Over the last couple of years, camping has been growing in popularity. As a result, our favourite parks and campgrounds are busier than ever. Whether you’re new to camping or simply looking to brush up on your camping etiquette, we’ve got you covered!
Check out these tips and tricks for being the best possible campsite neighbour.
With a little effort and careful planning, you can be that camper that everyone is talking about for years to come.
Table of Contents
Location, Location, Location
Are you setting up next to a camper that has already set up their site? If so, make sure to take their setup into consideration when making decisions for your own placement of gear. Who needs a private campsite when you can make the most of your close quarters?
If your current neighbour has set up a sleeping tent at the edge of their site closest to you, make sure to repay the favour. Pitch your tent as close as possible to theirs, butting right up against it where space allows. How else are they going to enjoy your 1 AM conversations?
This is especially important if you have loud, excited children, if you know that one of you snores, or if you plan on staying up late having “fun”.
Sharing Is Caring
Are you short on space on your site? Don’t worry, that’s what neighbours are for! Extending your gear onto your neighbour’s campsite slightly will help to build a closer bond between your family and theirs. Don’t waste time asking if it’s okay, it’s not necessary. Stash your gear on the edge of the site, extend your clothesline above their gear (after all, they weren’t using that area), and make the space your own!
Everyone Loves Dogs!
Campers that are bringing their dogs along, you have a responsibility to share that love. When tying your dog out, make sure that their tether allows them to reach your fellow campers at the edge of their site or on the road when they are walking by.
Does your campsite neighbour have dogs of their own? Clearly, those puppies are interested in making friends! By allowing your dog to reach theirs, they can play and have fun throughout the trip. This is a great way to keep your dog entertained without having to supervise them yourself, freeing you to enjoy your own activities.
Better still, if you and your dog are game, do away with those silly tethers and leashes entirely. That way your dog can visit anyone and everyone during your trip.
Kids and Dogs
Speaking of campsite neighbours with dogs, there is also camping etiquette to consider in terms of how your kids interact with their furry neighbours. If your kids are barking at the dogs next door, don’t interfere. They are communicating and having a good time! Make sure to laugh at your kids loud enough that your neighbour can hear so that they know you are enjoying this example of fun communication as much as they are.
But, when your kids are finished, a well-trained dog should be finished too. If the dogs bark at all at your kids, make sure to make a comment loudly about how noisy they are so that the dog owners can hear. This is a helpful reminder to support their training efforts.
Don’t Limit Music
When putting music on at your campsite, don’t be selfish and limit others from enjoying it. Instead, crank those tunes up for everyone around you. This is great for nearby campers who either forgot their radio at home or those that simply want to save on battery power for when you’re not around to provide this entertainment. Young children nearby? Your music can help to lull them to sleep at naptime.
Waterfront and Trail Access
Were you hoping to score a site right on the water to enjoy swimming, launching your kayak, or fishing? There are some great waterfront campsites at many of our go-to parks and campgrounds. If you weren’t lucky enough to book one or simply wanted to keep the cost of your trip down, don’t worry! You can easily cut through the site of a fellow camper to access the water at any time. This is expected when booking a waterfront site, so don’t worry about asking for permission. As we already discussed, sharing is caring!
The same is true if you’re trying to access a portion of the trail that crosses by a campsite. You can even use this trick when looking to take a shortcut to the beach or nearby bathrooms.
Don’t Forget Boating
Of course, we can’t talk about waterfront tips without also looking at boating etiquette. If you are planning on spending time out on the water this camping season, keep your campsite neighbours in mind. While paddling, make sure to pass by as close to the waterfront campsites as possible, staring at the site that they have set up. Do you see things that you would have done differently? Voice your suggestions and recommendations loudly so that they can hear you clearly.
If you are spending the afternoon on a jet ski or motorboat, be mindful of the waves that you are creating. These add interest for nearby campers. So, max out your speed and leave behind the largest possible wake for others to enjoy.
If your plans have you pulling into the campsite late, you want to announce your arrival to ensure that your neighbours know that you are. This can easily be done with loud music, raised voices, or positioning your vehicle to shine the headlights directly at their tent. Combine these options for the most effective experience. This will let those around you know that there are new people to meet and connect with when they get up in the morning.
Support Park Employees
While this final point isn’t focused on your neighbours, I believe that the employees at our favourite parks all deserve a mention! Many park employees are students working their summer job. As avid campers and outdoor lovers, it’s our responsibility to support these roles and the best way to do that is by offering job security.
How can you do this? Make sure that you’re not doing their work for them. This means not taking the time to clean up the bathrooms, showers, campgrounds, or shared spaces after you are done with them. By leaving your clutter, you are giving the park reason to employ these students year after year.
Note: This article is satire. Following these tips will not only upset those camping around you but can also result in fines from park officials or even removal from the campground.