Trailhead & camping etiquette

Trailhead condition requests, questions, alerts, etc.
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Jerousek
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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby Jerousek » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:21 am

Great post, regrettable topic. But man is it necessary.

I don't have any specific offenses to add, but I do have a short anecdote to help illustrate the necessity of your message:

I've had a thousand small annoyances, but last year while camping at the Lower TH for Lake Como I had a nasty encounter with the sort mentioned in your post. A black SUV stormed into camp with the stereo going at 1-2 am. Left the car running, radio on, as they unpacked their gear to set camp, just shy of 30 feet away from our tent in the previously dead silent San Luis valley night. As I'm getting out of my sleep sack to ask them to kindly shut the f**k up, their dog comes over to my tent.... and pisses on the corner of my vestibule.
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14erFred
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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby 14erFred » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:07 pm

Just as in the rest of the world, no place in the mountains is immune from the disruptive influence of selfish humans. Over three decades of mountaineering, I've experienced shattered tranquility in myriad forms--all reflecting seemingly limitless insensitivity and narcissism--from drunken shoutfests to all-night gunfire, from blaring boom-boxes to wilderness mosh pits, from midnight campsite invasions to next-door Fight Club events. These debacles have occurred in established campgrounds, at remote trailheads, on high summits, and deep in obscure wilderness areas, from California to Wisconsin to West Virginia. Where humans are, there you will find rudeness and incivility. But for every mountain moron I've encountered, I've found twentyfold alpine angels who make the outdoors all the sweeter. Let those who would destroy the peace of the mountains be thwarted always.
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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby djkest » Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:56 pm

I like what 14er Fred said.

Rude people are rude. Rude parents raise rude children. I'm not sure what the solution to this problem is, but unfortunately the people on this website are most likely not the people you need to worry about. Perhaps if more children had healthy, responsible experiences in the mountains from an early age, they would have more respect for the environment and other people. Or maybe not. :|
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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby MonGoose » Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:07 pm

If you replaced "trailhead" with "campground", I would completely agree with you. But just because you chose to turn a trailhead into your personal campground (which often times isn't even allowed) doesn't mean that other people have to treat it like one. If you really want peace and quiet, why don't you camp a 1/4 mile down the road or hike in half a mile?
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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby Jerousek » Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:27 pm

14erFred wrote:Just as in the rest of the world, no place in the mountains is immune from the disruptive influence of selfish humans. Over three decades of mountaineering, I've experienced shattered tranquility in myriad forms--all reflecting seemingly limitless insensitivity and narcissism--from drunken shoutfests to all-night gunfire, from blaring boom-boxes to wilderness mosh pits, from midnight campsite invasions to next-door Fight Club events. These debacles have occurred in established campgrounds, at remote trailheads, on high summits, and deep in obscure wilderness areas, from California to Wisconsin to West Virginia. Where humans are, there you will find rudeness and incivility. But for every mountain moron I've encountered, I've found twentyfold alpine angels who make the outdoors all the sweeter. Let those who would destroy the peace of the mountains be thwarted always.


Extremely well said, Fred.

MonGoose wrote:If you replaced "trailhead" with "campground", I would completely agree with you. But just because you chose to turn a trailhead into your personal campground (which often times isn't even allowed) doesn't mean that other people have to treat it like one. If you really want peace and quiet, why don't you camp a 1/4 mile down the road or hike in half a mile?


I'm willing to bet you've camped at trailheads. While it's certainly a valid point that a trailhead is first and foremost a parking lot, it's also equally true that camping at them is common practice. I would argue, a secondary function, even. So I don't think the OP (or my contribution, for that matter) was directed at predictable trailhead noise. Rather, the obviously inconsiderate actions that sometimes occur at both trailheads and fixed camp sites. I think the larger point here, and you're missing it, is that people should be considerate when coming or going in the wee hours of the morning, wherever you are. That's all.
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gdthomas
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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby gdthomas » Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:56 pm

#8 applies everywhere and everytime. Regarding #5, of all the dogs I saw on HC Saturday (and there were many), only one was leashed. Also, I noticed very few hikers displaying a wilderness registration. I personally don't care about compliance with the other "rules" at a TH.
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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby DaveSwink » Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:54 pm

Would ear plugs and eye sheilds help? I have used these in alpine hut / hostel situations. Guess ear plugs won't help when a dog is pissing on your tent though. :roll:
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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby timstich » Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:04 pm

Some extra rules for BLM and NF land:

1. Try to conclude all gun shooting before sunset.
2. If the dirt bike isn't runnin' smooth after five minutes, revving that mother aint fixin it.
3. Outdoor raves should turn off the music by 4AM.
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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby SnowAlien » Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:31 pm

awilbur77 wrote:After a truly annoying experience at a overly packed Holy Cross trail-head, I thought I would post something about it. With the growing number of people I see on every 14er it seems that many do not understand common trail-head / campground etiquette & common courtesy.

Adam, I had very similar experience a few months ago, but was not sure how to bring it up. So thank you for posting.

It was just a few days after the Grizzly Gulch TH opened this year (in late April), so there was still snow and there were just a few cars parked at the TH. Around 2am, a new car arrives - and it was quite an arrival - music blasting, lights flashing, doors slamming, loud conversations between 3 or 4 hikers. Obviously, everybody at the TH woke up. The only reason I did not get out of my vehicle and told them to stop because I was afraid for my safety - it is a relatively remote TH, and who knows what kind of crazy people there are out there. Mercifully, after about 40 min of this, the group geared up and departed in the direction of Sunshine/Redcloud. I was able to go back to sleep after that, but felt very drousy in the morning when I woke up for our hike of Handies. It is the worst TH camping experience I've had by a long margin.

I understand the argument when it applies to a busy TH - it would not occur to me to sleep in Longs TH parking lot (it is not allowed anyway) but even if it were, the amount of traffic the Front range THs receive is riduculous. I was hoping to find some peace & quiet in the San Juans, but alas. :( I did sleep in my car at the Holy Cross TH about a month ago, and thankfully, everybody was very civil. I was arriving pretty late ~10pm, so I turned off the flash lights as I was approaching the parking lot and turned off the lights in my car within 2-3 minutes after arrival.
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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby bob863 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:50 pm

you bet this is a thread I'm going to be following since this has been a thorn in my side for many years....
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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby MountainHiker » Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:12 pm

I sleep at trailheads a lot. I expect people will come and go at all hours. Doors will open and close, headlights will cross the lot. That is unavoidable. But the stereo doesn’t need to be on. People can keep their voices down. Headlights and engines can be turned off and door locks that blow horns & flash the lights don’t need to be pushed repeatedly.

But to say a trailhead is only a parking lot and not a campground, so don’t expect to sleep is absurd. Many, if not most trailheads are also legal camping areas. Most fourteener trailheads, even ones that don’t have “camping” will have people sleeping in vehicles. So go about your business. Just do it with respect. That person you’re waking up might be sharing a sketchy part of the route with you later.

Trailheads are where people leave for hikes early in the morning. Many arrived in the evening after a long drive and aren’t “camping” - no tent, BBQ, campfire etc. But they are sleeping.

If anything, non-trailhead campgrounds are where you should expect people to be parting late into the night.
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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby forbins_mtn » Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:35 pm

one of my favorite pieces of gear are my ear plugs. i carry them with me every weekend.

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