Covid campers, common sense and The Code

TheBlurb

Active Member
Mar 28, 2019
250
Interest in camping is at an all time high. I don’t have statistics to back that up, but the government arm that operates public campgrounds here (BC Parks), says as much in its 2022 camping guide. It’s also pushing a new so-called Camper’s Code as a result - a list of common sense camping rules the parks service would like people to pledge to follow.
How did we come to this? That people new to camping are so daft they need to be told “don’t litter” or to “take only photos”? “Store food safely” is another one. Huh?

As with most rules and signs and pledges, it’s those who don’t abide by such principles who are least likely to pay attention to such a Code.

I know similar themes have been discussed here recently but really. Isn’t there a better way to have new campers grasp basic rules of life outdoors?
 

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jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,727
Northern Virginia
It’s not just campers it’s everywhere unfortunately. It’s this “me only” attitude people somehow developed, completely losing sight of others and the planet. Just the other day I watched a fire truck heading to an emergency stuck at a traffic light because cars refused to let them through. When it tried to force its way through cars sped up to prevent them from getting ahead of them. You can post a million signs it won’t do them any good. What bigger sign does one need then a bloody red huge fire truck with flashing lights and sirens to say someone needs help. Sorry, got carried away it just really pissing me off.
 

Snow

Super Active Member
Jul 19, 2007
12,238
Ontario
In Ontario, the Provincial Parks run a program called "intro to camping" prior to covid, some just had to select a participating Park, sign up for one of the courses, either 2 or 4 nights.. bring food, pillow and a few other things.. the Park supplied tents, cooking, eating utensils and other stuff and participants would spend the time with a Park employee who would show them the basics of camping, from selecting and buying a tent, setting up a tent, starting a fire and teach the basic camping "rules".
Since covid. You know supply slmost everything, and a Park employee will meet you on your site and coach you.
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,828
Albuquerque, NM
Common sense has seemed lacking for some campers since we began, 30+ years ago. It just seems to have gotten less "common". Sometimes it's a matter of being a beginner - which we've all been at one time or another, unless born camping. Sometimes, as in the rest of life, it's being oblivious or selfish.
And, some just don't listen and/or think the rules don't apply to them. When checking in at Mather CG at Grand Canyon, for example, they have photos and a torn apart cooler to demonstrate what ravens can do, telling people to keep food put away etc. Every time, we see ravens having fun in campsites.

Arizona State Parks has an intro to camping program. I haven't been in a campground when they've offered it to see what it's about, but given that all the spring ones sold out, looks like it's popular : https://azstateparks.com/family-camp/
 

PopUpSteve

Administrator
Staff member
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 22, 2002
21,124
Southeastern PA
I see it all the time. A car pulls into a campsite, the door opens releasing several small humans onto an unsuspecting world, the Walmart bag containing a tent is pulled from the trunk, and people start talking and playing music for the whole campground to hear. And with the way things are now a days, nobody, not even the park staff want to correct these people for fear of bodily harm.

OK, maybe not ALL THE TIME, but enough to see a pattern.

Maybe it's time to start issuing camping licenses. You have to take a test and PASS before you can get a license and then be allowed to reserve a campsite in a non-private campground. For the private campgrounds, it would be up to them.
 

Malorro

New Member
Sep 3, 2014
1
It’s not just campers it’s everywhere unfortunately. It’s this “me only” attitude people somehow developed, completely losing sight of others and the planet. Just the other day I watched a fire truck heading to an emergency stuck at a traffic light because cars refused to let them through. When it tried to force its way through cars sped up to prevent them from getting ahead of them. You can post a million signs it won’t do them any good. What bigger sign does one need then a bloody red huge fire truck with flashing lights and sirens to say someone needs help. Sorry, got carried away it just really pissing me off.
I saw a similar happening the other day sad
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,727
Northern Virginia
discarded masks scattered on the trails.
Oh gosh I live a mile from an elementary school. The day schools started I find a ton of discarded masks leading from the school. Kind of like a bread crumb trail but in masks. I get it, they are kids and elementary at that but good grief it's like we know exactly what streets kids live on by the trail of masks. It's disgusting, and thing is the school dumpster is right there on the side of the school right next to the sidewalk. Few steps and kids could have thrown it away before they get off school property.
 

firepit

Super Active Member
Feb 26, 2020
2,767
Heres a good idea i think....At state parks around me they drive around and put new reservation tags on the poles and remove the old ones.
They know who reserved the site last...It's in the reserve america system and the campround has a clipboard with your name and info when you check in.
You leave the site a mess i think you should be charged for the cleanup...They can flag you and if don't pay for the cleanup and
you are banned from camping there until you have paid for your mess.
 

