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Packers camps, what do you think?

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Packers camps, what do you think?

Postby gary c. » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:29 pm

My friends and I have had a few discussions the last couple years about what we would do if asked by a packer to move so as to make room for there clients. How do you feel about it, do they have a legal right to insist you move, would it just be good etiquette to move, or screw them, they don't own the forest. I've never been in one when a packer arrived with clients and I'm not sure how I would react. I understand that they put in the extra work to make a site nice but then again if I did the same thing the FS would probably make me tear it apart and return the site to how I found it. I know that I would gladly set-up camp somewhere else if I knew a packer would be arriving to use it. I'm not sure that I would be so agreeable if I had just set-up after a long day on the trail.
Last edited by gary c. on Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Packers camps, what do you think?

Postby 87TT » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:54 pm

I'd probably tell him to keep moving and get back to my target practice. :D
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Re: Packers camps, what do you think?

Postby oldranger » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:08 pm

Good question. I feel strongly both ways! :\ Early in the season a packer camp can be pretty nice later in the season they get awfully dusty and if the stock users aren't very good there will be accumulated horse poop and lots of flies. So early in the season if I encounter one and it is time to stop I might use it. Later in the season I generally avoid them. Early in the season conflicts are less likely than during August. Having been both a stock user and a backpacker I have never had that conflict. Were I a stock user and there were no other alternatives I would probably try and bribe the backpackers with booze and good food to share the spot and take extra care to make sure the stock didn't bother the backpackers. If the situation were reversed I'd try to jones for some good food and booze in exchange for sharing the camp.

If someone tryed to bully me into moving I think they would learn about what a bullheaded a--hole I can be.

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Re: Packers camps, what do you think?

Postby SSSdave » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:11 pm

Were I camped in one and a packer group arrived, I would likely do so out of consideration they need a large camp area as there are usually several people in those groups. Not much of a hassle for me to move a minor distance and would be a chance to show good will to equestrians from we backpackers who are not always so friendly with them.

I infrequently camp at trailside locations even small ones with packer campsites at the bottom of my preferred list even when they might be clean. So a very unlikely scenario. Almost all such sites usually have:

a fair amount of horse apples about,
are way too large,
have humungous fire places with all manner of sooting debris about,
look beat up,
are often right beside trails with little privacy,
if near lakes are often too close,
usually water drawing spots at nearby lake shores are of suspect cleaness as one can expect lazy clients have been doing various things in the water like washing their underwear and cleaning fish.
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Re: Packers camps, what do you think?

Postby Oubliet » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:35 am

I don't usually camp in the packer camp areas if there are others suitable spots, nearby.

Packer camps are big, wide areas that are way too big for the set-up that usually need.

I generally prefer smaller, out-of-the-way spots.
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Re: Packers camps, what do you think?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:03 pm

I often like them since they typically have nice places to sit at the camp fire.

If a group showed up I would be the first to say join me! If I was then asked to move I would probably decline. After a hard day of hiking and having your camp all set up who wants to pack up and hit the trail again? And what are the odds that they cannot fit. We can make room one way or another!
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Re: Packers camps, what do you think?

Postby Oubliet » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:21 pm

Another reason I avoid them is the common presence of old road apples by the bushel quantity.
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Re: Packers camps, what do you think?

Postby Scouter9 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:26 am

I have a question, raised in another thread that died, regarding packer camps:

Scouter9 wrote:Are the pack-train folks allowed to have fires in the areas marked "No"? The reason I ask is that this past summer, we trekked some pretty well-trodden paths out of Agnew Meadows. On the River Trail, we came through two packer-campsites, both of which were uphill of the no-fires signs and had fire pits that contained relatively fresh charcoal.

The lower of the two had a series of logs stacked about the area, presumably for seating, a stone firepit and a full-sized shovel tilted against a tree. The higher of the two had a rock "living room" constructed around a rock-walled firepit that we used as a cooking station.

Up at lower Clark Lake, on the north side, there's a big packer camp, and it's got two established fire pits, along with frying pans, a stash of hay under a tarp and etc...

I cannot believe that our Rangers don't know about these, and the observation above is legit: when one sees the well-established, openly visible, obviously "current" fire rings or pits, one thinks "maybe this IS okay up here".


So, to be clear, I don't have a problem with packer camps. I just want to know the deal with fires. I suppose I'd also like to know, if the use of those fire pits is legit, if I can use them, too...
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Re: Packers camps, what do you think?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:29 pm

Stock users have to obey the same standard regulations that the rest of us do. The presence of fire pits are just illegal use.

It's quite possible that the Rangers do not know about those locations. I was told that this year there were no Rangers at all patrolling that area around the Minarets and 1000 Island Lake area. The budget is just too bad.

We should all start writing our congressmen about more funding for the Forest Service. They can bury this country under 14 trillion in publicly known debt but we cannot get our trails taken care of?

Now if I did my math right If you were to count 2 dollars every second it would take you 222,000 years to see 14 trillion dollars.
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Re: Packers camps, what do you think?

Postby oldranger » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:32 pm

Illegal campfire rings are everywhere and not limited to packers. Been many places a horse can't get to and found firerings with trash in them that can't be blamed on horse packers!

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Re: Packers camps, what do you think?

Postby tarbuckle » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:14 am

It happened to me. When I saw them approach our camp I knew what was going to happen. I was telling my son that if they ask us to move, forget it. Were not moving and were standing our ground! Well, that turned out to be all talk because we moved for them :lol: They did catch the vibe I wasn't happy. Later that night at two different times, people from the pack train came into our camp to offer us thanks for what we did and gave us bottles of home made wine. That was nice but now I had to pack out the btls ( empty of course)
Turns out the place me moved was better anyhow. It was closer to water and less trampled.
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Re: Packers camps, what do you think?

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:18 am

There are fire rings up and down the San Joaquin River near the junction of Goddard Canyon/JMT. The packers have left a large lock box full of supplies there - we thought it was a bear box.
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