Big Bend Chat

Big Bend National Park Q&A => Backcountry Camping => Topic started by: Jim on November 06, 2013, 01:00:00 PM

Title: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jim on November 06, 2013, 01:00:00 PM
I've started a new topic to explain how the SOFTWARE for the new backcountry permit system works.

I am amazed how many rants were started based upon speculation.  Please keep all discussions about whether the NPS should/shouldn't do something related to this program or to backcountry permits in general over in the other thread.  The intent of this topic is to inform you about how the system works - nothing more, nothing less.  I'm asking for Richard's help in keeping this thread on topic.  Operational questions should be addressed to the NPS, not me. 

That said, this program named EL CAMPO (a bit of an inside joke) is nothing more than an automated version of the old process used by the NPS with a few extra bells and whistles to help the visitor.

As Richard said, IT IS NOT A RESERVATION SYSTEM.  In the past, there was one log book kept at PJ where the NPS recorded which campsites were taken/available as permits were written.  As I am sure you can see, there were various operational limitations with a paper and pencil system, especially when a remote visitor center wanted to issue a permit.

The basic flow is for the visitor to fill out a WORKSHEET of information (name/address/number of people camping/emergency contact info/etc) mainly to aid in search and rescue (happens more often than you might think) or to contact campers if necessary.  Knowing how many persons/tents/horses/etc allows the program to check if your party can fit into a particular site.  With that information, sites that are not capable of holding your party are automatically highlighted.  Your worksheet is error checked and will not allow you to request sites that don't meet your needs.

This will hopefully be advantageous to visitors during peak times, especially during spring break.  Rather than wait in a queue to talk to a ranger one at a time (rather large during Spring Break), you'll be able to enter your request with your own wi-fi device.  If you don't have one, either one will be made available to you or you can still talk to a ranger directly and you or the ranger can fill in the request on an NPS computer together.  Requests are queued and processed by the Rangers in timestamp sequence.   You will be called up to discuss your worksheet.  There will be face time with a ranger before any permit is issued.

Which leads to some of the other questions.  Yes, at the moment a worksheet can be entered anywhere in the world.  However, the queue of worksheets is cleared (ERASED) every morning at 6:30AM 12:01AM.  Why? I suspect when word gets out there will be a flood of bogus worksheets just to see what happens.  If this get to be unmanageable, then requests will be IP address limited - probably to ranges that only originate within the park.  That's an operational decision the NPS will have to make.

No personal info is available to other visitors via the system, so those afraid of others knowing about them should be aware of this.  Only the permit number word "Occupied" for a particular site on a particular day appears so you and/or others can tell which sites are taken or are free.  Personally, if I were making a long drive from Houston, for example, I'd like to see how crowded the backcountry was before driving 700 miles one way just to find out that all sites were booked over spring break.

Now about the 24 hours in advance rule: as I said before, all worksheets are cleared out each morning before the visitor centers open.  A worksheet must be created on the day you talk to a ranger and the permit is issued.  Why?  Ask the NPS.  That is an operational question.  What the 24 hours thing really means is that if you request a permit on Monday, your first backcountry camp request can be for the night of Monday OR Tuesday, but not Wednesday (which is more than 24 hours in advance of when your permit was requested/issued.

There is no fee to use this system because it is not a reservation system.  It is just a tool to internally automate the old paper and pencil method.

I hope this post helps you understand better the intent of the El Campo system.

Jim
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Lissa on November 06, 2013, 01:31:04 PM
Thanks so much for the explanation Jim.  I certainly didn't mean to start a political debate by letting folks know about this!

I've got a semi-operational question for you, but will post that in the other thread as I worry it strays from the intent of this thread.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Beatrice on November 06, 2013, 02:33:32 PM
Thank you, Jim!
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jim on December 12, 2013, 05:58:18 AM
UPDATE: visitors' unprocessed backcountry worksheets now will be purged from the El Campo system at 12:01 AM rather than at 6:30 AM each day.

This change will allow early risers (or late arrivers) to create a worksheet before the Visitor Center opens that day, saving some time getting permits - especially if larger groups are wishing to get permits together.

