How To Be A Good Camper

There are good campers, and there are bad campers. Good campers come prepared, use common sense, and are courteous to those camping around them, while bad campers either lack awareness or aren't prepared, and they have no regard for their campground neighbors. You'll soon learn that there is little privacy in a campground and that sound travels well too. You came here to enjoy yourself, and so did everyone else. Be a good camper and don't spoil the fun for others.
1. Trashing Your Campsite
There's nothing more aggravating than arriving at a dirty campsite. You didn't go camping to clean up somebody else's mess, and neither should the next camper after you. Make a habit of regularly collecting any trash around your campsite and disposing of it appropriately. A box of plastic garbage bags comes in quite handy for this. Don't burn trash in the campfire either. If all campers followed the "leave no trace" policy, there would never be a dirty campsite.
2. Ignoring Quiet Times
Campgrounds usually designate quiet hours so that campers can enjoy a good night's sleep. Sure we all like to party now and then, but please reserve that for another time. It's amazing how well sound travels across the campground. Show respect for other campers and keep your talking to a whisper during quiet hours. If you're an RVer, refrain from running your generator. Try to arrive at the campground early enough to set up camp before it gets dark. And please do not play a radio or TV.
3. Walking Uninvited Through Other Campsites
Campers can rightly expect a little privacy at their campsite. Don't take short cuts through somebody's campsite to get to the beach or the bathroom. It's very annoying when sitting down to eat dinner at the picnic table and other campers traipse around you on their way to and from the bathroom. Campgrounds are usually designed so that foot traffic can get around without having to walk through any campsites. Respect your neighbor's campsite space and find another way to get where you're going.
4. Speeding Through The Campground
Campgrounds may have lots of families with kids, and campers frequently walk and bike along campground roads. So slow down. Observe the speed limit, which is usually 15 MPH. Always be on the lookout for people on the road. You're on vacation. Take your time and enjoy it.
5. Washing Dishes At The Drinking Fountain
Most campgrounds have a source of potable water. It may be a drinking fountain or a spigot where you can get a drink or fill a water bucket to take back to your campsite. This is not a dish washing station. Nor are the sinks in the bathrooms. Come prepared with a plastic wash basin, some bio-degradable soap, and a 5-gallon water carrier. Now you can wash dishes at your campsite rather than making it difficult for others to get their own water.
6. Hogging The Showers
It's a luxury when a campground has a shower. So don't over do it when other campers are waiting their turn. Do what's necessary and give it up. This is a shower, not a sauna. 10 minutes should be sufficient. Please don't leave a mess, and be sure to remove all your bath items from the shower when you're finished.
7. Leaving Food Out Unattended
I've seen what raccoons can do to a cooler full of food. I've watched bears destroy a car trying to get to the groceries left on the back seat. I've also witnessed crows wrecking havoc on the food left on top of a picnic table. There is no safe place to leave food unattended at the campground. Always stow your food away and secure your coolers whenever you leave the campsite. Do not store food in your tent. It will not keep critters out. The trunk of your car is the safest place.
8. Collecting Firewood From The Local Area
If you're planning a campfire on your next camping trip, be prepared to either bring your own firewood or to purchase it at a store. Please do not gather firewood from around your campsite. This downed timber is essential to replenishing the nutrients in the ground for the other plants. If everyone who went camping stripped wood from the forest for their campfire, there would soon be no forest.
9. Letting Kids Or Pets Run Loose
Out of respect for your campground neighbors, please keep any pets under control. Please don't let them roam the campground. You may know how gentle Fido is, but to those camping around you this is a strange dog and it could be vicious. Keep your kids under control too. Don't let them run wild and disturb those camping around you. There are playgrounds where the kids can run rampant. Take the opportunity to teach your kids good campground manners.
10. Cleaning Fish At The Campsite
If your campground is near the fishing hole, please don't bring your catch back to the campsite to clean. Most campgrounds where fishing is available have a designated fish cleaning station that is away from the campsites. Fish guts, skin, and bones will attract pests like ants, birds, skunks, raccoons, and more. You don't want these critters in your campsite. Besides that the rotting fish remains will really smell up the place. Don't be a stinker, use the fish cleaning station.
From David Sweet, former Guide