Summer is definitely the time to get away from it all and go tent camping. While getting away from it all sounds great, chances are, unless you are camping during the week, you are still going to have quite a few people around you. Those people are wanting to get away from it all too and enjoy their holiday. To make sure everyone, including you, enjoys their holiday these are a few unwritten rules to follow out of respect for your fellow campers. These unwritten rules are especially important for free camping, so if that interests you, keep reading.
Don’t walk through campsites that aren’t yours
Whether you are free camping (ahhhh that’s the life, right?) or paying to be there, people make the campsite their own personal space for the duration of their stay. Add this to the fact that if they have dogs this could set them off causing excess barking and a lot of headache for the person, so just don’t do it. It’ll make everyone’s stay nicer and possibly quieter.
Quiet hours…just do it
If you are paying for a campground there are usually quiet hours posted at the office and by the bathhouses, however if you are free camping, normal quiet hours are usually from 10 pm to 6 am and should be respected even if you think no one is camping around you. Remember, your voice carries in the still of the night.
Clean up after yourself
Don’t leave your campsite wrecked for the next person. While most parks have trash bins somewhere for you to throw away garbage, and has people check the site before new campers arrive, free camping does not have that luxury. No one will clean up after you if you don’t, so make sure you do. You want it to be free the next time you travel through, right?
Do not leave fires going for any reason
If no one from your party will be watching the fire, put it out. A good rule to follow is the ashes and coals should be cold before you leave it. Most tent camping (paid for or not) is in some sort of wooded area. Protect the trees and other campers. Don’t leave hot coals when you leave.
Leash your pets
This is for the safety of your dog and for the other people camping around you. No one likes the yappy little dog running after them while they are going for a walk (I especially don’t since my dogs are ALWAYS leashed), but also there are allergies and phobias to worry about as well. Whether you are hiking or camping always leash your pets.
Same song second verse … Clean up after your pets
Stepping in a pile of poop…doesn’t that sounds like a great way to wake up in the morning? Imagine heading to the bathhouse before you have your coffee, your eyes barely open. Then you feel the squishy beneath your feet. Not a pleasant morning in the slightest. Do yourself and everyone else a favor. Clean up after your pets.
Make it like you were never there
Make sure whatever you did to the campsite, you undo before you leave. Did you move the picnic table? Put it back. Did you gather stumps for foot rests, move them away from the campsite. Did you dig a hole to steady the dog’s water bowl that they keep spilling? Fill in the hole. This makes it easy for the next person to customize the site without having to undo everything you did to start with.