potty
Doughboy12
distinguished member(2188)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/22/2013 02:33PM
quote awbrown: "quote Doughboy12: "quote Cedarleaf: "Question...is it colder to camp on the lake?"
Sure is if you pick the wrong "side" and the wind is a blowin'...!
never saw a problem camping in the winter at the established sites..sure is nice to be able to sit down to take a "break" with some good reading material.



The word "preferable" is in reference to where to make a fire, not where to camp. In addition the 150-200 feet from a summer site is so you don't go setting up camp on the "fringe" of a summer site thus expanding the site for summer use. No where does it state you can't use a summer site...IMHO summer sites are fair game in the winter and I for one am NOT going to be changing my use of them any time soon.



Please feel free to call a Ranger Station and confirm it for yourself but please don't tell people NOT to use them...unless an uninformed over zealous ranger tells you NOT to use them.



"In order to lessen the wear and tear..." Good one...So as a winter camper I am a second class citizen and the summer sites are off limits...? I don't think there is any fear of filling up the pit from winter use. And I'm not going to pitch a tent in the middle of the bushes any time of year...



As for something to burn...I almost never have a fire in the winter and thus no need for "something to burn."



Lets be smart about it and use our heads...I assure you I have seen more damage done by one group of summer fools in and around a campsites than all the winter campers combined could ever do.



People that go in the winter are far better stewards of the wilderness than half of the summer visitors ever thought of being...present company excluded."



Doughboy, you seem to be defensive in regards to what the written instructions that the Forest Service provides the public in regards to winter camping.



Choose a Campsite
• On the ice, in a protected bay, or in a natural
forest opening such as a swamp.
• At least 150-200 feet from trails, summer
campsites or other groups.
• Make just one trail connecting the shoreline
to camp.
• Bury human waste in snow 150-200 feet
from water, campsites, summer trails and
portages (pack out toilet paper).


They specifically ask you to choose a campsite at least 150-200 feet from summer campsites.


I am not sure why you take offense to these instructions, nor why you choose to ignore them.


"

I don't as you say "ignore them." I interpret them differently than you chose to interpret them. TomAto...Tomato.
Defensive towards the USFS...? You bet but for far better reasons than the winter camping "suggestions."
zooshooter
distinguished member (155)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/24/2013 12:14PM
I don't as you say "ignore them." I interpret them differently than you chose to interpret them. TomAto...Tomato.
Defensive towards the USFS...? You bet but for far better reasons than the winter camping "suggestions.""


Rules and regulations aren't suggestions. Dunno why you're so angry at the USFS but it's a bit disappointing to see such a childish attitude in someone who thinks they're a responsible wilderness camper.
mooseplums
distinguished member(10082)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
12/24/2013 01:17PM
quote Doughboy12: "quote Cedarleaf: "Question...is it colder to camp on the lake?"
People that go in the winter are far better stewards of the wilderness than half of the summer visitors ever thought of being...present company excluded."



That is not necessarily true. I have on a couple of occasions run into winter camps and have found trash, wrappers, food cans, and cut green saplings where tents were set.
12/24/2013 01:25PM
quote mooseplums: "quote Doughboy12: "quote Cedarleaf: "Question...is it colder to camp on the lake?"
People that go in the winter are far better stewards of the wilderness than half of the summer visitors ever thought of being...present company excluded."




That is not necessarily true. I have on a couple of occasions run into winter camps and have found trash, wrappers, food cans, and cut green saplings where tents were set.
"


Agreed. the numbers are smaller, but you still get people who treat the area as if the rules are made for everyone else, whether it's summer or winter. Idiots know no season.
Tatterhood
member (13)member
 
12/24/2013 01:45PM
quote awbrown: "quote Doughboy12: "quote Cedarleaf: "Question...is it colder to camp on the lake?"
Sure is if you pick the wrong "side" and the wind is a blowin'...!
never saw a problem camping in the winter at the established sites..sure is nice to be able to sit down to take a "break" with some good reading material.



