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  1. #1
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    Ever had someone steal your camping spot?

    I am I Montana near Yellowstone at a free campground but has numbered spots. Spent last night and leave hammocks up and a solar charger on table to charge battery. Come back from being in Yellowstone all day and a camper van is in the parking spot. It is very busy in the entire area so camping spots are all full. Did not know they were in van for an hour as we cooked dinner. Heard movement in van and knocked because did want someone get up in dark and think we were there doing wrong. I asked the guy what his plans were and he was rude and said they were staying and we could not reserve spot by leaving our stuff there. I said that he would not do that if someone had a camper in spot and no truck. He then Said there is plenty of room for all of us and he was not leaving, like what was I going to do about it. So I was not going to fight about it and said I am calling the cops, which I did and he finally left while cussing us out. This was just total disrespect just because the hammocks were in the trees and not in the open spot. Might have let him stay but he had it in his mind he was going to steal our spot and rude on top of it.

  2. #2
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    I once had a bunch of pricks take my reserved camping spot in the NJ Pine Barrens. They said, "Oh, you can have our spot!" which didn't have any trees for hammocks. I warned them to vacate my reserved camping spot, then I went off in the woods to retrieve my backpack, which I had stashed in the woods.

    When I came back, they were still in my camping spot, now with a roaring campfire. I explained to them that I had guests paddling down the Mullica River who were about to arrive soon, and they were not even remotely pleasant people. If they wanted conflict, the best way to do it would be to steal our reserved camping spot. I sufficiently conveyed to them how nasty my friends would be upon discovering that someone had taken our campsite, and even suggested that I would call the state police, if necessary. I told them my friends would be there in 15 minutes, and they better be gone by then.

    Lo and behold, they moved five tents, and the roaring campfire, in less than 15 minutes. When my friend (njredneck) arrived, he was cold and wet from rain and not in a good mood. I can't even think of what he would have done to those people if they had still occupied our campsite.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3
    oldgringo's Avatar
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    There's another way to look at this...it's not uncommon for someone to park an RV in a site to hold it till the weekend, thus depriving others of the use of that spot. Makes me furious...
    Dave

    "I dearly love the state of Texas, but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults". Molly Ivins

  4. #4
    OneClick's Avatar
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    That sucks. Camp etiquette is running low these days. Very low.

    I see people in Michigan parking RVs and campers months ahead of deer season. Months!! The max is 15 or 21 days depending on the season. I wish they would tow or fine them.

  5. #5
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    Not really but I have seen folks move in too close. A vast amount of land to wonder and camp and they have to get all on top on me to set up. Strange folks out there for sure.

  6. #6
    OneClick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigtimber View Post
    Not really but I have seen folks move in too close. A vast amount of land to wonder and camp and they have to get all on top on me to set up. Strange folks out there for sure.
    I always use an example from years ago. 4.5 million acres of public land in Michigan, and some guys decided to camp about 75 yards away from me one year hunting. Then started the generator. They can't possibly have assumed I wouldn't care. Just total ignorance I guess.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jeff-oh's Avatar
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    This post brings up a different question. Does a hammock between two trees on the edge of a campsite convey the message of this site is occupied? It is surely different for a lone hammock vs. a tent set up on the site. In the OP's description there was basically nothing in the site or on the table etc. (a solar charger on a table could be anyones who is using that table because it is in the sun. It is easy to focus on the civility or lack or civility of the interaction, but how as hammockers can we better convey that the site is indeed occupied so that they do not park in the driveway anyway.

  8. #8
    michigandave's Avatar
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    I was hiking the Manistee River Trail a couple years ago midweek, when there's not alot of people around. i was heading north on the MRT side and planned to cross the bridge to my traditional spot at Edinigton Creek on the NCT side. Midway up the MRT, at the waterfall site (old site 3 that I think is now closed), I find a complete camp setup with screen room, piles of gear, grill etc...the whole nine yards. There's one woman there and I stop to talk. She had come in on Monday from the nearby 2 track to save the spot for the following weekend for a large family campout and was just rotating with another relative to "hold" the spot.

    When there's free places to stay, like the MRT with no registration or fees, it's first come, first serve and no rules. At least they had the courtesy of having a person there to resemble an active campsite. Meanwhile, it's a prime spot with great views that other backpackers would have appreciated the opportunity to camp there.

  9. #9
    Senior Member TallPaul's Avatar
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    Thatís a tough situation.

    I ran into 2 hammock campers that took my reserved backpacking spot.
    I ended up chatting with them and found out somebody had taken their spot. I said we had enough room they could stay. Ended up they knew about Hammockforums and shared some spirits with us.

  10. #10
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    Here's and idea - unfortunately putting the burden on the person who actually has "rights" to the spot ... if car camping - which it sounds like the situation in most cases above - there are "pop up" .. darest I say it .. tents you can buy. They have some kind of flexible hoop built in so you pull them out of their bag and Pop - they are up. Just put in a stake or two so it doesn't blow away. You can use that the "mark the spot" It's also a place to put other gear while you sleep comfortably in the hammock. So it's is not like erecting a traditional tent with poles and such. Don't even need a rain fly. It is just a 3 dimensional "sign" that says, "We are here."

    I have also found that - bless their little hearts - campground designers clear out the trees in a site to make it more tent friendly. That mostly leaves trees only on the border between two sites. That creates ambiguity. Even if the trees are "on your side", it can still put you uncomfortably close to the other person's site. Just part of life.

    My epiphany last year was that I don't need two trees for my hammock. I just need one tree next to the car/truck pull in. Then I can rig the hammock between that one tree and the luggage rack on the jeep.

    It is a challenge. You want to leave something at the site to clearly show it is taken, but then you are leaving something there, all alone, hoping it will be there when you get back.

    It is a little puzzling because my experience is, campsites that have a reservation system also have a Camp Host. And the camp host can be a third party, semi-official, who can s'plain to the tresspassers that the site is already taken.

    Frankly, if I were to leave some "I am here" item on the picnic table, it wouldn't be an expensive solar device. Would be more like a water bottle or pots and pans. But it does have to look like "residence" instead of maybe something a person forgot when the left.

    Ah - here's a cheap idea. If the site has a picnic table, just put a cheapie tablecloth on it. That is large enough - especially with a water bottle on it, to say, "We are here."
    Last edited by cougarmeat; 07-12-2019 at 23:49.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

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