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8/15/2017 2:23 pm  #1


Backcountry Pet Peeves

I just got back from a really delightful (no sarcasm there, I swear) 5 day canoe trip with my in-laws. My in-laws are beginner backcountry campers and this was there second ever trip. They were awesome and we all had a good time.

But, the trip made me realize there are a few relatively small things that really drive me up the wall. I'm not talking about egregious missteps like leaving your stuff strewn all over a portage put in but the small things that most people wouldn't notice but for some reason, they just make you tick. 

Mine is not respecting camp organization. When I unpack at a site, most things have a place. The water bottles and bladders get put at the base of the Water Tree where the gravity filter hangs, the cooking gear gets put in the "kitchen" - either a log or rock near the campfire.

Apparently, people continuously putting their shirts and sweaters on the Kitchen Rock makes me want to throw a tantrum and stomp said shirts into the dirt to teach them a lesson. But really, just because I have designated said rock Kitchen Rock in my own head doesn't mean someone else hasn't deemed it Lose Clothing Rock in their own minds. 

By the end of day 5, my inner seething at having to move the sweater from the Kitchen Rock to the Clothes Line between the Clothes Trees had simmered and I realized that maybe I'm slightly neurotic about such things.

Anyone else have these type of pet peeves?  What really grinds your gears?
 

 

9/11/2017 6:18 pm  #2


Re: Backcountry Pet Peeves

Best thing to do in that situation is let them know you want to keep that area clear for kitchen work. If it happens again put the clothes where they belong or better yet, hand them to them. If it happens a third time, toss the offending garments aside somewhere. This, assuming, you are in charge of the kitchen.

My pet peeves are more related to people damaging or disrespecting camp sites or the Park: Cutting live trees, thoughtfully leaving their garbage in the fire pit "so I'll have something to burn", using soap in the lakes, or those who put out their cigarettes and then cover them up with a little soil like that filter isn't going to take a generation to disappear.


Dave
 

9/11/2017 6:38 pm  #3


Re: Backcountry Pet Peeves

It makes me nuts to see hatchet marks, etc., in the trees around a campsite. 

 

9/11/2017 7:46 pm  #4


Re: Backcountry Pet Peeves

dontgroandaddy wrote:

It makes me nuts to see hatchet marks, etc., in the trees around a campsite. 

DITTO! If I was with somebody who did that they would forever be black listed as a camping partner.

Other pet peeve, not "doing your part" on group trips. Camping is a team effort, people that let everybody else do the work drive me insane. I also black list them!

Oh, and pooping beside the thunder box. Why? WHY!?

 

9/12/2017 8:17 am  #5


Re: Backcountry Pet Peeves

Algonquintripper wrote:

Best thing to do in that situation is let them know you want to keep that area clear for kitchen work. If it happens again put the clothes where they belong or better yet, hand them to them. If it happens a third time, toss the offending garments aside somewhere. This, assuming, you are in charge of the kitchen.

Oh! I promise you there was some forcefully shoving of sweaters into people's hands with a grumbly, "here." And there was also some loud, dramatic harrumphing while I moved sweaters to the clothes line. I have never been accused of being subtle. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png


Cutting live trees, pooping beside the TB (!!?!?!) are things I never even thought of cuz if I was ever camping with such people, they would be blacklisted so fast; they may even get blacklisted from my friend list altogether. Ain't got no time for that disrespect. 

     Thread Starter
 

9/12/2017 9:50 am  #6


Re: Backcountry Pet Peeves

Camping is not easy...and that's what makes the reward of a successful trip that much better.  I take it upon myself to try to make everyone's experience a good one by shouldering as much of the workload as possible.

I have similar pet peeves as you with organization, timing, activities, etc. and really have to work hard to make sure I'm communicating not just the "what" but also the "why" when it is appropriate.  Among the many planning discussions heading into the trip include the menu and necessities to bring, when we get to the camp we then discuss things like organization, meal times, etc.  This lets them know that "we'll use this area for cooking supplies - that way we don't contaminate our clothes with the smells of food and attract bears into our tent at night - and that area for clothing and this area for extra stuff" so that everyone is aware of the distribution of stuff and why it is done.

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  It is often difficult for folks who are new to camping to come up with a "system" for where and how to store their stuff without a closet, cabinet or dresser and takes time to get settled in.  It sounds like you had both ends of the spectrum with you and your in-laws - newer folks who take time to acclimate to the process and experienced folks who are a bit on the particular side.  But isn't that like so many interactions - understanding our perspective and others' perspectives and arriving at a common understanding?

 

9/12/2017 9:53 am  #7


Re: Backcountry Pet Peeves

Although I haven't seen my pet peeve much or if any,either deep in the back country/a few portages in, or with a group I was with.
But my main bitterness comes from individuals leaving garbage around drives me absolutely banana's.  I mean, you haul it all that way, it ways less and takes up less room, why not pack it out?!?!?!

One of my personal gripes is, I'm the one that usually runs the camp food for each meal.  I pack it in order, usually weeks in advance.  I prep it MONTHS in advance.  Hell, I even contour it so that each person has a special meal or snack or surprise during the trip. It's essentially THEIR meal.  Nothing worse then having someone routing through the food barrel and either leaving it all out, or stuffing it all back in random order. I'm literally CRINGING right now hahaha
 

 

9/12/2017 10:59 am  #8


Re: Backcountry Pet Peeves

My biggest pet peeve is having to turn down my music to try and hear what others from across the lake are yelling at me. Nothing spoils the mood more at night than that.

In all seriousness, people leaving garbage bothers me greatly but unfortunately it's something I've come to expect. One thing I still don't understand, to Claire's comment, are people going next to the BoomBox. Why??? I see this more often than I would like to. You need to get over your fears, people.