The word "preferable" is in reference to where to make a fire, not where to camp. In addition the 150-200 feet from a summer site is so you don't go setting up camp on the "fringe" of a summer site thus expanding the site for summer use. No where does it state you can't use a summer site...IMHO summer sites are fair game in the winter and I for one am NOT going to be changing my use of them any time soon.



Please feel free to call a Ranger Station and confirm it for yourself but please don't tell people NOT to use them...unless an uninformed over zealous ranger tells you NOT to use them.



"In order to lessen the wear and tear..." Good one...So as a winter camper I am a second class citizen and the summer sites are off limits...? I don't think there is any fear of filling up the pit from winter use. And I'm not going to pitch a tent in the middle of the bushes any time of year...



As for something to burn...I almost never have a fire in the winter and thus no need for "something to burn."



Lets be smart about it and use our heads...I assure you I have seen more damage done by one group of summer fools in and around a campsites than all the winter campers combined could ever do.



People that go in the winter are far better stewards of the wilderness than half of the summer visitors ever thought of being...present company excluded."



Doughboy, you seem to be defensive in regards to what the written instructions that the Forest Service provides the public in regards to winter camping.



Choose a Campsite
• On the ice, in a protected bay, or in a natural
forest opening such as a swamp.
• At least 150-200 feet from trails, summer
campsites or other groups.
• Make just one trail connecting the shoreline
to camp.
• Bury human waste in snow 150-200 feet
from water, campsites, summer trails and
portages (pack out toilet paper).


They specifically ask you to choose a campsite at least 150-200 feet from summer campsites.


I am not sure why you take offense to these instructions, nor why you choose to ignore them.


"


Agreed.
Tatterhood
member (13)member
 
12/24/2013 01:55PM
quote zooshooter: "I don't as you say "ignore them." I interpret them differently than you chose to interpret them. TomAto...Tomato.
Defensive towards the USFS...? You bet but for far better reasons than the winter camping "suggestions.""



Rules and regulations aren't suggestions. Dunno why you're so angry at the USFS but it's a bit disappointing to see such a childish attitude in someone who thinks they're a responsible wilderness camper."



Thank you. Agree most heartily with your point.
Doughboy12
distinguished member(2188)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/25/2013 12:39AM
I'll say it a third and final time. If you don't like what I have said you can do one of two things, or more. Ignore me or call the USFS yourself and ask them if you are allowed to camp at a summer site in the winter. Thank you and have fun. Merry Christmas.
Tigers10
senior member (73)senior membersenior member
 
12/25/2013 02:35PM
quote awbrown: "quote Tigers10: "Camping on the ice is colder and more slippery (especially in well traveled spots in your campsite and/or around your fire). However, you can generally have a bigger fire on the ice b.c don't have to keep it under the grate and you can get people 360 degrees around it for warmth.



Here is my question; what leaves a bigger impact on the resource…….winter camping in an existing campsite which allows you to use the toilet facilities OR camping away from the sites and making your own toilet facilities? I know you are supposed to be 100-200 feet away from shore but when snow is deep and there are not trails, I would think many people don't make it back that far.



"



I don't believe that under the existing usage levels and the winter camping instructions given by the Forest Service that an occasional use of a summer campsite is going to overuse it. However, imagine that every winter camper used a summer site and you may have a different result.


Your point of camping 100-200 feet away from "shore" is not correct. They ask you to camp this distance away from "trails, campsites or other groups."


Everyone seems to have a desire to use the thunderbox at an existing campsite. Nowhere in their regulations is it stated that you can't use a thunderbox. However, finding them in the winter is often times not that easy. They are many times buried.


Camping in an unused spot sheltered from the wind is wonderful. If you are a hot tenter, with no need to build a fire outside the tent, these sites are ideal.


I am a hot tenter. I don't camp on the ice for several reasons, the biggest of which is the fact that you might possibly wake up in a layer of slush.


I camp a ways back into the woods, protected from wind and with a readily available source of fire wood.


As far as toilet facilities go.......I have attached a short video that winter campers would find useful in regards to this subject.


Winter potty "


Late reply here but I wasn't talking about camping 100-200 feet from shore, I was referring to going to the bathroom 100-200 feet from shore.

