I thought the semi-permanent campsite question was perfectly clear. The only clarifying details they could have added were whether they wanted to hire professionals or do-it-themselves, and how much they wanted to spend on modifying the site. If they specified a budget, then it might have been closed as asking for shopping advice!

They have several acres in the woods of South Carolina (an area where rednecks are not totally unknown); they will visit the site infrequently and are concerned about vandalism. How can they develop the site to reduce the hassle of setting up camp every time they visit, but not make the site attractive enough for trespassers or vandals?

Maybe I am sadly lacking in imagination, but I don't see any lack of clarity.

They are asking us for guidance and what we tell them is that they need to define their problem to the verge of solving it before they ask us for advice!

PS: I just read the comment of @imsodin -- cheers for explaining what you found unclear -- but this is the woods of South Carolina, not the wilds of northern Canada. It is reasonable to assume the site is fairly accessible. "Passers-by" is a clue.

@Willeke didn't seem puzzled about the question -- she gave the sort of answer that should make these people return when they are experienced enough to have highly focused questions.

  • 1
    Probably just another instance of questions being closed too aggressively on this site.
    – Qudit
    Commented May 3, 2018 at 23:01

2 Answers 2


Question is overly broad. What does semi permanent mean?

From the tour.

Ask about...

  • Question about outdoor activities
    It is about out door activity
  • Actual problem
    I would call a real question about planning as actual
  • Specific issues with outdoor activities
    So not specific in my opinion

Don't ask about...

  • Questions with too many possible answers or that would require an extremely long answer
    In my opinion the question fails here also

Your answer assumed it was about a permanent structure and I would not call that camping. That is what I would call a cabin.

OP did not respond to 3 requests for more information.

I did not VTC until I saw the OP been back and did not clarify.

My comment of "You have 3 requested for more information and have not clarified. VTC" was deleted. Don't know what was wrong with that comment but no big deal.

Unclear is not the only reason to close. There is "to broad" and other reasons. The fact Willeke and others answered is not evidence it is in scope.

  • 1
    Its unfortunate it was reopened as although its attracted one reasonable answer, it could be a great question with a great answer.... I am afraid of this SO BETA is turning into just another Yahoo Answers...
    – user5330
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 6:43
  • @mattnz That seems like an unfair comparison answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20180430232329AAui9Rv Commented May 1, 2018 at 15:37
  • 1
    @mattnz We have a group of users here that want a very broad scope.
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 15:45
  • 2
    @paparazzo I'd rephrase your comment as "We have a group of users here that are not intimidated by a broad scope or some fuzziness in a question. Few important problems in real life are narrowly focused."
    – ab2
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 18:35
  • @ab2 OK, phrase it how you want. That is not how I would phase it. I am not suggesting how you should phrase it.
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 18:49
  • @paparazzo. Broad scope is very different to broad questions. Broad questions are better answered in a discussion style rather than a Q&A
    – user5330
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 20:07
  • @mattnz I don't want to get caught up in semantics here. I was using it as a general term. If you want to break them out then I would put them in the same box regarding group of users that want limited constraints.
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 20:19
  • 1
    I’m still inclined to say it’s too broad. The parameters for building a structure are too varied. Commented May 2, 2018 at 17:17
  • @Ricketyship It not even given the question build a structure.
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 17:22
  • Yep. Makes it even more broad. Commented May 2, 2018 at 17:25

The question incredibly broad, so even if we accept that it is clear, I believe it needs to remain closed because of its breath. As it stands, its unanswerable (without writing a book or asking a heap of questions).

Some (not an exhaustive lost by any means) information we would need to provide a useful answer to you.

Budget - is this something to be done on the cheap or do you have a million dollars

Type of road access, if any, and you access to vehicle to get into it. Type of vehicle - are you expecting families visit with everything fitting into a compact city car, or do you expect them to be bring a 30 foot RV or something in the middle?

Weather and seasonal use. Do you need to set it up for camping in feet of snow or 100 degree heat. Does the site have water, if so, is it potable.

Tolerance for toilet facilities - will the guests demand flush toilets, or is a shovel and short walk all they desire.

Your description of camping - is it a sleeping bag under a tarp, or a home away from home with all the luxury.

Your experience camping.

I think it could be formed into a great question, but we cannot do that - you will need to word the question to narrow down its scope (without turning it into a novel).

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