Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Camping etiquette: sharing your site with uninvited guests

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Camping etiquette: sharing your site with uninvited guests

Old 05-21-10, 03:33 PM
  #1  
tiggermaxcocoa
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 67
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Camping etiquette: sharing your site with uninvited guests

This question may be more suited to a backpacking forum, but I'm going to ask anyway.

Last week my wife and I left work early to do an overnight backpacking trip in the National Forest by our house. The rules for camping in this forest is that you can go anywhere you want, as long as it's at least 50 feet off the trail. We arrived at a nice looking area about 6-7 miles in and decided to set up camp for the night. It was a pretty nice area, with a decent size clearing a little waterfall in view.

About 2 hours after we set up, a group of 3 hikers arrived at the site. They said, "Hope you two don't mind having some company for the night." They proceeded to walk around the site, tripping over guylines we had set up, looking for some room to add their tents. After a couple of minutes, my wife spoke up and basically asked them if they would leave, since an infinite number of "campsites" exist along the trail. She explained that we left work early and came out to have some solitude. They reluctantly left.

Has anyone else ever experienced something like this, on a bike tour or while backpacking? Did we handle this in the wrong way?
tiggermaxcocoa is offline  
Old 05-21-10, 03:40 PM
  #2  
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 12,368
Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2750 Post(s)
Liked 482 Times in 332 Posts
I think it's generally understood (or should be) that people (already there) should be given privacy. Unless, there is a restriction that requires people to be next to each other.

Your "guests" appear to have been numbnuts.

It would have been polite (and customary) for them to have asked first.
njkayaker is offline  
Old 05-21-10, 03:46 PM
  #3  
a1rabbit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think they were wrong to just come up and decide they could share. You guys probably had the nicest spot and they wanted in on it too, which makes sense. I'd probably have been to docile to speak up like your wife did, I don't think she was wrong but if I had been there with you two I'd have felt guilty and embarrassed about sending them away. BUT, I'd be glad to have the spot back with some peace and quiet! lol, I'm just a softy in situations like that, in other situations I'm not a pushover, not even a little.

Backpackers, campers, etc. tend to like hanging around in groups for safety and social reasons. They probably felt guilty and embarrassed when they left too, that or mad, but life goes on and it will teach them a valuable lesson. Don't assume. Maybe if they'd sat down with you guys first to take a break and got to talking, you may have invited them to stay.

I think you guys handled it the right way for you at the time, come to think about it, if they started tripping over my stuff I'd be irked and might ask them to leave too.
a1rabbit is offline  
Old 05-21-10, 04:30 PM
  #4  
rnorris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 976

Bikes: Marin Pt. Reyes, Gary Fisher HiFi Pro, Easy Racers Gold Rush recumbent, Cannondale F600

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I would have been annoyed at their intrusion as well, unless they were in some difficulty that would prevent them from finding another campsite. I've rarely encountered a situation like this in the backcountry- most people are more conscious of others' privacy and desire to focus on the natural setting when camping in the wilderness. There are times when I enjoy camping with large numbers of people, but I'll go to a public campground for that.
rnorris is offline  
Old 05-21-10, 05:13 PM
  #5  
mulveyr 
Senior Member
 
mulveyr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: In the wilds of NY
Posts: 1,568

Bikes: Specialized Diverge, Box Dog Pelican, 1991 Cannondale tandem

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by tiggermaxcocoa View Post
This question may be more suited to a backpacking forum, but I'm going to ask anyway.

Last week my wife and I left work early to do an overnight backpacking trip in the National Forest by our house. The rules for camping in this forest is that you can go anywhere you want, as long as it's at least 50 feet off the trail. We arrived at a nice looking area about 6-7 miles in and decided to set up camp for the night. It was a pretty nice area, with a decent size clearing a little waterfall in view.

About 2 hours after we set up, a group of 3 hikers arrived at the site. They said, "Hope you two don't mind having some company for the night." They proceeded to walk around the site, tripping over guylines we had set up, looking for some room to add their tents. After a couple of minutes, my wife spoke up and basically asked them if they would leave, since an infinite number of "campsites" exist along the trail. She explained that we left work early and came out to have some solitude. They reluctantly left.

Has anyone else ever experienced something like this, on a bike tour or while backpacking? Did we handle this in the wrong way?
If the rules for the forest are that you can camp anywhere beyond a designated distance from the trail ( which is pretty common ), then both common sense and courtesy should have told them to ask you first, and then go elsewhere if you decline their company.

In areas where you have to camp only at designated sites, or where regulations specifically require you to share ( parts of the Adirondacks, especially in lean-to's ), then you're pretty much stuck with whoever shows up.
mulveyr is offline  
Old 05-21-10, 05:48 PM
  #6  
Cyclesafe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,435

Bikes: IF steel deluxe 29er tourer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Last summer on the Ice Fields I would have cyclists ask to share an established site I had paid for, then not offer to split the cost. I found that terribly rude. I think that in the future I would forgo anyone's company and tell anyone asking to mooch to instead occupy (and pay) for their own site. In the OP's situation I would tell them to get the hell out of dodge. Finder's keepers.
Cyclesafe is offline  
Old 05-21-10, 06:38 PM
  #7  
Rowan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16,757
Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1442 Post(s)
Liked 51 Times in 27 Posts
Machka and I blame day care centres.