 

9/12/2017 11:03 am  #9


Re: Backcountry Pet Peeves

JB wrote:

 I pack it in order, usually weeks in advance.  I prep it MONTHS in advance.  Hell, I even contour it so that each person has a special meal or snack or surprise during the trip.  

TEACH ME YOUR WAYS! I have yet to figure out the best way to pack our food bag (we don't use a barrel) that doesn't necessitate digging through the whole thing to find the one errant ingredient. I pack meals together as much as possible but there are always ingredients that are required at multiple meals and then I want snacks at different time for different hungers and inevitably, I'm digging to the bottom EVERY TIME!

     Thread Starter
 

9/12/2017 11:06 am  #10


Re: Backcountry Pet Peeves

PaPaddler wrote:

It is often difficult for folks who are new to camping to come up with a "system" for where and how to store their stuff without a closet, cabinet or dresser and takes time to get settled in.

This is so true! Our camping organization style has really developed and evolved over a decade of camping. It's absolutely not fair to think everyone will Get It immediately on the first go. It's easy to forget about your first few trips where you couldn't find anything because your pack just seemingly exploded across the whole site within 5 mins of arriving. 

     Thread Starter
 

9/12/2017 12:30 pm  #11


Re: Backcountry Pet Peeves

I should clarify about people pooping beside the thunderbox. I have never been on a trip where somebody did it, I just see it all the time and it drives me insane! Being on a trip where that happened would turn into war.

Will also add, not committing to the mission. Weekend chill trips aside, I also like trips where there is an objective. Canoe a certain route, visit a certain spot, climb a certain mountain, etc... It drives me insane when a trip is essentially centered around an objective and then people don't commit to it. For example, you decide to go on a hike with somebody that you know will take 12hrs and that day only has 12hrs of light or somebody needs to be back at a certain time, etc... Yet the person wants to start hiking at 10am knowing full well that there is zero chance of actually making it there and back. Similarly, if you agree on and book a bc site in the park that will take a full days travel on day one and you need to get an early start, but they don't want to, which will result in staying on a lake you didn't book.

 

9/12/2017 1:06 pm  #12


Re: Backcountry Pet Peeves

Claire,

Meal packaging-wise, here's what I do and you may find a similar system might work for you.  I have one generic "kitchen bag" with cookset, plates, hard rolls, crackers, spices, soap, cloth, utensils, peanut butter, honey, etc - it's a grab bag of all the stuff that is used frequently for most meals and if we're day-tripping we grab that along with one or two of the bags below.  This limits the search for odd kitchen items to a single bag instead of fishing around in a giant backpack or drybag.  In the past I've actually used a cloth farmers market bag for the kitchen bag - it's got long handles that can sling over the shoulder for a short portage and it holds a ton of stuff without ripping.

ll food is in drybags that I get from walmart cheap here:  
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Outdoor-Recreation-Group-Set-of-3-Ultimate-Dry-Sacks/10928125

1. Breakfast bag - a little blue drybag that has stuff that is just used for breakfast - oatmeal, granola, dry milk, tea, coffee, cinnamon/br. Sugar, cranberries, nuts
2. Day 1 Lunch - whatever it is, it's in there.  
3. Day 1 Dinner - Chicken & Dumplings mix, apple pie
4. Day 2 lunch/dinner - Tortilla soup, hummus, cashews, chicken cacciatore, s'mores
5. Day 3 lunch/dinner - black bean soup, olive tapenade, peanut butter, stuffed peppers, apples, jerky
6. Day 4 lunch/dinner - salsa, chips, jerky, gorp, spaghetti, sauce, fresh parmesan
7. Day 5 lunch/dinner - cheese, gorp, chocolate, tortillas, refried beans, salsa, ground beef

I've found it really easy because I have all the special ingredients and food for each day's meals in one bag for that day and I only have to dig through the small kitchen bag for the odd item.  It has really made the meal assembly, prep and consumption a fairly organized affair instead of the mayhem I used to go through.

Here's a photo of the preparation right before packing each dry bag.  In this case, the columns of food represent what would be consumed each day and the stuff across the top of the table is the breakfast bag. http://i66.tinypic.com/rckn11.jpg

 

9/12/2017 2:37 pm  #13


Re: Backcountry Pet Peeves

Looking at that photo is yet another reminder of just how anal-retentive I am!

 

9/12/2017 3:00 pm  #14


Re: Backcountry Pet Peeves

Yeh! That photo makes my packing positively spontaneous. KIDDING!!!

At least now I know I'm not alone in being hyper-organized.

 

9/12/2017 3:19 pm  #15


Re: Backcountry Pet Peeves

Claire - Just as Pa said.   The worst thing to do is have everything in the same coloured bags.  If you're in a pinch, I actually use a sharpie marker and mark my bags as to - What Day, meal and it's contents. At least I used to, before I started packing things down to the day and meal
My coffee bag, utensils and just like PA all the odds and sods are typically found in the same bag, so as not to sully or perhaps slip between the organized meals below in my food barrel.  I think you could do the same with a bag no problem.
I love seeing that I'm also not the only one that loves organization and prefers order to life even when camping!  After all, Food is what keeps the group going and most importantly HAPPY.
JB

 

9/14/2017 2:02 pm  #16


Re: Backcountry Pet Peeves

people carving their initials in trees at backcountry campsites ... and then about 5 more follow suit ...

 

 

9/14/2017 11:11 pm  #17


Re: Backcountry Pet Peeves

And it's always nice to arrive at a campsite to find the charred remains of what was once a bench in the fire pit.  


Dave
 

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