Ruminating over Rum (the Island)

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by Dan_Millsip, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    The booking system has worked on the West Coast Trail to limit the numbers. I went a couple years ago and didn't encounter the huge tent cities that once was the norm.

    Frontenac Park (near Kingston) has a booking system for its extensive canoe network. Disadvantage is there is no flexibility ... you have to move if you didn't book the site ... and its user pay. Advantage are no campsites overflowing with campers and the fees go to maintaining the sites to a high level. I guess its needed; Frontenac is halfway between Toronto and Montreal, without a booking system it would be anarchy.

    There is discussion of converting a disused Ranger cabin in Strathcona Park to public hut under management by Alpine Club. One concern is that the bookings get dominated by commercial outfitters. So thats a problem ... how do you ensure the public gets at least reasonably fair access to public facilities in public parks?

    And, once its implemented in Gulf Islands it'll be like backcountry user fees and invasive species (think snakeheads) ... it'll be everywhere thats popular for paddling and there will be a lot more regulation of where you can camp, not just in the Gulf Islands.

    How do I feel about it? Very unhappy even if its probably necessary ... it all used to be free and accessible. Now that's disappearing fast. Can you imagine having to reserve a campsite in the wilderness? I guess it isn't wilderness anymore.
     
  2. greg0rn

    greg0rn Paddler

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    I like Ken's comment. However, it is way too early to think about implementing reservation system. Truly, gulf Islands are not overcrowded, even in the middle of the summer (except of that one special weekend in April :big_thumb :big_thumb :big_thumb :big_thumb ).

    What we really need is more camping locations, like Russell Island, or Fairfax Point on Moresby Island. Yes, I know that Moresby is privately owned, but sooner or later everything is for sale.

    We also need a few parking locations in the Sidney area, to access those beautiful islands. As it is now, there is no place to park for more than three hours (if that). That is not enough time to paddle to, let say, Portland Island and back.

    What I'm really afraid of is that for a few campers each day, for let say 100 days per year, a huge bureaucracy will be created, cost of which will be way greater than the revenue it creates.
     
  3. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Boy, do I agree with Greg on this. (Don't have enough camping time in the islands to comment on lack of crowding.)

    Given that many of the smaller sites are on islands separated by some distance, I wonder about the cost of monitoring compared to revenue. Monitoring makes economic sense when there are a lot of tent sites on one island location, however. If the monitoring is to be paid for by campsite revenue, I bet the nightly tariff will jump substantially ... think 10 bucks a head per night, as in the Broken Group.
     
  4. Kasey

    Kasey Paddler

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    What??!! I was worried when this discussion started that something like booked campsites might come up. Can we not just share? Can we not just deal with it? I've also come across "full" campsites - you either land and deal with it or you paddle on. The last - absolutely last - thing that we need is bureaucracy getting involved! Absolutely, absolutely against any kind of booking system - control is taken away from the individual and put into the hands of the bureaucrats i.e. our freedom is taken away. Sure, let's put a bit of money in towards putting outhouses on the Deer Group islands because of the increase in useage and let's help develop more small camping areas...but paddling is "freedom" not something that you can slot into times and places! This incident of Dan's was an interesting discussion only because it dealt with island camping etiquette. Etiquette and rules are entirely different subjects! If we practice common etiquette we have no need for rules - let's not invite any!
    :doh:
     
  5. greg0rn

    greg0rn Paddler

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    Kathy, well said!

    Actually, today we (Westcoastwilli and I) discussed the Rum Island event. We both agreed that a nice part of camping is to meet other people and share with them stories, expertise, future trips, perhaps even a glass of wine. And truly, probability of meeting another group of kayakers in the summer season camping within Gulf Islands is rather high. On the other hand, there are hundreds of miles of our coastline, where solitude is almost guaranteed.
     
  6. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    http://www.nps.gov/Yose/planyourvisit/camping.htm

    You cannot easily camp in Yosemite Valley on a spur of the moment decision.
     
  7. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Re nootka's Yosemite example: you don't even have to seek splendor that close to population centers for a reservation system clustermess. One popular hiking destination in the Washington Cascades is on a lottery system, high season. Shoulder season, permits, but usually some available day you arrive.

    Permits for offshore Gulf Islands campsites are really problematic ... not at all comparable to something like the Bowrons, where the vagaries of wind and storm are present, but the bailout options are more numerous and safer to reach.
     
