Oh, the great outdoors; no dishes, charred marshmallows for breakfast, lunch and dinner, sleeping under the stars, freedom, the last frontier and no rules…. Wait, sorry tent dwellers, there are rules. Even in the great outdoors courtesy reigns. So, when you pack your backpack, take along yourmanners, or you’ll be packing it in sooner than you think.

Here are the basics of camping courtesy:

  • Show your host some respect and be kind to mother nature. Put your garbage in the proper receptacles, be careful with fires and don’t cut down the trees.
  • Be mindful of your campground neighbors, abide by the campground rules and keep the noise down. If you roll in late at night, try not waking everyone up with lights and noisy conversation or a blasting stereo.
  • Drive slowly! If there are posted speed limits-follow them. Hopefully everyone else will do the same and you won’t have to worry about being run over on your way to the bathroom at midnight.
  • Don’t treat the woods as though they were you personal powder room. Go potty in the camp bathroom and if you bring along a portable potty- dispose of the contents in the campground toilet.
  • Even in the woods it’s not polite just to drop by another campsite uninvited, especially if no one’s home. Even if they are, they’re probably trying to get away from it all so if you weren’t invited, don’t stay long.
  • Don’t “borrow” or take things that don’t belong to you. Many a camper has returned to their campsite after a hike in the woods to find their things missing. It’s an unwritten campers rule that you don’t “borrow” from fellow campers.
  • If the campground says “no pets”, don’t bring your pet! If pets are allowed, keep them in your campsite area or on a leash when you’re out and about and do pick up after them. If your dog is a barker- maybe bring along a muzzle.
  • Remember that everyone is on holiday. People who don’t have children don’t expect your children to sit in the tent quietly playing cards all day but they don’t appreciate constant screaming and yelling either. Make sure the children understand the rules about quiet time and don’t
    let them play in the public washroom, on the road, or in someone else’s campsite.
  • Use your common sense. If you plan to be partying, try to keep control of things. Remember that sound carries at night and be careful of the language and content of your campfire songs and conversation- especially if you know there are children around.

You can never be too careful in choosing your destinations. For searchable Canadian campground reviews, and much more, check out Camping
Canada: Link: http://www.camping-canada.com/campground_reviews_all_e.asp

Want to go camping, but not sure how to begin to plan? Don’t jump in unprepared. Love the Outdoors gives good advice on budgeting, what to
bring, and most anything else you can think of: Link: http://www.lovetheoutdoors.com/camping/tips/tips_and_advice.htm