There are popular signs at the exit of many campgrounds about making sure the children (or wife) are on board. We’re going to assume people and pets are always accounted for before you depart your campsite, but let’s talk about the other items campground staff often find after guests have departed. Now that we’re well into the summer camping season, we have seen evidence that it’s a good time to put out this reminder.

TRASH Please be sure to know the campground’s trash policy about trash and recycling. Due to Colorado’s wildlife, most facilities require you to place these in dumpsters rather than leaving it at the campsite for a crew to pick up.

PERSONAL ITEMS IN THE RESTROOMS / SHOWER HOUSE From wet towels to dirty clothes, and toothbrushes to hairbrushes, the shower house and restroom facility is notorious for lost treasures.

WALLET or CREDIT CARDS or KEYS It’s understandable, and usually quickly remedied, when these are accidently left behind at the cash register, but they’ve actually been found all around campgrounds. We’ve seen them poolside, in the playground, in a washer or dryer, on a picnic table, and in the shower house.

SEWER HOSE Apparently distractions occur even when disconnecting and stowing the sewer hose or we wouldn’t find so many each year. This is also a good reason why many campgrounds sell replacement sewer hoses and connectors in their camp store. Those who left theirs at the last campsite are going to need to replace them.

FRESH WATER HOSE Apparently the same distractions that cause sewer hoses to be left are the culprit here, too.

WORK GLOVES Whether they’re on the ground, up on the pedestal, or somewhere on the picnic table, work gloves often times don’t make it all the way home.

DRINKING CUPS Campground staff often find abandoned travel mugs and plastic cups on the picnic table. Oh, the odd collection these create for the campground staff!

PET LEASHES These are often found tethered to picnic tables. Oh, let’s not overlook the water bowl, either.

CELL PHONES In an age where we rely on cell phones for navigation, reservation confirmation emails, and communications, when these are found at a campground we know they’re going to be missed rather quickly!

JEWELRY Whether it’s from the pool, restrooms, or on a sidewalk, the collection of jewelry in a campground’s Lost & Found box is usually quite extensive.

Just to be clear, it’s the responsibility of the camper to collect your belongings before they leave.

In many campgrounds, when campground staff spot relatively sanitary and fairly valuable items left behind, it’s common practice for them to take it to the office and document where and when it was found.

When possible, most campgrounds will try to contact the owner. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. For example, if the item was left in a public spot rather than at the campsite, it could belong to anyone at the campground. Another example is if your cell phone was found and the office has only that number in your registration record, contacting you could be impossible.

As for the less sanitary and less valuable items, well, they usually go straight to the trash, undocumented.

When you realize you left an item behind, please call the campground office. It maybe wasn’t found or turned in, but if it was you could see if they’ll send it to you (after you pay the postage).

ALWAYS, please be sure to always double or triple check that you have all of your belongings. Then go ahead and prepare for that reminder driveway sign about making sure your roof antenna is down, your steps are up, and everyone is aboard (pets, too!).


This seems like a fine opportunity for a reminder about the Leave No Trace program. Please minimize your impact for anyone visiting the outdoors.


Our Find a Campground page makes it easier to narrow the list of campground to those which best suit your preferences.

From this link you can order a copy of our Camp Colorado Guide or download a PDF of it.

This publication is supported by funding from the Colorado Tourism Office, a state agency. Turn to Colorado.com for a comprehensive list of festivals, events, historic areas, itineraries, and community insight.

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