If too many "spam" worksheets start appearing in the queue, the purge time may again have to be moved closer to the Visitor Centers' opening time.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jimbow on January 09, 2014, 01:39:17 PM
While I missed the old book and poster method, I thought El Campo was fine. It gave me something to do while a Ranger became available.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: tjavery on March 09, 2014, 06:43:03 PM
UPDATE: visitors' unprocessed backcountry worksheets now will be purged from the El Campo system at 12:01 AM rather than at 6:30 AM each day.

This change will allow early risers (or late arrivers) to create a worksheet before the Visitor Center opens that day, saving some time getting permits - especially if larger groups are wishing to get permits together.

If too many "spam" worksheets start appearing in the queue, the purge time may again have to be moved closer to the Visitor Centers' opening time.

Is this still the case?

For example, say I plan to arrive in the park on a Friday at 11:00am. The earliest that I can fill out a request in El Campo is on that particular Friday at 12:02am... correct?
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jim on March 09, 2014, 07:09:52 PM
Yes.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: tjavery on March 09, 2014, 08:49:25 PM
Yes.

Thank you, Jim!
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jim on October 10, 2014, 08:25:08 AM
For those of you who would like a jump on getting a backcountry campsite, you might try getting your permit at the Basin instead of PJ.  If i've got my times right, the visitor center at the Basin opens at 8:00AM and PJ opens at 9:00AM.  This might be important during crowded times like Thanksgiving/Christmas/Spring Break.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Flash on February 25, 2015, 09:26:27 AM
Hello Jim,


Has the El Campo System been taken offline?  In the last 4 or 5 days, it seems to be rejecting my IP address from whatever device I try it from. Is the access now restricted?


Thanks,

Flash


PS:  The error states "IP Address Not Allowed"
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: dprather on February 25, 2015, 09:35:09 AM
Thanks Jim,

Assume for a second that I have not a single clue about what, for whom, or why the EL CAMPO system exists.

Lord willing, I will be there on Saturday, March 7 to get a permit for an OML group.

Walk me through my EL CAMPO experience.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Flash on February 25, 2015, 11:24:55 AM
Hello Jim,

Has the El Campo System been taken offline?  In the last 4 or 5 days, it seems to be rejecting my IP address from whatever device I try it from. Is the access now restricted?

Thanks,

Flash

PS:  The error states "IP Address Not Allowed"

EL CAMPO© Backcountry Permit System (http://75.41.144.131/permits/welcome.php)

Does it work for anyone else?   :eusa_doh:
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: RichardM on February 25, 2015, 11:35:52 AM
Hello Jim,

Has the El Campo System been taken offline?  In the last 4 or 5 days, it seems to be rejecting my IP address from whatever device I try it from. Is the access now restricted?

Thanks,

Flash

PS:  The error states "IP Address Not Allowed"

EL CAMPO© Backcountry Permit System (http://75.41.144.100/permits/welcome.php)

Does it work for anyone else?   :eusa_doh:
Not working here.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Flash on February 25, 2015, 11:55:07 AM
Thanks for checking. Must be offline...

Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jim on February 25, 2015, 01:33:15 PM
It seems to be working now; or is it just me?
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Flash on February 25, 2015, 01:34:40 PM
Bingo!  :13:
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: RichardM on February 25, 2015, 03:42:28 PM
Anybody else notice that the Chisos map they're using still has SW1 on it? EP1 was erased, but it still shows the old trail.

(http://75.41.144.100/permits/Chisos%20Campsites%20Map.jpg)
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jim on February 25, 2015, 06:14:41 PM
Anybody else notice that the Chisos map they're using still has SW1 on it? EP1 was erased, but it still shows the old trail.
Incentive to buy a new map in the bookstore!
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: ck18 on March 04, 2015, 09:39:09 AM
Is the backcountry permit site down again for others? I haven't been able to access it for a few days.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Flash on March 04, 2015, 10:03:38 AM
Acts like it is offline. Probably needs a reboot...   :eusa_think::
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Robert on March 04, 2015, 12:35:34 PM
Is the backcountry permit site down again for others? I haven't been able to access it for a few days.

Thanks!

