Just spent a great Memorial Day weekend in Shenandoah National Park at the Big Meadows Campground. Beautiful weather, s’mores, children playing, great hikes.
Overall people were friendly, no loud drinking parties, but I was amazed by how clueless some people were to the ‘unwritten’ rules of camping. And since they’re ‘unwritten’, how are they supposed to know them? So I’ll write them down here and feel free to add any I may have missed:
1. My campsite is my home. Please don’t walk through it to save 10 steps on visiting the bathroom or your buddy in the next site. If those 10 steps to the toilet will make a world of difference, just ask for permission. You wouldn’t walk in my front door and out my back door in my house and a campsite is no different. If you know this rule, then pass it on to the next generation of campers as it seems the worst offenders are those under 15 years of age.
2. Quiet time is just that ‘QUIET time’. Voices carry in a campground, tents do not muffle sounds coming from inside, and even a quick burst of laughter can wake the dead. Alcohol seems to reduce hearing and increase voice volume.
3. If you need to leave early in the morning, pack up as much as you can the night before. And when packing the car in the morning, open the door once and leave it open until you are ready to leave.
4. I like music. You like music. But we may not like the same music. Keep it low or wear headphones.
5. Say ‘HELLO’ to EVERYONE. Campers are very friendly and love to talk.
All these ‘rules’ are basically common courtesy that will lead to a great camping experience for all. We all have the common desire to have a great time in the outdoors and have our kids share in a great experience.