Sunday, May 5, 2013

Six Ways to Irritate Your Fellow Campers

Camping at Bailey's Point, September 2012
I wrote this article last year for the QP news in Bulter County.  It's an online new source I sometimes write opinion articles for and I came upon this old article, thinking now would be a good time to share some campground etiquette that's sadly not very often used!

Summer is almost here and the great outdoors beckons our human instincts to star gaze, make fires and roast processed meat on a stick. Okay, sorry. I’m being a fuddy-duddy about the hot dogs. Seriously though, they’ll kill you.

Anyway, ever been to a campground and thought the following? Or are you one of the clueless, offending folks whose empathy towards others’ comfort is about as deep as a puddle? Here’s a collection of my thoughts while visiting campgrounds over the years.

1. Not everyone within a mile radius can appreciate your love for Stevie Nicks. Be respectful of your neighbor’s choice in music. If you want to blast your music while chillin’ in your lawn chair, stay at home.

2. Stop and say hello to fellow campers, but don’t pull up a chair unless you are invited. There’s usually a sense of camaraderie when strolling through campgrounds and it’s okay to say hello, or chat about the weather, but not cool to invite yourself to the campfire.

3. The hyena laugh. Enough said. Don’t be that guy.

4. Letting your children wander around unsupervised is rude and careless. There’s not just the safety factor to consider, but it’s annoying when curious, talkative children wander into my campsite, asking questions, touching things, and eyeing my marshmallows. They’re mine, and you can’t have them. Nah-nah-nah-nah-naaaah-nah.

5. Don’t show up at midnight to set up camp. It’s happened to almost every camper. The fire dies down, the belly is full, it’s time to call it a night. Just as you snuggle up in your sleeping bag, Billy Ray decided last minute to show up with ten of his friends. No worries. They’ll just use their headlights as guidance while shouting to one another as they set up camp. No biggie.

6. Trees for privacy? Uh, no. Guess what guys, when you go behind a tree to relieve yourself – in the daytime – I can still see you. And it’s disturbing. I don’t go seeking it. I’m casually admiring the forest and thinking, “Oh look, it’s a cute squirrel and…oh my GAWD for all that is holy!” I really didn’t want to see that.

Don’t be a slave to television this summer, or at least not the entire summer. Get your kids out of the house, and let the lull of crickets sing you to sleep…that is, as long as Billy Ray doesn’t show up with his buddies and a full bladder. Happy camping!

Sunset at Bailey's Point Campground, Loop C, on Barren River Lake

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