The Beginners Guide to Camping Etiquette

The Beginners Guide to Camping Etiquette

Due to current circumstances, there are more of us holidaying in the UK, and more of us camping for the first time. It can be a daunting prospect to go on a completely different type of holiday to what you’re used to. Luckily I’m here to help! Here is my beginners guide to camping etiquette, to help demystify camping and help everyone enjoy themselves. Who knows, maybe this year you’ll discover a whole new appreciation for the great outdoors and our beautiful country.

Follow the Rules

Camping is, by its nature, a more communal holiday than you might be used to. If you haven’t camped before, it can be a shock to have to share facilities with strangers. With this feeling of community comes some positives, campers are generally a friendly bunch and almost every time we go camping we strike up conversation with interesting people and the kids find some lovely friends to play with. But there is a downside; the success of a camping holiday relies on everyone adhering to the rules and taking responsibility for themselves.

Every campsite will have a set of rules governing what you can and can’t do on the premises, and while this may seem like a downer on your holiday, it is for every ones benefit. No one wants their sleep disturbed or their holiday ruined by antisocial behaviour. Afterall, it works both ways. If you want your fellow campers to show you some consideration, you have to do the same.

It is for everyone’s benefit that the campsite rules are followed.

Clean up after yourself

With the ‘togetherness’ of camping it is even more vital to clean up after yourself. Nobody wants to step into a dirty shower or use washing up bowl full of other people’s leftover food.

It’s not rocket science, just leave everything how you would like to find it. Often there will be a mop in the showers to give the cubicle a quick once over, and after you’ve washed up just give the sink a rinse. Nobody wants to spend their holiday cleaning, but it only takes a few seconds to be considerate and help others enjoy their holiday just that little bit more.

Make sure you leave communal areas as clean as you’d like to find them

No bubbles!

It might seem like a great idea to occupy the kids with some bubbles while you’re enjoying so much time outdoors, but please don’t. It will seriously annoy your neighbours at the campsite and is the quickest way to cause an argument. The detergent in bubble mixture can damage the proofing of tents, like any soap or oil can.

Respect Boundaries

Whilst I have emphasised the communal nature of camping in this post, it is still important to respect your fellow campers’ space. My number one bugbear when camping is people walking through my set up. I also go on and on at my kids about this as it is so important.

At some campsites the pitches might be drawn on the ground, which makes it super clear. But even if that isn’t the case, it’s not hard to respect other people’s boundaries. Imagine that you draw a circle around everyone’s camp. Their car, their tent and anything else they may have, like a gazebo or pup tent. You DO NOT walk into that circle at any point. It sounds straightforward, but so many people take a short cut and I find it so rude.

Similarly, if you are camping at a site with no allocated pitches, make sure to leave an adequate space of at least 3 metres between you and your neighbours. This is important for fire safety as well as privacy reasons.

My intention with this post isn’t to scare anyone or make camping seem like it’s full of rules. I find that, in general, campers are an incredibly friendly bunch and all too happy to help. I can’t even count how many times we’ve had to ask complete strangers if we can borrow something we’ve forgotten, and likewise we are always happy to lend equipment or advice when needed.

I just wanted to point out a few simple things that can make all the difference between a good camping trip, and a great one!

What are your most important camping rules?

Read more camping tips here:

Top Camping Tips

Top Camping Tips for beginners



  • Hilly's Berg Hilly's Berg December 27, at 00:35

    Another reason to stay clear of another’s pitch is that you may well trip over their guy ropes. This can damage the tent as well as leaving you and your glass of wine sprawling across the bonnet of their car. Tripping over guys is also much easier to do at night on the way back from the loo, so best to decide on a route around these hazards in the daylight and stick to it

    • The Helpful Hiker The Helpful Hiker December 30, at 09:36

      Great tips! That is so true, nothing worse than tripping over a guy line in the dark!


Post Reply