Camping is supposed to be about getting out in nature, relaxing, hiking…you know. But it seems like some people just don’t get it.
Here is a short list of things people are doing that is driving everyone crazy while camping. I’m sure you aren’t doing these things because you are awesome. But, just in case, let’s just get this out in the open.
1. Constantly using a leaf blower
Listen, I get it. Sometimes the concrete pad is covered in leaves, pine needles, acorns, etc. Blowing it off does make it a lot nicer.
Just don’t be afraid of some leaves. You don’t have to blow it off several times a day.
You are in nature after all!
2. Not picking up after your dog
Arkansas campgrounds are dog friendly. Dogs are everywhere and we love it! However, there are those people who don’t pick up after their dog “goes.”
Don’t be that person.
A few days ago, we were hiking at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. There were multiple piles of dog poop in the middle of the trail that hikers warned us about.
The guy in front of us who was hiking with his dog laughed and said, “We’ll just add to it.”
3. Leaving bright lights on all night
If you are scared of the dark, camping might not be for you.
I will say this, I understand that some people feel safer leaving the lights on all night. Also, some RVs who travel alone or struggle with PTSD feel more comfortable with lights on at night.
That’s not what I’m talking about here. I don’t mean leaving a little bucket light on or a string of lights around your campsite.
What I’m talking about is lighting the place up like an airport runway.
Last summer, we were camped five spots down from a guy who left twelve 60 watt bulbs on all night long. It was so bright down at our campsite. I don’t know how the people next door to him even slept!
Some things to keep in mind:
- Leaving your lights on all night contributes to light pollution and prevents others around you from being able to see the stars at night
- Lights attract bugs. We usually have minimal lights on at night when we camp. We have two small strings of light that we will use to light up our camp while we are awake. Other than that, our camp is only lit up by fire light. After we go to bed, we turn all of the lights off.
I have learned that even our small strings of light attract bugs and I don’t want to attract them all night!
4. Unsupervised children
Don’t even get me started on this one.
I have three children who love to go camping. But they will never, and I mean never, be running around the park unsupervised.
This week at Toad Suck Park, there was a boy who would race our truck on his bicycle. I stopped and rolled down my window to tell him that it was unsafe to ride that close to a vehicle. This is not a race.
Last week, we were camping at Carter Cove Campground on Lake Nimrod. There were two children there who were left unsupervised ALL WEEKEND. They were all over the campground.
I saw the little girl sitting around the fire with a group of fishermen she did not know. This is not okay. Not only is it not safe, people do not want to babysit your children all weekend so you can stay in your camper. Period.
5. Overcrowding campsites
If you have a large group and you need additional parking, there are often extra parking spaces around day use areas. Please do not park in the grass all around your campsite and annoy your neighbors.
It is a campsite. Not a parking lot.
6. Trash in the fire pit
People, people, people.
Do not burn plastic.
All those ziplocs and Walmart sacks you threw in the fire, stunk up the whole place. For someone like me who suffers from migraines, it can ruin the rest of my day.
Besides that, I have had to clean out so many fire rings before we could even have a campfire. Trash does not completely burn.
Also, remember this: BEER CANS DO NOT BURN.
7. Off leash dogs
Dogs are supposed to remain on leashes at all times while visiting Arkansas campgrounds. Campgrounds are not dog parks.
If your dog is “off leash trained,” that it great but keep it on a leash anyway.
If your dog is “friendly and loves kids,” that is great but keep it on a leash anyway.
There are good dog owners out there following the rules and having a great time. Don’t make us all look bad by being annoying.
Side note: I saw two guys get into a yelling match last year at JFK Campground on the Little Red River.
One guy was yelling, “put it on a leash” while the other guy was yelling, “off leash trained!”
The “off leash trained” dog was walking around other people’s campsites and annoying their dogs.
Put it on a leash.
That is all. I’m done. Rant over.
What would you add to this list? Comment below!