How to Be a Good Campground Neighbor

Most campers drive for hours and plan far in advance for their trips to our beautiful parks and campgrounds. Some of the reasons for going camping are to get away from it all, and spend time with our families breathing the fresh air and taking in the natural surroundings. That is why it can be very disappointing to finally arrive at the campground only to have people at other campsites making your trip hard to enjoy. If we all follow these simple guidelines, everyone at the park should be able to have a great camping trip.

Tip #1: Do not walk through other campsites, even if it makes it easier to get to washrooms or other park locations. Walking through another person's campsite is very intrusive and many people will find this offensive.

Tip #2: Keep your pet on a leash at all times. It can be a nuisance to have other pets on your campsite when you are trying to relax. Even though you may not feel it is a big deal, not everyone wants your dog running through their campsite.

Tip #3: Pick up after your dog. Nothing spoils a walk more than stepping in dog doo--especially with bare feet. Bring a scoop or plastic bag to pick up and dispose of it properly. Special bags can be found at pet supply stores. Some camp stores carry them as well.

Tip #4: Always fully extinguish your campfire when going to sleep or leaving your campsite. Not only is it dangerous and against most park regulations, but the smoke can become overwhelming when a campfire is not maintained properly.

Tip #5: Be thoughtful when using a radio; observe quiet hours or radio-free zones and take the time to ask if the radio is too loud for your campsite neighbors.

Tip #6: Minimize noise around the campfire late at night. Although everyone loves sitting around the campfire, if your group stays up late at night, understand that many other campers are trying to sleep.

Tip #7: Don't leave trash at your campsite. The smell alone will attract unwanted visitors while you sleep or when you leave your site for a hike. Raccoons or other critters become a nuisance when they find your garbage; they make lots of noise fighting for food scraps and they drag the trash throughout the park. Take your trash to the park-provided garbage bin and recycling containers.

Tip #8: Don't wash your dishes at the water fountain or tap. When filling up your water container at the water tap, no one wants to wait while others wash dishes. It also leaves a mess and an unpleasant odor. Wash dishes on your campsite and dump any remaining waste water in the waste vault or park-provided location.

Tip #9: Keep your fire under control. Although you may enjoy a bonfire, it can become intrusive and overwhelming to your campsite neighbors. This may also be against park regulations and can become hard to manage.

Tip #10: Introduce yourself to your campsite neighbors. There is no better way to start off your camping vacation then with a friendly gesture. Knowing your neighbors helps with campsite security while you are away from your site, and may come in handy if you need to borrow something.

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