Campground Conduct

Campground conduct, behavior, manners, common courtesy and etiquette that is generally considered inappropriate or sometimes illegal:

Making Noise in many ways, that can be reasonably heard by neighbors in campgrounds designed for sleeping and rest.  People camp to seek quiet and solitude so making noise is usually the most commonly sited area of concern.

  • not respecting quiet time (usually 10PM - 8AM)
  • talking and laughing too loud around the campfire after quiet time
    • not recognizing that as you consume alcohol you can't hear as well, so you tend to talk much louder than you think you are talking 
      • This is why intoxicating beverages are not allowed in State Parks, since this is such a common complaint.
    • not recognizing others are trying to sleep just a number of feet away
    • not recognizing that tent canvas is as thin as cloth and does not block noise
    • making noise into the wee hours of the morning and expecting others to stay up that late without sleep as well
  • music from a boombox, vehicle, etc at any time of the day
  • portable televisions or DVD players, other electronics
  • coming in to the campground late and making noise while setting up (talking loudly, pounding in tent stakes with a loud steel hammer rather than a quiet rubber mallet, making banging and clanking noises, etc)
  • making too much noise early in the morning before quiet time ends (kids or adults yelling, shouting, driving loud bikes, 3-wheelers, etc)
  • chopping wood loudly early in the morning before quiet time ends (usually 8AM) or late at night when quiet time has started
  • running loud (cheap) electrical generators for long periods of time (many hours), especially during quiet time
  • placing your loud generator right next to the neighbors site
  • slamming doors of campers rather than closing them quietly
  • pressing the alarm button on your vehicle, setting off the alarm
  • obnoxious, rude, inconsiderate behaviors
  • Babies crying is a noise that is very often understood and accepted by neighbors.  Neighbors may offer help or ideas but will seldom complain to authorities for crying babies.  However if the crying goes on all night and the child is apparently sick, then you probably should not be camping with that child. 

Non-noise related conduct:

*  Walking through others' campsites to take a short cut

*  Turning on bright lights from lanterns, vehicles, or other lights, late at night to set up during quiet time

*  Dogs barking, growling, or creating a dangerous, threatening, or frightening threat of attack or actual attack on other dogs or humans.  Loose pets not kept under control or on a leash.

*  Dogs defecating on others campsites or on the trail and owners not picking up after them.

*  Obscenities, swearing, foul language spoken loud enough for neighbors to reasonably hear at any time of day

*  Unruly kids coming over to your site and being a nuisance.  Leaving kids unsupervised and in danger of being lost or hurt, and other campers need to rescue them or babysit them.

*  Driving over the speed limit (usually 5-20 mph), risking running over kids

*  Unwelcomed visits into others' campsites

*  Littering

  • Litter on your campsite or the campground
  • Not picking up when leaving
  • Litter left in the fire ring
  • Leaving a mess in the bathrooms, tissue left on the floor in toilet stalls, toothpaste and long hair in the sink not rinsed away, leaving band-aids or hair bands on the floor in shower stalls.

*  Disturbance of the Peace - specifically defined as crimes in state statues

  • brawling or fighting
  • using offensive, obscene, or abusive language
  • engage in boisterous, noisy, or threatening conduct reasonably tending to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others.
  • make noise reasonably tending to arouse alarm or resentment of others by means of a public address system, radio, stereo, amplifier, or power equipment, or by any other means

Some of the behaviors above are based on rules and laws that can be interpreted objectively and enforced consistently.  But some behaviors are based on common courtesy.  I appreciate campground hosts very much because they help interpret the etiquette for everybody using their wisdom, humor, common sense and excellent people skills.