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Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP

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Offline Lissa

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Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« on: November 05, 2013, 03:36:33 PM »
When we went in person to get our permit the Ranger asked us if we had our own internet capable devices, and said you could now submit a permit application online (still only at most 24 hours in advance) to get in the queue.  My impression was you could do this from anywhere, so would be able (for example) to submit the application en route for the next day and they would 'hold' your spot until some reasonable time the next day.

Unfortunately I forgot to go back into the station to write down the web address for submitting the application and they aren't yet broadcasting it, but I would think you could get the address if you called.  And hopefully if someone gets it they can post it back here.

Moderator Note: the latest address for El Campo is as follows.
New El Campo IP
Or until they change it again, http://tinyurl.com/BigBendElCampo
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 07:35:13 PM by RichardM »

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Offline Flash

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Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 03:40:37 PM »
That reminds me that when my wife and I got our back country permit in Sept. that instead of the old "big book", they did it all on a laptop on the counter. I suppose what you are describing here is likely an extension of this new electronic permit system.

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Offline waddamaroon

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Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 04:36:23 PM »
http://75.41.144.100/permits/welcome.php

This is the address. You have the opportunity to see what's available, and to enter your information so you can request a site, and be fast-tracked once you hit the visitor center. 
 
Moderator Note: Here's a slightly more easy to remember link to that site: http://tinyurl.com/bibeelcampo
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 07:33:09 PM by RichardM »
Atta boy, girl!

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Offline kevint

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Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 04:52:20 PM »
http://75.41.144.100/permits/welcome.php

This is the address. You have the opportunity to see what's available, and to enter your information so you can request a site, and be fast-tracked once you hit the visitor center.

I like it. 
-- Kevin (W5KLT)

"It's not an adventure until something goes wrong."  --Yvon Chouinard

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Offline Al

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Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 05:11:19 PM »
That's good to know.  Thank you!

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Offline Beatrice

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Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 05:38:22 PM »
Thank you Lissa! I'm so excited about this!
If anyone finds out the earliest the form can legitimately be entered, I'd be most interested. We're going at a peak time and I'll be online at the minute I can submit if at all possible.

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Offline waddamaroon

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Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2013, 05:41:40 PM »
If I understand the system correctly, you can enter your info up to 24 hours in advance and this puts you in the queue.
Atta boy, girl!

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Offline Beatrice

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Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2013, 05:58:31 PM »
If I understand the system correctly, you can enter your info up to 24 hours in advance and this puts you in the queue.
24 hours in advance of what?
Of midnight?
Of when their offices open?
Of when you'll arrive?
Of when you'll occupy the site?

That could be a 12 hour difference. That's why I ask.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2013, 06:03:57 PM »
Our own Jim, here on BBC does volunteer computer/software work with the park and had a big hand in getting this new system up and being tested.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 08:10:41 AM by mule ears »
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline Flash

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Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2013, 09:29:57 PM »
Pretty well done site. Very instructive just browsing the currently permitted sites. People DO go to Loop Camp. Some people stay FOUR nights in one site up in the Chisos. Permit holder 000425 is doing a roadside camp world tour, two nights each in SIX roadside camps. 

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Offline waddamaroon

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Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2013, 09:56:57 PM »
If I understand the system correctly, you can enter your info up to 24 hours in advance and this puts you in the queue.
24 hours in advance of what?
Of midnight?
Of when their offices open?
Of when you'll arrive?
Of when you'll occupy the site?

That could be a 12 hour difference. That's why I ask.

Valid questions. I wish Jim would jump in here because I'm trying to 'splain something I don't completely understand yet.
Here's my take after talking to one of the rangers: Let's assume you are arriving at the park on Saturday morning. The earliest you could get a backcountry permit would be 9 am that Saturday, because that's when the PJ visitor center opens. That means that the earliest you could put yourself in the queue would be Friday morning at 9. However, this is not a reservation system. It's still first-come, first-served. That means you could lose your spot at 4:55 pm Friday afternoon. All this system does is allow you to see what's available and express your interest. By filling out the form, all of your info is available when you arrive to pick up your permit. In other words, it speeds the registration process. Furthermore, if you don't pick up the permit you've applied for, your info is blown out of the system at 6 am the next day (Sunday).
I think this is still a work in process. You know, baby steps and all that...
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 04:28:22 PM by waddamaroon »
Atta boy, girl!

