Beach Architecture

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by chodups, May 5, 2018.

  1. chodups

    chodups Paddler

    Nov 2, 2005
    I knew this would come up and was encouraged by a WCP icon to come out on the topic. I don't want to discourage conversation here and hope that my feelings stir the pot rather than dump the contents on the fire. Here's my deal:

    What I see at wilderness campsites where structures, furniture, conveniences, etc. have been left by paddlers is debris from their passing. I see monuments erected to memorialize their night on the beach. Maybe a weekend. Maybe a week’s camping trip. They didn’t live there. They only visited. I find it hard to believe that if they stayed the night, the weekend, the week at a friend's house, rearranged all the furniture, cut a new doorway in the wall, customized the existing furnishings and then walked out that their friend would appreciate their tastes.

    My rationale for acceptance of Bill Davidson’s camps is that they were his houses. He lived in them. Any “bivi-camp” that he used to travel between primary camps had no infrastructure. Nothing to see and by and large he chose locations for all of his camps where nobody would find them. Finding them today takes some doing. So I view what remains of Bill Davidson’s camps in the same way I view the remains of a deserted First Nations village. Somebody lived there.

    Please forgive me if I am sounding self-righteous and know that I struggle with my own hypocrisy. I am guilty of brushing out a tent clearing (or 10) where none existed but was needed. I have leveled a tent site (or 90) on a beach(s) where I told myself it (they) would be erased by the Spring Tide. I am pained admit to you now that last Summer I cut a green branch at Nucleus Reef in order to make just enough room for my tent to fit. It was small but it was a living thing. If access to a tent site from the beach is difficult and not easily managed without the possibility of injury or slope erosion I will marginally improve it. Nothing elaborate. Since I suck so bad at building and nurturing fires I seldom build them so if I have a fire ring at all it is below the high tide line, wood is completely burnt and ashes scattered. I will remove existing fire rings that are inappropriate but I have never destroyed any existing structure or furniture (though I wanted to) except for that stupid hanging table at Heater Point that collapsed on me. It was wrong and had to die.

    I suppose we all pick and choose which LNT Principles we live by. Me an occasional green branch or minor modified access while some others like their wind blocks, tables and chairs.
    Astoriadave likes this.
  2. Rodnak Kayak

    Rodnak Kayak Paddler

    Dec 19, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    I can't take credit for the Randomization, that was Mick. As I said, this has been a great thread, lots of great food for thought. Now I just need to find some time to paddle out there, and get absorbed into another Driftwood Dream! :cool:
    chodups likes this.