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No more primitive camping for me....to scary

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Offline bam.bam

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No more primitive camping for me....to scary
« on: January 21, 2017, 06:53:19 PM »
My last trip to Big Bend almost ended in frustration. I printed out top 10 primitive spots (really did my homework) Only one of the spots was available. Dont know what I would of done if all were taken.  (no BU plan)  Left at 2 am to get their early. This was in October.  NOTE: this was during the week, no holiday , not a weekend, or anything special. All primitives were getting scarfed up. The basin was full due to bear activity on the loops. (They were shutdown).... no more stress for me  "Will my target prim spot be available" .  this was all I could think about while driving...
I will be zone/car camping from now on... (4wd FJ cruiser)
I am asking you guys for any nice areas to park and walk in and camp. I should of made note of spots on my last trip but I hadn't converted to zone/car camping at that point....
Note:   Dont have to give up your best kept secret spot, just some ideas.  I can google the area later... any ideas will be greatly appreciated...
Another Note: It seems like every year more and more people are going to BB . When I left with my pass that last trip, their was 20 people waiting in line behind me to get spots,,, some of them prim spots which they did not. .. I think going there for a prim spot is OK but should have a BU plan for car/zone camping  if needed......
Thanks for any area suggestions that i can checkout...


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Offline Jimbow

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Re: No more primitive camping for me....to scary
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2017, 07:08:21 PM »
What equipment will you be using? Backpacking and able to go a few miles in or lugging heavy gear and wanting a short walk?

Btw another suggestion is to plan on the night before in Terlingua or Stillwell if coming from the north. Then you can arrive in Panther Junction at the opening bell. 

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Everything is in walking distance if you have enough time.

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Offline bam.bam

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Re: No more primitive camping for me....to scary
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2017, 07:24:51 PM »
Thanks Jimbow....
My stuff is pretty heavy. I am definitely not at backpacker weight.  Two trips in, so want to "push" the half mile minimal.  I will be smart though.....I.e. leave shower water in vehicle and shower there... take food/drinks/ ice to tent for that night when returning from hike spots. I will  leave what I can in the car until needed... etc
I do  wish I had paid attention to suitable parking/camping spaces on last trip..

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Offline Flash

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Re: No more primitive camping for me....to scary
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2017, 07:43:30 PM »
+1 Jimbow's idea of staying somewhere close the first night, so you can be at the Visitor Center when it opens.  If you leave Marathon by 8 or 8:30 am, you can be at Persimmon Gap by opening time. 

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Offline Al

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Re: No more primitive camping for me....to scary
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2017, 07:53:19 PM »
I would check out along Old Ore Road.  There are some stretches along it where you don't have to go too far to be out of sight and mind.  Do some Google Earthing.  There is a short trail just south of Ernst Tinaja that will get you into Ernst Basin.  Look for places where Tornillo Creek and its drainages are close to OOR.  The same is true near Terlingua Abajo and the Terlingua Creek drainages.   

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Offline Jimbow

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Re: No more primitive camping for me....to scary
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2017, 08:16:44 PM »
Also 2016 was an anniversary year. We may see a reduction in non prime time visits.

Sent from my SM-G925T using Big Bend Chat mobile app

Everything is in walking distance if you have enough time.

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Offline Jalco

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Re: No more primitive camping for me....to scary
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2017, 09:41:45 PM »
I really enjoyed hiking out to Elephant Tusk several years ago.  We camped on a bluff above the creek, which had ample water.  It was a quick one-night out and back, but I can see hiking out for a couple of nights and exploring more of the area.

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Offline rocketman

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Re: No more primitive camping for me....to scary
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2017, 09:59:58 PM »
You should first firgure out what you want to see/where you want to go, then develop plans B and C. If you're looking for the high Chisos, you're pretty much limited to the sites along the trails, and you need to be at PJ before they open. If you simply want to primitive camp in the desert, your options open up some. Old Ore Rd is a good area, as is the river road and many of it's offshoots. Don't forget about the state park, where primitive sites abound and all of them can be reached with a well-equipped FJC.

