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The Notion of Camper Solitude

The other day something unusual happened at my campsite. A human being approached my campsite, while asking a practical question, and talking friendly. It has been years since this happened. I actually felt "violated."

Of course I also laughed at my own reaction. Why do "boondockers" have such a wariness about their fellow campers? Most rigs are not old wrecks. The campers look like bourgeois people who have normal jobs, pay bills, and obey the laws. 

I have decided to do a better job of being friendly to other campers, this winter. There is nothing sacred about solitude and yet there seems to be a romanticism about solitude perhaps based on people's notions of Thoreau's "Walden Pond." (Did any of these people actually read the book?) Humans are gregarious, social animals.

It is easy to be interested in unusual skills or activities that people have. For instance  one neighbor made handmade stringed instruments (guitars, mandolins, etc.) in the back of the pickup truck that towed his trailer.

In fact I wouldn't mind neighbors at all except for their unnecessary noise. With most snowbirds that means a generator, which is unnecessary considering how accessible and inexpensive solar panels have become.

I so wish to avoid playing "Ten Questions" with people, starting with the stale old question of "where you from." 

Interacting with other campers is made difficult by people spending so much time cocooning inside their rigs.

Fortunately quite a few campers have to walk their dogs, and that creates a chance for a friendly greeting, especially since I have a friendly dog myself.

I think my whole attitude towards other campers has changed due to the experience of being a campground host where I learned to start off with a compliment on their rig or pet, to avoid argumentation of any kind, to keep things chirpy...and brief. It is important to dismiss them -- with a smile -- before they have a chance to dismiss you.

But this isn't a real conversation, you say. A person can't remind themselves too often that the best way to ruin something is to expect too much. Expecting real conversations immediately is unrealistic, especially with somebody who is likely to leave tomorrow.

Most snowbirds are not as easy to meet as these summer campers. (From



Well spoken and explained. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words much better than I could.