You love the great outdoors, but your idea of camping involves a three-course meal and an attached toilet. While you have fun in your luxury tent, the other campers slum it in their grotty pup tents. If you want to make sure that nobody resents having to share public space with you, it’s time for you to brush up on your outdoor etiquette. Here are nine things every camper should know when heading out into the wild.
1) Respect campsite rules
Each campsite has its own set of rules that you need to follow without fail or else expect hefty fines. Here are some general guidelines that apply no matter which site or country you’re staying in: -The thing allowed under the fire is firewood. Don’t cut down any live structures or pick up live vegetation – Make sure the food you bring is okay to eat raw and that you eat all of it before you go to sleep – Pack everything back exactly how you found it.
2) Leave the place as good as (or better than) you found it
No matter what country you’re staying in, leaving your campsite clean and tidy is only common courtesy towards other campers. Take out all leftover food with you. If there’s no bin around, bury anything organic deep enough that animals won’t be able to reach it—line item rubbish into one plastic bag for ease of disposal when you get home. Bring garbage bags along just for this purpose if necessary.
3) Respect wildlife
This is where hiking etiquette gets a little more complicated. By now, you hopefully know not to feed the bears and other wild animals as it will only make them less afraid of humans and more aggressive towards them. However, that doesn’t mean that you can keep your distance from all wildlife!
Always follow the guides provided by the park authorities on how close you’re allowed to approach specific animals. Keep in mind that even seemingly docile deer have been known to attack humans when frightened or excited. In addition, be aware of bear poop – it’s a well-known fact that bears don’t always come down from trees after using the toilet. If signs are warning you about not approaching too close to particular types of birds or animals, take heed!
4) Keep your campsite clean
This one kinda goes without saying, but it’s worth reiterating. Not only is leaving your site a mess inconsiderate to others, but it’s also a ticking ecological time bomb. Insects and other scavengers will descend on your area like vultures, multiplying exponentially and spreading disease in the process. If you can’t clean up after yourself properly, you might not bother camping at all.
5) Control your children
Understandably, small kids want to run around and explore their new surroundings; however, there needs to be some discipline when doing so at a campsite. Teach your kids not to climb on other people’s tents, wander too far away from the campsite, or make too much noise after dark. Most importantly, make sure they know how to use the toilet properly and never ever pee or poop anywhere other than in designated areas.
6) Respect your neighbors
Even if you’re not the best of friends with the people camping next to you, remember that you’re all in this together. Keep noise levels down at night and don’t take up more space than you need when setting up your camp. If there’s a communal area where everyone gathers (like a picnic table), try to leave it clean and free of personal belongings when you’re not using it.
7) Mind the fire
One of the most dangerous things about camping is the risk of fire, so it’s important to take a few basic precautions. Make sure your campfire is completely extinguished before going to bed, never leave a live-fire unattended, and always have a bucket of water or sand nearby in case of emergency. Be especially careful with sparks that can easily start a bushfire in dry areas.
8) Be prepared for emergencies
No one ever expects bad things to happen when they’re out camping, but Murphy’s Law dictates that they will invariably happen when you’re least prepared for them. That’s why it’s essential not just to pack a first-aid kit but also to know how to use it. Other essential items to bring along while in Coleman Camping include a flashlight (with extra batteries), knife, and fire starting kit.
9) Respect the park authorities
Even if you know as much as or more than the park rangers and officials, never argue with them about their rules. If they tell you not to do something, there’s probably a good reason for it! This will protect not only your own health and well-being but also that of other campers who may be less informed than you.
Camping can be a truly fantastic experience for those willing to put in the work, but everybody has their limits on what they’re willing to tolerate from others. Keep these nine basic rules in mind when next you venture into the wilderness, and hopefully, everyone will have a great time.