Do unto others etc. doesn’t always work. Some people seem to be oblivious to how obnoxious they are. So how about trying, just keep these things in mind when you camp.
- Thou shall introduce yourself to your neighbors. This not only helps with campsite security when you are away from your site, but it also might come in handy in case you need something. We were camping in Louisville during a tornado watch. We had talked to one of our neighbors in the afternoon and when the siren went off for the tornado warning, we grabbed a few things and headed for the bathrooms (Yes, they were the designated storm shelters.) Our neighbors came by in their car and offered to take us with them to the Holiday Inn up the road, which was a lot more comfortable and, oh, yes, safer than the bathrooms, let me tell you. Our friendliness paid off.
- Thou shall clean up after your pets. Enough said. You know how to do that.
- Thou shalt be quiet coming and going, especially late or early. If you arrive late, try to keep noise to a minimum—no shouting, no door slamming, turn off your headlights as soon as you can. Same thing if you have to leave early. Keep that engine warming to a minimum. You can do that by driving.
- Thou shall keep it down. Keep your radio and TV at a reasonable level. You shouldn’t be able to hear it in the next campsite. If you are watching TV or playing music outside, same thing goes. Wear headphones if you like it real loud. Here’s also where knowing your neighbor comes in, we were camped over Labor Day once and the first thing the young people next to us did was get out their boombox and start playing loud, LOUD rock music as they set up. We had said ‘Hi’ to them when they came in, and after it became clear that this was going to go on all day if we didn’t say something, we asked them (nicely) to please turn it down. They apologized and did.
- Thou shalt speak softly. Particularly once everything has quieted down. Keep this in mind around your campfire. Have a good time but don’t keep everybody else awake or tell them all your good stories. If you invite your neighbors to the campfire early, they will likely be a bit more forgiving and possibly have some new stories.
- Thou shall clean up. Your campsite is your home for the duration. Take the trash to the designated pickup place, don’t burn it in your fire ring. Besides trash attracts animals, and you probably don’t want to share with them.
- Thou shall evacuate then evacuate. If you are using the dump station, do what you absolutely need to do and then move ahead so those behind you can get started on their dirty work.
- Thou shalt not run your generator when the rules say thou shalt not. And if you need to, let your neighbors know how long it is going to last. But know the ‘no generator’ hours and conditions. And when you do run it, particularly if it is a noisy one and particularly if it’s dinner time, it’s a nice thing to talk to your neighbor beforehand; we usually say something like, “We are cooking in the microwave and we’ll be done in about 10 minutes.”
- Thou shalt not trespass. Each site has four sides; don’t enter someone else’s site to get to the bathroom or the beach or your friend’s site. For the time being, that site is their property.
- Okay, what do you think number 10 should be?