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Old 11-23-2014, 10:45 AM   #21
Justin
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...Be a good steward of the land we love, its our watch.
Agreed, but just because someone enjoys gathering firewood and cooking over a campfire does not make them a bad steward of the land.
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Old 11-23-2014, 11:16 AM   #22
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Agreed, but just because someone enjoys gathering firewood and cooking over a campfire does not make them a bad steward of the land.
That depends on how much food you're cooking.

You know, it is possible to be a good steward in one aspect, and a not so good steward in another.
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Old 11-23-2014, 11:33 AM   #23
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That depends on how much food you're cooking.

You know, it is possible to be a good steward in one aspect, and a not so good steward in another.
Look, I usually camp solo for only one night, and have a small campfire in the evening and in the morning on most occasions, and I enjoy cooking over fire, much more so than heating up Ramen Noodles, oatmeal, and dehydrated meals on a backpacking stove. Tired of being a villain because of it. If you want to beat me up over it that's fine. I apologize for trying to be helpful and friendly to Pikehunter 7's post. My point is only that I believe it is possible to enjoy a campfire, and be responsible about it. Others may disagree, and that's fine with me. Thanks.

Last edited by Justin; 11-23-2014 at 01:07 PM.. Reason: Sorry for trying to be helpful and friendly to the OP
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Old 11-23-2014, 01:56 PM   #24
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Sorry Justin, didn't mean to upset you. Just trying to have a discussion about the source of the problem and maybe adjusting the way we do things to possibly help places like Pharoah Lake from becoming like a state park, that unnatural,overused, cleaned out look.
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Old 11-23-2014, 02:25 PM   #25
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Sorry Justin, didn't mean to upset you. Just trying to have a discussion about the source of the problem and maybe adjusting the way we do things to possibly help places like Pharoah Lake from becoming like a state park, that unnatural,overused, cleaned out look.
Thanks Eric, I'd definitely be all for closing the road, and removing all 6 lean-tos to make Pharaoh Lake a more natural setting within the Adirondack State Park. I'd bet that would cut down on the popularity a bit, but I could be wrong.
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Old 11-23-2014, 04:26 PM   #26
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Wouldn't closing the road be unfair to everyone who goes there and doesn't contribute to the problems?
There are certainly older folks, handicap people, wounded Vets, ect who like the access and have been going there for a long time.
Wouldn't addressing the issue through educating the camper be a good solution or at least a step in the right direction,surely everyone can understand this, its not rocket science.
Maybe this way we wouldn't need more regulations and costs of enforcement.
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:21 PM   #27
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Wouldn't closing the road be unfair to everyone who goes there and doesn't contribute to the problems?
There are certainly older folks, handicap people, wounded Vets, ect who like the access and have been going there for a long time.
Wouldn't addressing the issue through educating the camper be a good solution or at least a step in the right direction,surely everyone can understand this, its not rocket science.
Maybe this way we wouldn't need more regulations and costs of enforcement.
You'd have to ask them, Eric.
I do visit the area quite often, and I've had several conversations with folks like you mention, that are also long time visitors of Pharaoh Lake and beyond. How about you?
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Old 11-24-2014, 08:07 AM   #28
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The DEC has made an increased effort in providing education in the area in recent years. They've also implemented some re-vegetation projects on the lake, with varying levels of success (there have been issues with groups ripping planted trees out of the ground).
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:43 AM   #29
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Justin, do you carry a folding saw to cut that wood?

To sort of continue the conversation and satisfy my own curiosity... I've considered picking up a folding saw for backpacking trips. I see a lot of D&D wood about the diameter of that in Justin's photo... just a bit too big to break by hand (even with the between-two-trees lever method, which I'm not a huge fan of anyway). We have some folks here who know a lot about forestry and impacts, so I'm wondering what the consensus is on cutting? I mean, assuming a fire will exist; I realize no fire is the least impact on local resources.
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Old 11-24-2014, 11:24 AM   #30
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I haven't had a fire in nearly 20 years. I don't want one and I don't miss one. I don't want to go looking for wood. I don't want to smell the smoke and most of all, I want to leave as little impact as possible. I can cook whatever food I want on my stove with the exception of hot dogs over the coals and smores; but those will kill you anyway.
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Old 11-24-2014, 07:32 PM   #31
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Cool.
Everyone has their own way of enjoying the outdoors. As long as you're following NYSDEC Regulations, and being responsible with your campfires, then it's all good imho. Enjoy yourself, that's what it's all about.
Thanks for once again pointing out the positive aspects of not having a campfire, and thanks for the positive private messages that I have received on the contrary. Hopefully Pikehunter 7 will be able to make a proper decision that will suit his interests and needs with the help from what has been discussed here, if and when the possible trip mentioned in the OP comes to light.

Vinegar, yes, during the colder months I like to bring along a Sven Saw, but that may be another topic that minimalist may take exception to.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. I'll be looking forward to another camping trip again this weekend somewhere, I promise no more photos.
Take care.
- Justin
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:39 PM   #32
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Say it ain't so Justin, PLEASE keep posting your pics . Especially the ones with a great camp fire in them , they are my favorites.
You are one of the best contributors to this forum, please do not let a few "holier than thou " people change what brings so many of us pleasure , your pics.
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:48 PM   #33
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Thanks Moose.
Please feel free to look me up on facebook, where sharing photos with friends is much more enjoyable.
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:20 AM   #34
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An older thread, but perhaps a wood gathering technique that does not impact the site you are staying at that is also way faster and easier, at least while canoe camping if it hasn't already occurred to any of you.

