Being a good neighbor in the outdoors is about more than just cleaning up after ourselves. There are a number of extra-mile opportunities for all of us who love spending vacations sleeping in a tent or under the stars.
Do a Good Turn
While at camp, offer to help your neighbors out. It doesn’t take much time to help set up a tent or start a fire under most conditions. If you see someone lugging in a big stack of gear, take a few things off their hands and follow them out to their site. It’s a great way to meet neighbors and start off on the right foot.
Leave No Trace
What would you want your campsite to look like when you arrive? Before you pull out and head back home, be sure you’ve left it looking just like you would want to return to it.
Offer Your Favorites
When you love to camp, you find out what works and what doesn’t pretty quickly. Everyone has different ideas, and it can be great to share them with your neighbors in the outdoors. Consider sharing things like:
– Fire-starters (see our post “How to Start a Fire” for ideas).
– Notes with favorite spots to explore, activity ideas, or location-specific tips.
– Extra wood for the next group of campers. How great would it be to start your vacation with your first fire’s wood all ready to go? Start a trend at your favorite campsite!
– Quick and easy recipes.
– Recommend hikes or fishing spots.
Know Park Rules
Don’t put your neighbors in the awkward position of having to remind you what the rules are while in the park. Dispose of soapy water out of the way of fresh running water. Most parks will have designated areas, but if you’re really roughin’ it, be sure to avoid water supplies. Also, be sure to note any posted quiet hours and adhere to them. Noise really travels in the great outdoors!
If you bring Buddy along for the trip, be sure to keep him on a leash or in a kennel when other campers are nearby. Also, be sure to keep his messes properly disposed of during your time at camp. And it could sully your neighbor’s views if Buddy barks all through the night. As previously mentioned, this sound will really ring out in the wilderness.
Keep Others in Mind
None of us want to be the guy who forgot to bring the bear canisters if you’re in bear country. Or the one who leaves his lights on all night (timers work well in this situation). And keeping flashlights out of other people’s eyes will always be appreciated.
Camping is a grand tradition. Etiquette at camp is really about going the extra mile and considering what you’d like to find when you get there. Have a blast and be thoughtful of others.
Please share your camp etiquette tips with us and . . .