Let’s chat about something that can make or break your camping experience – campground etiquette. Just like in a neighborhood, being a courteous camper goes a long way in ensuring everyone has a fantastic time. Over a couple decades of camping trips, I can honestly say that we have seen the best of the best and some of the worst when it comes to the behavior of fellow campers.
We finally sat down put a list together. Before you head out on your next trip, read through these campground no-no’s and make sure you try your best to be a courteous camper.
Campsite Etiquette and “Unspoken” Rules
While some of these rules are plastered all over the campground on signs and in brochures, some of them might not be as obvious.
Let’s dive into some key points, and I’ll sprinkle in a few extra tips along the way!
1) Be Mindful of Noise: We all love a good campfire sing-along, but remember, sound travels far in the quiet of nature. Stick to the campground’s quiet hours, usually in the evening and early morning. Keep your dog’s barking, your music, and even your conversations at a considerate volume.
2) Respect Boundaries: Stick to the Path: Your campsite is your temporary home, and everyone deserves their own space. Avoid cutting through other campsites, no matter how convenient it might seem. Stick to roads and marked paths for strolls or bike rides.
3) Dog Decorum: Leash and Peace: We all adore our furry friends, but not everyone might feel the same. Keep your dogs leashed or contained. It’s safer for them, other campers, and wildlife. Plus, it’s often a campground rule! Clean up after your dog whether they stay on your campsite or you take him for a leash walk.
4) Laundry Etiquette: Timely Tumbles: If you’re using shared laundry facilities, be prompt in removing your clothes once they’re done. Others are likely waiting to use the machines and if you don’t want anyone touching your clothes, don’t leave things in machines after the cleaning or drying cycle has ended.
5) RV Hookups: Stick to Your Own: It might seem harmless, but using someone else’s electric, water, or sewer hookups is a big no-no. Always use the utilities provided at your site to avoid any awkward misunderstandings or conflicts.
6) Don’t hog the dump station: Many campgrounds offer communal waste dump stations and potable water hookups. If you need to use these facilities, be prompt and mindful that others are waiting to use them after you have finished. This is not the time to hook up your camper and head to the campground restaurant to eat lunch. Always stay with your vehicle, both to unhook as soon as its done, but also to be available should any issues arise.
7) Trash your trash (properly): Always dispose of your trash properly. A clean campsite is not only pleasant but also safer for wildlife and the environment. Follow the campground’s procedure or trash bag disposal. Some campgrounds offer trash pickup and others require campers to walk their trash to a dumpster.
8) Mind your campfire: Keep your fires manageable, and never leave them unattended. Ensure they’re completely extinguished before turning in for the night.
9) Share the (public) spaces: Shared facilities like pools, playgrounds, game rooms and picnic areas are for everyone. Be mindful of your time and space so others can enjoy them too. We have a helpful article on campground bathhouses, if you’re interested!
10) Smile and Wave: A friendly hello can go a long way. Being approachable and kind creates a wonderful community vibe at the campground.
All of these points were directly inspired by things that we have personally experienced while camping. It is so important to remember that a little courtesy and mindfulness can ensure everyone enjoys their nature retreat.
Do you have any campground etiquette tips to share? Drop them in the comments below – we’d love to hear your experiences!