Camping do's and don't.

My wife and I went camping for a few days with the Motorhome. In a site along side of us was a nice gentleman and his wife. Upon starting up a conversation with him it led into him stating while camping at this same campground a time back they saw a young woman alone standing on a pier at the lake just around dusk. Awhile later there was a knock at their camper door, the wife went to the door and asked who it was and the female voice said her name. At this point the wife believed it to be a friend of hers a few campsites over because the friend had the same name that was just given by the person knocking.
The wife opened the door and found it was the young woman who they saw on the pier alittle earlier. The young woman asked if she could come in and use their cell phone because her battery was dead on hers. The camping couple said no, ( good decision ). The young girl then proceeded to tell them her boyfriend left her there with no means of getting home. The camping couple told her they were sorry but they wouldn’t be able to help her and closed the door.
Ok now, I asked the gentleman why the wife didn’t look out the window that was right beside the door so she could see who actually was there? His Reply, didn’t think about that. He continued to state the young woman went to the next trailer and did the same thing. The next morning the man from that trailer talked with the one telling me this fiasco that they let the young stranger into their trailer and couldn’t get rid of her then. The young woman asked them if she could stay the night with them. Finally that couple forcibly told her to leave.
My view on this was at the time I was being told this, I was remembering the training video about camping USCCA has on their site. After the gentleman walked away I spoke with my wife and said the gentleman should have looked out the window before opening the door and he should have told the young lady he would call the park ranger to get her help. I believe that would have been the correct action.
You couldn’t know if this could have been a set-up for some bad criminal doings.
Play it safe.


Definitely these are appropriate responses when there is somebody accessible whose job it is to address or assist with such issues.

Much more challenging when your campsite (or residence) is far from official sources of assistance — for you, or for the person in apparent distress. Then it becomes like the rest of life — something of a gamble with only uncertainties in all directions. If your conscience won’t let you turn out the porch light on a person in need, you’d best have a good tactical plan for when things turn out not as they appear.

This is a part of my real life with the closest neighbor over a mile distant and emergency services an hour away in good weather. Everybody is a first responder to every emergency they encounter. It gets more complicated when backup is not at hand.


Daytime or nighttime, I’m the only one who answers the door.
I also use the Ring doorbell camera now instead of the window next to the front door.


BeanCounter, this happened at a campground with rv’s ( campers ). I guess if a person is real ritzy they’d put a ring camera doorbell on their camper.
Wait a minute, I think I have something here with what I just said.


My comment was more a reply to techs’ comment. But, I think I have something here with what you just said. :wink:

Listen to the podcast Lost Hills to see why you can’t trust the local management to tell you when there are dangers in the area.

We camped at a State Park in AZ where we latter found out a man who thought he owned the place had kidnapped some kayakers at gunpoint. He ended up being carted off to jail before we got there but if we had gone a few weeks earlier we could have been the trespassers and I would have been confused because there some active mines in the area so I might have thought we were accidentally trespassing and been reluctant to defend myself.

I was going to say this is sounding like one of those campfire stories that ends with “the old man finally told us the woman we described drowned herself off the pier 50 years ago the night her boyfriend abandoned her.”

Yikes either way.


We had a guy drive up to our camp at about 11:00 PM. He said he needed to get to town but didn’t have enough gas in his truck, wanted to know if we had any gas. I stood up, he saw my Uberti on my hip and he said said “Sorry, just checking”. We notified the ranger but didn’t see or hear anything from him after that. Just too weird for me. I’m always weary of people up in the mountains, for some reason the crazies seem to like to show up there.


When you get out to the fringes, you get more fringey people. If you think the mountains attract crazies (and they do), try the desert. Baked in the sun, dried in the heat, a whole different kind of crazy.


Up here in the mountain desert, we are both weary and wary of townies. This is indeed where the crazies seem to think they can head with guns, drugs, and a pickup truck to raise hell as they please. They know the law is an hour away as well as we do.

At least the distance tends to thin out the hoards of teenage vandals, so our mailbox still keeps the mail in and some of the road signs remain legible.


Being a campground host myself; I am placed into this situation frequently. Yes I use my side window before opening the door. Yes my pistol is in my pocket ready to deploy if necessary. Yes my wife has a pistol in hand deployed ready and out of sight for that once in a lifetime bad moment. Since we are hosts we help the person at the door. We never let them into our camper. I will usually go outside with the person while my wife watches from one of our windows. I will call the ranger and wait with the person as a just in case scenario until the ranger arrives. Then place everything in the ranger hands but staying close by as a just in case for the ranger. Weird stuff happens at all campgrounds. It is hard to know who to trust and who not to. People feel safe in our campground and yet bad things happen; that most people are not aware of. We have plans for a lot of situations we encounter but weird things happen. Sometimes you need to trust your gut. When you move into a new park introduce yourself to the host or hosts and get the emergency contact information for that park, and county. Every park is different. Dialing 911 sometimes is not as effective as it should be. Having the park ranger and county Sherriff department number in your phone does not hurt. Enjoy camping but be aware of your surroundings. Bad things happen in campgrounds also. One other piece of advice: never put your address on the registration slip that is on display for the whole world to see. Do place it on the registration envelope the payment is in; that goes to the ranger for check in. Thieves will cruise the campground to see who is there. Then they visit the address on the slip when they see you at your campsite. Have witnessed this way to often in safe campgrounds. Sorry to make this reply sound as a downer. camping is fun and should be enjoyed by everybody. Just be ALERT.