These Hikers Left Early To Find A Good Camping Spot, But Late-Arriving Fellow Hikers Asked Them To Share Their Space – Were They Inconsiderate To Decline?

A man and his wife were embarking on a 24-mile backpacking hike in the picturesque Pacific Northwest. The lengthy hike would require them to camp overnight halfway, something they preferred to do in solitude, but their preference for peace and quiet was soon challenged. 

The Plan

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The couple’s hike would consist of a 12-mile trek to a crystal blue lake, overnight camping, followed by another 12 miles back. They had their hearts set on a tranquil outdoor adventure, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of their daily lives.

Early Start

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To make the most of their trip, the man and his wife set their alarms for 3:30am, ready to hit the trailhead as the first rays of dawn emerged. The trailhead was a substantial 3 hour drive from their home, so the early start was essential to secure a good spot at the end of the hike.

Trail Completion

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The couple commenced their hike at 7:00am and reached their destination by 1:30pm, surprised to find themselves as the first arrivals. It was an unexpected occurrence, given the challenging nature of the hike. 

Unusual Scarcity

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Typically, at the end of a hike like this, they’d expect to find 8 or 9 camping sites. However, only 4 sites were scattered around the lake. Despite this, they promptly chose the first available spot, which boasted a breathtaking view of the lake.

Sharing the Space Dilemma

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Hours after settling into their spot, a group of 4 hikers made their way to the lake. At this point, the couple had already established their presence with a pitched tent, cooking equipment, and supplies neatly arranged.

A Request for Shared Space

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To their disdain, the newcomers approached the couple’s spot. They stood there momentarily before mustering the courage to ask if the couple would be willing to move their tent to make room for theirs. This would mean their tents would be just 6 feet apart, turning their secluded backpacking experience into an unexpectedly communal one.

A Polite Decline

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Seeking solitude and to minimize social interaction, the couple politely declined the request. “We would have been cooking food together, gathering water together, and hearing each other’s conversations”, the man explained. “We suggested they check for sites at the lower lake about a mile and a half back.”

Unhappy Campers

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Clearly displeased by the couple’s refusal, the newcomers adopted an insistent attitude, suggesting that they were being unreasonable. “They said it “wasn’t fair” that we were capitalizing on the spot”, the man recounted. “We maintained our position and they ultimately left the lake.”

Their Philosophy

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Despite the frustrated campers, the man and his wife explained their attitude. “My wife’s and my backpacking philosophy has always been to set ourselves up for success by arriving early”, he explained. “The whole point of backpacking for us is to get away from social obligations and to be in solitude.”

Questioning Their Decision

The remaining camping trip was event-free and enjoyable, and the couple proceeded to hike back to the trailhead the next morning. However, they couldn’t help but discuss their decision to decline their fellow hikers’ request. They wondered if they should have been more lenient with their solitude-focused camping philosophy. 

Asking Online

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The man posted to an online community on behalf of himself and his wife, asking what fellow hikers thought of their decision. They were relieved to discover that they were not alone in their reasoning. “Besides sounding like the plot of every horror movie set in woods… you were smart not to let them share”, someone wrote. “They should have been early birds.”

An Unreasonable Ask

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Most people believed that the group had given the couple an unreasonable request. “Let me get this straight… they wanted you to disassemble your tent and move it… to accommodate them?”, asked another reader. “An unreasonable thing to ask strangers, in my opinion.”

Controversial Pictures

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However, a drama enfolded in the thread when, upon request, the man shared a picture of his campsite. “After seeing these pics, I would say you guys were the jerks”, one commenter accused. “There’s clearly plenty of space here for 3 or 4 more tents to be comfortably pitched.”

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