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Camping Etiquette
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July 20, 2010 – 2:40 pm
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Camping Etiquette
There’s not much that beats camping. For me, I love getting out of the house and away from the daily routine while spending quality time with my family and friends. As spring time and warmer weather have been fast approached, a reminder of good camping can never hurt. Whether you’re an experienced camper or planning your first outing, be sure you mind your manners at the campground! Camping etiquette is, for the most part, common courtesy. Think of yourself as nature’s guests. Be considerate of other occupants of the woods, such as the animals and other campers. It’s important to remember that the land is not yours, you are borrowing it. If you’ve ever encountered littered and rundown campgrounds, you’ve seen firsthand the damage that inconsiderate campers can cause. Here are some basic suggestions on being a courteous camper:

Campgrounds have their own set of rules and regulations for a reason, and they need to be followed at all times.  Pick up a copy when checking-in.

Drive slowly in the campground, there are usually children playing.

Do not walk through other campsites, even if it would make it easier to get to washrooms or other park locations. Walking through another person’s campsite is very intrusive and many people will find this offensive.

Parents with children should make sure they are being responsible for them at all times and not allow them to be unsupervised or wander to others camp sites. When you go to bed, they should be going to bed also.

Keep your pet on a leash no longer then 6 feet at all times, it can be a nuisance to have other pets on your campsite when you are trying to relax. Even though you may not feel it is a big deal, not everyone wants your dog running through their campsite.

Don’t leave your pet unattended and always pick up after them. Nothing spoils a walk more than stepping in dog-do. Bring a scoop or plastic bag to pick up and dispose of properly.

Help keep nature growing by not cutting or breaking live trees for firewood or using nails or wire on trees.

When hiking, stay on designated trails. This keeps damage to vegetation and erosion in one place.

Do not feed the wildlife! I’m pretty sure the Bears don’t make very good bed partners.

Keep campfires in the designated fire ring area if they are available.

Always fully extinguish your campfire when sleeping or leaving your campsite. Not only is it dangerous and against most park regulations, but the smoke can become overwhelming when a campfire is not maintained properly.

Don’t put Styrofoam, glass or metal (aluminum foil) in the campfire. Most don’t burn and are very unhealthy for you and the environment.

Keep your fire under control. Although you may enjoy a bonfire, this type of activity can become intrusive and overwhelming to your campsite neighbors. This may also be against park regulations and can become hard to manage.

Minimize noise around the campfire late at night.  Although everyone loves sitting around the campfire, if your group stays up late at night, understand that many other campers are trying to sleep.

Be thoughtful when using a radio, observe quiet hours or radio-free zones and take the time to ask if the radio is too loud for your campsite neighbors. I can guarantee that either you or your neighbor doesn’t want to listen to Flobot’s ‘Bike With No Handlebars’ all weekend.

Don’t wash your dishes at the water fountain or tap. When filling up your water container at the water tap, no one wants to wait while others wash dishes as that also leaves a mess and odor that is unpleasant. Wash dishes on your campsite and dump any remaining waste water in the waste vault or park provided location.

Don’t leave trash at your campsite. The smell alone will bring many visitors while you sleep or when you leave your site for a hike. When found by raccoons or other critters, the noise of them fighting for the food scraps and the fact that they will drag the trash throughout the park make this a nuisance. Take your trash to the park provided garbage bin and recycling containers.

Introduce yourself to your campsite neighbors. There is no better way to start off your camping vacation then to say “hello” and introduce yourself to your campsite neighbors. Knowing your neighbors helps with campsite security while you are away from your site, and may come in handy if you forgot any items at home like sugar or sun block.

Like this great website, Rallies are growing rapidly with groups of over 75 people at one campground for the weekend. It is great to met other campers with interests and commonalities but that doesn’t mean they want to hear your radio, entertain your children, shu your dog away from their site or hear you around the campfire while they are trying to sleep. As we continue to grow, please have fun, and respect others around you.

JoeCamper

JoeCamper, EwwwBugs, 4 kids, 2dogs and whatever else fits in my truck.
04 Dodge Ram 1500, 2010 Coleman Avalon

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November 10, 2011 – 8:04 am
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I wish we could hand this out to other campers.  I could smell the styrofoam and plastic silverware burning at the site next to us.  >:( Followed up by the dog barking at 5am to go out.

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November 10, 2011 – 11:34 am
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I agree with Daker.  I’m pretty sure those of us on this site, or any other related to camping, have a clue about the etiquette involved because we’re already involved.  It is our job to educate those we take with us and pass down the goodness and lessons learned.

I [i]want to camp next to you because you know how to respect my privacy and that of others.  You also know how to behave, act and take care of the property/area to which we are entrusted for that time we are there.

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November 10, 2011 – 4:18 pm
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Yeah and don’t forget,,  if your cooking up something good you have to share it with the people on both sides of you …    😉

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November 5, 2012 – 6:53 pm
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[quote author=snow link=topic=4.msg9336#msg9336 date=1320959908]
Yeah and don’t forget,,  if your cooking up something good you have to share it with the people on both sides of you …    😉

I do that 🙂  Growing up with a ScoutMaster, the Campground Host always has an open invite to the evening meals

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November 5, 2012 – 7:23 pm
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one of my peeves is loose FOOD going into a fire.
even if it melts away, it attracts animals, pests, and ANTS !

especially down here in the south.  fire ants pop up year round, and the slightest bit of food will draw them out in drones !

this tends to happen a bit more on scout camp-overs for us, but it can happen anywhere.

