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Campers, Be Polite, Part Two

Politeness rules the camping world. Politeness makes the difference between a great camping experience and a most horrible camping experience. Wonder why? Well, just because politeness avoids strife, arguments, hassles and sometimes even fist-fights. Just be polite to everyone you meet at the campsites and see what a difference that makes in your day.

Here is part two of an article that I wrote about camping and politeness.

Here’s one example: Basically what goes around comes around, even at the campgrounds and state parks. A few years back I visited a state park that had the bbq grills near the picnic tables. I was disappointed to see that all the grills were dirty, some of them were soiled to the point of disgusting. There were people who left their food [corn] on the grill and just left the park permanently. Others had left their tissues around and litter on the grass. The grill that I intended to use at the campsite was covered in a mudlike substance. It had rained and all the charcoal blended in together and melted out. The result was lots of melted charcoal and charcoal dust all over the grill.

I cleaned the grill , used it during my stay, but I did something more than that. I really cleaned it out good for the next person who might be coming along. Then I went to the next empty campsite-right next to me- and cleaned their grill too.I was cleaning and working on the basis that random acts of kindness eventually get repaid. So then I left the campsite.

Months later I returned to the camgrounds to camp out again. And, wow, yes, every grill was spotless. They had all been emptied and cleaned out. I think that after seeing my example of leaving the grills clean, that others in the park took the hint and began cleaning their own grills out before they left the park.So, at the end of your stay, empty the ashes and old coals into the special trash cans that the parks supply. Then clean the grills and leave behind a beautiful campsite.

Another way to be considerate is to stop leaving your cigarette butts in the camp showers. People have to clean up after you and frankly, I believe that you are old enough to do that yourself.So the bottom line to considerate camping is mainly keeping your trash and your noise contained in your own campsite.Other bits of consideration that all campers need to pay attention to:

Attend to all your campfires and bbqs – NEVER leave the fire unattended. That is how most fires begin -through unattended fires.

Don’t pour polluted water or gray water into the grounds. Find the disposal bins for them and make sure that you don’t dispose of this water in any of our lakes and streams.When hiking, use the buddy system! Take along a buddy, that’s the safe way to camp. If you have a cellular phone , bring that along too but use it only for an emergency not for just plain old personal communication.

Camping out time is not the time to experience new foods. If you do that and have a bad reaction, your stomach will remind you later that you have made a bad choice. If you want to experiment with foods, do that BEFORE you camp, like weeks before or after you come back from your camping experience.

Last but not least:

Stay on your own campsite. At most of the city campgrounds the rudeness went unchallenged when children and teens and even some adults ran through or walked through other people’s campsites.

All campsites have borders, and you should not be walking on any campsite space nor should you be running through private campsites. Walk on the trails and paths only and then your neighbors will be happy that you are camping out with them.

One note: Just because you have to go to the bathroom very badly, that’s NO excuse to run through someone else’s campsite. Just walk in the path anyway. You’ll have plenty of time to reach your destination that way .

Before you run though a persons’ campsite [and remember , people PAY to keep these campsites], just imagine how you would feel if someone just opened your door and walked into your house or into your RV? Imagine how you might feel and then STOP and don’t dare approach anyone else’s campsite unless you are invited to by that person who registered for the campsite.

Most of us go camping for the serenity of it, the peacefulness, the natural existence in the parks, woods and for reasons like that. And though it is nice to have neighbors when camping out, it is not a nice experience to have strangers walk right through the middle of your campsite. So, be considerate and walk around campsites, not through them.

There are so many ways that you can be considerate while camping out. I’ve mentioned just a few , but there are hundreds of other ways. Use your imagination. Use the Golden Rule, and just keep it quiet, keep it clean and keep it private.

In a nutshell, some of the best ways you can be a polite camper:

  1. Remember that others are sharing the campgrounds. It does not belong to you, but it belongs to the public.
  2. Remember that people usually pay for their own campsites; that means do not walk through their sites interrupting their meals. Doing that is like walking through a strangers living room or bedroom. While you are camping that is your home. So don’t invade other people’s homes out in the wilderness.
  3. Respect ALL campers, that means respect campers who use tents just as much as you respect campers who use RV’s or other types of camping vehicles.
  4. Quiet! Do not blast radios or music so loudly that other campers can hear it in their campsite. Have consideration. Be nice and be kind. People are camping to relieve stress and enjoy the natural outdoors. Kindly cooperate by being polite enough to be quiet.
  5. Remember that each day has an end and then nighttime begins. Respect other’s rights to go to bed early and do not crash through their campsites at night just because no one is outside the tent.
  6. Keep sports in the sports areas. Do not throw balls or other objects near other campers’ tents.

Those helpful hints should keep the campgrounds a happy, healthy and safe place to visit.

Article created May 22, 2001

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