We drop off our gear at site, then head out in empty canoes to specifically find a spot along the shore that has no sites anywhere near, a few short minutes in the abundant down and dead wood you'll find within in easy reach, often 5' from the boat, placed into the canoe, will mean you'll probably have enough wood for the entire time you are there. We saw themto 4-5 6' lengths, butchered to regular size as used back at site. In fact, we don't bother with looking near sites anymore. I do use the herd trails to find latrines though, and for that, I find them very useful and I am not offended by them. I am offended by trash.

As far a cooking over a fire, I don't want to soot up my good pots, but we do have some larger old ones we use too big for stoves. Carefully selected hard wood cooking fire has become a gourmet steak and other meat cooking & toasting tradition of our trips. Doesn't take much wood to make a cooking fire & coals, and is gathered and put in a pack or in canoes gathered on our many forays into nearby ponds and other exploration side trips. With everybody looking, and on the same page, we easily get enough, and nobody would ever be able to tell where we got it from.

Never cut a live tree, never will. I like 'em too much!
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:30 AM   #35
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If having the campfires that Justin has posted are legal then don't tut-tut Justin. It's not like he's shooting moose from a helicopter. The wood I saw piled up in his pics looked a lot like the dead and down variety.

If you are against other people having fires legally then write the authorities and participate in the next master plan revision. If you are against yourself having fires then fine, don't have fires.

Justin, keep posting whatever you want to post. You are fully OK in my books.
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:42 PM   #36
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An older thread, but perhaps a wood gathering technique that does not impact the site you are staying at that is also way faster and easier, at least while canoe camping if it hasn't already occurred to any of you.

We drop off our gear at site, then head out in empty canoes to specifically find a spot along the shore that has no sites anywhere near, a few short minutes in the abundant down and dead wood you'll find within in easy reach, often 5' from the boat, placed into the canoe, will mean you'll probably have enough wood for the entire time you are there. We saw themto 4-5 6' lengths, butchered to regular size as used back at site. In fact, we don't bother with looking near sites anymore. I do use the herd trails to find latrines though, and for that, I find them very useful and I am not offended by them. I am offended by trash.

As far a cooking over a fire, I don't want to soot up my good pots, but we do have some larger old ones we use too big for stoves. Carefully selected hard wood cooking fire has become a gourmet steak and other meat cooking & toasting tradition of our trips. Doesn't take much wood to make a cooking fire & coals, and is gathered and put in a pack or in canoes gathered on our many forays into nearby ponds and other exploration side trips. With everybody looking, and on the same page, we easily get enough, and nobody would ever be able to tell where we got it from.
Again, from an LNT perspective... this isn't always going to be the best solution. Riparian zones (the boundary between land and water) are extremely sensitive to recreational impacts, and maintaining them is often a high priority in managing recreation resources. Foot travel in the riparian area can result in soil compaction and/or erosion along the shore. And removal of woody debris can diminish the shorelines capacity to provide filtration of surface/ground water as it flows into water bodies (think of the riparian area as the zone of "last defense," the last chance to prevent on-land impacts from also impacting the water bodies themselves).

While dispersal of use and impact is considered appropriate in low use areas that have low existing levels of impact, it is generally considered inappropriate in high uses areas with high existing levels of impact, as it readily generates additional areas of high impact and does little to minimize the impacts in already impacted areas.

Think of it this way- what if every group camped on Pharaoh Lake (a high use area) did as you suggest? Would plying the shorelines result in lesser overall levels of impact? Or would it result in highly impacted shorelines, not just where the campsites are located, but in between the sites as well?

Again, let me emphasize that I am not saying that this technique is inappropriate in all circumstances. Just that in a situation with high levels of use such as Pharaoh Lake, it really wouldn't help the situation any, and might actually be detrimental, especially if everyone does it. In low use areas, spreading out, whether by foot or by canoe, to find firewood might not only be ok, but actually encouraged over collecting firewood only in areas immediately adjacent to a campsite (although I would encourage you to be mindful of shoreline impacts in any situation).

There is no "blanket" solution when it comes to minimizing impact. Different techniques are going to be appropriate in different areas. As a general rule, concentrating impact is preferable in high use, high impact areas, and dispersal of impact is preferable in low use, low impact areas. To me, the quintessential question we need to ask ourselves in determine what actions are appropriate appropriate isn't "what is the impact if I do this?" but "what is the impact if everyone who uses this area does this?"
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:34 PM   #37
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Justin, keep posting whatever you want to post.
Sadly I think it may be too late.
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Old 11-25-2014, 03:25 PM   #38
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Sadly I think it may be too late.
Mustn't let the negative few spoil the positive many. Life wouldn't be worth living.
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Old 11-25-2014, 07:04 PM   #39
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Justin, keep posting whatever you want to post. You are fully OK in my books.
Thanks Boss, but I wouldn't want to get fired.

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To me, the quintessential question we need to ask ourselves in determine what actions are appropriate appropriate isn't "what is the impact if I do this?" but "what is the impact if everyone who uses this area does this?"
Agreed. What if everyone was responsible and did what I do, keep their campfires to a minimum and carried out just a little more trash than they brought in, especially in high use areas?

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Mustn't let the negative few spoil the positive many. Life wouldn't be worth living.
Agreed.
Again, thanks for all the kind words and PM's.

Edit:
I should also point out that most, if not all, of the campfire photos that I have posted in the past were taken moments after lighting the kindling, near peak flare-up (at least I tried), and the wood piles were reflective of the location of the site & the forest around it. Honestly, I mostly camp where others do not, it just so happens that I visited a few fairly popular lean-tos the last few weeks, and it was fun to relive some fond memories, and read some familiar names in the log books.
- Justin

Last edited by Justin; 11-25-2014 at 08:23 PM..
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:48 PM   #40
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Justin , I hope you change your mind . I was reminded in a PM today from a certain " holier than thou " member that I need to get a life.
Until I actually do , I would like to live vicariously through your pictures.
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