Also, keep in mind that the bear closures this fall were unusual. Don't let that dampen your enthusiasm for exploration. Big Bend is so huge that it needs to be explored a little at a time, so don't put all your eggs in one basket - especially if you live in TX.

Making ice cubes FROM THE SUN!!!

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Offline Al

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Re: No more primitive camping for me....to scary
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2017, 10:06:05 PM »
I really enjoyed hiking out to Elephant Tusk several years ago.  We camped on a bluff above the creek, which had ample water.  It was a quick one-night out and back, but I can see hiking out for a couple of nights and exploring more of the area.

Excellent recommendation!

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Offline Cookie

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Re: No more primitive camping for me....to scary
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2017, 08:22:24 AM »
Don't let one 'scary' experience deter you from getting out to the quiet, peaceful desert! We have had the same thoughts heading out during a busy time. We are picky about where we stay in the back country. Now we have a few zone camping spots we like as well and know that those will be available. If you are not in a hurry get a permit for the Dodson zone. Drive out to the Juniper trail head and park, hike west a bit and set up your tent. Hang out at the trail head with all your amenities and enjoy one of our favorite views for a relaxing evening. Then it's a short walk down to your tent. You can do the same at ET trail head. Just remember to park west of the camp site/trail head so you don't block the campsites view of ET area.

Out of curiosity, what were your top 10 primitive spots?

~Cookie

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Offline Talusman

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Re: No more primitive camping for me....to scary
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2017, 09:55:19 AM »
If you're looking for the high Chisos, you're pretty much limited to the sites along the trails, and you need to be at PJ before they open.

Will due respect rocketman, this is not true at all. I buy an annual NPS pass every year (which saves money and time in multiple ways). The pass is sent with a holder that you can hang in your rear view mirror and insert your card when in the park. I make a lot of short day trips to Big Bend and Guadalupe. I get there WELL before the NPS banker's hours, park where I need to, then head off into the wilderness (including the High Chisos, which has ample places to hike where you will not see anyone off trail). I (we) usually get back after dark or close to sunset (well after the closure of the NPS bank). I have never had a problem, citation, or been harassed by the NPS, as I never see them. Maybe that's one reason why I don't ever have many problems with rangers. If I stay overnight in Terlingua, the same thing happens. Heading out in the dark and returning in the dark. The only people I notify are the ones that expect a call from me a designated time. Makes dealing with the NPS a lot easier!
"To Think is easy. To Act is difficult. To Act as one Thinks is the most difficult!"

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Offline EdB

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Re: No more primitive camping for me....to scary
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2017, 10:33:24 AM »
If you're looking for the high Chisos, you're pretty much limited to the sites along the trails, and you need to be at PJ before they open.

Will due respect rocketman, this is not true at all.

Isn't this thread about camping, not day hikes?

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Offline bam.bam

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Re: No more primitive camping for me....to scary
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2017, 10:43:13 AM »
I would check out along Old Ore Road.  There are some stretches along it where you don't have to go too far to be out of sight and mind.  Do some Google Earthing.  There is a short trail just south of Ernst Tinaja that will get you into Ernst Basin.  Look for places where Tornillo Creek and its drainages are close to OOR.  The same is true near Terlingua Abajo and the Terlingua Creek drainages.

I will be marking my map with these suggestions....than ks

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Offline bam.bam

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Re: No more primitive camping for me....to scary
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2017, 10:47:56 AM »

Out of curiosity, what were your top 10 primitive spots?

~Cookie
The top 10 spots were pretty much in Prim campsite close to asphalt...  I.e. KBar... Grapevine..Paint Gap..Hannold Draw.. Croton Spring 1 was available.

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Offline bam.bam

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Re: No more primitive camping for me....to scary
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2017, 10:54:54 AM »
Pulling from experienced campers is great... lots of "camping spot"  ideas to sort out and choose from.....I'm taking that keeping your tent  "out of site"  has some value  if you found a nice spot that might be a bit shy of 1/2 mile from road..

 


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