15 Campground Etiquette Tips to be a Good Camper
Do you want to be a good camper? Yes, you do. Here are 15 campground etiquette tips to help you get there.
1. Follow the Campground’s Rules
Good campground etiquette begins with following campground rules. Campgrounds usually have posted rules which outline what that specific campground expects of its guests. Those rules generally follow the same principles, but sometimes rules may go above and beyond common etiquette and it is best to make yourself familiar with them. Some campgrounds don’t allow fires, some don’t allow dogs, some let you have your pecker out. Better give it a skim.
2. Share the Wi-Fi
Campground Wi-Fi is not the same as what you have at home. If you can avoid using it, you should. Some people need it (desperately) for work or other important purposes and when several people are buffering Netflix or PornHub at the same time someone else is really trying to send an email out so that they can get back to the campfire.
3. Remember You May be Visiting Someone’s Home
When you are visiting a campground for a fun week or weekend remember that most campgrounds also have permanent residents that live there either because they work there, watch the campground, or it is where they live otherwise. This is especially true in camping resorts. Yeah, that trailer over there – that’s someone’s house. Be respectful.
4. Most Campgrounds have Quiet Hours
We all love Adele’s new album, but not everyone wants to hear loud music blared across the wilderness late at night. Someone yelling at you from the other side of the street just doesn’t have the same vibe as “Hello from the other side”. Yes, we know that’s from her other album. Thing is – you should learn your campground’s quiet hours and stick to them. You may be surprised how early they are set – sometimes as early as 6 or 7 PM – and it is good to be sure.
5. Don’t Walk Through Other Occupied Spaces
Don’t ever walk through campsites that are occupied. Even if their lights are out and you think they are asleep. Someone’s campsite is their own personal space that they have paid for, and it is not a walkway to the bathroom no matter how bad you have to potty.
6. Don’t Trash Your Campsite
While you may have paid for and reserved your campsite for a period, that does not mean that you should leave it trashed with the idea that you will pick it up before you leave. Don’t leave cans or plates on your picnic table, trash bags on the ground (except designated spots) or leave a bunch of things outside. Just because you are staying in a tent or trailer doesn’t mean you have a license to be “trailer trash”.
7. Leave Nothing Behind
Keep this in mind: Your campsite should look better when you leave than when you arrived. Any little pieces of trash, mounds of mud created by your truck wheels, etc. should be addressed before you go. If your dog poops pick it up, if you poop pick it up.
8. Don’t Bring Untreated Wood
Bugs and their larvae can live inside logs – haven’t you ever seen The Lion King? The bugs where your firewood came from may not be the same bugs as where you are going. There is a huge risk of introducing invasive species by bringing untreated firewood to camp. Many campgrounds want you to buy firewood from only them and restrict bringing any in at all. That is not because they are greedy, it is because they want to protect their own environment from introduced pests or because there are certain rules and regulations for the type of firewood that can be used. Hakuna Matata.
9. Keep Your Campfire Tame
No one likes the smell of roasted campground. Make sure you keep your campfire tame, within a container, and put it out when you are done. Those little coals you think are fine to leave while you go to bed are not fine – they can be blown out and create a forest fire. Always watch, control, and completely put out your fires.
10. Respect Office Hours
Most campgrounds do not have staff that work overnight. Be respectful with your expected arrival time whether that is before or after office hours and let the campground staff know when you expect to arrive. A lot of times a late arrival can be arranged, but never assume that it is okay without verifying first.
11. Control Your Dog(s)
Who let the dogs out? Well – hopefully not you if you’re at a campground. If you are around other people (especially if they also have dogs) it is important to keep your dog controlled. Many people tie their dogs up in front of their campsite and it is dangerous for an unleashed dog to approach a dog that is tied up. If you are walking your dog and you meet someone else walking their dog, don’t assume that you can walk up with yours without asking.
Confucius once said, if dog make poopie, man must scoopie. Make sure that you clean up after your pet. No one wants a chocolate surprise on the bottom of their boot. Seriously – clean that shit up.
12. Don’t Leave Food Out
We all love food; however, we are not the only ones. The scent of the pizza crust that you left sitting on the table is reaching the creek by now and momma bear is tired of eating rabbits. Make sure that you don’t keep food out in the open and you also do your best to keep the smell of it from getting out as well. Tie up trash bags and make sure they are out of reach. Letting bears eat your neighbors is generally frowned upon and is pretty bad camp etiquette.
13. Don’t Mess Up the Facilities
Bro – people have to use the same bathroom and shower you use. Don’t leave it a mess. Pull the toilet paper but just a piece of a square broke off? Put it in the toilet don’t drop it on the floor. Flush the toilet. Don’t leave the water running in the shower or in the sink. Don’t piss on the toilet seat. Being a mess is literally the opposite of good campground etiquette.
14. Connect Your Sewer Correctly
For the love of all that is sacred – please connect your sewer connection correctly. Make sure you use the proper equipment and that the hole (hehe) is sealed. Make sure that when you dump your sewer that you completely empty the hose. No one wants to smell your poop fumes.
15. Follow Generator Rules
Most private campgrounds do not allow generators. Some allow them in designated areas. They are more acceptable in boondocking or wilderness situations. Most people find the sound of a generator to be annoying and they are generally not a good way to make friends. Make sure you know the rules about generators that apply to where you are before you use one.