New El Campo IP (http://75.41.147.131/permits/welcome.php)
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: ck18 on March 04, 2015, 12:38:14 PM
That's great. Thank you for your help!
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Don H on March 30, 2015, 12:56:52 PM
Can anyone confirm that 12:01 a.m. is still the "purge time" for submitted El Campo worksheets?
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jim on March 30, 2015, 01:15:05 PM
Yes.
Title: Backcountry Trivia
Post by: Jim on July 28, 2015, 07:33:17 PM
El Campo has been on-line for two years now (the first permit in the new system was issued on July 29, 2013), and info gleaned from the publicly available on-line calendar can show a few interesting patterns of backcountry activity.  The NPS publishes monthly backcountry permit numbers; here's the same info in graph form of the average number of permits issued per day for the past two years.  It's no surprise the peaks are around holidays and spring break, but it is interesting to see the relative numbers from day to day.



For the past two years, does anyone want to guess about the backcountry sites:

1) What is the most occupied Chisos camp site (based on days per year covered by a permit)?
2) What is the least occupied Chisos camp site?
3) What is the most occupied Roadside camp site?
4) What is the least occupied Roadside camp site?
5) Excluding river zones, what is the most used zone (based on total "permit-days" since multiple permits are allowed per day)?
6) Which zone has never had a permit issued for it in the past two years?

Answers in a few days.
Title: Re: Backcountry Trivia
Post by: Flash on July 29, 2015, 09:09:45 AM
For the past two years, does anyone want to guess about the backcountry sites:

Just shooting from the hip...

1) What is the most occupied Chisos camp site (based on days per year covered by a permit)? SW4
2) What is the least occupied Chisos camp site? PI3
3) What is the most occupied Roadside camp site? GH1
4) What is the least occupied Roadside camp site? LP2
5) Excluding river zones, what is the most used zone (based on total "permit-days" since multiple permits are allowed per day)? CO4
6) Which zone has never had a permit issued for it in the past two years? NO5 or EO7

Eagerly awaiting the real answers.  :icon_smile:
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Don H on July 29, 2015, 09:30:30 AM
That's a very interesting graph!  Thanks for sharing it Jim
Title: Re: Backcountry Trivia
Post by: mule ears on July 29, 2015, 10:05:51 AM
For the past two years, does anyone want to guess about the backcountry sites:

Just shooting from the hip...

1) What is the most occupied Chisos camp site (based on days per year covered by a permit)? SW4
2) What is the least occupied Chisos camp site? PI3
3) What is the most occupied Roadside camp site? GH1
4) What is the least occupied Roadside camp site? LP2
5) Excluding river zones, what is the most used zone (based on total "permit-days" since multiple permits are allowed per day)? CO4
6) Which zone has never had a permit issued for it in the past two years? NO5 or EO7

Eagerly awaiting the real answers.  :icon_smile:

My guesses exactly, number 5 could also be SO1
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Don H on July 29, 2015, 11:14:52 AM
The spike in April with the??? might be Easter Weekend?
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jim on July 29, 2015, 11:29:09 AM
The spike in April with the??? might be Easter Weekend?
Of course.  You're exactly right.  There were over 100 permits issued on Good Friday this year.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: mule ears on July 29, 2015, 12:07:11 PM
Jim,
do the numbers in the graph include all backcountry permits?  Backpackers (zone campers), backcountry roadside sites and river use?  Is it possible to get a breakdown of those three groups?  I love my stats, thanks.   :icon_biggrin:
Title: Re: Backcountry Trivia
Post by: Jim on July 29, 2015, 01:28:26 PM
The graph is for ALL permits.  I have not done the (tedious) work of separating the types of permits.

There is also the issue of how to count; theoretically a single permit could be issued for Chisos, roadside, zone, and river camping.  The overlapping on one permit can confuse the issue.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Flash on July 29, 2015, 02:04:05 PM
Assuming a permit can consist of more than one reservation, is what is being plotted the number of reservations per day or the permits per day? Tricky thing would be to sort them by reservation type, i.e. designated, roadside, zone, or river, which is probably handled in the database with a flag. Queries could be fairly easily written assuming access to a basic database utility.  :eusa_eh:
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jim on July 29, 2015, 03:48:38 PM
is what is being plotted the number of reservations per day or the permits per day?

To confirm, it's simply the number of permits issued day by day.
 
Quote
here's the same info in graph form of the average number of permits issued per day for the past two years
Title: Re: Backcountry Trivia
Post by: Jim on July 31, 2015, 12:06:56 PM
Answers in a few days.

