First and foremost have a good time. But having a good time should never happen if it will cause someone else weather in your camping party or another camping party not to have a good time. Always be considerate of others, everyone is different and we all need to get along when enjoying the great outdoors. Many campgrounds have posted rules specific to the specific site. Read and follow them. If there are no posted rules here is a list of basic rules to follow.
- Camp in designated campsites. When camping in the backcountry high traffic areas often have designated campsites. When camping in undesignated areas keep environmental damage to a minimal.
- Always keep your area clean. If you brought it with you take it with you. Even if it was there when you got there if it does not belong pick it up and take it to where it needs to go. Never leave your trash behind use trash receptacles if available or take to one even if this means packing it out of the backcountry. No one likes seeing a trash dump while out enjoying the outdoors.
- Protect water sources never dump contaminated water close to or in a water source weather a natural source or a faucet. A good rule of thumb is at least 100 feet away. Always use environmentally friendly soaps.
- Be a good neighbor – control your noise and pets.
- Normal quiet hours are 10:00 pm to 6:00 am sound carriers further at night.
- Clean up after your pets and keep them under control. Most camp areas require them to be kept on a leash. No one likes a barking dog or someone not cleaning up after their pet.
- Be respectful of nature. Leave growing trees and shrubs alone only use dead wood for fires don’t tear a growing plant down for your wood. Some areas do not allow firewood gathering in these areas you must bring it with you.
- When hiking stay on designated trails. This helps keep erosion and other environmental damage to minimal areas.
- Leave tables in their designated camp sites. If you need more tables bring them with you or make arrangements with the campground host for more.
- Never drive a nail into a tree. If tying to a tree protect it from damage. A tree can die from things being wrapped around them or driven into them.
- Never build a fire close enough to a tree to damage it.
- Clean you fire pit before leaving you camp site the next camper will appreciate it.
- Pick up your trash and clean the camp site before leaving. One thing I found works well is to double check your site once everything is loaded and packed often something has been forgotten or missed.
- Always leave your camp site cleaner and nicer then when you got there. The next campers will a better time if he doesn’t have to clean up after you.
If we all follow these few simple rules our backcountry and outdoors will continue to be a enjoyable place for us all to visit for many years to come. Be safe and enjoy.