Any lifelong camper knows there are many unspoken rules about camping. Camping etiquette is very much a thing, leaving many new campers out of the loop. But don’t worry – camping etiquette doesn’t require any curtsies or special salad forks!
To have the best time camping, you want to ensure that you respect your campsite and fellow campers. You don’t want a camping neighbour giving you a frown as they walk by, or worse, a park ranger showing up at your campsite for breaking one of the rules the campground may have.
At Kuma, we sure know a thing or two about keeping camping respectful – here are some of our best tips for ensuring that you and your outdoor neighbours have a blast while in the great outdoors.
Respect Quiet Hours
Every campsite will have quiet hours that should be respected, usually around 10:00pm. While you and your friends may be sitting around in your camping chairs with a drink or two, there may also be families with kiddos or tired hikers trying to sleep. Try to keep the chit chat to a low hum and turn off the music!
Keep Pets on Leashes
Rover and Mittens need to stay on their leashes. Many campgrounds will require leashes since they don’t want pets getting into garbage or wandering into campsites that don’t belong to them. It’s also a big safety aspect for your pet, as getting lost in the great outdoors can be risky – especially in bear country or areas with plenty of wildlife activity!
Instead, when you’re not actively taking a walk, keep your pets attached to a sturdy piece of furniture, like a picnic table, with a long leash so they can explore around their own campsite as they like.
Most campgrounds have a low-speed limit posted. A surefire way to annoy your camping neighbours is speeding by in a car, creating a giant dust cloud in your wake.
Obey any posted speed limits to prevent noise, dust, and becoming a safety hazard to fellow campers and pets who may be walking on the road.
Limit Generator Usage
Some people like to sleep-in camping, enjoying the sun streaming through their tent or resting tired legs from a big day walking outside. Avoid using your generator early in the morning and late at night—you should respect quiet hours when it comes to your generator.
Try to only use a generator for an hour or two each day, charging up batteries and utilizing any necessary electronics. Generators are quite noisy and can ruin the peaceful respite nature offers us while camping.
Don’t Walk Through Campsites
It’s quite startling when you’re sitting at one of your camping chairs, enjoying a good read or having a snack, when suddenly a stranger appears at your campsite on their way to the loo.
Even if the campsite is only theirs temporarily, it’s still their campsite, and it’s not the best camping etiquette to walk through other people’s campsites. Stick to the main pathways—even if that shortcut is quick.
Leave No Trace
Perhaps the golden rule of camping, always leave no trace that you were ever there. Whether you’re packing up after a week of camping or just stopped by the outhouse for a moment, always leave the area in better condition than you found it.
Always check for garbage before you leave. Some campsites will even require that you pack everything out, including garbage and recycling.
As a camper, we want to respect mother nature as much as possible and ensure we don’t litter her forests or national parks.
Don’t be shy to say hello to your fellow campers. Wave to those walking past or chat with your neighbours at the campsite next door. They will be much more likely to lend you some matches or sugar when you ask for it!
Camping Etiquette is Being Self Aware
When in doubt, respect any signs in the area. From campfire bans to areas you shouldn’t walk on, campgrounds will do a good job of keeping you in the loop.
Check campground billboards or information sheets daily or every couple of days for any updates during your stay – these signs and sheets are usually located near the main check-in area and the washrooms!
As long as you remember that you’re just one of many campers trying to soak in some greenery and fresh air, you’ll be the best camping neighbour around!
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