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Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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Safety in the Basin

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Offline haldodd

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Safety in the Basin
« on: October 01, 2006, 07:59:04 AM »
OK, I try to search as much as possible before asking such a rookie question but with less than a week to go before I depart for my first trip to BB I have a couple of questions.

My father is going with me so we will be staying in the Basin campground and taking the jeep during the day to carious trail heads and such.

1. Is it safe to leave your tent and non valuables at the Basin while on day trips?

2.  I cant find much info on bear boxes either, do they lock?  Do I need a lock?  How big are they?

Im trying to keep from breaking camp completely.  

Thanks in advance for your assistance.
Hal Dodd
Arlington Tx
www.hdguideservice. com

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Offline presidio

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Re: Safety in the Basin
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2006, 10:08:10 AM »
Quote from: "haldodd"
1. Is it safe to leave your tent and non valuables at the Basin while on day trips?


Yes. It's as safe as any other developed campground in the park. Most people are honest; however, don't leave anything that is unique or attractive to a thief (i.e., an iPod on the picnic table probably won't be there when you get back). Normal camping gear is going to be fine. I've never had an issue anywhere in the park, even backcountry campsites...those I do exercise additional caution near the river, which is more prone to theft issues. Be aware the javelinas like to root into tents if there's any hint of food (thus the bear boxes are for more than bears) and in areas like RGV they will tear into a tent even without food because they've learned that's where it used to be. Best advice is to collapse your tent and weight it down so it doesn't blow away. You don't have to unstake it, just make it so the critters can't get in it.

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2.  I cant find much info on bear boxes either, do they lock?  Do I need a lock?  How big are they?


Somebody else will have to answer this. I've never used a bear box and I haven't camped in the basin in a great many years.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline Undertaker

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Safety in the Basin
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2006, 10:15:17 AM »
Security!!!! In all the years I have been coming and camping in BB, I have never had anything removed from my camps, I do not leave high end stuff in camp except for my tents, bedrolls, cooking gear, place all cooking and food stuff in bear boxs, bear box does not require a lock, you can open with your hand by reaching under the little covers and trip the locks, humans can open them with ease, critters can't.

Like anyplace in the world, I guess, you can be ripped off. Again I have never had it happen. With the border closing you may want to be more aware as you near the border of the park with Mexico, check with rangers, they are full of information.

Because the park is so far off the beaten path, it is the least visited park in the nation, this helps, fewer people less crime. Most folks visiting are good decent folks and backpackers as a group are pretty independent and honest group of folks. Have fun be safe.  

Enjoy the park, it is my favoriate and with all the recent rains it is as green as I have ever seen it.  Enjoy your visit and If you have any more questions, this chat room with get almost any question answered.  
 8)

PS: Even day hiking make sure you have water and some supplies with you.
Visiting BB since 1966, nothing like being lost and finding heaven.

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Safety in the Basin
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2006, 10:22:52 AM »
Bear boxes are only meant to keep bears out. They latch closed and are about the size of a large nightstand. There's no place to put a lock. It is possible to place a cooler within the box and still have space for other items (unless you're carrying one of those really big coolers).

I've never had a problem with something being stolen out of the Basin campground. But, as with all valuables you carry, it's best to carry them with you or keep them out of sight in a locked vehicle, just like you would anywhere else.
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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Offline Picacho

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Safety in the Basin
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2006, 02:15:27 PM »
According to park rangers, there have been incidents of theivery (vehicle break-ins) at remote trailheads near the Mexican border such as the Dominguez Trailhead.

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Offline JeffB

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Safety in the Basin
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2006, 03:39:10 PM »
I agree with above posts.

I think the biggest dangers to your unattended stuff in the basin will be javelina and rain.  Make sure all food is in the bear box to keep the javelina out.  Put your rainfly on the tent before you depart even if there is only slight chance of rain.