  8. Cdog

    Cdog Paddler

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    The last thing we need is more regulations that could not be enforced anyhow. Better spend the energy on creating more campsites in the Gulf Island.
    If you want a poll on "reservation for wildnerness campsite", my vote is NO.
     
  9. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    There is a difference between the hiking crowd and the kayak crowd.

    The sense you get from hikers when the campsite is crowded is if you need to share the site to the point where we all sleep on our sides and roll at the same time then thats what happens.

    In my experience the kayak crowd is way less welcoming. I can't count the times where the attitude is 'please don't disturb our privacy' (aka - get lost and so what if you've paddled to the point of exhaustion). Once it was a couple in the Von Donops area who likely would have taken up violence if they thought they could get away with it ... a very unpleasant situation where I would have moved on if I knew of a campsite I could have reached. I guess the perception is there are lots of places to camp when in fact there are not. (The problem is more about being able to land)

    So if its a case where the demand for sites gets so high that I have to depend on other kayakers to share ... I guess its time to get a reservation system in place.

    [admin: edited unnecessary comment -- please refrain from such slurs on this site (or anywhere else for that matter), thanks]
     
  10. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Can't say I have run across kayakers who were grossly angry at me for camping near them. The opposite has been the case. When it is crowded, better to adapt and extend friendship. Stewing about it can sure ruin a weekend. Boomboxes at high volume ... now that does rankle me! :)
     
  11. Rodnak Kayak

    Rodnak Kayak Paddler

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    I'm gonna pipe in and say, sharing is rarely a problem, but as Dan has stated, it is the overrunning of a site, too many being too loud, that seems to be the main issue here...might it just be a matter of manners?
    Question to Dan, if the group was large, but more polite, offered to share some tequila or chow, and then went quietly about their biz, would this be as big an issue? Not so much an issue of overcrowding, but of "crowding over" ?
    Just sayin'.....I have been keeping up with this thread, whew, there is a lot here, and in my experience, we are usually alone when we land whether at Portland, Beaumont or other smaller venues, lucky maybe...but we cannot expect to stay that way. If it was a smaller party, and less of a "party", it may not be as large an issue.
    I surely hope I have not stirred the pot too much :shock:
    I am indeed looking to a large crowd this April :big_thumb :big_thumb :big_thumb
     
  12. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Rod, firstly it wasn't "a big issue" but one that I just thought would be interesting to discuss. I'd say your reference to crowding over as opposed to overcrowding is accurate. And to be fair, I wasn't as polite as I could have been either -- but also note that it wasn't what I'd call a completely unpleasant experience.

    With reference to Ken's comments regarding unwelcomeness -- while I certainly can envision this sort of thing happening I can't say I've ever run across it -- but the only places that I've gone other than the Gulf Islands where there's been a lot of other people camping has been the Deers and the Broken Group -- but never once had an instance of feeling unwelcome in either of those places.
     
  13. Rodnak Kayak

    Rodnak Kayak Paddler

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    Dan, I did not intend to make little or "big" of the experience, poor choice of words. I did get the impression you were not amused, and justifiably so, as to your politeness...I have always known you to be a perfect gentleman, helpful and kind, well most of the time anyway! :wink:
    Cheers!
     
  14. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    Please accept my sincere apologies.
     
  15. lance_randy

    lance_randy Paddler

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    Wow, quite the tale. I can relate. My last few camping trips in the Gulf Islands have been shall we say, less than relaxing.

    Last summer, I went to Prevost mid week. I thought I had picked a quiet location, at a quiet time. I couldn't have been more wrong. Not an hour after I had set up camp, a flotilla of plastic rental boats appeared on the horizon. Accompanying this worrisome fleet were teenage voices, swearing their little idiot heads off.

    By the time the flotilla had landed, it became apparent that this was no ordinary group of teenage kids. These were 'troubled youth', and this was clearly some sort of a punishment/rehabilitation type of a camp out.

    I couldn't believe my luck, it was like one of those 'Vacation' movies where things go wrong in spectacular fashion. I spent my camping trip giving a lot of threatening looks, and fiercely guarding my beer supply.

    The people in charge were nice enough. They felt bad about their presence, and they were doomed to a weekend of hell at the hands of these little bastards. It was hard to hate them, hearing everything they had to put up with :twisted:

    Needless to say, I have learned my lesson. Camping trips take too much time, effort and expense to chance it with the designated camping areas. At least in Gulf Island Parks, during summertime. These places need bouncers.