During my years of tenting and RVing, I’ve seen and heard of things that really defy comprehension. This is my tongue-in-cheek salute to the folks that cause so many tongues to wag in the campground and on the Internet. Any resemblance to people living or dead is purely coinci…… is purely coinciden……aww heck, I can’t even type it. If you recognize yourself on this page, it’s probably because I’ve camped near you in the past or your exploits have been repeated around a few campfires.
Rule #1: Always remember that the rules are for everyone….else. If somebody mentions that you’re ruining their camping experience, be sure to tell them very loudly that you paid (insert number of $$$$$ here) so you can do whatever you want. At this point, logic and enunciation are meaningless, volume is everything. When in doubt about any of your actions, always refer to Rule #1.
Rule #2: The purpose of a campfire is to provide a navigational beacon to the space shuttle or other orbiting satellites. Build it up as high as you can, for as long as you can. Don’t worry if nearby campers start melting; you’re providing a valuable service to NASA. If they complain, they must be communists.
Rule #3: When camping in bear or raccoon country, leave your food scraps laying around the campsite at night. Your neighbors will surely enjoy the opportunity to interact with the local wildlife. You’re doing them a favor actually, especially if they’re light sleepers and sleep with a camera next to the bed.
Rule #4: If it’s not nailed down, then it must be complimentary – like the little soaps and shampoos in a hotel room. But don’t stop at the small stuff. Paper towels from the restroom is for rookies. Wasn’t the little woman nagging you about a new picnic table? They’re laying around all over the place. They probably multiply at night during the off season. Just load it up after dark the night before you leave (so as not to disturb your neighbors , then drive out about 6 AM (more on early morning departure etiquette in a later rule). If you have extra room, grab a fire ring and one of those cute decorative planters by the office. Don’t worry – nobody’s at work that early.
Rule #5: You’re not just renting a site; you’re renting the entire campground. It’s true. Check the county real estate records. Your site isn’t listed on there but the entire campground is. So feel free to spread out when setting up. And if you need to cut through somebody else’s site on the way to the pool, go ahead – you paid for it all. They’re probably city folks anyway and don’t realize how much they miss that close neighborly contact.
Rule #6: When you go to a strange campground, the nice folks at the office are likely to give you a map with the site circled and a little squiggly line showing you how to get there. Just pretend to look at it in the office and absolutely do NOT look at it after you leave the office. Secret government studies have shown that looking at these maps may cause your hair to fall out, give you halitosis, or cause you to default on your mortgage. Instead, wander aimlessly through the campground looking for the best site. You’ll get to socialize with folks you meet on one way streets (as you’re going in the wrong direction). You’ll also have another opportunity to talk with the campground staff when you set up in someone else’s reserved site. And it’s just plain good practice to set up and break camp several times in one day.
Rule #7: Check out times are not carved in stone. You rented this site and it is yours until you are darn ready to leave. Take your time to carefully fold up that tent. That Fifth wheel waiting to park can drive around until you pull out. (Contributed by Dale AKA FormerBiker)
Rule #8: If you are a day user, don’t bother to pay the day use fee and park in the appropriate area. Just drive around until you find a camp site where the people have gone into town shopping. They have a tag on the camp site so the host will think you are the one who paid. (Contributed by Dale AKA FormerBiker)
Rule #9: If you find a site that you like and it is reserved, just remove the sign and no one will know. Now it is your site. Be sure to set up all of your stuff and then leave on a full day hike so they can’t throw you out. (Contributed by Dale AKA FormerBiker)
Rule #10: If you are camping with a dog you must NOT under any circumstances let your dog relieve himself on your own site. Walk your dog ‘only’ on other peoples sites, and the designated potty area is under your neighbors picnic table. Don’t worry, probably nobody ever used your current site for the same purpose. (Contributed by A. Nonni Mouse)
Rule #11: This rule is probably best illustrated by a game. You’ll get the most enjoyment out of the game if you have several co-players – family or friends will do, but make sure both sexes are represented. Check the times on the nearest bath house when it will be closed for cleaning. 5 minutes before closing time send 1 person into each shower. Take long, hot showers. 20 or 30 minutes should do the trick. Don’t worry, the campground workers will enjoy the unscheduled break. Now, when they finally get in to clean the restrooms, wait until they have to leave for more paper towels. Then someone else sneak in and start another shower. They’ll probably get so far behind schedule that the owner will have to pay them overtime, so they appreciate the game also. For bonus points, when checking out complain to the owner or manager that it was almost impossible to get into the showers and they seemed to always be filthy. This will usually ensure that you have new campground players for your next visit.