Bogarting Campsites?

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by rob feature, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. rob feature

    rob feature Domain Ranger

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    I've been camping as long as I can remember & ran across something last week that I've never seen before - on a large scale anyway.

    Me & a buddy took a couple pushbikes & camping gear and headed up into the hills northeast of Steamboat. It took us quite a while to find a spot even on a Wednesday. We thought it was kinda odd that all the spots were taken during the week. Then we started noticing a trend. There was a tent up at each site and typically a couple chairs but no signs of life. Some of them looked like they'd been vacant for weeks or longer. As we rode over the next couple of days we found even more. I'd say 95% of the dispersed camping spots were taken this way.

    We finally found a spot and noticed after moving in that there was another spot behind us about 200 yards where someone else was set up. A night came & went and no peek from that campsite although there was a tent & chairs there. That night as we were cooking dinner a car pulled back to the site, stayed for maybe 15 minutes, then left. But not before stopping by the road to put out little red flags - apparently so their friends could get to 'their place'.

    So what gives with this crap? Are these folks hogging the sites all Summer? Is this accepted practice in this forest (Routt)? I've just never encountered it before & it doesn't seem legal. It certainly seems shifty. What say you FFs?
    #1
  2. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    Free tents and chairs.:rofl
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  3. wzd1a

    wzd1a Long timer

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    I'm sure there is an app for this - not much difference than restaurant reservations.....

    Edit: I should say that I don't support this, but whatcha' gonna do?
    #3
  4. nk14zp

    nk14zp Adventurer

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    I have seen good camp sites on private and state land closed here because of site hogs.
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  5. sno

    sno On a mission!

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    It is either RV people or local people saving sites for their friends/family that won't be up there until the weekend. Since the sites are relatively cheap in comparison to let's say the Ritz Carlton they will do this instead to ensure their extended fam gets the best site or closest site to them.
    #5
  6. rob feature

    rob feature Domain Ranger

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    Oh, none of these are reserveable sites. They're dispersed - first come, first served. All free sites.

    Yeah, they're certainly setting up for themselves, family, friends. But they aren't occupying the sites. They're just hogging them up so that nobody else can use them during the week - sort of treating them like private property. Looks like mostly locals who want to camp on the weekend, but don't want to go up & find a new spot every time. So they designate one of them as sort of their own private property - setting up minimal equipment so that others will assume the spot is taken by actual people when it's really just holding a spot for the selfish.
    #6
  7. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Sounds more like something one would see in California than Colorado.

    Never heard of it or seen it in New Mexico.
    #7
  8. wakewop

    wakewop Hucker

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    I have seen this several times at 4 mile.
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  9. Osprey!

    Osprey! a.k.a. Opie

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    I've seen it. I even know someone who does it and yes, it's obnoxious.

    Generally, people can camp 16 days before being required to move to a new campsite. This means that for two weeks, someone can claim a campsite and treat it like a moving vacation home. All they have to do is leave up some cheap walmart tent and voila, it's theirs.

    yep, obnoxious.
    #9
  10. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

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    That would not happen in the smokies. As soon as it appears 'unoccupied' , that cheap tent would be missing.
    #10
  11. ROAD DAMAGE

    ROAD DAMAGE Long timer

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    It's probably just "affordable housing".

    Folks will set up their camps ........ but will also try to find places in town to crash with friends. If they can't find a dry place in town ...... then the tent on Buff Pass is their "Plan B". It's been a cool, wet summer so there are probably a few more vacant camps than normal. Often you'll hear some local kid going on about how they "camped all summer" up on the pass. Then you find out later that they did the "rotating sofa circuit" and actually slept on friend's couches or "dogsat for a vacationing neighbor" all summer. Real hardy mountain man stock, huh? :lol3

