Posts Tagged ‘polite tips’

Pitch Your Tent: Polite Tip

Polite Camping

I really like camping out in the sticks — dispersed, dry camping where I have to haul in all my own stuff (including water), use my porta-potty, and haul out all my trash. But, on holiday weekends, all the traffic from ATVs and trucks can make me nutsy, so I head to a campground. There’s nothing worse than camping in a developed campground than inconsiderate neighbors!

1. Respect other’s rights.

BathroomDon’t walk through another camper’s site — walk around it. Most public campgrounds in have paths between sites to the bathrooms, trash, etc. Use these paths and enjoy the stroll!

2. Be noise aware.

I have no problem with shouting children having fun during the day — I love to see families out camping! However, noise like radios, generators, yelling for no reason, and fighting is really rude. You should also obey the campground’s quiet hours. Voices, radios and other noises carry further than you might think on a quiet evening. (A good rule is to tone down the noise as the sun sets.) Most of the time, when you’re camping you get up with the sun, which means getting up early. Respect the wishes of those rare people who want to sleep in and keep morning noise to a minimum as well.

A few summers ago, my folks went camping in Arizona’s White Mountains. For the last three days of their trip, a HUGE RV pulled in beside them and ran the generator non-stop! My folks ended up leaving a day early because of the noise and smell.

If you’re going camping, CAMP! Get out of the RV and enjoy nature. If you’re going to use your generator (we’ve got one, so you know I approve of them) be sure to be considerate of others.

3. Pack out what you pack in.

You should leave your campsite cleaner than you found it. If the campground has campground hosts, they are responsible to keep the campground tidy — NOT to clean up after wild parties! Many campgrounds have trash service that you should use, making sure to close the lids tightly to keep animals out. Recycle when possible — many campgrounds have recycling programs.

4. Keep your pets under control.

Lily goes campingIf you camp with your dog (or cat!), keep Fido contained and clean up after him, just like you do in a city park. Before tying him to a tree, make sure it’s permitted. (I prefer collapsible pens.) If your dog likes to bark, like Lily does, then make sure you keep it under control. Lily barks when somebody walks by and then stops — if she continues, I put her in the trailer.

5. Don’t cut living trees for firewood.

In Arizona, most of the time, any downed (dead) wood is good to use, but not necessarily the dead wood on a living tree. California has completely different rules so know the campground’s rule on finding your own wood or buying it.

6. Clean up after yourself.


These are placed in campgrounds for a reason! Use them. And yes, for your pet's droppings as well!

Campground facilities exist for the benefit of all campers. Help keep them clean!

7. Be water respectful.

Do not clean fish or wash dishes in lakes or streams. Waste water (grey or black) should not be dumped in a lake, stream, or on the ground. If the campground offers potable water (drinking water from a faucet), know the rules of what you can and can’t do at the spigot. Most of the time, this means no washing ANYTHING at the spigot, including hands.

8. Know and respect the campground’s rules, even if you don’t understand the reasons for them.

The rules have been established to protect and respect the rights of campers, the campground, and the environment.

Readers Weigh In


  • If you know of any campground etiquette issues I’ve missed or that particularly make you mad, post it in the comments.

Set Your Hook

Polite Fishing Line

Nothing is more frustrating than a day of fishing when the fish just aren’t biting. Then, you finally get a “strike” and as you’re reeling in you realize that it’s not a fish on your hook, it’s a snarl of used fishing line.


If you must change out your line on the lakeshore, DON’T put it in the lake!

This fishing line receptical is at Goldwater Lake in Prescott, Arizona.

Ideally, there will be PVC receptacles from the Monofilament Recycling Project, sponsored by Berkley, for used fishing line that you can use, but again, push the line in deep! The fishing line poses a serious threat to fish, birds, and wildlife.

If there aren’t any recepticals (they’re getting to be pretty common here in Arizona at least) then push the fishing line way down deep in a trashcan. Line is lightweight and will float out of trashcans on a breeze. Of, even better, take it with you and recycle it later.

If you cut off line at the lake shore, throw it away properly, not just “away.”

Developed in the 1930s, monofilament fishing line is made from a single, continuous strand of nylon. Discarded monofilament is believed to last 600 years in the marine environment.

Special thanks to reader Paul Coomer for this tip.

Readers Weigh In:

  • How do you dispose of fishing line (and trash) lake side?
  • Have you ever seen wildlife snarled in fishing line? What did you do?

What is A “Polite” Tip?

I’m a big fan of enjoying all Mother Nature and our public lands have to offer. But anybody who knows me (or reads the blogs regularly) knows I have no patience with people who don’t take care of the Great Outdoors. That’s why I regularly post articles in my “Polite” series. These tips and articles are designed to give you easy-to-follow rules that protect the great outdoors for you, me, and future generations.

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