18 Camping Etiquette Tips for Newbies and Not So Newbies

18 Camping Etiquette Tips for Newbies and Not So Newbies

When camping at campgrounds there are written and unwritten rules of etiquette. Whether you are tenting or RVing many of the same rules apply. We have compiled 18 camping etiquette rules, that we have seen being broken over and over, as we travel the province. Some of these rules are specific to Ontario Provincial Parks but most are for any kind of park.

Most of the people breaking the rules do so because they don’t know. This video is for them. Some people break the rules because they just don’t care. We hope this video helps convince them to care.

This may be an eye opener for newbies and we believe that even the most experienced camper might get some nugget of information from this.

No rules were actually broken when recording this video. All rule breaking was simulated 🙂

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00:00 Intro
02:02 #18 Cutting through sites
03:07 #17 Showering on the campsite
05:40 #16 Washing dishes at the water tap
07:20 #15 Dumping black or grey tank on the campsite
08:38 #14 Scavenging for wood
10:23 #13 Noise
13:30 #12 Animal attractants
15:05 #11 Dogs on leash
16:30 #10 Distracting people setting up camp
17:00 #9 Outdoor lights
18:11 #8 Marked trails
18:42 #7 Consuming alcohol
19:08 #6 Garbage
19:19 #5 Rules of the road
20:29 #4 Fireworks
21:04 #3 Drones
24:25 #2 At the dump station
25:47 #1 Power of park wardens
26:42 Closing remarks

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  1. Robert Sitch on July 27, 2023 at 5:48 pm

    I’ve seen online that some Nova Scotia provincial parks have special dishwashing sinks outside the comfort station, which is handy if you are tent camping.

  2. Robert Sitch on July 27, 2023 at 5:50 pm

    Only Disney’s Fort Wilderness really allows much outdoor illumination, but even they might not want you running it all night.

  3. Jogarithm on July 27, 2023 at 5:52 pm

    At the Nova Scotia Provincial Parks, there is a dishwashing station in each park, usually in a covered alcove outside, with at least 2 huge sinks and shelving and counterspace.

  4. Mark Witzel on July 27, 2023 at 5:52 pm

    Great vid. We have Camco Rhino 36 gal tote tank, works great! Very convenient to be able to empty tanks without moving trailer.

  5. PK Redford on July 27, 2023 at 5:52 pm

    I don’t like when people have their generators going. If you really need power then book an electrical site. So much noise!!

  6. Doomduelist on July 27, 2023 at 5:52 pm

    Also maybe train your dog what leave it means!! So they don’t stick their nose in another animals business & not get hurt!!

  7. Camp Kayak Adventures on July 27, 2023 at 5:52 pm

    The ones I see the most are washing dishes at the tap and scavenging for firewood. I think 99% of campers follow the rules. The only issue we had was years ago at Killbear. The people across from us overcrowded their site. They had 3 cars and one was blocking part of the road, they were all drunk and had music going till 2am and they were load. The warden showed up and I asked if they were going to do anything and they said no because the people are drunk and the don’t want them to leave.

  8. Ashley Odonnell on July 27, 2023 at 5:53 pm

    Another point to add, is that when parents take their kids camping, please be responsible and make sure your child is following the rules

  9. Island Girl on July 27, 2023 at 5:53 pm

    Very informative and interesting video! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Cozy Campers on July 27, 2023 at 5:54 pm

    Deffently agree with no. Drones in the park plz

  11. Grant Gowdy on July 27, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    Great Tips. But we mustn’t forget kids. Just like people do not want to hear barking dogs, some people do not want to hear screaming kids.

  12. Susan Loghin on July 27, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing these important rules and suggestions! One more I would add: don’t have your watercraft (SUP, canoe etc) within the buoy markers at the beach! That’s the swimming area…

  13. Jacqueline Arroyo on July 27, 2023 at 5:59 pm

    I want this video to go viral, it’s so frustrating to see so many people not respecting the parks and fellow campers. Thank you for creating this video.

  14. Diana Mora on July 27, 2023 at 5:59 pm

    One of mine is the wood bags hanging on the posts….they are not reused or recycled or picked up…much to everyone’s assumptions

  15. Tritun on July 27, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    I’ve heard , dont know for sure, that u can fly a drone if it’s small enough, don’t know the actual weight but apparently there is a number u can stay under. Do you know anything about this

  16. Outdoorsygal O on July 27, 2023 at 6:01 pm

    Enjoyed this!
    I hope those who need to see this do, and learn from it.

