We’ve all seen them, hell many of us have probably dabbled. Setting up tents in the most aesthetically pleasing manner imaginable to “do numbers” on Instagram is just another symptom of the social media phenomenon. Louisa from Portland, Oregon was fed up with the phoneys, she created You Did Not Sleep There to celebrate “Instagram’s most illogical campsites.”

From campsites on a cliff edge, sleeping bags on sketchy inclines and the odd dumb hammock placement, they call out staged setups for what they are.


Also pictured: realistic depiction of the night sky. #youdidnotsleepthere • photo @taylorlangius

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Ironically, the account uses the same app as its targets to question illogical tent placements or environmentally unsound camping practices, and all of the sites currently losing their minds over its existence are the same ones that were sharing “The 10 Best Tent Placements We Ripped Off Instagram” 12 months ago. It’s all delightfully hypocritical.


When your campsite comes with an entourage. #youdidnotsleepthere • photo @_vanisland_

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So what’s it mean for us? People who actually camp? I think our wry chuckle at a tent pitched on the edge of Trolltunga (a crowd favourite – see below) stems from our desire for authenticity. Isn’t that why we go bush? To get away from carefully crafted marketing campaigns and shove some dirt under our nails?

Kyle Dempster sums this up perfectly when he says “Real adventure is not polished,” and he’s right. Adventures that go to plan make for pretty boring stories, it’s unpredictability and self-reliance that keep us coming back for more.



The thing I appreciate most about You Did Not Sleep There is that it forces us to stop taking ourselves so seriously and stop buying into a cycle of fake photos of fake experiences.

It’s pretty easy to snap out of it though, just follow one simple rule:

You’ve pitched your tent, now sleep in it.


**The feature photo for this piece was taken by Tim (the author), of a tent that was actually slept in, whether Tom knew he was being photographed is up for debate.