One of the best things about going camping is the ability to get away from the cramped city and stretch out into open space. At the same time, however, when you’re camping with a group of friends, the campsite can begin to feel crowded pretty quickly – the walls of even the best tent are pretty thin.
To keep from getting under each other’s skin, and to avoid angering your neighbors, there are some basic camping etiquette guidelines you can follow:
Arrive early. When leaving for your trip, plan to hit the road early so you can arrive at your campsite around midday. A good camp setup can take an hour or more, and it’s best done earlier in the day when you’re still fresh and there’s plenty of light for setting up tents.
Bring a headlamp. If you do end up arriving in the evening, be sure to pack an LED lantern in an easy-to-reach location so you can light up your campsite quickly and without fuss. A headlamp for each member of your group is also recommended for setting up camp in the dark so you can see what you’re doing without having to recruit a member of your party to hold the LED flashlight.
Get organized. A well-organized campsite makes for happy campers. Create a “kitchen” area and arrange food and beverages so they are easily accessible for the group. Centralize light sources such as your LED lantern in a position that provides maximum illumination for the whole campsite. If you have any propane heaters or lamps, keep them away from any flammable objects and tents.
Minimize noise. The hissing of a propane lantern at night can be disruptive to those who decide to turn in early. A more courteous alternative is the LED lantern, which is completely silent and can be dimmed to show respect for early sleepers.
Observe lights out. As a group, make an agreement beforehand on what time lights out should be. If some plan on staying up much later, designate an area far enough away from the sleeping grounds so the conversation isn’t too loud. Also, avoid shining your LED flashlight or headlamp into someone else’s tent when you finally stumble off to bed!
Consider your neighbors. Since there may be others camping near you, it’s a good idea to introduce yourself and be respectful. Avoid shining your LED flashlight or headlamp at other people’s campsites when you’re wandering around, and keep your music at a respectable volume.
[ photo by: Cliff Beckwith ]