Be a Good Camper: Camping Etiquette in Canada’s Parks

April 18, 2018

Nobody likes a bad neighbour, and in a campground, your neighbours are a little closer than normal. Be a good camper by following these camping etiquette guidelines.

Know the camp rules

Find the rules and stick to them. Most parks have a list of their individual rules readily available. Find them, read them, and follow them. Rules could include quiet hours, open beverage restrictions, keeping four-legged friends on leashes, and cautious driving. Assume these are the norm, but each park likely has their own unique set to follow.

Leave space

Most campgrounds have a standard space to park your rig already laid out on the site. It’s usually okay to sway from this area, but always be respectful of neighbours nearby. Meaning, don’t block their personal space with your rig. A lot of this just comes down to being aware of your surroundings and leaving room for others to feel comfortable.

Polite pets

We’re not sure why, but not everyone is a dog person. Be polite with your pets by keeping them on leashes, minimize barking, and always clean up after them. Explore our tips for RVing with multiple pets blog post for a refresh!

Don’t cut corners

Yes—no one owns space in a campground, but that rented space is ours for the duration of our stay. For that reason, take the couple extra seconds to walk around campsites instead of through them. While you might think it’s no problem to cut corners, you could be intruding on someone’s personal space, making them feel uncomfortable.

Keep it clean

It’s common camping courtesy to clean your site daily and pick up any leftovers before you pull out of the park. When you’re not at your site, dispose of garbage correctly. Together we’ll keep our parks green!

Leave no trace

This is more than keeping your site tidy. If you’ve rearranged your campsite, move everything back before you leave. If you hung string between trees, remove this as well. There should be no trace that you stayed when you pull out of the park.

Put food away

No one likes critters crawling all over their picnic table. Always put food away when your family is finished eating so you don’t attract unwanted guests to your campsite.

Respect the facilities

Respect the facilities, and others using them. For example, avoid using the communal bathroom sink to wash your dishes while others might be trying to use the same sink to wash their hands. Clean dishes at your campsite. Some parks also have large outdoor trough sinks for cleaning things like dishes.

Keep noise down

That includes generators, music, cranky kids—keep everyone and everything at a noise level that is comfortable for your neighbours. Most parks have quiet hours restrictions to abide by, so everyone enjoys their stay.

Respect your other neighbours

Camping means some of your neighbours might walk on four legs or sleep in trees. Respect the wildlife of the area! They’re the reason why you like to get outside, aren’t they? Make sure the campground is a safe place for all beings that stay there.

Fire hazards

Safety precautions are a big one! Make sure your fire is out before calling it a night. In the correct circumstance, a smouldering fire can quickly become a large flame while everyone is asleep.

Leave the trees

Related to campfires—don’t harm any trees if you need firewood. Most campgrounds sell firewood, or even offer unlimited wood for a flat rate (the cost of your fire permit). You can pick up fallen brush off the ground to use as kindling, but do not chop any trees to light your fire.

Also, don’t bring firewood from home. Lots of parks have restrictions on what kind of wood can come into their areas. Different types of wood bring in different pests, and it’s important to preserve the local wildlife.

Be friendly

RVers are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet! Take a walk around your park and strike up a conversation with your neighbours. You’ll probably find quite a few people you like!

Camping etiquette comes down to a couple simple ideas: be aware of others and be safe. If you do those two things, you won’t have a problem making friends in the park!

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