Comments on Proposed Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas
I will restrict my comments to cover tent pads and platforms, which is an area where I feel the guidelines are lacking. It is important that the guidelines encourage a more universally accessible design than just a simple ground-level tent pad.
I believe that the guideline should require that new campsites on an accessible route be accessible campsites. At each of these accessible sites, the guidelines should require a raised tent pad unless its construction would trigger one of the conditions for departure.
It is important that people have a few places in each recreational area where they can show up and camp independently without dragging in a bunch of equipment to make that possible. Also, it is sometimes more feasible and attractive to build a raised tent pad into the landscape than to carve out a large flat area.
Also, I believe the following guidelines should be amended:
Clear Floor or Ground Space. The tent pad and platform shall include a 48 inches (1220 mm) minimum wide clear floor or ground space surrounding the tent.
Clear Floor or Ground Space. Each corner of the tent pad and platform shall be bordered by a 48 inches (1220 mm) minimum wide clear floor or ground space that reaches the corner and is connected to the other corners by an accessible route.
This will give land managers and site designers flexibility when designing a tent pad so that they can work with hillsides and boulders to best fit the site instead of requiring a large space to be cleared out for a tent pad. At the same time, ensuring access to every corner, provides people with the ability to independently set up a tent.
Edge Protection. Curbs, walls, railing, or projecting surfaces that prevent people from slipping off the tent platform shall be provided and curbs shall be 3 inches (75 mm) high minimum.
Edge Protection. Where curbs, walls, railing, or projecting surfaces that prevent people from slipping off the tent platform are provided, curbs shall be 3 inches (75 mm) high minimum.
A three inch curb would present a barrier when transferring onto and off of the raised surface. Perhaps the requirement could be compromised to 2 inches or an exception required for the edge designed to accommodate transfers.