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Best ways to be a good camper: camping etiquette

For many of us, camping is the best way to relax, reconnect with family, and enjoy nature. Some of us camp in State parks in National Parks, While others, head out to that fabulous camping resort. Here relaxation and family activities are King. By following a few simple rules, you can ensure that you and your fellow campers will also have the best time possible.



Whether you're camping at your favorite Resort or a State or National Park, or off-grid, there are some basic rules that everyone needs to observe. These rules ensure that all of us have an enjoyable time while reconnecting and taking in the sights and sounds. Some of these rules or guidelines deal with the safety of you and your fellow campers. Other guidelines help to ensure respect towards your neighbors and fellow campers.


While most of these rules are common sense, it is quite common for other parties not to observe and respect fellow campers over my Decades of camping. When other campers don't respect others' rules and privacy, it takes some enjoyment out of the whole adventure.

So, if you're a first-time camper, here are the top rules and guidelines to consider when you are camping in an area with fellow campers.

  • Resort and State and National Park Rules

  • Consideration when camping with Children

  • Consideration when camping with pets

  • Leave your site cleaner than you found it or no trace camping



These broad topics cover many items for your consideration. You will find some of these items to be common sense, while others you might not have considered. Remember, following these items and rules will help us all have an enjoyable time camping where ever you are. Let's take a closer look so that we all can enjoy the experience.


What are the standard camping rules at a Campground or State or National Park?

First, you will find these rules posted on the Campground or Park's website. Review these items to be aware of specific things to the area you're camping.


Quiet Hours

Typically, a campground or park will provide you a listing for quiet hours. During this time, you should have little to no impact on your fellow camping neighbors. Radios and TVs are to be low or off, campfires are to be extinguished, and large parties are to be dispersed.

Quiet Hours enable us all to get that great night's sleep. Check with the location you are camping for specific rules.


Also, if you're running a generator, you will need to turn this off for your surrounding neighbors' comfort during quiet hours. Some campgrounds even provide specific rules for the use of a generator on your campsite.


Campground or Park Check-In and Check-Out.

Like staying in a hotel, your camping location will provide you with a timeframe for check-in and out. These times are given so that the location can clean and prepare the campsite for the next camping party.


For this reason, you should be considerate when it comes to these times. Otherwise, the camping party coming in after you leave may have to wait to enter the park. Keep in mind that you too could be on the other side of this topic, meaning you will wait to move into your campsite.


Campground and Park Speed Limits

Yes, just like driving in your neighborhood, you need to observe the posted speed limits. This item is not only considerate for your fellow campers, but it is also a significant safety issue.


You will find children playing throughout the Campground or even walking or playing on the roads. A speeding car can easily injure a fellow camper or child, so take it slow. You will usually see posted speed limits of 5 MPH. Observe this speed limit and keep us all safe.


Restrictions on items you can have on the campsite or in the Park or Campground

Many campgrounds and Parks will specify what items you can have on an individual campsite. These restrictions can limit how many tents and cars you can safely have on your site. They may also specify specific areas for certain types of camping, such as tenting and RV'ing.


These restrictions are designed to help you and your camping neighbors have the best time relaxing with the family.



Campgrounds and State and National Parks have rules for campfires.

First, these rules are designed to keep us all safe. Most campsites will offer you're a fire pit or fire ring so you can safely have a fire with a firestop. These pits will also be located safely from your tent or RV. The Campground may also set restrictions on the type of firepits you can use at your campsite.


You will also note that you should burn trash in your firepit as the odors are not pleasant and can also attract unwanted wildlife.


Finally, you should check with your Campground or Park to ensure no other restrictions due to high winds or droughts. These items can mean you will not be able to have that all-important campfire.


Your Campground may also specify how you store your food.

This item will be of particular concern if you're camping in a National or State Park where wildlife is abundant. Here it would be best if you were concerned with Racoons and even Bears. Note that a Bear can smell up to 20 Miles. Proper food storage is essential for the safety of all. This safety includes you and your camping neighbors. A bear bag food storage system hung high in a tree is a great solution.


Other Topics and Practices to consider


Pay Attention to where you walk.

It isn't polite to walk through a neighbor's campsite to head to the restrooms. This rude practice should be avoided. Many campgrounds will offer you trails and paths to guide you to the showers or recreational areas.


Consider the neighboring camper's site at their yard, and they paid for this piece of adventure. You wouldn't want someone walking through your yard at your private residence. Keep this in mind if you are considering walking through a fellow camper's site.


Camping with children

Here you want you and your family to enjoy your tenting adventure. Keep your children under supervision, especially younger children. It is not the Campground's responsibility to watch your children. They are in a new, unfamiliar area, and they can get lost or into an unsafe situation.


Also, you will most likely be bringing bikes and toys for you and your family. Keep them organized. A clean, organized site is not only a safe site, but it also shows respect to your neighbors and the Campground.




Camping with Pets

Now, we love our pets like our children. Some dogs will adjust great to camping and sleeping in a tent. While others will not settle down and may also spend many hours barking, disturbing your fellow campers.


If your dog has a barking tendency, then you should leave your little friend at home. You will have a more relaxing vacation if you don't spend your time worrying about your furry friend.

Also, be sure that you follow the pet rules provided by your Campground. Here, you will find lease rules, and you will have to pick up after your dog every time. This practice not only shows respect for others around you. If you don't, you have created a safety issue for your neighbors and the wildlife that call this area home. Pet waste can make wildlife sick.


Keep a Clean Campsite

Keeping a clean campsite will improve your camping adventure. This practice not only shows respect to your neighbors and fellow campers, but it keeps wildlife from moving in on you and your family.


Trash needs to be disposed of daily in the proper location. Keep your area clean. Tend to your fire pit and cooking area daily. These practices will make your campsite the best in the Campground. Set an example for your fellow campers so all can enjoy the camping adventure.


No Trace Camping

This topic means that you will leave your site cleaner than you found it. Remember to remove your firepit ashes. Clean your picnic table. Remove unused firewood or stack it neatly if you are leaving it for the next camper.


Other items to consider are checking your site for branches and limbs as well as trash. No trace camping shows respect to you, your family, your fellow campers, and the Campground. This respect will also elevate your experience to a higher level.




These rules and topics will help you to enjoy your first camping adventure. The rule stands, "Treat people as you wish to be treated" is a great way to enjoy camping. These rules set a footprint for you and your fellow campers to honor respect amongst all, thereby creating the perfect camping experience.


As with many aspects of our life, the more you follow these guidelines, the more they will become second nature. They will become a habit, and you will follow them with no thought what so ever. Keep in mind that all the campers around you should be following these same guidelines, so you will also reap the benefits of these guidelines.


We are Family Tents Pro. Over our years of camping, we have witnessed a decline in camper etiquette. This practice is essential to all of us to enjoy what family and nature has to offer equally. We have other articles that can help you find the love of camping. Heat to our website at www.familytentspro.com to view product reviews, top lists, and educational articles, all designed to help improve your camping experience.


We may also earn a small commission should your purchase through any of our affiliate links.


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