Backcountry Campsite Tent Restrictions

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Backcountry Campsite Tent Restrictions

Postby mfster » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:02 am

So I know the backcountry website stipulates that each campsite is limited to four people and two two-person tents.

Because of the makeup of my group, it's not possible for the four campers to share two tents.

Do you know if it's possible to get permission for one two-person tent and two one-person tents?

And are there dimension limits for one- and two-person tents? For instance I know some two-person tents are on the small side and some one-person tents are on the large side, so I wonder how they would decide what is and isn't allowed. My two-person tent is pretty small so if one two-person and two one-person tents are allowed, I wonder if I could get away with saying it's a one-person.

Thanks!
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Re: Backcountry Campsite Tent Restrictions

Postby paul » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:09 pm

I think the main thing is to make sure your tents fit within the boundaries of the tent site. On one of my trips we had 3 tents, 1 two-person and 2 solo tents. We didn't have an issue on that trip and I don't think park rangers mind if you stay within the boundaries of the designated site. The things that matter are the number of people and not to extend out into the area around the tent site.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir
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Re: Backcountry Campsite Tent Restrictions

Postby mfster » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:29 pm

Awesome, thanks Paul! That's super helpful.

Do you have any idea what the approximate dimensions of the tent sites are?
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Re: Backcountry Campsite Tent Restrictions

Postby paul » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:03 pm

The campsite sizes vary. Some are quite large and some not so big. I think most sites are big enough for 3 solo tents. Not sure if all sites can handle a two-person and 2 solos though. What camps do you have on your permit?

For dimensions my guess is the average site is 18x18 ft, but that's a really rough guess. I never actually measured any sites.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir
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Re: Backcountry Campsite Tent Restrictions

Postby mfster » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:07 pm

paul wrote:The campsite sizes vary. Some are quite large and some not so big. I think most sites are big enough for 3 solo tents. Not sure if all sites can handle a two-person and 2 solos though. What camps do you have on your permit?


Glenns Foot, Mokowanis Lake, Elizabeth Lake Foot, and Elizabeth Lake Head.


Alternately we could do two tents and one hammock, although I don't know if there are good spots for that at all the campsites.
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Re: Backcountry Campsite Tent Restrictions

Postby joybird » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:31 pm

I'm not sure if all of them are, but some of the sites at ELF are definitely large enough for a two-person and two one-person tents. I have not actually stayed at the other sites you mention, so I'm not sure about them. Hopefully someone else will chime in!

Have a great trip!
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Re: Backcountry Campsite Tent Restrictions

Postby PeteE » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:42 pm

paul wrote:The campsite sizes vary. Some are quite large and some not so big. I think most sites are big enough for 3 solo tents. Not sure if all sites can handle a two-person and 2 solos though. What camps do you have on your permit?

For dimensions my guess is the average site is 18x18 ft, but that's a really rough guess. I never actually measured any sites.


Regulations

Campsites
Backcountry camping is restricted to 65 designated campgrounds with the exception of the Nyack / Coal Creek camping zone where both designated campgrounds and at large camping are available.

Permits
A backcountry use permit is required for all overnight camping, and must be in your possession while in the backcountry. They are valid only for the dates, locations, and party size specified.

Trip Itineraries
Itineraries must be contiguous. You cannot exit one trailhead and drive to another trailhead to access campgrounds on the same trip. Note: Hiking short road sections on foot—Many Glacier and Two Medicine developed areas, Crossing Going to the Sun Road at Jackson Glacier Overlook—to connect longer itineraries is permitted.

Group Size
The maximum party size allowed is 12 persons. Each backcountry campground has 2-7 campsites. Each campsite is limited to four (4) people and two (2) tents (2-4 person).

Leave No Trace
Many of Glacier’s backcountry camping regulations are based on Leave No Trace (LNT) outdoor ethics. LNT tells us that by concentrating impacts, including eating, sleeping, and human waste disposal, we prevent degradation of a broader area. Concentrating impacts essentially creates small pockets of impact and leaves nearly pristine conditions over larger areas. For more information visit LNT.org.
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Re: Backcountry Campsite Tent Restrictions

Postby paul » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:50 pm

GLF and MOL should have enough of room, I'm not sure about ELH.
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Re: Backcountry Campsite Tent Restrictions

Postby mfster » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:07 am

paul wrote:GLF and MOL should have enough of room, I'm not sure about ELH.

joybird wrote:I'm not sure if all of them are, but some of the sites at ELF are definitely large enough for a two-person and two one-person tents. I have not actually stayed at the other sites you mention, so I'm not sure about them. Hopefully someone else will chime in!

Have a great trip!


Thanks for the info!!

I contacted one of the rangers and he told me: "We do allow hammock camping in campgrounds as long as there are good trees to use in the near vicinity of the campground, i.e. that you aren't creating social trails around campsites causing further resource damage and also using non-damaging webbing to protect the trees. Therefore you could have a two person tent, a one person tent, and a hammock is okay. The tent sites aren't large, very similar to tent pads found at drive-up sites (approximately 12x12), hence the reason of our limit of 2 tents per site."

So based on his info, I think two tents and a hammock seems like a safer bet than three tents.

I assume GLF, MOL, ELF, and ELH would all have good spots for hammocks since they seem pretty wooded, but can anyone confirm this?
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Re: Backcountry Campsite Tent Restrictions

Postby mattB » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:45 pm

I think you should be ok with one 2 person tent and two solo tents, as long as you setup your three tents as close together as possible, which is going to be pretty much like sleeping in the same tent anyway!! :-)

As Paul said, the main point is that you stay within the area of your campsite and aren't setting up a tent outside that area. But as others have said the backcountry camp sites vary a lot, I've been in some that were very wide open and could have accomodated 6 tents, and I've been in others that would have been tight for even just two small tents.

I guess if you really wanted to stay within the letter of the law, you could bring two large 4 person tents, and then your campers could spread out and stay away from each other! :-) But I know there are a lot of campsites where two 4 person tents probably wouldn't fit..
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