It's simple: be considerate and courteous to your fellow campers, and everything will be just fine. Here are some tips to keep in mind so you're not "that person" this summer.
Camping is one of America's favorite summertime traditions. It's an excuse to take a few days off of work and spend some quality time with the family and friends as you experience the great outdoors in all of its glory. And, unfortunately, there's nothing that ruins the trip faster than loud, obnoxious campers who don't seem to understand the basics of camping etiquette.
For those of you who have gone camping quite a few times in the past, you've experienced this and are bound to have a few stories of neighbors that drove you absolutely crazy and had no sense of respect for the area or those around them.
So, in order to prevent you from being "that person" at the campground this summer, we have put together a little guide to camping etiquette. (You're welcome.)
Camping Etiquette 101
Respect Space. Don't cut through anyone's campsite. That's their area, and if you're doing it because it's faster than walking around, think again. Don't intrude on their space just so you can save yourself a few minutes on a walk to the restroom.
Be Courteous of Quiet Hours. Almost every campground has a designated time set aside for quiet hours (typically from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.). These hours are put in place for a reason, so keep your voice down if you're enjoying a late-night campfire or an early-morning hike. This also applies to late arrivals -- if you show up at your campsite after dark, do your best to keep the noise and lights to a minimum.
Watch the Language. At a majority of campsites, there's bound to be children and families running around, so no foul language. You're in a public space, and sure, profanities have become somewhat of a norm in our society (unfortunately), but be respectful and mindful of those around you. Your words have more of an impact than you may think.
Don't Leave Food Out. Most, if not all, campgrounds have secure containers to store food and keep it out of reach of wild animals. Do NOT leave food in your car, tent, camper, or out on the picnic table. Basically, don't leave any food out, period.
Keep It Clean. Not only does this leave more work for the next campers, but it's just plain rude. A good rule of thumb to follow: leave the campsite better than you found it. So pick up your trash, put anything back that you moved or relocated, and if something is broken, let park staff know so they can fix/replace it.
Watch Your Pets. Most campgrounds require that all pets be on a leash at all times. This is so that the pets won't get lost, wander through other campsites, or come in contact with wild animals. Owners also need to clean up after their pets throughout the site and make sure that any excessive barking is under control.
Put Your Fire Out. Probably the most important rule on this list. NEVER leave a fire unattended. Make sure you put the campfire out before bed, before going out for the day, and when you leave the campsite at the end of your trip.
What do you think? Are there any other tips we missed in our list? Got any crazy stories about obnoxious neighbors you've come across while on a camping trip? Share them with us in the comments below!