  17. Kaymt42 on July 27, 2023 at 6:03 pm

    Another DON’T – pay attention to the sign in time on the reservation. We were packing up our site on the day we were leaving and it was round 11:30 to Noon. The people that reserved the site after us unloaded all their things on the site AS WE WERE PACKING UP, WITHOUT ASKING. They had a friend bring them out and the friend "couldn’t wait until 2 pm" so they just piled all their camping gear on one side of the site, once again without asking us!. Due to the fact we were leaving in about 1 hour, it felt really petty to complain but still – very rude.

  18. Robert Sitch on July 27, 2023 at 6:04 pm

    One big edicate violation I have read about is that some US National Parks have had problems with people leaving fecal matter on the ground even.

  19. Life with Pugwinkle on July 27, 2023 at 6:05 pm

    I have just started to camp in my converted van. I am concerned as to what I can do about my food, garbage, etc. that needs to be locked into a vehicle. Because I’m sleeping in my van with my two small dogs we need to keep the windows open quite a ways in order to not overheat inside the van even though I have three fans blowing on us some nights. How do we stay safe from animals that can smell the food in our coolers or our garbage bags because the windows are open?

  20. Carolyn Achtenberg on July 27, 2023 at 6:06 pm

    My pet peeve is the horn noise when continuously locking and unlocking of vehicles.

  21. realwm on July 27, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    Wait u can get fined for coming into the park after the office is closed?

  22. Mayoo N on July 27, 2023 at 6:10 pm

    Another pet peeve, check in late at night and use their high beams to set up the tents ! High beams were on for 1hour with car running !

  23. Super Good Camping on July 27, 2023 at 6:10 pm

    Great video, as always! Thanks for using your platform for getting this info out. It seems many people don’t educate themselves about the Park rules or give much thought to the fact that a couple of mm of nylon can offer good protection from the weather – not so much from noise.
    Etiquette & rules come up often in our podcasts. It’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine. 😉
    Also wanted to give you two a serious thumbs up for your Sibbald Point review. You hit all the good things – it really is an amazing park & staff are awesome! – and presented the insanity of day pass long weekends, without overshadowing all the great things. Bravo for your restraint!
    Thanks for doing what you do. I really enjoy catching your new videos, or looking to see if you’ve reviewed a park we’re heading to.


  24. Lynne Chase on July 27, 2023 at 6:11 pm

    Excellent video! My pet peeve: The loud sound of outhouse/vault toilet doors slamming through the night. I wonder if there is a way people could do this more softly (and still be safe in terms of avoiding germs).

  25. Beer Fanboy on July 27, 2023 at 6:12 pm

    I’ve been in line for the dump station for almost two hours once, it sucks. But it was also the last trip before putting the trailer in storage so I had to take the extra time to flush the tank. There were at least 10 trailers behind me, I felt bad, but I had to to take the extra 5 minutes or so…

  26. Camp Kayak Adventures on July 27, 2023 at 6:16 pm

    I have a pet peeve against Ontario Parks and not sure if it’s just me that has the issue. When you are booking your site you can’t see the park alerts unless you go into info. I had Samuel De Champlain booked for months before I found out they had no power and I had to switch to Grundy Lake for this weekend. Surprisingly I was able to get a great site for 4 night

  27. Kerry on July 27, 2023 at 6:17 pm

    great info guys…love the bloopers

  28. J Holly on July 27, 2023 at 6:17 pm

    Hi Ben and Cheryl, another great video. Maybe you should approach Ontario Parks and they could show this at all Ontario parks to help newbie campers.

    My biggest pet peeve is when we arrive at a new campsite there is lots of garbage around, such as food wrappers or cigarette butts or even tissues.
    My husband and I always leave a campsite like we found it, hopefully it was clean to begin with. Before we leave we always pick up any garbage that is left on the site and make sure it is clean for the next campers. Sometimes we find garbage still in the fire pit that people think they have burned but there are still remnants of whatever garbage they left, Such as partially burned pop cans. Why are some people so lazy that they cannot recycle their pop cans.

  29. Advokat on July 27, 2023 at 6:18 pm

    Love your videos! My last trip at Sibbald (my least favorite park) a trailer pulled in across from me very late in the day. They only came in to dump their grey water *in a campsite*. Thankfully it wasn’t black but WTH.

  30. Anish kumar on July 27, 2023 at 6:19 pm


  31. Bluebird Days and Cathole Nights on July 27, 2023 at 6:19 pm

    Thank you! I am such a newbie! I accidentally caused wet/muddy spots a couple times recently where it was inconvenient for others. Thankfully Colorado dry air fixed my mistake quickly. I am loving each step of learning, though!

  32. M Taylor on July 27, 2023 at 6:21 pm

    Wish I could show this on a movie screen at the KOA in Idaho that I’m currently staying at!!! Thanks for putting out a much needed video.

  33. Jay Kae on July 27, 2023 at 6:22 pm

    Also…Don’t burn garbage in the fire pit. ALL my trips this year have been littered with stuff that doesn’t burn buried in the fire pit – especially beer cans etc.

