Be considerate when turning up to the camping site. If you've arrived at an odd time, such as late at night, do your utmost to keep arrival noises and lights to a bare minimum. You may be joyously relieved that you've finally made it at midnight, but your campground neighbors won't be so happy if your tent-raising whoops of joy wake them up.
Equally, at any time you turn up, be considerate about your neighboring campsites and don't block their access or exit points while you're setting up and be sure to select a campsite that is free for use or booked to you.
If turning up late, keep your flashlight or car headlights focused only on your tent. Do not swing the lights around across other tents where people are sleeping.
Avoid tooting the horn, talking loudly or banging car doors if arriving late at night. These noises will wake up the entire campground as they carry far on quiet nights.
If putting up your tent or other shelter would truly disturb others, consider sleeping in the car for the night and put the structure up in the daylight the next day.
Treat the campground facilities as you'd treat your own home. Many people love to camp in the same campgrounds year after year and develop a sense of community together. Even where the campers are not regulars, there is still a sense of community built up immediately from the fact that everyone is pursuing their love of camping. As part of this, the campground is a home away from home and should be treated as such. Start by knowing the campground rules and respecting them.
Some commonplace concerns to be aware of include:
Avoid washing your dishes in the bathroom or shower areas. The food clogs up the drains and makes the experience of cleaning teeth, washing hair, and cleaning the body unpleasant when faced with the leftovers from last night's burned meal. Always use the designated food cleaning areas.
Don't dump wastewater in lakes, streams, or on the ground; dispose of it in the appropriate places designated in the campground.
When walking around, don't kick up dust outside campsites. This dust can end up in the tent and on food.
Keep to the speed limits posted for all vehicles used in the campground.
Keep the campground facilities clean.
Only take showers for as short a time as you need to get clean. Other people are waiting their turn! If you don't need to shower during peak shower times, consider leaving it to when it's not so busy.
Don't allow your clutter to invade anyone else's campsite space. Equally, avoid turning your own campsite into an eyesore; keep it tidy and put away garbage regularly.
Look after your campsite. Campsites are as good as the care lavished upon them. When looking after your site, some of the things to be aware of include:
Don't dig trenches around your tents. This spoils the ground for the next campers using the site and is unsightly too.
For a campfire, only use the designated fire pits. Don't create new places all over the site; this ends up narrowing the tent siting opportunities and can soon ruin a good campsite.
Never cut down firewood from standing trees and don't pick up wood lying around for your own use without knowing if that's okay to do. Ask what the rules are about firewood and follow them. In many places you will be expected to pay for firewood at the campground. Equally, be aware of any fire bans and respect them.
If you smoke, pick up your butts and put them in the garbage. Also, be aware that campers downwind from you don't want to smell your smoking – cigarette smoking smells very different from campfire smoke.
Be friendly and greet other campers. Again, this is part of being within the camping community and even though you may not know the other people, you all have a common goal of enjoying the camping experience.
Help people out if others camping near you need it. Help them take down or put up their tents, help them to peg down tarps that start blowing away during a windy day, help collect clothes off the line when it starts raining, etc. All these little things make the camping experience much more enjoyable. And it feels good!
Be considerate of tent life. Being in a tent is a liberating experience for many campers but it can also be a cramped and claustrophobic one if fellow campers don't behave thoughtfully. There are a few things to ensure it's a much more pleasant experience for all:
Avoid parking your tent right up next to your neighbor's tent. Unless you know one another, this is just getting too close for comfort.
Avoid shining your flashlight into anyone else's tent but your own. Don't play flashlight games over someone else's tent either! Keep flashlights down to the ground when walking about. If you take the time to let your eyes acclimate, you may not even need a flashlight.
If changing clothes in your tent, keep your tent door zipped up so that others don't get an eyeful of more than they bargained for.
Be extra considerate of campers near busy facilities such as the bathrooms, toilets, or food areas. The constant foot traffic is to be expected but it should be quiet.
Always allow for tent privacy and avoid peering into other's tents.
Never walk in between fixed tent-cabins that are close together as a shortcut; it scares and disrupts people.
Don't walk through other people's sites; always walk around them.
If cooking food that has a particularly strong odor, be thoughtful of your downwind neighbors. If there is a central cooking place, choose that over cooking near other tents, to keep the strong odors away
Help children to enjoy the campground without turning it into an experience in chaos. Children love camping and it's the ideal way to build their love of the outdoor life. However, it's important to teach them how to behave in a campground so that they don't inadvertently make things harder for other campers or spoil their experience. Some things to bear in mind include:
Explain to children where the invisible boundaries of your campsite end so that they don't cross over into neighboring campsites. While some people will be understanding, others won't be, so until you know your campsite neighbors better, keep your children within boundaries.
Have children keep bikes, scooters, and toys off the roadway areas when not in use and tell them to always be alert for vehicles and to always quickly get out of the way.
In the evenings, help children to stay quieter by playing games with them, reading stories to them, and putting them to bed early.
Send children to the playground or recreation area for noisy games.
If there are internet facilities at the campsite, make sure your children and teens aren't hogging it all the time; gently remind them that camping is about being outdoors and not staying online all the time!
Keep noise to a minimum. People go camping for peace and tranquility and hearing loud music blaring out at night has a way of spoiling this experience. If you have a larger group, ask to be located further away from other campers so that your noise doesn't bother others as much.
Most campgrounds have quiet hours, usually from 10 PM to 6 AM.
Be aware that your tent sides are not walls. Everything you say and even whisper can be heard, the more so if you're camped next to water. And be careful with giggling, loud jokes, and laughter – these are just as annoying as any other noise when it's sleep time.
If you're having a campfire sing song, locate the campfire away from the sleeping area. That way, people who want to keep singing into all hours of the morning will be less likely to disturb those sleeping.
Close all doors, cabinets, and other items quietly, whatever the time of day or night.
Try to remain quiet one hour before and one hour after the official quiet time; some people may still be trying to sleep.
Whisper to each other during quiet hours; even normal talking can be heard a few tents down. Stay quiet for a moment at night and observe how far away some normal conversations are.
Use a flashlight when you walk but cover it up with your hand so only a small, diluted half-circle of light can come out. Put that light only in front of your feet; not into peoples' faces or tents. Believe it or not, you can probably make your way around without a blinding floodlight.
Leave your campsite as you found it, cleaner even. After packing up, check that you have collected all your things and put away all of your garbage. If you moved logs, campfire rocks, or anything else, return the items to where you originally found them. If anything is broken on your site, such as the picnic table, or there is damage such as trenches or indents from your vehicles or tents, let the campground managers know. They will be able to fix things before the next campers take your site.
If there is nowhere to dispose of your garbage, take it out with you.
Recycle whatever you can.
If you have leftover wood, leave it for the next campers. It's a good turn to do for another.
Leave a note of your most enjoyed discoveries for the next camper; you can pass on the goodwill of fun things to do in this way
Please note that the convoy leader is always the leader. At the prescribed time all members should congregate around the communal fire (if one is lit) or at an appointed place to discuss the day’s events and events of the day to follow. This is where minor convoy issues can be ironed out and amendments be made to routes, etc.