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Open Roads Forum  >  Family Camping

 > Odd Experience While Camping - Lesson Learned

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SuperBus

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Posted: 11/12/22 07:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I thought I would share a recent experience I had while camping with my boys on a Father and Son's trip. A few weekends back, I took my pre-teen boys camping while my wife was away. The morning after our first night, I got up early to watch the sun rise. There were a handful of people doing the same thing in the same area. As usual, everyone was respecting each other's reflection time. Finally, a fellow camper made a comment on how nice of a sunrise it was. I responded in confirmation. Then, this fellow camper continued the conversation with me. I expected this to be a few minutes conversation, but he continued to talk. I was polite but ended the conversation when it became clear he would talk indefinitely and returned to my campsite to make breakfast for me and my children.

Roughly thirty to sixty minutes later, while eating our meal outside, this individual showed up to our campsite and wished to strike up a conversation. I was annoyed for the obvious reasons (in the middle of eating), but more surprised this person went through the trouble to find my site, and then was bold enough to interrupt what I expect would be an obvious time of privacy to most people. Against my better judgement, I chose politeness and spoke to him for a few minutes before letting him know we needed to get back to eating. He left and made a comment about maybe seeing us later.

At this time, I should mention this person was middle aged, by himself, and other than seeking attention, wasn't giving off signs of trouble.

In the early afternoon of that same day, my older son and I were about to depart to the playground, and my younger son decided to stay inside. As we start to ride our bikes away, this camper pulls up in his truck. His face is red, as if he had been drinking.
Now I am getting bothered and slightly concerned. He begins to unload firewood as if we are all going to have a fire together. Now is when I decide I must become firm with this individual. I let him know we appreciate the offer but we are here to enjoy time together and need our time to do that. He seemed slightly offended, left the firewood, and wished us all a good time. We returned the well wishes and he departed the site. My older son and I decided it best not to leave my younger son alone, even if he was locked inside.

Needless to say, the rest of our stay we were constantly looking over our shoulder for him to come back to our site. Luckily, the weather turned and everyone at the park was forced inside.

I never felt as if this person was dangerous, but his indifference or ignorance to social norms was disturbing. My personal opinion was that he was seeking conversation to be engaged socially. However, how could I know what was really going on? I considered leaving the park that evening, but with the weather so bad, and us being safely inside our coach, I felt the risk was low to stay. We left the next morning without further incident.

We've been camping a long time in all levels of parks (slightly shady overnights enroute to a final destination to restrictive Class A only parks) and have never encountered something like this, so I was not prepared. In the future, sadly, I will have to be much more careful on who I talk to, when, and where. It will also probably influence where we camp. This is all very unfortunate, but it was so strange I feel I need to put measures in place to avoid something similar.

* This post was edited 11/13/22 05:48am by SuperBus *

opnspaces

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Posted: 11/12/22 09:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SuperBus wrote:


We've been camping a long time in all levels of parks (slightly shady overnights enroute to a final destination to restrictive Class A only parks) and have never encountered something like this, so I was not prepared. In the future, sadly, I will have to be much more careful on who I talk to, when, and where. It will also probably influence where we camp. This is all very unfortunate, but it was so strange I feel I need to put measures in place to avoid something similar.


Definitely a weird situation but it sounds like he was harmless. By now I'm sure you are aware that there are many different people in the world and some tend just act differently than what we expect as the norm. It doesn't mean they are dangerous, just different.

I would take your last paragraph to heart. You have been camping for a long time in all levels of parks and never encountered something like this. This was a one time thing. It will probably never happen again. Personally I would not let it influence where I camped.


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toedtoes

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Posted: 11/12/22 10:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are many people out there who are lonely and/or are socially inept. Yes, sometimes they hang on even when everything you say and do is obviously saying "no" - at least obvious to people who are not lonely and/or socially inept.

You handled it well and he got the hint.

I wouldn't change your camping habits because you ran into this guy.

Honestly, women deal with guys like this all the time - they just refuse to take the hint until you get forceful about it.