PopUpSteve

Administrator
Staff member
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 22, 2002
21,124
Southeastern PA
I think a deposit system (1 day's campground fee) would work better. You send someone a bill and they will fight paying it. But have a deposit and an on-site checkout (having staff come to your campsite to verify its cleanliness), people will learn real fast how to put out a campfire and police the campsite for trash if they want their deposit back.
 

TheBlurb

Active Member
Mar 28, 2019
250
I see it all the time. A car pulls into a campsite, the door opens releasing several small humans onto an unsuspecting world, the Walmart bag containing a tent is pulled from the trunk, and people start talking and playing music for the whole campground to hear. And with the way things are now a days, nobody, not even the park staff want to correct these people for fear of bodily harm.

OK, maybe not ALL THE TIME, but enough to see a pattern.

Maybe it's time to start issuing camping licenses. You have to take a test and PASS before you can get a license and then be allowed to reserve a campsite in a non-private campground. For the private campgrounds, it would be up to them.
I really like this approach. Not too onerous and at the very least would get campers thinking about campground etiquette.

While camping today, I participated in a junior ranger program with my son. The facilitator’s enthusiasm for nature was enough for the kids to understand the importance of rules they hear from parents or elsewhere. It’s a shame these programs aren’t more widespread - but it’s such an easy line item for governments to eliminate.
 

TheBlurb

Active Member
Mar 28, 2019
250
Oh gosh I live a mile from an elementary school. The day schools started I find a ton of discarded masks leading from the school. Kind of like a bread crumb trail but in masks. I get it, they are kids and elementary at that but good grief it's like we know exactly what streets kids live on by the trail of masks. It's disgusting, and thing is the school dumpster is right there on the side of the school right next to the sidewalk. Few steps and kids could have thrown it away before they get off school property.
In defence of at least some people and children, masks are easy to drop; it’s not all intentional litter. And like jackets, kids don’t notice they’re missing from their pockets (or back, in case of jackets) until a parent asks.
 

Snow

Super Active Member
Jul 19, 2007
12,238
Ontario
I was at one campground and a car full of pirates pulled into a site across the road.. yes pirates... adult sized and kid sized pirates.. after an epic 3 hour sword fight that spanned two other empty sites, a couple of the adulting pirates decided to unpack and set up 3 brand new tents.. the rest of the adult pirates broke out adult beverages... it was an interesting weekend..
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
12,210
Nj
I was at one campground and a car full of pirates pulled into a site across the road.. yes pirates... adult sized and kid sized pirates.. after an epic 3 hour sword fight that spanned two other empty sites, a couple of the adulting pirates decided to unpack and set up 3 brand new tents.. the rest of the adult pirates broke out adult beverages... it was an interesting weekend..
Come on now, you watched them for 3 hours? No one belives that! You joined in after 30 minutes. Its ok. As long as you won against the kids!
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
12,210
Nj
Ok, so ran across some new campers this week. Some did really well, others not so much. And there was one old time camper that , well , should have known better. So its not all the new ones. Just the uninformed. The one guy and his family really did have it all together, but they bought and were confused with some of the things. The other guy leveled the TT with the stabilizers. And the site was pretty unlevel. The one stab was at its max. He basicly lifted the drivers side wheel ( single axel) off the ground. The seasoned camper that had 5th wheels , pop ups etc, had a class C , they left every day to go out with the camper. But they left the sewer hose conected to the ground drain, and open to the air at the campground. It didnt smell, but it attracted flys. Took me a while to figure out where in hades were all the flys coming from. I was looking for boadys. A cap or just pulling it out of the hole would have helped. I get you dont want to pack up every day when you go out. But this was not ok. Never got to see them before we left to tell them. I also had to wash down another site next to me when the guy opened the drain before hooking up the sewer hose. Lucky I keep a spare hose conected. Other then that it was a good trip. Oh, and the point, they should go over some stuff with you before they let you take the camper home. Like a 1 hour tutorial mandated before you take possession. Something.
 




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