I made the mistake of leaving off my rainfly once.   It didn't look like rain when we departedat 11 AM.  I returned about 8PM to a soaked tent and sleeping bag.  Fortunately there is a coin-operated dryer at the basin lodge.
Jeff Bullard
Dallas, TX

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SHANEA

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Bear Box
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2006, 08:25:39 PM »

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Offline 01ACRViper

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Safety in the Basin
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2006, 01:15:52 AM »
i've never had a problem in the basin..

the people that camp aren't the types of people to steal, so i wouldn't be too stressed over it

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Offline haldodd

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Safety in the Basin
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2006, 05:45:36 AM »
I cant thank you enough for posting back.  That is a big relief to me mainly because my Dad keeps saying we cant leave our tents for the day.

Thanks for the info on the size of the ice chest too.  I was taking a coffin sized rig but will shift down to a regular sized chest and a chest to take with us everywhere.

Man, I am so excited I can hardly sleep.
Hal Dodd
Arlington Tx
www.hdguideservice. com

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Offline Medic

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Safety in the Basin
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2006, 08:14:13 AM »
haldodd, remember to take pictures of our roads at 8 AM and 5 PM. Stick 'em on your dash and it'll give you something to look at when you're motionless on I-20.   :)

One of the many reasons I left the Metromess and moved out here.
Remember, folks, it's 100 miles to the closest hospital.

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Offline haldodd

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Safety in the Basin
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2006, 12:39:19 PM »
Believe me, I will take your advice.  I am a rep for a company that gives me flexible hours so its not too bad.  I grew up outside of Stephenville and all I ever wanted to do was to move to this mess.

I'll be driving in Friday arolund noon.  I thought we would set camp and then his the Nail Ranch and a few places on the west side of the Chisos.

Any good hikes you would suggest to start off in that area?
Hal Dodd
Arlington Tx
www.hdguideservice. com

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Offline Undertaker

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Safety in the Basin
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2006, 12:58:51 PM »
Nail Ranch is good, several others, If your first trip check with rangers when you check in, they are always full of good current information, actually BIBE Webmaster on this chat room is a ranger in park. Don't forget to drive to Terlingua and have cold one on porch. :lol:
Visiting BB since 1966, nothing like being lost and finding heaven.

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Safety in the Basin
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2006, 02:13:19 PM »
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Any good hikes you would suggest to start off in that area?


One of my favorites is the Chimneys. The trailhead is on the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. Trail is about 4.5 miles roundtrip and is fairly level. You can see the Chimneys from the road. There are petroglyphs in the south formation. Evidence of campsites and rock shelters surrounds the formations.

Some photos:





One of my all-time best nights in Big Bend was watching the full moon rise over the Chisos from there:



Tuff Canyon is also a nice little stroll, but it is currently closed due to bee activity:

Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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Offline RichardM

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Safety in the Basin
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2006, 02:56:40 PM »
Quote from: "jeffblaylock"
Quote
Any good hikes you would suggest to start off in that area?

One of my favorites is the Chimneys. The trailhead is on the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. Trail is about 4.5 miles roundtrip and is fairly level. You can see the Chimneys from the road. There are petroglyphs in the south formation. Evidence of campsites and rock shelters surrounds the formations.
...
Tuff Canyon is also a nice little stroll, but it is currently closed due to bee activity

Would these be the bees?  I assume it's only the trail down into the canyon that's closed?


Be advised that the Chimneys hike can get pretty warm.  Wear appropriate clothes including a broad-brimmed hat and stay hydrated and it's no problem.

Ask the Rangers when you get there how to get Cattail Falls for another great hike.

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Offline haldodd

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Safety in the Basin
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2006, 06:49:19 PM »
Undertaker, Terlingua will be on Saturday, hahaha.  I need more time.

Nail Ranch sounds good. I dont have my map here or I would spout out my other ideas.  

Heres another stupid question I cant find.  Ice?  Is getting ice an issue?  I dont want to take my 150 quart now that I posted these questions.
Hal Dodd
Arlington Tx
www.hdguideservice. com

 


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