Practice good camp etiquette and get along with your fellow campers like a pro.
Camping is becoming an increasingly popular holiday choice, whether it’s the attraction of spending time in the great outdoors or for a fun, budget friendly getaway. Camping is a friendly and fun experience, but there are some differences from staying in your own hotel room or chalet that comes from sharing space with other people. Here are 10 basic guidelines to camp etiquette that will have you getting along with your campsite neighbours in no time:
1. Find the right pitch
Sometimes you will be given an assigned pitch number at a campsite, other times you’ll be given free choice of pitches in a particular area. Respect the allocation policy of the campsite – use the pitch you’ve been allocated, or choose a pitch within the allocated area. If you have free choice, ensure that you set up on just one demarcated pitch, don’t straddle between two sites or squeeze in where there isn’t a proper pitch at all. Also, there’s usually only one electrical hook up point per pitch if they’re provided, make sure you only use one to be considerate of other campers. If the electric points indicate pitch numbers, use the appropriate one.
2. Respect everyone’s space
When you set up camp, try to stay in the middle of your pitch rather than setting up right against one side. This will give both you and your neighbouring campers the personal space and privacy that you all want. If you have a particularly large caravan or tent setup or you are camping with multiple tents, check in advance with the campsite that their pitches are large enough to comfortably accommodate you – there might be some tension with your neighbours if you’re setting up guy lines over the edge of your pitch.
3. Don’t walk through occupied pitches
Campsites have good demarcated pathways to reach all the facilities from your pitch; it is considered polite to use them. It can be very tempting to take a shortcut when everything is out in the open, but if someone is using a pitch don’t use it as a quick route to where you want to go. You wouldn’t cut across your neighbouring chalet’s patio, so don’t do it at a camp site and it’s going to be mighty embarrassing if you trip over their guy lines!
4. Respect the rules of the campsite
It is important to check the rules of your chosen campsite before you book so that you can enjoy the holiday you want to without conflict. Booking into a campsite that doesn’t allow music to be played when you love to listen to the radio or use your streaming service, or booking somewhere that prides itself on peace and solitude when you’re planning a group get together is going to cause conflict. Similarly booking a campsite that is known for its family friendly facilities when you are seeking peace and quiet is likely to ruin your break.
Be conscious of your fellow campers around you, especially early in the morning and late at night and keep any noise to a considerate level. Even if your campsite allows music to be played, just bear in mind that your neighbours may not share your particular musical tastes and keep the volume appropriate.
6. Keep it clean
When camping you are more than likely to be sharing ablutions and washing up facilities with other people; it is therefore good camp etiquette to clean up after yourself. When using the showers you will normally find a mop somewhere in the bathroom area – please use this to clear up any puddles or dirty shoe prints in the dry changing portion of the shower cubicle. Similarly, when using the basins, tidy up when you have finished and leave them as you’d like to find them. When using dishwashing facilities, clean the sink, draining board and anything stuck in the plug hole when you have finished.
7. Don’t be a litterbug
Most campsites provide litter bins, either individual ones for each pitch or shared ones between several pitches. Make use of them to keep your pitch neat and tidy and if there is no provided litter bin, then use your own bag to collect your rubbish and dispose of it in the appropriate place on the campsite. If you smoke (dependant on the rules of your campsite) please don’t dispose of your cigarette butts on the floor, use an ash tray and dispose of properly extinguished butts in the bin.
8. Be friendly
If you’ve never camped before, it might be surprising to have other campers greeting you or wishing you a good morning/afternoon/evening. Return the greeting, say hi to those you meet and enjoy the friendly atmosphere.
9. Entertaining Kids
Camping with children is fun and is a great way to get them interested in nature and the outdoor world. They can, however, be a little loud or over-inquisitive on occasion. To make the holiday more pleasant for everybody, make sure that there’s appropriate ways for them to entertain themselves – it’s no fun for them to be in trouble and it’s no fun for you to be stressed out. Pack some toys, make sure they know the campsite rules and apply age-appropriate supervision. Consider a campsite that’s family friendly with somewhere for them to play or that has kid-friendly activities, it’s a good indicator that the campsite rules and other campers will be friendly towards our junior campers.
10. Leave no trace
When it’s time to pack up and go home, make sure that you have all your stuff, pick up all your rubbish and leave your pitch as you would like to find it. It’ll make the campsite staff’s job and the next camper’s stay more pleasant. If you want to earn some extra camp etiquette brownie points, pick up any other litter surrounding your pitch even if it isn’t yours.