P.S. his read face probably was because he had just loaded all that firewood to bring you, not because he was drunk.


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SuperBus

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Posted: 11/13/22 05:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

opnspaces and toedtoes. Great responses. I too considered it to be a black swan event and would hope not to be in this situation again. Perhaps my initial reaction will fade and we'll return to that park and other similar ones next year.

toedtoes, the note you make about women getting stuck dealing with guys like this is sad - but unfortunately true - maybe one day people will collectively respect each other [emoticon] Hey, we can be hopeful, can't we?

Pbutler97

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Posted: 11/13/22 06:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

toedtoes wrote:



Honestly, women deal with guys like this all the time


Not the homely ones!

winnietrey

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Posted: 11/13/22 10:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am 100% behind your decision to want family time alone without a stranger.

I suspect what you ran into was an extremely lonely old man. May have just lost his wife kids may live far away. He may have been well aware he was being pushy, but his loneliness overcame that.

Or he could have been a crazy axe murderer, who knows but I suspect the former.

30 years ago, used to dread mowing the lawn, as the widowed old guy next door, would always want to come out and chat. Then I got old and widowed now I understand

toedtoes

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Posted: 11/13/22 11:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pbutler97 wrote:

toedtoes wrote:



Honestly, women deal with guys like this all the time


Not the homely ones!


You'd think, but the homely ones deal with it as often or more. I suspect the men think that because they are homely, they should be grateful for the attention.

SuperBus

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Posted: 11/17/22 06:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

winnietrey wrote:

I am 100% behind your decision to want family time alone without a stranger.

I suspect what you ran into was an extremely lonely old man. May have just lost his wife kids may live far away. He may have been well aware he was being pushy, but his loneliness overcame that.

Or he could have been a crazy axe murderer, who knows but I suspect the former.

30 years ago, used to dread mowing the lawn, as the widowed old guy next door, would always want to come out and chat. Then I got old and widowed now I understand


Great insight. I work hard to try and see things from the other person's perspective, and hence why, in hindsight, I humored him longer than I should have in the first encounter, setting the stage for the next two run-ins. I am 99.5% sure he was not the axe wielding murderer type either, but the departure from social norms was enough to raise a few hairs and put me on alert.

Who knows, maybe he found a homely woman to bother and that's when he left me alone...

covered wagon

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Posted: 11/17/22 07:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't let this kind of thing bother me at all because I tell them right away what I want to do rather than put up with it for any length of time. I've seen it a lot and think nothing of it whatsoever. just tell them like it is in a polite way and leave it at that. Sometimes it gets to the point that I say I am sorry, I don't want to be impolite but, I need to do this or that right now.

LMHS

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Posted: 11/18/22 12:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As a woman, I've dealt with the "overly friendly" campers ever since I started camping with my husband in 1979. Even being huge pregnant didn't stop them. And then there are the ones who think it's "neat" that I converted the bus by myself. They always want a tour. I often wonder how they would react if someone driving past their house stopped and asked for a tour of their house. This is my "house", not a vacation toy. Some people simply can't take a polite hint. I finally learned to be rude. Like my husband told me, if they are rude enough to be pushy, then it's okay if I am rude in return.

The worst one was when a guy (drunk), walked up to my bus one night and banged on the door. He asked "How much?" I reported the guy to the campground. Seems I wasn't the only one he asked this question. The other woman had her husband inside with her. I was told it got interesting. I started keeping the door locked whenever I was inside or walking the dog. I also keep a baseball bat next to the door since that incident. I also carry a taser flashlight when I walk the dog. And I'm not very friendly to people anymore. I have been weekending, long-terming and/or full-timing for over 4 decades. I have come to realize that there are a lot of people who think nothing of invading my personal private space and exhibit inappropriate behaviour. So far, I have yet to actually taser someone or beat them with the baseball bat. But I have had to resort to "displaying" the baseball bat several times and only called the cops on someone twice (he was threatening my daughter with a gun, and I have learned that the local city cops won't arrest someone who is on prescription drugs but the county cops will).

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