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River etiquette question. Got off the lower Owyhee recently. Seems like the river gets more crowded every year and I was annoyed and irritated to see the number of lead boats, commercial and private, headed out in the morning to snag a campsite while the rest of the group lollygagged in camp for a leisurely departure. Commercial lead boats are commonplace on rivers like the Rogue, while splitting the group to snag a camp is specifically prohibited on many rivers. On the Owyhee it is not specifically prohibited on the permit so does that make it ok or is it a low rent, sleaze ball, ramp hogging, fire ring building, un-groovered turd in the middle of a campsite sort of move that should be frowned upon?
 

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i believe it is in poor taste. Also could create a potential safety hazard. What if, let's say, that the group that is left behind has a medical emergency, (heart attack, trips and falls,) now the group is split up, which creates a more chaotic situation.
 

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So long as it isn't prohibited people are going to do it so you may as well be zen about it. I personally don't like splitting up the group for a whole host of reasons, but that's just me.
 

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So long as it isn't prohibited people are going to do it so you may as well be zen about it. I personally don't like splitting up the group for a whole host of reasons, but that's just me.
that's probably the best advice.
It could piss me off, but why spend river time being pissed off about something we realistically have no control over.
 

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Happens all the time of course................But even on rivers where it is illegal, can it be enforced? How can penalties be applied????
 

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It should be strongly frowned upon. It screws up the river social and planning dynamics. In terms of social dynamics the overt thought is an unmistakable and deliberate attempt to screw your fellow river runners. In terms of planning dynamics it becomes pointless to spend the day monitoring other groups on the river thinking that hence some camp might be possible only to get there to find some single (jerk) person sitting in the shade waiting for his group to arrive late that afternoon. These(and safety) are the reasons on some rivers that groups are required to stay together.

Frankly, I don't know what to do if every group is doing it. That would be a river with a lot disharmony at best and at worst, a lot of fist fights, I guess.
 

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Different situation, but same solution for identifying camp jumpers...was on Deso years ago, had a large group camped down river from us...they wandered into our camp past midnight and let off M80s. I raced after them with my big spotlight and told them I knew who they were (every trip leader checks in with the river ranger) and I would be reporting them to the BLM office. Dead silence. Every time we passed them on the
river, heads were down, looking the other way. So...if you wanted to pursue with the appropriate river agency...
 

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Give the government enough time and we'll all be camping on our rafts like an armada of river house boats.


"Save the Campsites 2050!"
 

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I would have no shame about pulling into a camp that had sent a single boat ahead. Move over buttercup we are coming in. Then the other party could decide if their zen is compromised by camping with another group.
 

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I do not like the practice, but I hate being assigned a camp site more.
 

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Different situation, but same solution for identifying camp jumpers...was on Deso years ago, had a large group camped down river from us...they wandered into our camp past midnight and let off M80s. I raced after them with my big spotlight and told them I knew who they were (every trip leader checks in with the river ranger) and I would be reporting them to the BLM office. Dead silence. Every time we passed them on the
river, heads were down, looking the other way. So...if you wanted to pursue with the appropriate river agency...

Good for you you did that..........Social shaming is a way to help deter bad actors, as noted above.


But as for the natural resource agencies? Tell them somebody did the above, or as has been discussed, "camp running"? I bet their reply will be along the lines of "if you don't have any proof, there's nothing we can do about it"


I'm all ears if someone can show me how to rat out camp runners to agencies so they will do something about it.............
 

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I don't think its in good taste, but I don't particularly care either. I've always had a good camp on every river trip.

