Is There Any Privacy Left?

Is there any privacy left in the world? I’m beginning to wonder!

Living in a small town with 3 traffic lights you tend not to think about big brother watching you.

Now I know in all our major cities there are cameras on the traffic lights, banks, arena’s and public venues have cameras but there are so many more that one doesn’t see.

Where I really become aware of the lack of privacy is when we head down to the states for a holiday. If you take Hwy 10 across the country you can be tracked every step of the way.

There are cameras galore and lots of checkpoints almost like going through a border crossing where they check out your vehicle or just pass you through taking pictures of you, your car and the license.

Places like the UK where there are cameras on every corner have done a survey that says there is one surveillance camera for every 11 people in Britain. Now that is a lot of lack of privacy.

In theory, all these measures have been put into effect to protect us, to find criminals or just make sure we are minding our P’s and Q’s.

But at what point in time do you get a little breathing space to have a little privacy and not have your every movement recorded.

This all came to mind last week when we went camping.

Camping to us isn’t staying in Government run campgrounds where you make a reservation a year in advance and even then can get put on a waiting list. Those campsites have amenities like power hookups, running water, garbage disposal and showers and toilets.

When we go camping it’s a bit off the beaten path.

No paved roads, manicured campgrounds, pools or kids playgrounds and definitely no showers, running water or toilets.

We head to the woods where each campsite is surrounded by trees, there are no lights and quiet prevails.

You are in the middle of nowhere by a lake that is spring fed, pristine and there are only 28 campsites in total.

Lizard Lake

If you need to use the facilities, there are a few outhouses that are cleaned every morning by the camp attendant but there is always the prevailing smell that is associated with such amenities.

You just plug your nose and deal with it. It’s all part of the camping experience!

Here are some of the FAQ’s

  • no reservations (first come get the best campsites)
  • no power
  • no running water
  • cash only (no credit or debit cards)
  • beware of wildlife (Bears, Elk)
  • take your garbage with you or pay a fine

I think it’s called rustic.

Now, that’s not to say that we go rustic as well. I admit we have a 1987 RV that has seen better days but runs like a top and you don’t have to worry about taking off your shoes before you enter.

camping in an 1987 RV

But… I’m getting off topic.

This place to me is a little piece of heaven on earth and where privacy abounds or does it?

To set the scene, we have a boat that is a rubber zodiac with an electric motor that we putter around the lake in.

I bird, Rob fishes or watches the fishes as I bird. It all works out. 🙂

bald eagle

So needless to say my eyes are peeled on the surrounding as you can hear the birds, but can’t necessarily see them amongst the trees.

Any little movement, signs of colour or deviation in the natural landscape catches my attention as I search for the elusive birds.

On one of our trips around the lake, I noticed something out of the ordinary. There, attached to a tree was a trail cam trained on the dock across the lake.

It was all done in camouflage and as I pointed it out to Rob it was so well hidden that he could see it the first time around.

trail cam on tree

As we got closer we could see that in order to set it up you would need to be in a boat standing up. It was just at that level.

Whoever had put it up and trimmed some branches as well in order to have a clear view of the dock. Really, there was nothing else to look at. No wildlife and there is one duck on the water but it wasn’t pointing at the water just at the dock.

I was indignant and appalled that my privacy had been invaded in the area of wilderness where everything seemed so pure and untouched.

So I did what any red-blooded Canadian would do… I stuck my tongue out at it. What else was there to do!

Rob got on the front of the boat to get a closer look and it was in a metal case with a lock on it and it was screwed to a large cedar tree.

I took a picture and we took it back to the camp attendant to see what it was all about thinking that she might know.

She was as gobsmacked as we were and as she was heading back into town that night she said that she would ask the people that ran the campground if they knew anything about it.

Upon her return, she arrived with a hacksaw with a diamond blade and asked us to cut it down.

No one knew who had put it up there. They called fisheries and wildlife management and no one could see any reason that it could be there other than to spy on people.

It took Rob about 1/2 an hour to cut off the lock standing on the front of the zodiac with me trying to hold it still.

Finally success!

And as it would have it, this trip the cordless screwdriver had made it out with us, so after taking out the 4-inch screws that attached it to the tree (it wasn’t going anywhere), we were able to examine it.

It’s was called a Truth Cam 46 Ultra HD by Primos.

Truth Cam 46 Ultra HD by Primos

When you opened it up there were 8 brand new AA batteries in one side and the controls on the other.

We brought it back to the campground and I took out the SD card and downloaded the files to my computer.

All there was on it was 10 pictures taken in 2017 of a river looking over at the opposite bank and nothing else.

I looked through all the controls and it was set up with new batteries on June 6th so it was put up very recently but for what purpose we don’t know as it hadn’t been activated yet at this location.

We ended up looking all around the lake to see if we could spot any other spy devices, but that’s all we could find.

Makes you wonder where else there are camera’s where you least expect them.

The good news is I now have a trail cam with infrared that is good for night vision, time-lapse, video and pictures.

Maybe I’ll be able to spot the owl that picks off pigeons at night or better yet find out who’s been taking the net off my strawberries at night.

If I can offer one thing from this experience…

Look around, things aren’t always as they seem.

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