Where Did You (Not) Pitch Your Tent Last Night?

youdidnotsleepthere Calls Out Fake Campers on Instagram

I’ve been a relatively active Instagram user since way back in 2010. During that time I’ve found a good number of outdoor adventurer types who are worth a follow.

For the most part, I enjoy seeing snapshots from the outings of these folks as I scroll through my feed. But every so often, someone posts a picture so ridiculous, I can’t believe it’s anything but visual fiction.

In general, Instagram is a place of improbably beautiful photos, and even the world of outdoor adventure isn’t immune to the artistic deception often practiced on the popular image-sharing platform. Instagram isn’t real life, and often we’re reminded that while photos can showcase beautiful imagery, they can also tell beautiful lies.

Picture this. You’re scrolling through your Instagram feed when you come across an amazingly gorgeous photo of a tent pitched improbably on the edge of a narrow cliff—a lot like this one:

A post shared by @youdidnotsleepthere on

Chances are that you, like me, experience first thoughts that can best be summed up as, “No way.”

Enter @youdidnotsleepthere

And we’re not the only doubting viewers. Since 2015, @youdidnotsleepthere has been calling out cases of improbably placed camping spots on Instagram like this one:

A post shared by @youdidnotsleepthere on

@youdidnotsleepthere was started by Luisa Jeffery in 2015. She started the account when she watched a friend take a staged shot of a campsite for outdoor gear company Poler while they were on a rafting trip. Shortly after that, the account took on a life of its own making fun of fake campsites like this one:

A post shared by @youdidnotsleepthere on

Of course some people actually do camp in these improbable (some would say foolhardy) spots, as is the case of my Evolution Basin campsite, evidenced here:

Evolution Basin Camp
The author after setting up a most real and very sleepable campsite in the unparalleled beauty of the Evolution Basin.

So what if a mocked Instgrammer in question actually did sleep there? No big deal, really. As Jeffery told National Geographic, it’s about calling out the camping clichés and making people laugh.

If you like seeing images of beautiful outdoor spaces, then @youdidnotsleepthere is worth a follow. Just don’t take it too seriously.


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