Monday, April 23, 2018

Concerned citizens

Shortly before sunset I was reading in the Rolling Steel Tent when a man in an OHV drove slowly up. I waved but he might not have seen me. He continued around the blind side of the van and stopped. By the time I got my shoes on and got to where he was parked, he was out of his vehicle and approaching my open rear door.

“Oh!” he exclaimed when he saw me.


“I was afraid I might find a body in here or something.”

I shrugged, “I’m just doing a little camping.”

”Oh, right. It’s just that I saw the van when I went by yesterday and...”

“I’ll be heading out in the morning.”

He looked a little sheepish for having suspected trouble. “Ah. Well. I can offer you a cold beer.”

“Thanks, but I’m fine.”

It’s good to have people concerned about what’s going on. It’s good he wasn’t there to argue I wasn’t on public land. It’s good he was a good natured guy. But I think he wouldn’t have thought there was a potential problem if I’d been in something RV-ish. Or if I had outdoor living space set up. Or if there had been another rig with me. Vans—particularly lone ones—have a stigma. But I cope with it.

Maybe I should fly a flag or something. Is there one that means harmless old fart just camping?


  1. My conveyance actually does look RV-ish, and I've had people kind of miffed that I don't set up an outdoor room. "Well you've just been inside and we didn't even feel like we could stop by to chat."

    Yep, I was inside reading. I'm not the outdoor room type. I thought it was interesting that they put it in terms of their comfort. "Well, let me get right on that pair of chairs and a rug so that my presence doesn't bother you!" (Never mind I have no place to put two chairs and a rug, and besides, is it a law?)

    As you can likely tell, I find it mildly irritating. Especially considering I was probably just listening to their generator earlier...

    But yeah, I can see where a "lone van" would make this sort of thing more likely (maybe for different reasons - in your case the person was concerned you might be dead; in my case they just felt I wasn't doing it right).

    I need a flag too: Private person just doing some camping, possibly reading.

  2. I'm not bothering anyone for fear of meeting Heesa Wackinoff.