Campgrounds are like little temporary villages with tents instead of houses. Because we are so close together, and in this together, always follow a few simple ground rules so everyone can enjoy their camping vacation.
Turn it Down
When I was a teenager and on my first campout without adult supervision, the first thing we did when pulling into our site was mount the speakers on the car and blast some rock ‘n roll. It took an understanding park ranger to come explain that not everyone wanted to hear Smoke on the Water at full volume. His kind explanation kept us pretty quiet for the rest of our stay; that and he said if he returned we would be thrown out.
Keep it Down
Late night partying is best done downtown or in your own home. A lot of your fellow campground residents are families with kids. Others are planning to get up at the crack of dawn to hike, climb or fish. If you are the type to stay up late, and I am as guilty as anyone, just keep in down. Staring at a fire for hours on end is part of the lure of camping, and I have seen a fire mesmerize the best of us. There is nothing wrong with staying up late as long as you don’t force other unwilling campers to do the same.
Help a Brother Out
If you have firewood left at the end of your stay, or more than you need while you’re there, share it. Not only is this a nice thing to do, but you shouldn’t transport wood from one area to another. With all the invasive species like pine beetles for example, it is best to leave wood where it came from.
A New Leash on Life
While many campgrounds allow dogs, most also have leash laws. I know your dog is the most well-trained and well—behaved dog on the planet, but you should keep him leashed. Not only are kids running around but hopefully there is wildlife to protect. The only thing worse than having your dog run off chasing a deer is having him run back to you being chased by a bear.
Clean it Up
It would seem a no-brainer, but please clean up your campsite. I have arrived at spots littered with broken glass, beer-cans, and the worst was dirty diapers. Sure, you can burn some of your trash like napkins and paper plates, but I am tired of having to clean half-burned cans and bottles out of the fire ring. If it won’t burn all the way, throw it away. A little consideration goes a long way. If we can get along living in the urban jungle, I’m sure a few days in the woods shouldn’t be a problem, right?