The great outdoors of course means that you can enjoy certain freedoms that you just don’t see in usual holidays or indeed normal life. It is liberating, enjoyable, and great for the kids, but for the responsible holiday maker, that does not mean to say that there aren’t certain rules you should follow to make sure you have the best possible trip and leave the site in the same way for its next guests.
Behaviour is key. Most sites are communal and if you are visiting at peak times, will probably be pretty busy. How you behave whilst away will affect the camping experience of both your group and your neighbours and etiquette can make all the difference between a good trip and a wonderful trip. That means being polite, friendly and making sure you behave as you would want to be treated. With endless reports of bad behaviour from Brits abroad, one would hope that a camping holiday should attract a rather different clientele, but there does seem to be trend for not following the usual conventions of polite behaviour on our holidays, so it makes some sense to be at least somewhat aware of how your neighbours perceive you.
Check the rules of the site that you are on, and obey them. The chances are that they have been created for a reason and are not in place just to create petty bureaucracy. Of course you are on holiday and meant to have fun, but most rules are to stop problems which could really ruin a holiday. Correct sanitary procedures and rubbish disposal obviously mean that the next guests can start with the same enjoyable environment that you did, but also mean that the site won’t attract unwelcome wildlife drawn by a new food source, from the fauna you might expect to less desirable creatures like vermin.
Noise levels are also something to be aware of. Again, kids will be kids, and in the great outdoors there is no reason why they can’t holler and yell, but a bit of consideration will go a long way. Remember those days before your kids shattered the morning silence every single day? Well, it’s likely that some fellow guests may be lucky enough to be either past that or taking a break from it, and they won’t necessarily be overjoyed at an ear splitting racket at the crack of dawn on their holiday. You may even prefer a peaceful awakening to the lowing of cattle and the birdsong yourself! Pets should also be kept under a modicum of control. Camping really is an excellent way of taking a holiday the whole family can really appreciate, and taking your dog away is a lovely way to do this, but although you are staying in beautiful country side, the courtesies that apply in town still very much apply in the country. Clean up after your pet the way you would at home, and although this is the ideal time for them to do some roaming, remember that there are people not as comfortable with free ranging ‘Rover’ as you may be, so keep an eye out. Being in the country certainly doesn’t mean no traffic either, so remember to obey the usual road safety ideals to keep you, and your pets safe.
Finally, when you leave, really do leave. Vanish without leaving a trace of yourself behind if at all possible. Clean up rubbish, cover over fire remains and take all your laundry with you. Don’t bury rubbish, as it may not bio degrade and will surface again in another season to ruin someone else’s holiday. Be careful not to empty liquids near water sources in case of contamination, and if in doubt, take it with you.