For those inquiring minds who want to know:

1) What is the most occupied Chisos camp site (based on days per year covered by a permit)?  SW-4 Southwest Rim, followed by TM-1 Toll Mountain, and SW3 Southwest Rim

2) What is the least occupied Chisos camp site?  NE-5 Northeast Rim, followed by LW-2 Laguna West, and BL-2 and BL-1 Blue Creek

3) What is the most occupied Roadside camp site?  GH1 Grapevine Hills, followed by PG1 Paint Gap, PC5 Pine Canyon, and KB2 K-Bar

4) What is the least occupied Roadside camp site?  JR1 Johnson Ranch, followed by JR2 Johnson Ranch, DT1 Dominguez Trailhead, and TC1 Telephone Canyon

5) Excluding river zones, what is the most used zone (based on total "permit-days" since multiple permits are allowed per day)?  By far, the top 3 zones are C04 Dodson Zone, followed by C05 Blue Creek Zone, followed by C03 Lower Juniper Zone.  Other than these three OML zones, E08 Marufo Vega Zone comes in fourth.

6) Which zone has never had a permit issued for it in the past two years?  N04 - North Rosillos Zone
Title: Re: Backcountry Trivia
Post by: tjavery on September 09, 2015, 08:28:24 PM
6) Which zone has never had a permit issued for it in the past two years?  N04 - North Rosillos Zone

Now that is just screaming to be answered  :icon_biggrin: Someone needs to take up that challenge.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jim on August 30, 2016, 11:12:58 AM
Another year has come and gone for El Campo.  With 3 full years of data now, it might be of interest to some to see the distribution of ALL PERMITS issued by month and by day of the week.

So you might find solitude on a Tuesday in August!  :icon_smile:
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: mule ears on August 30, 2016, 12:50:41 PM
Jim, this is great thanks.  Do you have a breakdown between backcountry permits and roadside campsites?  And last year you teased us with which zones were least visited, possible again?
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jim on August 30, 2016, 03:07:31 PM
Jim, this is great thanks.  Do you have a breakdown between backcountry permits and roadside campsites?  And last year you teased us with which zones were least visited, possible again?

I can slice and dice by campsite usage, but PERMITS cannot be binomially defined as either backcountry XOR roadside since it is not unusual for a permit to contain both those types of campsites.  But for a specific date range I can show you a bar graph of the number of days used for individual campsites grouped by Chisos/Roadside/Zone/River.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: mule ears on August 30, 2016, 03:26:09 PM
Yes, I forgot that permits can have everything on them.  What I am really interested in is Zone vs. everything else.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jim on August 30, 2016, 05:38:27 PM
Yes, I forgot that permits can have everything on them.  What I am really interested in is Zone vs. everything else.

Here are the number of days each site was used overt the past 366 days (the past year) for Roadside, Chisos, Zone, and River.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Flash on August 30, 2016, 06:09:39 PM
For the Zone and River plots:  Are those "Total calendar days permitted" or "Total permit days"?  :eusa_think:
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jim on August 30, 2016, 06:15:20 PM
Ugh... terminology.

Total Permit Days - since zone and river sites may have more than one permit associated with it on any particular calendar day.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Flash on August 30, 2016, 06:42:07 PM
Ugh... terminology.

Total Permit Days - since zone and river sites may have more than one permit associated with it on any particular calendar day.
Thanks! Those are very useful and informative plots!  :great:
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: mule ears on August 30, 2016, 08:06:13 PM
Awesome stuff Jim, one last request (I think), can you do zone by month?  If not this is an incredible amount of info, always grateful for you volunteer work!
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Flash on August 30, 2016, 08:24:54 PM
Awesome stuff Jim, one last request (I think), can you do zone by month?  If not this is an incredible amount of info, always grateful for you volunteer work!
Thinking along with you here, ME... Perhaps one each for the four zones most heavily used? Would be informative for OML and MV hiking...
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: mule ears on August 30, 2016, 08:30:12 PM
Is there an average number of people per permit number?  My guess is 3 or 4.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jim on August 30, 2016, 08:45:15 PM
Awesome stuff Jim, one last request (I think), can you do zone by month?  If not this is an incredible amount of info, always grateful for you volunteer work!
Thinking along with you here, ME... Perhaps one each for the four zones most heavily used? Would be informative for OML and MV hiking...