    They are also some of the same crowd that will work out for 2 hours each morning, ride their $3000 mountain bike 30 miles a day, yet park in the fire lane right in front of the doors at City Market to keep from having to walk an extra 200 feet. :huh So yeah, I'm on board with tkent02 ....... FREE TENTS AND CHAIRS !!!!!!!! :lol3:poser
    #11
  12. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    Interesting. I saw this exact thing west of Crested Butte just before you get to Kebler Pass. I camped 4 days in a good location in dispersed/primitive camping along CR12. I noticed a tent a short ways off in the trees. After the 2nd night of not seeing any activity I walked over to it to look around the 3rd evening. The tent was one of those tiny $20 WalMart Camp Trail cheapy's and was brand new. The tent bag was lying inside the tent, and nothing else was in the tent.

    On the 4th evening a pair of forest LE rangers arrived. Initially they started giving me the third degree about where I was riding and if I had an OHV sticker. My bike was on the trailer behind my van that I camp in. It is a KLX250S fully licensed. The lead ranger was downright aggressive in his line of questioning in a way I'd never seen before. I asked him why he wanted to know about my riding activities since I was clearly not riding at the moment. He went into the mode of telling me how they are enforcing OHV stickers on certain trails, but strangely he never went into what those trails were. I'm not sure where he was headed with all this under the circumstances, but he let it drop.

    He then noticed the tent a short ways from my camp. I told him what I had observed over the previous days. The two rangers went over there and in short order pulled the tent down and took it with them. There was also a rather delapidated old cowboy travel trailer a couple of hundred yards down the way that had obviously been sitting there since way before I had gotten there. It had expired tags. They asked me about the trailer and then put a red tow tag on it.

    This "reservation system" of using a tent is a bunch of BS. If I see something like this in the future, I'll pull the tent down myself and stuff it away some distance from camp where no one will see it. When I leave, I'll take it with me and throw it away at the nearest appropriate trash receptacle. I'd only do this in a case where I could tell that there's nothing in the tent, and the circumstances clearly show no one is camping there at the moment. If someone arrives while I'm there and asks about it, I'll tell them that there was nothing there when I arrived. Screw 'em.
    #12
  13. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    I know of folks that will do this for an entire summer in the Snowies.
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  14. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    Very good approach, with one minor change. Don't throw the tent away, but donate it to Goodwill/Arc/Homeless Gear.

    With that said, Enduro-ince reserved a spot for us a few years ago with this technique. It was Labor Day weekend and he only set up an old tent a couple days in advance.

    A few years ago we came across an RV in Synder Creek that was unattended. I think it belonged to a hunter. He left his awning out and it got quite trashed in a wind storm.
    #14
  15. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    Good advice on the donation. I have placed a small tent at my camp that I carry when I've had to go get supplies or during a rain-out day, but I always come back that evening.

    BTW, shame on you for ratting out Tom.:lol3
    #15
  16. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    Who's Tom? :dunno
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  17. Sig_Sour

    Sig_Sour Been here awhile

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    Drug operation trying to keep people at a distance?
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  18. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Seen that before when camping up that way. Camping is extremely popular in Steamboat in the summer. Groups will come up from Denver with someone coming early and snagging spots with tents for others. As a group, i'd rather be clustered together on 1 site so yeah this is technique kinda sucks. Surprised equipment has not been stolen from this.
    #18
  19. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    yep locals are doing this too to snag their key weekend spot as some many tourists are around on the weekend. when i lived in steamboat we would go camping during the beginning of the week to to have a better experience.

    i agree, it's bogus but never bothered me.
    if you are really pissed, just move their tent in the middle of night to an odd spot and when then when they check again the next day they'll get an oh shit moment, maybe i should not do this with my equipment. no loss of equipment of course, just a reminder others are noticing this bs.
    #19
  20. eddyturn

    eddyturn Wannabe

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    I camped out at Curt Gowdy park in WY and the rangers make daily visits to campsites and mark the tent doors in some James Bond method. When they come back the next day and the "mark" was not disturbed, they haul the tents away. They no like that shit.
    #20