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November 5, 2012 – 9:49 pm
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Not all will agree with this but here it is. My kids know the rules but if one of my kids are ever disrespectful or rude to you especially a female, please smack them over the head with a large stick or broom handle. Then walk them over to me and I will finish them off. This will be followed up by an apology. 😉

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November 6, 2012 – 11:25 pm
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Miles, your children are precious and so well behaved.  Can’t ever imagine any of them being disrespectful. 🙂

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November 7, 2012 – 9:26 am
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…unless one of them is trying to hit a pinata open.  😉 

Then they get vicious.  :knuppel2:

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November 7, 2012 – 10:16 am
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hahhaah

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November 7, 2012 – 4:33 pm
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[quote author=BoomJammer link=topic=4.msg18221#msg18221 date=1352298402]
…unless one of them is trying to hit a pinata open.  😉 

Then they get vicious.  :knuppel2:

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This true!!! Candy will make Jace attack an adult with a bat!!!

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November 7, 2012 – 9:28 pm
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Well I guess if you were to taunt me with candy and withhold it, I might take a bat to correct the situation……. 😀

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November 7, 2012 – 9:34 pm
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:knuppel2:

I love these, just couldn’t resist.

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December 2, 2012 – 9:44 am
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Yeah, the problem with posting stuff like this on a site like this is that you’re just preaching to the choir. Most of us (there are a few exceptions) on these sites are experienced and thoughtful campers who share pretty much the same camping philosophies. The ones who REALLY NEED TO READ AND LEARN this information won’t do it. For them, ignorance and selfishness are bliss. (I sometimes feel that it’s a shame that there’s no season or bag limit for them….) Fortunately, many campground owners/rangers will work with us if we complain in a respectful way.

Last July, my wife and I camped for a week at the KOA north of Canandaigua, NY. One morning, I noticed a boy shooting an automatic pellet rifle into the lake, and then into the grass. Fortunately, there were almost no other people up and about, at the time. I waited until the office was open and went in and spoke with the owner. He was aghast and disturbed. We discussed the ramifications: possible ricochets hitting campers being the foremost, but his insurance and campground rating being close behind. I explained clearly where the gunslinger could be found, and he IMMEDIATELY went over and spoke with the father. I later learned that the father did not get all riled up, but cooperated, and that was the end of that. (I still cannot fathom what the father was thinking when he allowed his son to bring that gun into a campground.)

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December 2, 2012 – 10:50 pm
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[quote author=BoomJammer link=topic=4.msg18221#msg18221 date=1352298402]
…unless one of them is trying to hit a pinata open.  😉 

Then they get vicious.  :knuppel2:

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Camp Dad, Missnanc and Boon Jammer, I’ll I can say, I had a great time with the kids.  Believe me, I was worried a few times with those "close’ swings! But they finally got the pinata open. Everyone had a great time at the fall rally!

For those who don’t know, The kids tore the pinata lose from the holder. I was brave enough to hold the box till someone busted the pinata open for the kids to get the candy. I was really surprised after about 20 hits, it was still hard to beat open.

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December 3, 2012 – 9:17 am
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[quote author=BoomJammer link=topic=4.msg18221#msg18221 date=1352298402]
…unless one of them is trying to hit a pinata open.  😉 

Then they get vicious.  :knuppel2:

[IMG]

View post on imgur.com

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Give me candy or say goodbye to the knees!!!

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December 3, 2012 – 12:24 pm
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Jeez, Jim: Are you absolutely certain you want to hold that pinata THERE???

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December 3, 2012 – 8:25 pm
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There was a few trying times I had to jump back to miss some swings, but after several rounds, they busted it open.  🙂

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December 6, 2012 – 8:53 am
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I would also add to the list: When in camp, think of light the same way you think about sound (music, laughter, clanging pots and pans….). Yes, sound diminishes with distance moreso than light, but in the confines of a campground, an over-lit campsite is an annoyance, just as is too much sound. I’ve camped near and next to people who felt they needed three or four two-mantle lanterns at night. It was like camping next to the sun; we couldn’t even look in their direction, and it ruined the night. (And, they were correspondingly loud; no surprise.)

And, while I also have Tacky Lights, I limit the number, and I turn them off when I hit the sheets. There is no good reason that I can think of to leave them on all night. (One person in another forum used the excuse that the lights helped them  find their way back to there campsite from the bathhouse in the middle of the night. My reply is that, if you cannot find your way back to your campsite in a structured campground, you should leave the safety of your home.)

As with much of camping etiquette, regulating your lights is a combination of common sense (or, UNcommon sense, these days) and courtesy.

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January 13, 2013 – 5:19 pm
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Please don’t take this the wrong way; I sincerely appreciate that people try to be friendly and welcoming by inviting others to participate in events such as camp fires, games, etc. and appreciate such invitations.

I just want to say that if either DH or I states that we are having "a weekend to ourselves without the children" please don’t be offended if we choose to remain by ourselves rather than joining in a group for drinks, meals, campfire, etc..  It’s not that we don’t like being part of a camping group, just that we might need some extra time to spend one-on-one (which is why we went alone in the first place).  If we smile and wave but don’t come over to socialize (provided we didn’t commit in the first place, which would be another story) please don’t take offense – it’s not you, but us and our desire to have some time alone. 

I’ve caught flak for this in the past – honestly, it’s not that we don’t want to make friends; it’s just that sometimes we need to catch up with each other first.

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