RV Etiquette: How to be a Good Human While Camping

Published on May 17, 2021 Blog Image

As I sat down to write this article, it occurred to me that the people who need this information most will never read it. You know the people I am talking about. Ugh. We all hate those people and sadly, this article won't get through to them. So I am going to go over some things that you, the good, caring human that you are, simply hadn't realized might be rude. And then give some tips to get along with the other kind of people, the ones who don't seem to care.

Etiquette Rules You Might Not Have Thought Of

Most etiquette rules are common sense. Treat others as you want to be treated (haven't I heard that somewhere before?) and everyone will enjoy their camping experience more. But here are a few things you might not mind at all, but others may think are rude.

1. Those Awesome Outdoor Lights.

There are so many cool new light options for the campsite: LED rope lights, cute-as-heck string lights, and those bucket lights you can hang high in the tree. There's certainly nothing wrong with outdoor lighting, but please take other campers into consideration. Maybe they live in the city so the only time they can enjoy the night sky is while camping, or maybe they don't have light-blocking shades in their camper so they can't sleep with your lights outside their window. Firelight, either in the form of a campfire or candles and lanterns, may be a better option. Besides, everyone looks better in firelight!

2. Burn Baby, Burn!

Who doesn't love a campfire? And it's so handy to get rid of trash! But wait, that really does cause some issues. The smoke from trash can bother other people (the smell of burning plastic or styrofoam is gross!), and nobody enjoys cleaning the trash in the fire pit that didn't burn completely away. It might not bother you, but don't use your fire pit as an incinerator.

3. Speaking of Fire…

Don't travel with firewood unless it is kiln-treated. And if you aren't sure, don't travel with it at all! There are several non-native, invasive insects that cause major tree damage, so don't be the "Typhoid Mary" of the forest by bringing the infestation with you. Seriously. Don't.

4. Quiet time.

If you are the type who is reading this article on etiquette, you probably keep quiet during the posted quiet time. But remember that everyone has a different schedule and just because you are up and enjoying the great outdoors doesn't mean there aren't those who would rather be asleep. Keep noise at a minimum during evening and morning hours, even if it is outside the posted quiet time.

There are so many other things you can do to let everyone enjoy their stay at the campground, but most of those fall under the Golden Rule mentioned above. Take a moment or two to think about your camping neighbor. Even if they are annoying or oblivious, you will be happier if you do what you know is right.

How to Enjoy Yourself in Spite of "Those People"

1. Avoid Them.

Check local event schedules. If there is a large event going on, there are more likely to be people at the campground who are not there just to enjoy the outdoors. Plan your trip to avoid campgrounds near events that you aren't attending.

2. Avoid Them.

If you don't want to be around noisy, late-night partiers, consider a campground that has attendants that enforce park rules. Many times you can find those campgrounds by reading reviews… look for negative reviews about the attendants being mean. If I see a campground with reviews like "I was only going two miles per hour over the speed limit but the rude person who worked there yelled at me!" I know this is a place where rules are enforced!

3. Avoid Them.

Do you sense a theme here? Stay at campgrounds that are geared towards the older, retired crowd. Not that there aren't rude retired people, but in general, older adults are quieter and don't gather for large parties at the campground.

4. Avoid Them.

Camp off-season and never on a holiday weekend. Stay at the campground through the week but leave Friday morning before the weekenders show up.

5. Join Them.

Ha, I bet you didn't see that coming! Every single person at the campground (except that one angry spouse who didn't want to go), is there to enjoy themselves. Even if they are rude and inconsiderate, they almost definitely aren't doing it on purpose. So instead of getting angry about the lights, the people who walk across your campsite, or the people who aren't following the rules, remind yourself that they are here for the same things you are, they just go about it differently. Find a way to find the joy in the moment, even if it isn't what you had hoped for. After all, getting angry only ruins your trip, it doesn't effect the trouble-makers at all!

Enjoy The Trip!