Sharing is Nice, But Not When it’s My Campsite

If you are out in the Boundary Waters and can’t find a campsite then please don’t ask me if you can camp at my site with me. I’m sorry but I really don’t want to share. If I tell you, “No thank you, I prefer not.” then you had better start paddling away unless you’ve got a really good reason why you must stay at my site.

There are exceptions to this I am sure, I just can’t think of any right now. Maybe if you are lost or it’s storming out or a forest fire went through your campsite it would be ok, but then again, maybe not.

Campsites in the BWCA or the Superior National Forest really aren’t meant for sharing. As far as I know there’s no rule stating you have to share your campsite. In fact, you can camp pretty much anywhere in the SNF and it doesn’t need to be at a campsite.

Campsites are nice. They usually have a flat spot for your tent, a fire grate, a latrine and good access to the water. There are hiking trails in the BWCA and some of the tent sites are located on water where canoeists might end up camping. This is unfortunate when it happens and someone hiking has planned on camping there.

Boundary Waters maps made by Fisher Maps distinguish between a hiking campsite and a regular campsite. The hiking campsites are marked on the map with a triangle while the paddling campsites have a circle/dot.  If your group is paddling and takes a hiking campsite and a hiker comes along then it’s time for you to pack up if the hiker wants that site. It’s much easier to paddle across the lake than it is to hike another 3-5 miles and it was your mistake camping there in the first place.

What if another hiker comes along and wants to share your campsite? Some people might want to share but please refer to the title of my post. And if the person doesn’t want to share then please be on your way.  I wouldn’t be comfortable with someone else at my campsite.  It would ruin my time in the wilderness and I think it’s somewhat creepy. It’s an invasion of privacy and it would be uncomfortable sharing a latrine with someone else or even swimming with them around.  I would worry at night and I wouldn’t sleep good.

Some of you might have stories about a time when you shared a campsite or got asked to share your campsite. I’d like to hear about your experience and your opinion about sharing a campsite since you obviously know mine if you’re still reading this post:) Thanks for sharing, pun intended.

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