scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: FW: The NetCommish Website(but now about camping in St. parks)
Chris Summers (ChrisinHouston@AOL.COM
Thu Nov 25 1999 - 09:04:48 CST
Realizing that this thread originally started with a rumor of BSA limiting
camping on private lands I thought I'd add some thoughts on camping in Texas
as it has come into the thread a couple of times.
We have 2 National Parks, Guadelupe NP and Big Bend NP. Both are a 10-12
hour drive from the Houston area. They are remote and do not cater to
typical Boy Scout Troop camping from vehicles, but cater to high adventure
backpacking. There is little or no water in the back country and no stores
near base camp for resupply trips for many miles. There are also costs
involved and most sites are on a first come first serve basis. On a recent
trip to Guadelupe NP we had to camp for 2 nights in BLM land 20 miles down
the hiway as the RV's and tourists passing through had gotten all the sites.
The BLM land we used was accessible, but dirty with trash and a frequent site
for dirt bike racers. The previous users didn't seem to be aware of LNT
We have a good amount of National Forest land near Houston but even though
this time of year is nice for camping and hiking it is also deer season and
hunters are busy in their blinds (deer outnumber humans in many parts of
Texas and we are the only state I know of that allow up to 7 deer per hunter
to be harvested). It is generally good land for Scout camping and the Lone
Star Trail or the Sawdust Trail is quite well marked and fun to hike.
As for state parks they shifted from a fee for vehicle entry and a separate
fee for camping to a per person entry fee and one for camping, so a 9
passenger van that used to pay once now pays 9 times unless you have a $50
pass (non transferable, you can't just give it to the car with the most
riders). Also they only allow 3 tents and I believe 9 people per site. We
camp with four 6 man wall tents and a 12x16 ft dining fly. Some parks have a
primitive group site, but you can't drive to many of them and hiking with a 6
man canvas tent isn't very practical. But camping in our local Houston area
SPs can be fun, Where else do you camp and watch the aligators swiming out
in the lake.
I realize that we will do whatever is necessary to ensure our troops outdoor
program but if camping on private land is an issue maybe National should
ensure that a property release is secured as a contract to legitimize the use
of the land. In our troops case this would not be a problem.
Your Owl Friend
Chris in Houston