Respect for others and nature … camping etiquette

A little camping etiquette reminder to us veterans and some advice to the new who will be trying camping for the first time.


#1 – You arrive at your campground and the first task is to get a fire going, sitting around that fire and relaxing is a must. You look at your designated fire pit and it is full of garbage.  Everything from diapers, egg shells and drink containers and yes, burnt tin cans….yes tin cans do not burn.

Unfortunately this happens far too often and there is a garbage can 300 steps away or closer. And usually garbage is not just in the fire pit but also scattered throughout the undergrowth. Most often we blame the parks staff or the campground operator for not cleaning up instead of the last dimwit who camped there. In most cases park staff are kept busy and really do not have time to pick up and babysit every camper and shouldn’t have too.

You want a clean campground, leave it that way.  Do not expect maid service and if there is no garbage container handy take your garbage with you. Always leave the area better than when you found it.

#2- We leave the concrete jungles to experience a little nature and most campgrounds have a nice mix of grasses, shrubs and trees and provide parking areas for your tent or RV.  Park on these pads and do not ruin the natural area with ruts etc. Trees were not grown, over many years, to provide you a place to carve your name, or as I have witnessed, practicing your axe and knife throwing skills using beautiful live trees as targets. Chances are your children will not get to enjoy those trees, they will not be there.

Leave nature and the natural growth for others to enjoy with no human damage. Respect your surroundings and keep them as natural as  possible.

Tree damage

#3- You are just settling down after setting up camp, your favourite beverage in hand and enjoying nature, it is beautiful, listen to those birds and the wind in the trees…THEN what the HEY bagpipe music blaring away several campsites over!  Okay I admit I love the bagpipes, so I usually get some RAP music blasting throughout my quiet space. It’s not too bad because the other neighbour just started his CHEAP generator that sounds like a locomotive. But eventually the music ends and the generator runs out of fuel and the quiet returns…until the neighbour’s dog starts barking. Now dogs bark but there is something wrong when they do not stop… oh yes they went to the beach and tied up the dog to the camper. That’s when I realized my investment in camping equipment and RV as well as travelling expenses were wasted if I want to get away and enjoy some peace and quiet and listen to nature. Home or the Walmart parking lot would have been quieter. I hide in my camper for some quiet, so much for the great outdoors.

TIP: If the sole intention is to get away and party all night long and play your music loud, something you would not do at home because the neighbours would phone the police, do your research and book into a campground that has a reputation for parties.  Those campgrounds are rarely visited by those wishing to connect with nature or just some quiet time. This way you will probably not have to deal with the authorities being called as others are there for the same thing. Please be respectful of why others have invested their time and resources to camp or RV.

Have some respect for others, you are not the only ones in the campground.  Some have come to enjoy the outdoors, nature and some peace and quiet.  If not they would have gone to a disco. Not everyone likes your choice of music, not everyone likes the roar of a cheap generator, and not everyone likes listening to your dog bark excessively. I know fur babies have become the new flavour….but I did say excessively. And yes cheap generators are noisy and best used on the farm or construction site. I do love music at home and in my own private space for my ears only.  Just be considerate of others.

#4- Many times as of late, we have arrived at a campground on a Monday or Tuesday and booked a site thinking we would maybe like to spend the week there only to be told we would have to vacate the site Friday as it was booked Friday and Saturday. Okay so be it, then we find out the other sites are all booked for the weekend. So we spend a couple of nights thanks to Walmart. Later driving through the grounds over the weekend we discover that someone with a big credit card or good line of credit paid for the site but the weather did not suit them, so never showed up to use it. Not just one site that weekend but many and not just one campground this is happening everywhere where you have on line bookings. I realize sometimes circumstances change but this is becoming the norm not just random. For this reason we avoid parks that have on line booking like the plague and look to other parks and areas.

Even if you have a big credit card and lots of money to waste please consider there are a lot of people wanting to use these public or private parks so if you book it, use it. If not have the courtesy to cancel well ahead of time so others can enjoy.

#5- please when leaving your campsite for the day or heading out put your fire out. I do not care if it is in a fire pit. If you have ever experienced how fast a fire can travel in the forest or grasslands you would not do this.

Respect for others – respect for nature – let’s all just practice a little respect. Hopefully it rubs off and all can enjoy nature and the camping experience.

Thanks Gerry

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