Here's a spreadsheet of site usage by month for the past 366 days.  The subtotals are by campsite type and district.

Now my challenge to Mule Ears and Flash: turn these numbers into graphs and post them back to the chat board!
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jim on August 30, 2016, 08:59:20 PM
Is there an average number of people per permit number?  My guess is 3 or 4.

2.69917728237792

OK, that's enough work for today or I'm going to have to start charging by the hour.    :)
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Flash on August 30, 2016, 09:22:06 PM
 WOW!   :kaos-cactus06:

Update: I am currently parsing the "nnn-mmm" format into separate columns for permits and people for the zone data all the data. Maybe When I am done, I will post it back to here, if perhaps someone else can make some pretty bar graphs. :)
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Flash on August 30, 2016, 11:12:46 PM
Attached is the spreadsheet with the data parsed, cleaned up, and then with added separate sheets for permits and also for people.  :great:

- Flash
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: mule ears on August 31, 2016, 06:39:08 AM
I am humbled.   :notworthy:

This is like Christmas, I will have to save this for later to wade through.  Thank you Jim and Flash.  I am sure BK will be along soon with some charts.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: jdamon on August 31, 2016, 11:05:49 AM
Hey guys!  Excel is what I do, so I made some fun charts out of that data.  Let me know what else you'd like to see, and I'll see if I can whip it up.

My most fun finding so far is the last slide, which shows us which zone is the party zone (Hint: it's W01C - Maravillas Canyon to Dryden Crossing).
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: mule ears on August 31, 2016, 12:19:17 PM
Hey guys!  Excel is what I do, so I made some fun charts out of that data.  Let me know what else you'd like to see, and I'll see if I can whip it up.

My most fun finding so far is the last slide, which shows us which zone is the party zone (Hint: it's W01C - Maravillas Canyon to Dryden Crossing).

Some nice charts jdamon, I would suggest that you have some apples mixed with the oranges as you have river zones (TO1, WO1A, WO1C) with backcountry zones so the comparisons are not relative unless you meant it to be that way.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: jdamon on August 31, 2016, 12:23:07 PM
I was just trying to find which areas are most popular, but you're right. I mixed all zones together.  If you guys want to know anything specific, let me know what it is.

Sent from my SM-N910T using Big Bend Chat mobile app

Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Flash on August 31, 2016, 12:58:56 PM
If you guys want to know anything specific, let me know what it is.
Hi jdamon,

This is how I'd like my pizza please, sir: 

Take the 4 back country zones with the most traffic, i.e. Marufo Vega, Lower Juniper, Dodson, and Blue Creek. Make a line graph plotting months on the x-axis and # people on the y-axis. Use different line types/symbols so that even the color blind can easily tell which line is which. Scale the y-axis so the range is no greater than necessary to fit the data.   :dance:

Thanks,

Flash
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: jdamon on August 31, 2016, 01:17:41 PM
Like this?
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Flash on August 31, 2016, 02:26:08 PM
Like this?
Exactly. Thanks!  :icon_smile:
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: mule ears on August 31, 2016, 04:33:11 PM
More cool results, thanks for the new charts.

A few early observations from a backpackers/backcountry/zone use point of view.
 
15806 total people camped in the backcountry (away from the road), that is 43 people a day in 800,000 acres.  If you take out the Chisos sites which account for a whopping two thirds of all people and the 3 "OML" zones that reduces the number to 2634.

If you then take out Marufo Vega (510), the MDA (485), Mule Ears (195), Chimneys (185) and Upper Smoky Creek (137) which all but the MDA swell dis-proportionally with people during Spring Break but are still more "heavily" used that leaves only 1122 people using the entire rest of the park over an entire year!  Considering that people really only go to those areas for about 6 months that works out to be 6 people a day in the vast majority of the parks backcountry during those 6 months!   :icon_eek:

The people numbers are more important than permit numbers in the zones as that is what they use to determine how many permits they can issue.  Conversely permit numbers are more important in the Chisos, as once that site is reserved that takes it off the board, regardless of how many people in the party.

So while BC2, SW3, CO1, SW4, LM2 have, by far, the biggest people numbers all of them, other than SW4, are group sites and can hold a lot more people.  The hardest sites to get a permit for are actually SW4, SW3 and TM1 and an argument could be made for SE1 and SE2 with high numbers even though they are closed for 4 months a year and during spring break.