I have had the USFS in my classroom on multiple occasions and been asked directly about the question debated here (using existing campsites in winter). They never said it was a law that you can't use the existing campsites in winter but it was highly encouraged camping away from them

Have done both with students (depending upon ice conditions) and had the USFS check our sites. They have never questioned our choices of camping.

Merry Christmas.
Doughboy12
distinguished member(2188)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/26/2013 08:33AM
Thanks for clearing that up Tigers10.
PINETREE
distinguished member(12214)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
12/26/2013 09:37AM
quote 2old4U: "One rule I have always wondered about is why in the summer if I leave a cache hidden to use later I can get a ticket, but in the winter if I have a dog sled team haul my gear into the BWCA and leave it for my later arrival that's considered "freight hauling"? Is that "legal"?

Another thing I've wondered is when do the "winter" rules take over...October 1st., deer season, first snow, December 21st.???


I think a lot of the interpretation (or misinterpretation) of the rules derives from the fact that at the time the rules were written few if any used the wilderness in the off-season. Just my opinion, but with the popularity of winter adventure trips maybe they need to revisit and rewrite the rules more clearly."


Certain winter outfitters who left a camp intact, on the plan to use it later on have been fined in the winter. That outfitter also left the place mess.

I have noticed most sled dog outfitters do a exceptionally good job of keeping areas clean. It is just a few.
PINETREE
distinguished member(12214)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
12/26/2013 05:40PM
One thing that I hope winter campers would do.
I hate it when I go canoeing and see all the trees along shore sawed off from winter camping-easy wood to obtain.

If your going to take deadwood along shore,break it off or leave it alone.

Nothing worse than paddling along,or be it skiing along than going along a pruned forest of trees along shore.
Plenty of easy wood in the winter beside cutting trees leaning over the water.

Doughboy12
distinguished member(2188)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/27/2013 08:03AM
quote PINETREE: "One thing that I hope winter campers would do.
I hate it when I go canoeing and see all the tree along shore sawed off from winter camping-easy wood to obtain.


If your going to take deadwood along shore,break it off or leave it alone.


Nothing worse than paddling along,or be it skiing along than going along a pruned forest of trees along shore.
Plenty of easy wood in the winter beside cutting trees leaning over the water.


"

Ab-so-f'n-lute-ly...
12/27/2013 10:53AM
quote Doughboy12: "quote PINETREE: "One thing that I hope winter campers would do.
I hate it when I go canoeing and see all the tree along shore sawed off from winter camping-easy wood to obtain.



If your going to take deadwood along shore,break it off or leave it alone.



Nothing worse than paddling along,or be it skiing along than going along a pruned forest of trees along shore.
Plenty of easy wood in the winter beside cutting trees leaning over the water.



"

Ab-so-f'n-lute-ly..."


Kind of reinforces my point about the need for winter campers to follow "all" the Forest Service instructions on winter camping.

Campfires
It is preferable to make a campfire on
the ice to minimize fire scars on rocks
and shorelines. Use base logs or a
portable fire pan for your campfire on
the ice. Use a campstove or fire pan for a
campfire on land to avoid leaving fire
scars on vegetation or rocks.
• Collect only dead and down wood far
from shorelines, trails or campsites.
• Make sure your fire is out cold to the
touch when you leave.
• Scatter ashes in the woods away from
the shoreline and cover the campfire
scar with snow.

We all seem to have a tendency these days to "pick and choose" with rules we wish to obey. We obey rules we agree with and find convenient and ignore rules we don't agree with or find inconvenient.

I can just picture the campers who are making their camp on the ice and setting up their fire out on the lake (like they are advised) and then cutting the wood down right next to shore because the snow is too deep back in the woods.

In many ways a thoughtless winter camper can have a greater impact upon the land then a summer camper. I agree with Pinetree, to see the shoreline pruned is disgusting. If this type of thing continues, it won't be long before some very restrictive rules will be put in place, which will make everybody more miserable.

