Are you in the process of planning your maiden, summer camping trip? If so, you may want to take a few minutes to familiarize your family with a few basic camping etiquette rules. Here's a quick rundown on five that are worth repeating:
Maintain a Respectful Noise Level
Keeping campsite noise to a minimum is one of the most respectful actions that a summer camper can take. This is especially important during the early morning hours and late at night. I'd recommend that you turn down the volume on all of your family's electronic devices. That includes cell phones, weather radios, televisions, hand-held video games and laptops. It is also a good idea to remind the kids to use their "inside voices" whenever possible.
Keep Evening Lighting at a Minimum
When it comes to the evening hours, you'll also want to keep lighting issues in mind. After all, no one likes a bright light shining in their eyes when they are trying to sleep. As such, it is a good idea to keep flashlights pointed downward during late night trips to the bathhouse. I'd also suggest that you think about turning off your lanterns and awning lights at a respectable hour.
Leave the Stinky Stuff at Home
Given the limited distance between campsites, you will also want to make sure that you keep your neighbor's olfactory senses in mind. For example, you may love the scent of limburger cheese. Your camping neighbors, however, may not share your passion for such aromas. As a matter of fact, some of your neighbors may even experience painful headaches as a result of certain, strong scents. As such, I'd suggest saving the stinky cheeses and strong scented products for home use.
Respect Spatial Boundaries
Spatial boundaries should also be respected during summer camping trips. One way to respect your fellow campers' spatial boundaries is to avoid pitching your tent or setting up your trailer on the edge of your campsite. Another form of respect is to keep your sports and recreation gear like bicycles, beach balls and toys within the confines of your own campsite.
Clean the Campsite Before Departure
Last but not least, leave the campground better than you found it. I'd also recommend that you make sure that the campsite's designated picnic table and fire ring are in their proper place. In addition, if you happen to notice a maintenance problem related to the campsite, make it a point to notify the camp staff. That way they can address those maintenance issues before the next camper arrives.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys summer sports and recreation with her family. She has also traveled extensively.
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