Campground Culture

Campground Culture

Outdoor adventures don’t always go to plan and a turn in the weather, injury or illness can spoil a well planned adventure. For me what’s more likely to spoil a camping trip is the other bloody campers! My missus will tell you I’m not always the most patient guy but get pretty angry if the peace of my ‘getting back to nature’ break is ruined by a bunch of idiots who should’ve stayed back in the town for the weekend and read a book about outdoor life.

Not all nature lovers have the same regard for their fellow campers as they do their environment. Even tree huggers who would never consider disturbing a desert flower, sometimes think nothing of disturbing the peace. To keep on the good side of other outdoor enthusiasts, please follow my basic guidelines!

If you sleep over at a campground you need to consider your tenting neighbours. When you leave the site be sure to clean up for the next round of campers. If you’re staying more than a night or two, be sure to collect your trash and dispose of it properly at regular intervals to discourage critters straying in searching for spare tucker. Observe rules around the quiet times in the camp. Sound travels at night so be sure to talk in whispers and turn off radios and other noise leaking items. I love laying in my tent at night listening to the peace of the forest around me so don’t play your bloody Ipod so load I can here it ‘ting ting tinging’ all night! Also, try to arrive early enough to set up camp before others are trying to sleep. I’ve had a hard day hiking too and want to get my head down after some tucker and a couple of cold ones – not listen to you wrestling with your tent poles.

Now while I’m at it let me talk about campsite water dos and don’ts. If you’re lucky enough that your campground has a drinking fountain or water source, don’t treat it as your personal dishwashing station. Come prepared with a bucket, wash basin and bio-degradable soap and wash your dishes at your campsite. Also, please don’t wash your dirty dishes in the bathroom sinks before I go in for my wash!

Another pet hate of mine is those guys who think they’re cool catching their own fish… and then gutting them near my tent. If they have one, use the campground’s fish-cleaning station or otherwise clean it where you caught it. Not only does the smell make me want to spew my guts up, fish offal is a magnet for wild animals looking for food.

Back at camp isn’t the only location where you need to have some consideration for other. When trekking the trails, you’ve likely been told to “take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.” While this is great advice for starters, knowing what to share and what to keep to yourself can make a huge difference for everyone on the trail.

If your hike takes you to a beautiful panoramic outlook, breathe it in, take some photos, then move over to let others enjoy the view. Other people may be waiting to enjoy the same view. If you’re travelling in a large group it’s best to split into smaller groups so you don’t block trails and cause traffic jams. I go out to get away from crowds, not to be part of one!

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