How to Have Perfect Camping Manners

How to Have Perfect Camping Manners

Good camping manners go a long way to the making of a great camping trip. A couple of years ago, when my kids were little, we took a camping trip to Lake Allatoona. It was just the five of us and our little Jack Russell, Bacon. We had a great first night and set up. After dinner and our traditional S’more we headed off to bed.  Things were shaping up to be a great week.

I should have know better. Around 5:30 am my youngest get up to go potty; as he unzips the tent Bacon makes a run for it! Ethan starts screaming which wakes up my oldest son and husband. My two boys take off after the dog running and NOT being quiet through the campgrounds. After what seemed like an eternity, Bacon, after revealing himself, returned to the tent and settled back down. It took the hubby and boys a little longer.

After many dirty looks and much apologizing, we were forgiven and chalked it up to an accident and youth exuberance.  But how many other times have things happened in a campground that has really irritated the bugger out of ya?  Do people not know or just don’t care about camping etiquette? So let’s break it down.

manners Let’s start with Pets must be on a leash. I personally think it great to take your pet on vay-cay with ya, but no one wants your dog stealing their steak off the grill or hot dog off the spigot. A pet can wreak havoc in a campground very quickly. Refer to my previous story.

Be friendly to everyone you meet. You are with a group of people who obviously share the same interests as you. Take a minute and be kind, wave hi, say hello. You can meet some really interesting people in campgrounds.

Remember not everyone at a campground is there to party.  Families and older folks have an earlier bedtime than some, so when you hangin’ at the campfire tone the volume down. Many of the sites we’ve been to have quiet time from 10pm-6am.

This brings me to know you camp rules. If the speed limit is 25mph it’s not just to bug you. Watch for kids, bicyclists, people walking.  The rules are there to keep everyone safe.

Smoking. I get it. I was a smoker for twenty years. You’re sitting around the campsite, relaxing, maybe hanging with some friends and the next thing you know you’ve been through a half a pack of smokes. I would love to tell you how bad they are for you and understand the draw. I get it! But other folks don’t. They are there to enjoy the outdoors and fresh air and don’t want your bad habit invading their airspace. Try to be mindful of what way your smoke waffescamping manners

Do not walk through other people’s campsites. Folks have paid for these spots and expect the privacy that comes with them. Invading people’s personal space makes you look shady like your up to no good. This is a great rule to teach your children to. I understand that sometimes we relax and lose our kid focus, but it is uncomfortable to have a kid you don’t know hanging around your site..

When you leave your campsite, remember to leave no trace. There are camp attendants that make rounds to come inspect the sights when campers leave, but they shouldn’t have to clean up after you. If you choose to leave something behind, make it wood for the next campers.

camping mannersOne of my personal favorites is when you go to the bathhouse in the middle of the night, don’t use your bright lights to get through the campground.  No one wants to be awoken from sleep by the flash of lights.  Whether you drive or walk pay attention to where you’re flashing those lights.

Camping etiquette is not complicated. It is not meant to make sure you don’t have a good time. It’s common sense. It’s common courtesy. There is an old saying ” Do unto others as you would have done unto you”

What are you campground peeves?

9 thoughts on “How to Have Perfect Camping Manners”

  • I have been camping close to 60 years, and in the last say 10 to 15 years I have noticed that there is always someone in a campsite who wants to share their stile of music. I go camping to relax to hear the sounds of nature not some head banging music. I like classical music but I would not think to impose my stile of music on someone else. I say leave the jam boxes at home.

  • PLEASE put your fires out completely before you leave your campsite for any length of time. Last time we went camping, we pulled into our campsite to find a smoldering fire, and the next day the people across the way left for good, leaving … yup … a smoldering fire. There were pine needles and pinecones everywhere, both of which make excellent fire starters. You don’t want to be the one that starts a fire that burns the woods down. Pour water on your fire until you don’t see any steam or smoke. Two to three gallons will usually do it.

    • I guess people think that because someone comes by and checks the sight that some one else will just clean up after them. A smoldering fire is just neglectful and dangerous. Maybe they should be fined????

  • My biggest pet peeve other than noise? Smoking cigarettes at the campsite. People think that just b/c there is no tent close by then can smoke as if the smoke were ashes falling on the ground. The stench and poison carry far! If you smoke – take a walk and check the wind direction. I don’t go hiking and camping to breathe in poison! That’s why I leave the cities… 🙂
    It’s nice to be friendly but also consider that some people like to be left alone. Also, I camp after a hike – I am tired and often drop dead already around 9pm, Keep your voices down even during the day, no loud music, no screaming or calling to someone far away.

  • Thanks for this post! We’re camping for the next 5 weeks and we’ve never camped on a campground for this long before. We’ve only ever stayed a day or two, or we’ve tented on riverbanks. Is there an ettiquette when it comes to your kids playing with other kids?

    • When my kids were little I was a little freaky about it. I never let them play on other folks sites. People get their things adjusted and don’t want kids they don’t know tromping through their tent. The playground, beach, community areas were fine as long as I could see them. I was always careful that when folks started diner and closing up for the night, my kids weren’t the last out. Quiet time becomes personal time at a camp-site.

  • I’ve never gone camping so I had no idea what the general rules were. This post cleared some things up for me and made me want to go on a camping trip soon 🙂 Also love your photos!

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