Think about it...
Rowan is offline  
Old 05-21-10, 09:00 PM
  #8  
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Posts: 11,759
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 189 Post(s)
Liked 35 Times in 26 Posts
Your wife did fine. The visitors should have kept going without being asked.
__________________
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
StephenH is offline  
Old 05-21-10, 09:10 PM
  #9  
sknhgy 
Dirt Bomb
 
sknhgy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2,767
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3559 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 44 Posts
While on an organized tour last summer we (over 100 of us) set up camp in a large park. There was plenty of room to spread out, but a man and his son set-up so close to me that if their parked bikes fell over they would have fell on me as I laid in my tent. I asked them to move the bikes and they complied. Some people either don't think or they have no concept of personal space and privacy.
It is good that your wife spoke up.
sknhgy is offline  
Old 05-21-10, 09:51 PM
  #10  
Rowan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16,757
Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1442 Post(s)
Liked 51 Times in 27 Posts
Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
Some people either don't think or they have no concept of personal space and privacy.
It is good that your wife spoke up.
Refer to post #7 as to why.
Rowan is offline  
Old 05-21-10, 10:40 PM
  #11  
prathmann
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
Posts: 7,239
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 659 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by tiggermaxcocoa View Post
They said, "Hope you two don't mind having some company for the night." ?
Sounds like an invitation for the two of you to speak up if you disagreed.
prathmann is offline  
Old 05-23-10, 10:14 AM
  #12  
BigBlueToe
Senior Member
 
BigBlueToe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central Coast, CA
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: Surly LHT, Specialized Rockhopper, Nashbar Touring (old), Specialized Stumpjumper (older), Nishiki Tourer (model unknown)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
When backpacking I would never camp close to someone else - both for their privacy and mine. There's always another spot, though maybe not as desirable.

When bike touring I also like privacy, but lots of times you can't get it. Many of the hiker/biker spots I've been to consist of an open space with a picnic table or two. You pick a spot for your tent and share the table. While not my favorite setup, it's not bad. Most bike tourers go to sleep pretty early after a long day in the saddle and with another one scheduled for the next day. Also, I've made some friends who ended up being part of my tour.

Another case is when I've got a campsite and the campground is full. When bike tourers come and ask if they can share my spot, I'm thinking, "No!" but I always say yes. What if the shoe was on the other foot? I've never had a bad experience when I did this, and I've met some nice people. It's just that my natural inclination is for privacy.
BigBlueToe is offline  
Old 05-23-10, 05:34 PM
  #13  
Connell
Wheezy Rider
 
Connell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: 8,750'
Posts: 292
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Last summer I backpacked up to a spot I had passed a number of times, but had never stayed at. It's idyllic, by a stream, in the shade, very tranquil, that kind of thing. It was midweek and as I'd been having a stressful time of it, was looking forward to a little quality time between myself and the natural world. I had no sooner got my tent up when another backpacker came a-lumbering up. "Mind if I join you?" he asked and without waiting for a reply, starting unpacking his gear. Right next to mine.

Me: "Uhm, yeah I kinda do."
Him: "Well too bad, it's a free country"
Me: "Yes it is, but there's plenty of room for both of us, without camping right on top of each other"
Him: "OK, I promise not to talk to you. How about that?"

So as he obviously wasn't planning to move, and as I had no desire to spend the evening with him, no talking or not, and as he was significantly bigger than me so the odds of me physically intimidating him into moving were slim, I ended up relocating to a spot further down the trail, which was pleasant enough, but not as good as the first one.

But, I still feel like I should have waited until he was asleep, then dropped a big rock on his head.
Connell is offline  
Old 05-23-10, 06:20 PM
  #14  
a1rabbit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Connell View Post
But, I still feel like I should have waited until he was asleep, then dropped a big rock on his head.
Would be better to lock his zippers shut with a zip-strap and then collapse the tent on him. Not that I'd do that...

Better be fast at getting away.
a1rabbit is offline  
Old 05-24-10, 02:24 AM
  #15  
Neil_B
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Originally Posted by Connell View Post
Last summer I backpacked up to a spot I had passed a number of times, but had never stayed at. It's idyllic, by a stream, in the shade, very tranquil, that kind of thing. It was midweek and as I'd been having a stressful time of it, was looking forward to a little quality time between myself and the natural world. I had no sooner got my tent up when another backpacker came a-lumbering up. "Mind if I join you?" he asked and without waiting for a reply, starting unpacking his gear. Right next to mine.

Me: "Uhm, yeah I kinda do."
Him: "Well too bad, it's a free country"
Me: "Yes it is, but there's plenty of room for both of us, without camping right on top of each other"
Him: "OK, I promise not to talk to you. How about that?"

So as he obviously wasn't planning to move, and as I had no desire to spend the evening with him, no talking or not, and as he was significantly bigger than me so the odds of me physically intimidating him into moving were slim, I ended up relocating to a spot further down the trail, which was pleasant enough, but not as good as the first one.

But, I still feel like I should have waited until he was asleep, then dropped a big rock on his head.
Or stolen his bootlaces. Bill Bryson's companion in A Walk In The Woods did that to a bossy freeloader.
 
Old 05-24-10, 10:04 AM
  #16  
Booger1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Gaseous Cloud around Uranus
Posts: 3,741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 3 Posts
I get out the 10" buddy knife and start cleaning my fingernails.They start moving on after that.
Booger1 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Noonievut
Touring
39
08-10-18 11:13 PM
J.Higgins
Touring
45
05-02-17 01:05 AM
RoMad
Fifty Plus (50+)
52
08-17-10 04:14 PM
spooner
Touring
34
07-31-10 10:43 AM
k9power
Touring
105
05-29-10 07:50 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.