Monday, June 28, 2010

Camping Etiquette 101

We went camping with our very good friends this weekend. It was a lot of fun, even with the storms at night and incredibly annoying neighbors. We spent our time eating, hiking, riding bike, swimming, playing cards and super-heroes, and complaining about our camp neighbors. It was a good time that prompted this post in my head. I give you...Camping Etiquette 101

1) When park quiet hours start at 11 pm, please don't drive in at 1 am with your radio blaring rap-crap, windows open, talking above the radio. I'll just say that it's a good thing it only woke me, not the kids.

2) I know I'm going to sound like an old fuddy-duddy when I say this BUT...quiet hours start at 11 pm. That does not mean that you can still party and swear--loudly--as long as you stay at your campsite. That means that the radio is turned down, the voices stay at a talk or quieter, and you try to keep noise to a minimum. I do not care to know that your friend is a "#$@#(*& idiot for taking back her boyfriend."

3) When you are leaving the park at 5 am (we're assuming to sneak out before the ranger finds out you stayed with friends without paying--maybe the car that came in so late perhaps?) please know how to drive a manual transmission if that is your vehicle of choice. Revving the engine to the point of waking myself, my husband (which is like waking the dead!) and our middle daughter, then killing it, then revving again and taking off in the wrong direction on a one-way street is not cool or funny or quiet.

We are pretty sure 1-3 apply to a group of college-aged kids a few sites down from us. I know, I sound like such a prude but honestly. The next few pointers are for the people directly behind us. Here is a little map for your viewing pleasure. It's crude, but gets the point across. We are in site X, they are in site Y, restrooms are R, TT means some trees, and __ is the street, which looped around in a 1-lane, 1-way circle.

__ Y TT X __ R

4) If you have to go to the bathroom and it's across another site that does not belong to you for the weekend, please at least walk to the edge of the site to get to the restrooms. It is not appropriate to walk directly through the middle of someone else's site, when 10' to the right will take you only 1 second longer and around the edge of our site and behind our vehicles. The invisible tripping rope almost got erected for the weekend.

4 (b) Pertaining to #4, when your child has to go to the restroom at 5:30 am...take them. Do not come halfway into another site (ours) and then stand a few feet from the tent door to watch your child walk across the street, then yell at her to not have an accident and to hurry up because she's hesitating going to pit toilets by herself in the semi-darkness at 4 years old. I'm 29 years old and I don't like going by myself to pit toilets in the semi-darkness.

5) If you have a small child that does nothing but cry (and by that, I mean scream) you may want to consider a sound-proof camper vs a tent, or not camping until the child is older and able to properly vent and relate his frustrations. Trust me, it's better for everyone.

6) If said small child needs a nap, please don't just throw him in the pack-n-play in the tent and walk away. I understand that sometimes they just need to cry it out. I get it, I've been there. But never in a million years would I subject an entire campground of mostly tents to my child's blood-curdling screams for 10-15 mins each at every nap (2 a day) and a good 30 min at bedtime. At least sit in the tent with him or something. And if you can't do that, maybe wait until baby has gotten the hang of going to sleep on his own before you go camping. Just saying.

7) Please be considerate of general situations around you. If your entire family is awake at 6:00 am but you see no one else in the campground moving about, please do what you can to keep quiet. I understand with kids it's sometimes hard. But honestly, besides Baby Screamy McScreamerson, the person I heard the most all weekend was Mommy Talks with a Bullhorn. She either has a severe hearing problem or has been struck with the spell from Harry Potter to amplify your voice for Quidditch matches.

I am very proud of myself that I didn't make a scene or even say something to this family. I probably should have, but I knew if I started I wouldn't have stopped until the rangers were called and people were crying and we were all banned from the State Park system for a few years. So I kept quiet. But, if you ever find yourself camping next to a family with a blue Caravan and three children named Kenzie, Ben and Adam...RUN!!! Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Just get the heck out of Dodge.


tiffany lynn photography said...

Where on earth did you go camping??

Lexey said...

Hahahahaha! 'Screamy McScreamerson and Mommy Talkswith-a-bullhorn!) I love you.

Sounds like a good weekend but none too fun. In my head I'm visualizing numerous camping trips and idiots like that and think, rational adults KNOW these things...or I thought they did. Weird, but glad you had fun and no Rangers got called on your bad ass getting all smack with the neighbors. ;)

Heather Forcey said...

Loved the post! Funny! (Not at the time, I'm sure, but it makes for funny reading!)

Carol said...

HaHaHA!!! I love it! It's hilarious that you know the kids' names. The joys of camping with the general public.

We went camping once at some campground in the middle of nowhere and a group of college students spent the ENTIRE night strumming a banjo and chanting (I kid you not) completely disregarding the quiet hours... I was 8 mos preggo, trying to sleep on a deflating air mattress...I was one very unhappy camper by the time the sun came up the next morning. I didn't say anything to them but I sure sent some nasty looks their way.

On another camping trip, I was the one with the screaming toddler...I ended up taking him into the van and sleeping (or trying to sleep I should say) in there with him just out of consideration for everyone else in the campground...

Anyway...sorry you had to put up with all that! Made for a hilarious post though, ha!