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Offline waddamaroon

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Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2013, 10:01:57 PM »
I would encourage you to call 432-477-1158 and ask if Cookie Ballou is available. She seems to be heavily invested in this project.
I'd like to hear your takeaway on this.
Atta boy, girl!

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Offline Beatrice

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Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2013, 10:48:17 PM »
Pretty well done site. Very instructive just browsing the currently permitted sites. People DO go to Loop Camp. Some people stay FOUR nights in one site up in the Chisos. Permit holder 000425 is doing a roadside camp world tour, two nights each in SIX roadside camps.
This post just brought to mind an unrelated conversation I recall reading by women backpackers. They were discussing the danger of hiking solo as a woman and of the problems they'd encountered. The general consensus of the women who backpack solo (or in 2-women partner teams) was that they didn't give any accurate details on where they'd be, who they'd be with, etc--deflecting or outright lying when asked.

A couple people shared stories of near-rape circumstances from guys who knew they were solo and where they were camping. (One said a day-hiker shared the info with another hiker that a solo female hiker was down the trail, putting her in danger.) Some in-the-news stories were shared about solo backpacking women raped/murdered out on the trail. A general warning was given that women were followed by trail registers and other forms of semi-public documentation of their whereabouts and should go to great lengths to avoid letting people know were they were or where they'd camp.  A lot of women shared how they'd changed plans on the fly (switching trails, changing campsites, turning back, etc) when they met a guy who seemed a little too chatty or eager or off.

I've never camped solo, but I think I'd feel pretty vulnerable if my location was available online for all to know. If they knew I went to site X tonight, they'd know where I'd be all week--just as you so perfectly illustrated. Your innocent commentary on permit holder 000425's travels perfectly mirrored the not-so-innocent commentary I read from a man after he noticed two female hikers ahead of him, guessing where they'd be camping (in a hey-hey-hey, wink wink, nudge nudge kind of way).

It was an eye-opening conversation to me, especially as it had so many veteran solo backpacking women. After reading their convos, I strongly suspect their consensus would be that they'd not want the identifying number following them across sites posted for others to view, especially in such a public way. I wonder if it adds any great functionality for that number to be publicly visible.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 08:15:40 AM by Beatrice »

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Offline Jim

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Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2013, 07:49:49 AM »
Just saw this thread, and later today/tomorrow I'll try to answer your software related questions.  Gotta run right now.

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2013, 08:52:11 AM »
So now someone can lock up 15 days worth of campsites without stepping foot into the park for 24 hours???  Then the info will be dumped so it can not be tracked if it becomes a serial event?  Answer  :  We need to archive the data to keep this from happening!!!! :eusa_dance:

Now they will have an IP address for you and a working phone number.  Cross check that with your trip report pictures......faceb ook IP address.  Sure, I'm crazy.  Seen the NSA computer building in Utah????  They can't even protect the vital information with healthcare web site.  Didn't have time to test it!  How about this government web site?

We already drive by campsites that are permitted out all week and never see a car there.  How will this help?   Will it cost money to change your permit now midway through your trip?

So I show up on Friday of Thanksgiving week to get a permit for 2 weeks.  My favorite spots are reserved for some people showing up on Saturday.  Others have seem these good spots taken, so that start clicking on spots they don't want ,but look good on the map.  These "blue facers" ended up filling up Pine Canyon road and other spots that they know they don't want, but take just in case they can't get a non-reserve spot in the basin in the next few days.  I'm standing there with no options. A real person with money in my hand and a real desired itinerary.  Not some dork not working in their cubicle the day before, with a smart phone in his hand grabbing campspots he is not even prepared to stay in.  They should require the $10 up front when using the system to keep some of the riff raff from locking others out the first Friday of Thanksgiving.



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