One time on the lower Owyhee many years ago, we pulled over to take a look at the sweet petroglyphs upstream of Greely Bar. There was a big group there looking at them already. As soon as they saw us coming down the river (we were on a 1 boat trip), one of their crew went running back to the boat and jumped in and took off just as we got to them, leaving the rest of the group behind. They stayed at the petro site for a fair amount of time after the lead boat took off so they were not in the process of leaving as we showed up. I presume the lead boat took off as soon as they saw us to go snag the Greely Bar camp (nice camp with hot springs). My wife and I were unconcerned. First, there are lots of camps. Second, we did plan on camping at another site that is not marked as a camp on the map that has easy access to the hot springs. So we took our time and enjoyed the petroglyph site. The big group eventually took off (they were a private group incidently) and we slowly moved down stream and got our stealth camp. After we got our camp set up, we hiked the short distance down to the Greely hot springs. No one was there for a soak but us. After about an hour, just about as we were thinking of putting our clothes back on and heading back to camp, the big group comes plodding up the bank making a ruckus looking for the springs, they come around the bushes and low and behold was a naked samsquatch in their pool. They were quite surprised to see us there, thinking their plan to send a boat to run down and snag the Greely bar meant they didn't have to share the springs. As soon as they got a gander of samsquatch in his birthday suite, they beat feet back to their camp. We got packed up and headed back for a wonderful night. Never saw the group again.

Samsquatch robbing the tub from the camp runners:



On the Grande Ronde last year, we came onto a group that was obviously scouting hard for a camp. They were pulled over at a stream delta that has a camp marked on the BLM map, but there hasn't been a camp there for years since the stream blew out in a huge storm. As soon as they saw us coming down stream, they all ran (litterally) back to their boats to get in front of us. We know exactly what they were doing and played it cool. They ended up launching and getting into the middle of our group of boats then rowed hard to get in front. I had a brief and cordial convo with one of their boats, seemed like the group leader, but made a couple low-key remarks about they must be on their first trip down the river, that spot hasn't had a camp for over a decade since the last big flood/blowout. Mean while we were unconcerned because we were shooting for a camp that is not marked on the map and it was only about a 1/2 mile downstream. As they rowed hard to get in front we slowed down to let them. They of course passed up the beautiful camp (that you can't tell is a camp until you are too far downstream on the wrong side of the river to catch the landing if you are following the main river current to haul ass in front of a group). We had that lovely camp and they landed at the next bend on the opposite side of the river (within sight of our camp) at a place that is marked as a camp, but actually is a terrible camping spot on a very sloped beach, which most folks only stop at for lunch.

Too focused on the map and what we were doing, the camp running group passed up this great camp not actually on the map, if they had not been pushing hard to get into the fastest current to get around us, they might have indeed realized a pimp camp was at hand.



So much for the benefits of sending a boat racing downstream to get in front of another group.
 

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Thank goodness for government bringing some common sense into some river corridors. I'm old enough to remember pre pack-it-in/pack-it-out days. Camps that smelled like urinals or feed-lots, cat holes all around camps, burnt trash in fire rings or buried trash dug up by skunks, chicken bones and charcoal brickets in the eddy, guns and fire crackers, commercials beginning to rule the river, etc, etc, etc. I'm sure there will be disagreement with me about the "authorities".

I actually like negotiated camps like on the MF Salmon. Camps are dealt with politely at the put-in and there are only downstream problems when someone messes with the system. You may not always get what you want but the Zen stuff is dealt with before you even launch. But then the MFS is a special river with limited camps. Not all rivers can or should be managed like the MFS.
 

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Rather than getting into a verbal war of words or being offered to share "the Camp" from the impolite's that know they are asses, we press on and consider the source.

Case in point the Grand last May - a couple of boats out of a group of 9 boats (you know who you are - probably reading this) pounded past us to claim Parashant. Rather than taking a chance on a physical confrontation sooner or later we never beached. That was after they flew a drone over my boat earlier in the trip to check out the situation when one of their party grounded on the Crystal rock garden.

Just figured they have been on the Colorado so many times they were entitled to do whatever they pleased and screw everyone else.

For those that are not atheists, God gave a good sprinkle of jerk mix when cooking the original recipe.
 

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I do like trap & skeet.

I forgot to mention that 1 of "The Group's" boats did not fair very well in Lava with a hole in a tube and probaly lost items. No serious injury they would admit to so they got their's in the end.
 

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Then drones should be way easier to pop, they fly slower or stand still in the air for you!
I'd be in more trouble than the pilot. I was thinking more along the lines of bio degradable bolo rounds for a slingshot. Would be interesting if anybody took me to court for that. Something to tinker with in down time.
 
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