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Old 06-19-2019, 11:55 AM   #1
HH1
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Primitive Campsite

Changes coming on primitive campsites throughout the Park.

[URL="https://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/38918/20190619/what-should-an-adirondack-tent-camping-site-look-like"]
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:33 PM   #2
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I saw the original DEC release, but kind of couldn't figure out what would materially change. The story you posted does give some insight on the changes, and on first blush it sounds ok. I'd be very interested in other perspectives.

Thanks!
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:57 PM   #3
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have seen their idea of primitive campsites outside the blue line
its pathetic, gravel pad with an outhouse
disgusting and not my idea of primitive
in my opinion outhouses should only be at handicap sites and possibly at trail heads, not at primitive campsites
I also opposed gravel sites, I don't use a pad when camping and despise gravel sites
prefer packed dirt sites more natural and a lot more comfortable
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Old 06-19-2019, 03:49 PM   #4
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While I agree that the gravel pads in many cases are less desirable then the forest floor, I'd nevertheless take one of those pads over the mud pits constituting many of the High Peaks tent sites, any day of the week. I think they are perfectly appropriate in certain situations- including campsites at higher elevations (many sites above 2,000 feet and most sites above 2,500 feet) where the soils are much more susceptible to impacts from high levels of overnight use. Not every campsite needs (or should have) gravel pads, but in certain circumstances they really are the best available option for minimizing impacts and maintaining the natural character of a tent site as much as possible.

And I disagree 100% that primitive tent sites should not have outhouses. Improper human waste disposal is a huge issue across the Adirondack Park; one that is getting worse as use levels continue to increase. As someone who has worked first-hand to carry multiple box toilets into the backcountry and install them, I can attest that there absolutely is a correlation between the presence of an outhouse/thunder box at a site and a decrease in issues involving improperly disposed human waste in the vicinity (Charmin blossoms and surface poos). Again, maybe not every tent site needs to have one, but a lot of them (any site that gets at least moderate levels of use) definitely needs one.
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
While I agree that the gravel pads in many cases are less desirable then the forest floor, I'd nevertheless take one of those pads over the mud pits constituting many of the High Peaks tent sites, any day of the week. I think they are perfectly appropriate in certain situations- including campsites at higher elevations (many sites above 2,000 feet and most sites above 2,500 feet) where the soils are much more susceptible to impacts from high levels of overnight use. Not every campsite needs (or should have) gravel pads, but in certain circumstances they really are the best available option for minimizing impacts and maintaining the natural character of a tent site as much as possible.

And I disagree 100% that primitive tent sites should not have outhouses. Improper human waste disposal is a huge issue across the Adirondack Park; one that is getting worse as use levels continue to increase. As someone who has worked first-hand to carry multiple box toilets into the backcountry and install them, I can attest that there absolutely is a correlation between the presence of an outhouse/thunder box at a site and a decrease in issues involving improperly disposed human waste in the vicinity (Charmin blossoms and surface poos). Again, maybe not every tent site needs to have one, but a lot of them (any site that gets at least moderate levels of use) definitely needs one.
by me dec removed primitive sites that were near a lake,
I have used those sites for past 15 years,
now they moved them 1 mile back from the lake, each site is gravel pad with privy, fire pit and a table, with a vehicle pulled in there is no room to put up a tent even my small 2 person tent other than right in front of the privy less than 3 feet from tent to privy, all 8 sites are like that
I no longer camp there if I cant camp on my land now I sleep in the car
dec is looking to put such privies at most primitive sites, which makes them unappealing to me,
I don't mind selecting a few sites for privies, handicap sites, and sites near trailheads and such,
but with privies tables, pits, gravel pads, I wouldn't consider them "primitive" sites, designated sites yes but not primitive site
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:57 AM   #6
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Thank you Dsettahr, the first thing I look at when picking a site in the MRP is the condition of the outhouse. Just because I know how to dig a cathole does not mean I want to dig one first thing in the AM. What we do need is more people who bring lime and "treat" the outhouse after they are done, and latch the door to attempt to cut down on the porky's chewing on the seatboard.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:07 AM   #7
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In the original draft UMP for the Moose River Plains, DEC proposed removing a large number of the roadside "primitive" sites, which usually have an outhouse, firepit and picnic table. I argued (successfully it turns out) that this would push campers closer to the lakes and ponds, and result in greater environmental damage to the resources that were most fragile. If you don't like the roadside campsites, you are allowed to get 150 feet away from any road, trail, or water, and create (without damaging any vegetation) as primitive a campsite as you want. A few years ago there were some "we only camp in the wilderness" people at Ice House Pond who eschewed the double designated site (one accessible, the other open) at the pond to do it "primitive" style back in the woods. I later found the site; it was maybe 120 feet from the pond, and there was quite a bit of trash left. With no roadside campsites to concentrate activity away from the water bodies, this site would evolve into a new "primitive " site, totally out of compliance, and this could happen all over the area. I did haul out the trash!
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:44 PM   #8
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A little late to this party, but 110% agree with DSETT on the thunder box. It makes an incredible improvement upon any campsite not matter the distance. Also, much less scary than the old privys in my opinion.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:41 AM   #9
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I agree with dsettahr that a gravel pad with a box privy/thunderbox is the preferred option. Some sites may be naturally firm and drained, but many above 2,000 feet end up developing a mud pit where tents are first pitched. Then people expand the site to find drier ground. Having spread gravel on several sections of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail and worked on the mostly-graveled Henry's Woods Main Loop, my experience is that, after just a few years of leaf and needle drop, one hardly knows that there is gravel underneath - yet the surface remains dry.
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:47 PM   #10
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A little late to this party, but 110% agree with DSETT on the thunder box. It makes an incredible improvement upon any campsite not matter the distance. Also, much less scary than the old privys in my opinion.
Some of the really old ones ARE scary, infested, cobwebs and Addack weather taking their toll on Father Time.

Not much worse than poo above ground. Not even your imagination can overcome that. If you need more primitive then bushwhack off the trail but don't forget how to use a compass or GPS.
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