Do you ever run into one of those people while camping? You know, the people who seem to ruin the experience for everyone else?
While most RVers and tent campers are very pleasant and respectful, I think we can all remember an encounter with some fellow campers who irked us to our core. Maybe they were loud late into the night, or maybe they let their pets run free. Either way, they somehow put a damper on your experience.
Of course, the only thing worse than running into one of these unpleasant campers is being one. This article explores how not to be “that guy” and instead make amazing friendships that will last a lifetime.
Campgrounds Are Great for Meeting People
If you’ve been camping at all, you can probably remember feeling a special bond with the people you were with. This is because traveling brings us out of our comfort zones and challenges us to work together in ways we might not have to in our day-to-day lives.
This feeling is magnified when you’re staying at a campground among fellow adventurers. You’re all there for the same reason: to leave behind your conventional life (even if it’s just for a weekend) and have a good time.
This is why campgrounds are so great for making friends. You already have so much in common.
Whether you get together around the campfire to discuss your recent travels or engage in a passionate conversation about the best solar setup, you’ll have plenty to talk about with the people you meet. With so much potential, it would be a shame to ruin the fun with a social faux pas. Let’s talk about what not to do.
7 Ways to Lose Friends at the Campground
There are many ways to lose friends at the campground. Let’s look at seven of the worst offenders.
1. Ignore Quiet Hours
There’s a reason why many campgrounds enforce quiet hours. Remember, many RVers are full-timers who live and work on the road. If you decide to blast music at midnight, you might be waking up a father who needs to work at 5 a.m. or a kid who has school the next day.
Even if your campground doesn’t have quiet hours, it’s still important to be respectful of the people around you. As a general rule of thumb, quiet down after 9 p.m.
2. Let Pets Roam Free
Many campers bring their pets with them. But while most of us love furry friends, we don’t all love them in our campsites. This is a friendly reminder to keep your dogs, cats, and other pets contained on your own campsite.
3. Let Your Kids Roam Free
This is a common mishap, as all parents just want their kids to have a good time. However, children typically don’t understand personal boundaries in a campground setting. For all they know, it’s their own personal Disneyland.
This is why it’s important to teach your kids about the appropriate places to play in a campground (many times, there will be a playground or another play area). Not only is it important for your fellow campers, but for your kids’ safety, too.
4. Trash the Place
This is a personal pet peeve, as almost every campground has a place to dispose of trash properly. Even if you’re boondocking with no way of throwing things away, it’s important to bring your waste with you until you can find an appropriate way to get rid of your garbage. By cleaning up after yourself, you’re letting other RVers and the campground staff know that you value their experience and time.
5. Cut Through Others’ Campsites
Would you regularly walk through your neighbor’s backyard? When you cut through a person’s campsite, it’s the equivalent of walking through someone else’s private property.
Even if it’s a simple shortcut through the campground, always think twice before doing this. Just like you, they paid for their site and expect it to be their own private home-away-from-home.
Even if you have the best intentions and truly want to make friends, it’s important to read social cues accurately. The reality is, some campers just want to be left alone.
If you’re oblivious to these unwritten rules and chat someone’s ear off who just wants to relax in solitude, you’re only adding to the problem. The good news is, other people would probably love to engage in conversation.
7. Go Camping Without the Right Equipment and Know-How
An amazing aspect of the RVing community is their willingness to help out fellow travelers. However, if you head out without the proper equipment and find yourself in a pickle, you might run the risk of burdening others.
Of course, we’ve all had our mishaps on the road. Nevertheless, it’s important to be as prepared as possible.
How to Make Lifelong Friends While Camping
Now that we’ve discussed what not to do let’s talk about how to have an amazing time while camping and come away with lifelong friends.
First and foremost, be open. When you’re camping, you’ll meet people from all different walks of life. They might be from different parts of the country (or another country altogether). They might have different political views. Either way, it’s important to focus on what you have in common, which is far more significant.
This is what makes traveling so amazing in the first place: meeting people you wouldn’t normally cross paths with. If you’re kind, open to differences, and willing to share a bit of your own story, you’ll make genuine friendships that will last a lifetime. Have you ever made a best friend while camping? What are your tips for being a good camping neighbor?
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