So, even though the Forest Service "never said it was a law that you can't use the existing campsites in winter but it was highly encouraged camping away from them", I for one will abide by their wishes and camp elsewhere.
Doughboy12
distinguished member(2188)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/31/2013 12:51AM
Just like the rule to not gather firewood in and around camp...seen that one defended on here before. Got gruff for suggesting that one from the same cast of characters trying to hang me for suggesting that it is ok to camp at an established site in the winter.
Doughboy12
distinguished member(2188)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/31/2013 12:55AM
quote awbrown:
Kind of reinforces my point about the need for winter campers to follow "all" the Forest Service instructions on winter camping.

So, even though the Forest Service "never said it was a law that you can't use the existing campsites in winter but it was highly encouraged camping away from them", I for one will abide by their wishes and camp elsewhere. "

It kind of doesn't do that at all even though you think it should.

That is your choice and you are free to do so...why are you so hell bent on telling me how terrible I am for not praising you for it and following your option like it is set in stone?
2old4U
distinguished member(1460)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/31/2013 09:45AM
quote Doughboy12: "quote awbrown:
Kind of reinforces my point about the need for winter campers to follow "all" the Forest Service instructions on winter camping.

So, even though the Forest Service "never said it was a law that you can't use the existing campsites in winter but it was highly encouraged camping away from them", I for one will abide by their wishes and camp elsewhere. "

It kind of doesn't do that at all even though you think it should.

That is your choice and you are free to do so...why are you so hell bent on telling me how terrible I am for not praising you for it and following your option like it is set in stone? "


SNOWBALL FIGHT!!!
12/31/2013 11:04AM
quote Doughboy12: "quote awbrown:
Kind of reinforces my point about the need for winter campers to follow "all" the Forest Service instructions on winter camping.

So, even though the Forest Service "never said it was a law that you can't use the existing campsites in winter but it was highly encouraged camping away from them", I for one will abide by their wishes and camp elsewhere. "

It kind of doesn't do that at all even though you think it should.

That is your choice and you are free to do so...why are you so hell bent on telling me how terrible I am for not praising you for it and following your option like it is set in stone? "


Perhaps my comments and frustrations are misdirected. Put yourself in the position of being a "Newcomer" to winter camping in the BWCA. Newcomer reads the regulations and he follows them to the T. Newcomer follows the rules and comes across you (or anyone else)camping at a summer site when Newcomer was informed not to do so. What would you expect Newcomer to feel like. He's going to feel like you are breaking the rules, violating the written regulations! He's going to feel like you feel entitled and privileged. He's going to feel like you can do whatever you darn well please. Can't say that I would blame him.......he hasn't had access to the insider information that you have. And there lies the problem.

Okay, now read through the other thread recently posted here about winter camping in Minnesota State Parks. Rules say you cannot gather firewood in a Minnesota State Park..... but more then one person posting says that they talked to the Rangers and it's okay to cut and gather firewood in a Minnesota State Park.

Newcomer leaves the BWCA frustrated, so he decides to winter camp at a Minnesota State Park. Buys firewood from an authorized dealer, arrives at the State Park and observes you (or anyone else) cutting down dead trees and gathering firewood. Here we go again! Oops, he hasn't had access to the insider information once again.

Well, seems to me like the officials in both instances are speaking out of both sides of their mouth. Either it's okay to camp at summer sites in the BW or it's not. Either it's okay to gather firewood at Minnesota State Parks, or it's not.

If you are going to have and are going to post regulations, they should be clear and concise and they should be enforced and pertain to everyone. If you have rules, then enforce them......or don't make them up and post them as rules in the first place.

If the Forest Service is going to allow you to camp at summer sites then the regulations that they post should state,


We "encourage" winter visitors to choose a campsite

• On the ice, in a protected bay, or in a natural
forest opening such as a swamp.
• At least 150-200 feet from trails, summer
campsites or other groups.
• Make just one trail connecting the shoreline
to camp.
• Bury human waste in snow 150-200 feet
from water, campsites, summer trails and
portages (pack out toilet paper)."

but they don't state it that way, do they? No, they make it sound as if it is a regulation written in stone. Only the insiders know that it's really only a suggestion.......That's what is wrong and that's what irritates me.
 
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