The numbers also confirm my thoughts (http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/big-bend-questions-and-answers/big-bend-visitation-statistics/) that for the backcountry the least visited time of year when the weather is the most pleasant parkwide and you would run into the fewest people is February.

This is only one years numbers and I think that visitation was especially high during the holidays and Spring Break over the last year even though the year to date numbers through July show a slight decrease.  It would be interesting to see all 3 years worth of data but I would not want to ask too much of Jim (and then Flash).   :icon_biggrin:
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: kv5e on September 01, 2016, 02:11:17 PM
Like this?

Correlation coefficient ~1 for Spring Break peak!
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Lance on September 02, 2016, 11:25:58 AM
Good stats gentleman! I knew I liked Big Bend in February for some reason, now I know why!
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jonah Neff on October 05, 2016, 08:16:14 PM
Perhaps I'm being a little dense here.. but in the file above called "site usage by month - flash.xls" the top of the "people" table says:

Quote
Campsite usage by month for ALL permits from 31-Aug-2015 to 30-Aug-2016. Values are the number of days in a month a site was covered by a permit followed by the monthly accumulation of the number of people at the site each day month.

The campsite I'm interested in is Elephant Tusk, in December.  It says that site had 40 days in December that it was covered by a permit.  Thats a single unit site - how was it covered by a permit for 40 days in a month with 31 days? 

I must be missing something fairly obvious, so I apologize in advance for the silly question.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Flash on October 05, 2016, 09:19:43 PM
Perhaps I'm being a little dense here.. but in the file above called "site usage by month - flash.xls" the top of the "people" table says:

Quote
Campsite usage by month for ALL permits from 31-Aug-2015 to 30-Aug-2016. Values are the number of days in a month a site was covered by a permit followed by the monthly accumulation of the number of people at the site each day month.

The campsite I'm interested in is Elephant Tusk, in December.  It says that site had 40 days in December that it was covered by a permit.  Thats a single unit site - how was it covered by a permit for 40 days in a month with 31 days? 

I must be missing something fairly obvious, so I apologize in advance for the silly question.

The EL1 site was permitted 19 days in December. During those 19 days a total of 40 "people" stayed there. Here is the kicker, these are not unique people. In theory, 2 unique individuals could have stayed there 19 days, but had a guest 2 of those days, for a total of 40 people-days. When a permit is made, it is for a certain number of people on a particular day for each site and so these stats are somewhat ambiguous and could lead to an exaggerated perception of the number of park visitors.

By the way, the note quoted above was incorrect on my part due to an edit I had mistakenly made. It should be day, not month, as it had originally read.

-Flash
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Jim on July 30, 2017, 09:49:27 AM
Now that El Campo has been in use for a full 4 years as of July 29th, here's a graph by month of the 25,346 total permits that were issued.  This should help campers see the relative busyness of the park throughout the course of a year.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: mule ears on July 30, 2017, 10:32:23 AM
Thanks Jim, looks like Jan. is now edging out Feb. for the fewest number of folks in the backcountry during the cooler hiking months.

Can you make the bigger data set available as you have in the past?
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: RichardM on August 26, 2018, 04:18:33 PM
Anybody else notice that the Chisos map they're using still has SW1 on it? EP1 was erased, but it still shows the old trail.

(http://75.41.144.100/permits/Chisos%20Campsites%20Map.jpg)
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: mule ears on August 26, 2018, 04:26:54 PM
Anybody else notice that the Chisos map they're using still has SW1 on it? EP1 was erased, but it still shows the old trail.

(http://75.41.144.100/permits/Chisos%20Campsites%20Map.jpg)

Not following Richard, your post is from 2015?

Moderator Note: Yup. Not the first post I made about SW-1 disappearing. I think I first mentioned it back in May of 2007 (http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/hiking-the-mountains-of-big-bend/heading-for-the-south-rim-may-31st/msg36048/#msg36048). I seem to recall asking one or more NPS folks about it but never got a response.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Hookim on August 26, 2018, 05:17:19 PM
Anybody else notice that the Chisos map they're using still has SW1 on it? EP1 was erased, but it still shows the old trail.

