How to Practice Proper Campsite Etiquette

As socially responsible members of the outdoor community, it’s important that campers cultivate a sense mutual respect towards one another. When you’re actually at the campsite, this means learning to share certain communal spaces with other campers. Many campgrounds, both public and private, are busy year round – so you can expect to be cohabitating with other camping parties on at least some trips. Below are a few ground rules for making sure that you’re using proper camping etiquette on those trips.
Don’t be a litterbug.
One of the biggest annoyances for many campers is the failure of others at the campsite to pick up their trash. Scattered paper plates, plastic cups, and food wrappers aren’t just disrespectful to your fellow campers, they’re a detriment to the site’s microenvironment. While it’s understandable that, say, a younger child might leave a few things lying around, try and make sure they get cleaned up before bedtime.
If you’re fishing, fillet your catch away from the campground.
While it might be easier to take your fishing haul back to the campsite for cleaning, the pungent smell and significant waste produced when cutting up your catch might not be appreciated by other groups at your campsite. In most public fishing areas, there are pre-set stations made for fish cleaning. Take advantage of them if at all possible, and be sure not to leave unusable portions behind.
Use precautions regarding pets.
Bringing your pet along on a camping trip is always great fun. Their natural energy can really liven up and add to the experience of a camping trip. At most campgrounds, pets are allowed and even encouraged to tag along. You should make an effort conscientious with Fido or Spike, though. Make sure that he’s either leashed or being watched at all times, in order to avoid the disturbance of other groups. Take him on walks away from the campground for bathroom breaks – if he or she decides to take care of business at the campsite, try to pick it up as quickly as possible.
If you’re unsure about something, look at the campgrounds rules and regulations for guidance.
Typically, popular sites will have rules posted for all habitants to follow. They usually include set nightly quiet hours, rules concerning pets, guidelines for campfires, and other general considerations for good camping etiquette. By following these posted rules, you can help to ensure that you’re respecting the rights of other campers.