The Unspoken Rules of Campground Behavior

On Reddit, expert campers had a lot to say on what's acceptable and what isn't.

As we (very slowly) start getting ready to approach early spring, we just can’t avoid daydreaming about camping. Outdoors enthusiasts will know the feeling—the air starts getting warmer while remaining somewhat crisp, and sunlight-infused national parks suddenly start calling for you on the weekend. Gorgeous wildflowers, singing rivers, and vast stretches of untouched wilderness are just a few months away.

So that's why we're here today—for a quick reminder, a PSA if you will, directed toward all the eager campers out there. Namely, we're here to remind you how to not be a complete a-hole when going on your next camping trip.

On the subreddit r/Camping someone just asked the ultimate camping etiquette question, calling all Redditors to chime in on what some of the best practices are when out camping. Answers, as it often goes on the platform, started flooding in, and we have collected the most popular ones to help you be your best self when out in the wild.

The most popular response has to do with personal space and privacy. "Don't walk thru others campsites," it reads. Basically, stick to your own "property" or to the common areas—having your campsite being constantly walked through is comparable to having a stranger walking back and forth on your front porch without asking for permission. It can get annoying, and most importantly, it can be pretty disrespectful. Plus, you never know how the campsite owner might react.

"When we camped in Yosemite our site was right by the bathroom. People kept walking within a couple feet of our tent. It was super rude and invasive," chimes in another Redditor. "To get revenge, we dragged a large stump right in front of our tent. Around 5 am we woke up to the beautiful sounds of someone cursing after stumbling over it. We laughed our ass off."

In addition to privacy, another thing campers hold very dear is tidiness and cleanliness. The second most popular response advises all campers to leave the site cleaner than when they originally came—in the end, you must pay respect to the natural environment if you want to keep camping! "My rule is take more out than you bring in," adds another comment. "Hate when ppl leave trash behind, especially in the fire pit."

It's also very important to be mindful of your own presence as well as that of others. As one Reddit user very eloquently puts it, campers should "shut the f*ck up" when hanging out on the campgrounds. "No one wants to hear your shitty music or dumbass conversation," they explain. "We are having our own dumbass conservations, but quietly."

And if you bring a dog with you, you must keep it leashed unless "you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your dog will stay on your site no matter what walks by." Even if your dog is small or very friendly, you never know how other campers might react to its sight. Some people are very scared of dogs regardless of their size, and some parents might get nervous if a dog without a leash is wandering around their kids. While your dog is most certainly a good boy or girl, be a good neighbor and make sure that everybody around you is comfortable with their presence—self-awareness goes a long way! Oh, and when your dog needs to go number two, Redditors are begging you to pick it up and avoid throwing it in the woods.

You can read more tips on the best camping etiquette rules directly on the Reddit thread.

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She will beg you not to put pineapple on pizza. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.