There is an old expression, “be the person your dog thinks you are.” In line with that statement, campers should be the neighbor you would like to have.
In many campgrounds, your camping neighbors are relatively close in proximity. This closeness can provide an opportunity of meeting and getting to know fellow campers. Many great friendships have evolved from this type of setting. However, this co-existing event can also come with challenges.
We have probably all been camped beside an inconsiderate person or group of people. These folks play music non-stop at a sound level only exceeded by a live Rolling Stones concert. They stay up most of the night and sit by a campfire talking and shouting loudly. Their dog wanders unattended through your campsite, stopping and leaving a calling card that will remain there well after they have departed the camp. Their departure at six o’clock in the morning is highlighted by the clatter of a diesel pickup truck engine with backup instructions shouted loudly. Once hooked up, the diesel engine remains clattering like a herd of knock-kneed cattle until they are ready to depart, which happens some thirty five minutes later. Well, you get the picture; total inconsiderate people. Unfortunately, this type of behavior can spoil an otherwise great camping experience.
So what we want to do is to be the type of neighbor that you would like to have, and it is easy. Follow these guidelines for being a good camping neighbor and it’ll be smooth sailing at the site:
- Loud music is not conducive to the outdoor camping environment. If you want it, use earbuds or headphone. The sound quality will be better and you can have it as loud as you like.
- Staying up late around a campfire is part of the camping experience. It can be done without the need of loud voices. The night offers a quiet backdrop usually without even the white noise associated with the daytime campground activity. Therefore, the need for loud voices in such a setting is not required.
- Early morning can be a very peaceful time. In consideration of others, use hand signals if backing instructional aid is needed. Shut off the engine when vehicle movement is not needed. Even better, why not hook up the tow vehicle the night before if possible. This will also help get you on the road quicker in the morning.
- Keep your pet safe and on your own site. Generally, this is best accomplished by keeping them on a leash or short line. Don’t leave the pet on the site if you are going out. Take them with you. Dogs, for example, tend to bark more often when left alone. Make sure you always pick up after your dog immediately. This is standard procedure for any responsible pet owner.
Well, I’m sure there are more courteous actions that should be addressed, but those will come naturally. Just don’t do anything that you would find distasteful if it was your neighbor’s actions. Be a good neighbor, make a new friend. Enjoy!