(http://75.41.144.100/permits/Chisos%20Campsites%20Map.jpg)

Awesome! Just what I was looking for... Thanks for searching and posting!!!
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: mule ears on August 27, 2018, 05:38:51 AM
Anybody else notice that the Chisos map they're using still has SW1 on it? EP1 was erased, but it still shows the old trail.

(http://75.41.144.100/permits/Chisos%20Campsites%20Map.jpg)
Awesome! Just what I was looking for... Thanks for searching and posting!!!

Hookim here is the new, more accurate map

(https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/upload/Chisos-Basin-Trail-Map-2.png)

Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Hookim on August 27, 2018, 09:25:58 AM
Anybody else notice that the Chisos map they're using still has SW1 on it? EP1 was erased, but it still shows the old trail.

(http://75.41.144.100/permits/Chisos%20Campsites%20Map.jpg)
Awesome! Just what I was looking for... Thanks for searching and posting!!!

Hookim here is the new, more accurate map

(https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/upload/Chisos-Basin-Trail-Map-2.png)
Thanks, ME. I had wanted to see where SW1 was... Any idea why they closed it down?
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: mule ears on August 27, 2018, 01:40:12 PM

Thanks, ME. I had wanted to see where SW1 was... Any idea why they closed it down?

It was a long time ago, I actually never laid eyes on it but my guess is it might have been too exposed like the EP1 site was, where one person died from a lightning strike.  I actually camped at EP1 not long before they closed that one.   :icon_eek:
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Hookim on August 27, 2018, 02:48:39 PM

Thanks, ME. I had wanted to see where SW1 was... Any idea why they closed it down?

It was a long time ago, I actually never laid eyes on it but my guess is it might have been too exposed like the EP1 site was, where one person died from a lightning strike.  I actually camped at EP1 not long before they closed that one.   :icon_eek:
Whoa! I didn't know that about EP1. Wondered about that change as well. Thanks for the info...
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: DonkeyTrot27 on March 24, 2019, 10:39:02 AM


1. Rice Tank -  4.3 miles
2. Pine Canyon 1, 2, 4, 5 - 2.6 mi, then 4.2 mi
3. Paint Gap 4,1 - 4 is 4 mi
4. McKinney Springs - 6 miles
5. Candelilla CA - 1.1 miles
6. Glenn Springs - 8.8 mi
7. Robbers Roost - 10.8 miles





Hey guys, regarding the El Campo backcountry reservation system, where is the link? Does it truly exist, because it is not advertised on the national Park website. Iíve noticed over the years that back country sites are more and more occupied with no one actually staying in them. thanks for your help, would love to learn more about this.


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Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: mule ears on March 24, 2019, 03:24:02 PM


1. Rice Tank -  4.3 miles
2. Pine Canyon 1, 2, 4, 5 - 2.6 mi, then 4.2 mi
3. Paint Gap 4,1 - 4 is 4 mi
4. McKinney Springs - 6 miles
5. Candelilla CA - 1.1 miles
6. Glenn Springs - 8.8 mi
7. Robbers Roost - 10.8 miles





Hey guys, regarding the El Campo backcountry reservation system, where is the link? Does it truly exist, because it is not advertised on the national Park website. Iíve noticed over the years that back country sites are more and more occupied with no one actually staying in them. thanks for your help, would love to learn more about this.


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Not sure what your campsite and mileage numbers are in reference to but the NPS has stopped using the permitting software and the link has been taken down.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Al on March 24, 2019, 04:19:27 PM
They are using a computer program again but it's not El Campo or available on the internet.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: RichardM on March 24, 2019, 09:54:41 PM
They are using a computer program again but it's not El Campo or available on the internet.
Lemme guess, they're running it on an old TRS80 kept in the back office.
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: Flash on March 24, 2019, 10:01:53 PM
They are using a computer program again but it's not El Campo or available on the internet.
Lemme guess, they're running it on an old TRS80 kept in the back office.
They're using a laptop and I heard it was done on Excel. If they had decent network between the Visitor Centers, they could use Office 365 and make real-time edits to the same spreadsheet.  ;)
Title: Re: Backcountry Permit Software
Post by: DonkeyTrot27 on March 25, 2019, 07:31:52 AM
Thanks guys. The campground mileages were a copy paste mistake. Thanks for the clarity on this.


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