If you have followed our blog at all, you know we love to go camping! Over the years, we have noticed that some campers follow general camping etiquette. Some however, either don’t know these unspoken rules or don’t care. Joe and I try to give people the benefit of the doubt and assume they just don’t know the common “dos and don’ts” to be a good camping neighbor. For those good-hearted folks who are new to camping or just don’t know the unspoken rules, here are some of the most common.
1. Give a friendly, “Hello”.
Now when Joe and I are camping, we kind of keep to ourselves. I’m there for some peace and quiet not to make new friends. But to be a good camping neighbor, I’ll say, “Good morning” when I’m walking by. If we see that someone is having trouble setting up a tent, we’ll lend a hand. Since we are fairly new trailer campers, we’re still learning the ropes. We have had other campers come over and help us park and explain the whole sewer setup. A smile and “Where are you guys from?” goes a long ways!
2. Observe quiet hours.
And general quietness during the day. I know some people love to play music and think their music is everyone’s favorite, but that’s not necessarily the case. I actually like to hear the sounds of nature when I’m in the great outdoors. Music is fine, just don’t blare it so that the campsite next to you can’t enjoy their own campfire conversations. When the clock reaches the quiet hours, turn off the music completely. This also includes TV/movies. On our last camping trip, we got to hear Star Wars being played on an outside RV mount. I love Star Wars, but didn’t need to listen to every Darth Vader quote from two campsites away.
3. Keep pets leashed.
Yes, your little Fido wants to run free and is super friendly. I love dogs. Big dogs, small dogs, dogs of all color and religion. However, I’ve had dogs come and snatch food off of our picnic table. They’re dogs. They like hamburger. They like my hamburger. So keep them leashed. Oh, and please pick up their little doggie deposits.
4. Watch the bright lights.
Some RVs are decked out with LED lights. Yes, it looks cool. Yes, I want some cool lights, too. But just like the noise issue, tone it down. Lights that are too bright can make star gazing more difficult.
If you are arriving late to your campsite, try to turn off your car headlights are soon as safely possible. As a former tent camper, we’ve had our tent illuminated by headlights on brights, shining in. Kind of kills the mood.
5. Clean up the fire pit and grill.
This is part of the leave it cleaner mantra that my years as a Girl Scout and Girl Scout leader taught me. After you’ve burned the last campfire or fired up the grill for the final meal, clean out the ashes. Make sure the fire is completely out, or you could catch something else on fire. It is just a nice thing to do for the next people camping in your site.
6. Leave some firewood behind.
Now, this isn’t a common practice. It’s just a good Samaritan thing to do. Many a night, I’ve seen a family pull into a campsite late at night. Of course, the kids start begging for a campfire. So poor mom or dad, frantically start digging to find a flashlight. When the flashlight is finally found, then the scavenging for fallen twigs and limbs begins.
Whenever possible, I try to leave enough kindling and a couple of sticks of wood for the first night’s campfire. It’s a paying forward act of generosity.
7. Don’t walk through campsites.
This is my biggest pet peeve. Just like your mama taught you to not walk between two people talking, you need to walk between campsites, not through them. As campers, we have our space defined. That’s our area. Unless you’re about to pee in your pants and have to quickly go to the bathroom, please walk around. Thank you.
Now, if you think campers are rude and need this list so that everyone will get along, that’s not the case at all. Joe and I have found most campers to be some of the nicest people in the world! We wouldn’t camp so often if we didn’t find this to be the case.
What do you think of our camping Do’s & Don’ts? Please share by commenting below!
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