Doug Rutherford

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Firewood and quiet hours

August 2013
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I do have two pet peeves with camping in Yukon campgrounds: firewood and quiet hours.

In Yukon government campgrounds, firewood is provided. This is a huge bone of contention with the territorial government environment department. Providing firewood is expensive, and usage has increased dramatically over the last few years. There is a departmental budget for firewood, and when this is used up, that’s all there is. For example, for Fox Lake, Twin Lakes and Labarge, the total quota is 90 cords of wood.

We were camping in Fox Lake two weeks ago, and apparently, the week before, there was no wood. The weekend we were there, they restocked the firewood. However, when I went to the box, I got quite a surprise. There were bits of cut up plywood, sawmill ends, some chopped up 2x6s, and even the seat of a hardwood chair that had been chopped up. My guess is that the quota has been used up and, if you’re headed there, you may want to bring your own.

What causes this, since that’s a lot of wood. When we used to heat the trailer with wood, I’d go through about 2½ cords a year. In short, there’s enough to heat almost 40 poorly insulated houses for a year.

I don’t use much firewood, since it normally only takes about 3 or 4 pieces to have a fire through the evening. However, I’ve seen people with fires with flames 4 feet high, and I’m not sure what they’re trying to accomplish beyond wasting wood. Whenever I see one of these huge conflagrations, I want to walk over and pee in their campfire (you’d have to drink a lot to have any effect other than a symbolic one but I think people might take a hint).

The other issue is quiet hours. Yukon government campgrounds have quiet hours between 11 PM and 7 AM. During this time, you’re not supposed to make excessive noise, run generators, play loud music, etc. It doesn’t happen often, but enough times to be annoying. There are campground officers, who enforce these rules among other things, but they can’t be in all campgrounds at all times.

My problem is that there shouldn’t be a need to have an officer in every campground at every time for the sake of keeping quiet hours. Surely, people should have enough sense to not run their generator after 11 PM (why would you be running it at that hour, anyway?) or to be blaring music late at night in a campground. If you want all the comforts of home, why are you out in the woods?

Well, there’s my rant du jour. I suppose it’s my two cents worth, although with the demise of the penny, I guess it’s rounded down…


1 Comment

  1. […] years ago, I mentioned one of my two pet peeves with Yukon government campgrounds involves firewood. The issue has been […]

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