  34. Shannon Weir on July 27, 2023 at 6:22 pm

    I agree with 95% of what your saying about lights. We have little solar powered lights that we put by our extension cord running to the box so when it’s dark and we’re headed to the washroom we don’t trip and get hurt.
    I do agree with the rest of your etiquette tips though…thank you for making this video.

  35. Ann Moore on July 27, 2023 at 6:23 pm

    Brilliant video! Now how to get all those unschooled campers to watch it. Thanks for taking the time to make this.

  36. carol stewart on July 27, 2023 at 6:24 pm

    I almost accidently cut across someone camp site twice. I was supposed to make a left along a trail, but kept going straight right into someone site. I double back, but did again a day later. So I took a large branch found on the ground and put up my one turn this way sign. So sometime it just a do a error.

  37. Camp Kayak Adventures on July 27, 2023 at 6:25 pm

    One thing that seems to be an issue with campers is people that have non-electric sites pluging into electric sites.personally I’ve never had an issue with this as long as I can plug in my 30a and 15a I’m good.

  38. Doug McColeman on July 27, 2023 at 6:26 pm

    Can I just say, you guys are awesome! I’ve been an camper all my life. Starting from tent, to camper trailer, and in my adult years tent. Now finding myself, almost 50 and inheriting a 30’ Palimino Puma, I’ve watched a lot of your videos and am so excited to start my next chapter of camping with my 4 girls and camper trailer

  39. Margaret Gheller on July 27, 2023 at 6:28 pm

    Thanks. Great video as usual.

  40. Rico L on July 27, 2023 at 6:31 pm

    My observation of Don’t – is obvious. Don’t disturb the nature. I saw someone posting her 5yr-old daughter’s photo with lots of flowers in her hand😢 not only damaging,
    they can be poisoness. Another time I saw parents encouraging kids to kick/snap off icicles in a cave, or step on to break off the thin ice on the ground by a rapid falls. Parents pls teach kids to leave the nature as is and watch out for their safety.

  41. Wilma Bosgraaf on July 27, 2023 at 6:31 pm

    you nailed it….have been guilty of a few of these….but once "you know" …then no excuses….and here are a few more…..overcrowding of the sites….(exceeding the number of people allowed), camping on a barrier free site without handicap permit, parking more cars than is allowed on your site( and parking too close to the road way), feeding the wildlife…and yes that includes deer and chipmunks….love your videos….looking forward to the next series….enjoy!

  42. Carol and Ken LUNNEY on July 27, 2023 at 6:31 pm

    Good video…1 thing that is a pet peeve for us is the previous tenants have not left by the designated time. there is a debate out there that it possibly should be changed to noon as some private parks use that time frame. but when you have travelled and get to your site just after 2pm for provincial parks and you can’t get on after a long drive it is very frustrating. They are now taking your time away from you. We have had this happen several times.

  43. Maggie McGovern on July 27, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    Thanks for this. Covid crowds really have changed camping. One pet peeve for me and probably everyone who works at the parks: the green mesh bags the campfire wood comes in are NOT recyclable. They are garbage. Don’t leave them hanging on number posts.

  44. Russel Lamb on July 27, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    I will disagree with the kids riding in the bed on the truck…we used to ride on the tailgate…it was fun….kids today wouldn’t even survive this because of this so called danger indoctrination… rules are to tight…relax people relax

  45. Carol and Ken LUNNEY on July 27, 2023 at 6:33 pm

    the lights think is a good point. last year when we were winter camping at New Years there was someone there that had so many lights ( Christmas lights ) it looked like a Used Car Lot. We felt for the neighbors luckily we were a few site away

  46. outdoorskingdome on July 27, 2023 at 6:34 pm

    excellent video

  47. Spider_club on July 27, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    Could you please comment on ‘Radio Free’ zones …. Can you play absolutely zero music? We are just looking more to throw in the baseball game (Go Jays Go) or put something on at the bonfire …. Just wondering the etiquette here as are new to camping and don’t want to offend anyone. We are not partyers by any means but do appreciate some background music

  48. Rubia Family on July 27, 2023 at 6:42 pm

    Thank you for sharing

  49. Tales From Last Night on July 27, 2023 at 6:42 pm

    Bahaha I loved theextra outtake at the end

  50. Ruth Dalton on July 27, 2023 at 6:43 pm

    That was the best video, you covered all the things that are my pet peeves.
    One other one you touched on was dog issues. I have a dog and I never take her on the "people" beach and it makes me so mad when I see people having there dog on the beach. Every Prov park I have been too have fog beaches so there is no need for this!
    As always this was a great video!
    Thanks for this one!

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