Camping Etiquette – Your Weekend Vacation Isn’t the End
Oh how great be the freedom of the outdoors. To camp is to become in touch with that primitive beast that sleeps inside you. One of the best things about the outdoors is the ability to do as you please. You are not surrounded by other people and their judging eyes and limiting rules.
Though the outdoors is free, their are still rules you should follow when you head out into the wild to camp. These rules are not to limit, but to make sure that we keep these places pristine and leave them as is for the next visitors to enjoy. Camping Etiquette is real, and it is important.
I get it. You probably won’t be laying out a fancy white tablecloth and worrying about what order you place the silverware in on your next camping trip. I hope that you get in touch with your primitive self and leave the restraints of today’s society behind. After all I am all about Becoming Primitive. Camping Etiquette is still extremely important. Following these rules will keep you, the environment, and future campers safe and happy.
Just because you are out on vacation for the weekend, and most likely on your only camping trip of the year, doesn’t mean this is the last trip for everyone else too. Most likely, their will be people camping around you while you are there. Also very likely, someone else will be using your spot soon after you leave. Leave your camp site as you would hope others will leave it for you.
Camping Etiquette Basics
- Pack it in, Pack it out.
- Leave no Trace.
- Alter the environment, and affect the surrounding wildlife as little as possible.
- One of the reasons people head into the wilderness is to enjoy the sounds of nature and silence. Try to keep your noise to a minimum.
- Try to find an existing camp spot if at all possible.
- Keep food out of your camp site!
- Someone else will be there after you. Leave your site as you would hope others would leave it for you.
The Camp Fire
Please read these other great posts about Camp Fire Safety.
Let’s start with my favorite part of camping, the camp fire. The camp fire was the main source of night time heat, entertainment, cooking, and even sterilization for thousands of years. It is an amazing gateway to our primitive selves. Therefore, understanding fire and how to control it is important.
There are some important Camping Etiquette guidelines for your camp fire. Following these guidelines is not only polite, but just might save your life.
- Bring your own wood if at all possible. If you do need to search around your camp site for wood, only use dead fallen wood. Do not cut live branches from trees or shrubs, and DO NOT CUT DOWN TREES!
- Do not leave your camp fire burning when you leave. Make sure that you have completely distinguished the flames before leaving a campground. Here is an article about putting out your campfire you may find helpful.
- Do not throw food in the fire. Just because it is burnt does not mean it will not attract animals and bugs.
- Always use a fire ring or mound fire.
Leave No Trace
Many of the concepts taught in this article are included in Leave No Trace. Others are my own opinion, and things I have picked up over the years on hundreds of camping excursions. Leave No Trace is an important idea and teaching, and classes are available on their site. The program consists of seven key principles. I recommend you take sometime to learn the principles, or even get more involved and become a trainer or part of the program.