Covid campers, common sense and The Code


Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Sep 9, 2013
Kansas City
I enjoy watching people arriving at their sites.. just look at all the fun I had at the 2nd Ontario rally watching people show up to their muddy sites.
I love getting to the campground early and watching people set up. On out last trip DW and I had a great time watching a "Precise Peter" spend almost an hour getting his TT leveled and hooking up water and electric.

As for newbies, I know we've all been there so I try not to be obvious and I'm more than willing to assist if asked. But it's still fun.

Tonya Harding

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 15, 2018
Son went thru 2 levels of a Junior Ranger program at a young age at a state park we frequent, also used to have park people come by sites & inform those w/ kids of various things scheduled for 'em...if somebody's a total azz I'm not afraid to discreetly talk to them w/out fear of bodily harm, & if the son is camping w/ us, for dang sure not worried lol. The Rangers I've been around aren't afraid to confront screw ups, glad there haven't been many for the most part. Guess it's getting to be a crap shoot as to wazz up depending on where you go...

Anthony Hitchings

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 2, 2019
Oakland, California
To the O.P. Your basic question is "should folks learn a useful amount about a new pursuit" (camping)

Of course not, else we on this form would not get the same new posts over and over and over again about 12V systems and propane frig's. I don't mind the posts from folks with a genuinely challenging problem, but most posts reflect a "lets jump in the deep end and see if we can swim" mentality. Its really sad, because Homo Sapiens are capable of better. And all their answers are already on this forum.

BTW - the real name for our species should be "Occupatus Simia". (Busy Monkey) - our species is far to busy doing stuff, without thought, and its killing the planet.

And as for Mr. Busy (Elon Musk); he will never make it to Mars, his Starship will be hit by a Starlink satellite on the way up from Earth.


Super Active Member
Nov 7, 2013
We all went through a learning curve with camping. I remember forgetting the tent and axe for a weekend trip. As long as people are respectful, I have no issues. Respect should have been learned in kindergarten.

"Give it, get it"
I agree, nothing wrong with buying a tent and learning as you go. I would rather jump into something than analyze the crap out of it.


I MUST work, so I CAN play
Jul 16, 2011
Back when Covid was in full force i was shocked by the number of discarded masks scattered on the trails.
If you truly believed you needed to wear a mask out camping whats the point in throwing them on ground
while your on a trail?
I have told my wife long ago when the COVID stuff started. The mask will be the 21 cent cigarette butt…


New Member
Apr 11, 2015
Was camping with a bunch of friends several years ago, new people pull in and start setting up their pop up and since they knew everything they too zero advice from me, laughed my butt off when they all piled in and put the thing up on end, seems when I suggested they might want to drop the jacks they just ignored me :)


I MUST work, so I CAN play
Jul 16, 2011
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.
I tend to be one who really don’t care the reason or excuse. Nail them and they will pay attention next time.

When I got stopped speeding last the officer did not ask me if it was an accident.

But then I’m also one who quietly enjoys seeing Biff the moron at Yellowstone getting flung 25 feet by a bison horn, when there are 15 signs around saying don’t get close to the Buffalo, cause I’m quietly thinking we’ll, there is a crowd of 45 people who now can read and adhere to a signs warnings with out question, ohhh has anyone seen Biffs spleen, it’s around here somewhere.
I've experienced this COVID camp-fever too, it's leveling off some now that people can fly around (have at it), but when camping first opened up in MN, it was horrific. How many of us complaining are old farts, like moi, who learned about camping etiquette and courtesy on family camping trips -- perhaps many don't do that anymore, that now family camping trips are often a huge TT with tunes and TV blaring audible throughout the campground (and generators, don't get me started), meals cooked inside on state of the art kitchen, and time spent in leather recliners in front of the TV and fake fireplace... but wait, that's my lil' bro's notion of camping, and we grew up in the same pop-up across the western U.S. When campgrounds first opened up in MN, it was impossible to score a site, still is difficult on N Shore, and the parking lots and road shoulders were overfilled with cars. People were leaving garbage all over, refusing to wear masks inside buildings at height of COVID,. I turned down camp-hosting 2021 after the ugly behavior I saw in 2020, and was recruited again this year, but declined again. Minnesota also has classes for beginning campers, but I think an easier, and consistent way to deal with it is to, in the confirmation email, send a flyer about "rules" -- "etiquette" may be more palatable. Camp hosts can hang a flyer on the fire-ring, and when someone leaves, it it's a mess, take photos and report it to staff, who send warning to the offenders, and 2nd time, they're on a "DO NOT RESERVE" like animal shelters' "DO NOT ADOPT" lists. While prices of campers are going down post-COVID, reservations are still at a premium, and we've not been up north since and I don't want to deal with the rudeness and lack of regard for others. For now, sticking to less popular parks (Little Missouri State Park, ND, was a great COVID port in a pandemic, virtually empty, just right). Last trip was spur of the moment few days before the 4th, and next to us, a couple pulled in next door, didn't unhitch the massive toyhauler from the big pickup, flopped the back door down, set up the open porch, and really, sat their in recliners watching TV, drinks in hand, and folks a couple of sites down could hear. Canada has "Radio Free Campgrounds," and this is another thing campgrounds should consider. Kids make noise, that's part of their job description, but adults camping need to have some regard for others. Seems to me the only effective way is with rules issued with reservations, posted on site and in the bathrooms, bulletin boards, and handed out at check in (clear expectations and fair warning); plus system of reporting violators and sending them notices that next time they'll be on Do Not Reserve list. The ME ME ME behaviors have really soured me about camp hosting, changed my campground choices, and I'd guess from above, has affected many others views towards camping. We for sure need some "camping edumaction" with consequences if the basics aren't met.


New Member
Aug 1, 2018
Is it lack of common sense? Or lack of common culture? Last I heard Canada had an enormous influx of immigrants from Asia, and their cultures are different: different tolerance for noise, different ideas about litter, different ideas about following rules and what rules should be. Certainly they can learn, but they need instruction at the very least.

Canada and much of the US didn't have big problems with littering many years ago, and still don't have draconian punishments for it. Contrast that with Singapore, which tried to be Western-style clean and has had to outlaw gum and spitting, and has had to enact draconian punishments to enforce those laws.


May 15, 2014
Golden, CO
I'm in the US/Colorado and for the past 2 years or so, it's been difficult to get reservations for campsites on weekends, so I (pretty much) only boondock now. It seems like the boondocking crowd generally consists of more experienced campers. Of course there are exceptions especially for areas that are advertised on the internet, but for the most part this is what I've observed.

Bob Collins

Jul 19, 2020
St. Paul MN
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?
"Common sense". Therein lies the point of failure.