Camping is a favorite way to travel and vacation for thousands of people in virtually all countries, so here are some brief reminders as we launch into the main camping season here in Colorado.

These rules apply to children of all ages, groups of all sizes, and fur-babies of all types. Oh, and we don’t profess these to be the only rules of etiquette. When in doubt, ask someone in authority. Do unto others as you’d like done unto you.

LEAVE NO TRACE

This catchy phrase means a lot. Colorado civilization dates back a lot longer than any of us, unless you’re 1,000 years old or older. Those early residents left very little for us, and we should be doing the same thing. What items you haul are yours to haul out, unless it’s left in a proper trash or recycling bin. Consider using less plastic and paper products, opting for reusable and refillable choices.

Leave no trace goes further than that. It also means not hauling in your own firewood, which might be carrying traces of insects that aren’t native to the area. Invasive insects and diseases are not welcomed in Colorado! Buy your firewood in the local area. The Don’t Move Firewood site explains more about the issues firewood can bring.

It also means finding efficient and non-toxic solutions to your camping needs. For example, choose solar lighting for the campsite over battery powered, saving batteries from the landfill.

USE FIRE PIT ONLY FOR CAMPFIRES

Those handy fire rings aren’t meant to be your trash can! Refer to LEAVE NO TRACE. Too, refer to an earlier blog on the topic of campfires.

DIM THE LIGHTS

We respect your need to safely walk around the campground but many people who are sharing the campground with you are seeking peacefulness, rejuvenation, and perhaps star gazing at those incredible lights in the sky, so close you feel you can reach out and pluck one out of the sky! Please don’t leave your awning or campsite lights on all night, and dim them to a low glow before that, when possible.

CONTAIN & CONTROL YOUR PETS

Camping with Pets

Four-legged fur-baby companionship is wonderful, and most Colorado campgrounds welcome them (some even cater to their needs).  Still, you’ve been assigned a relatively small section of the campground, and near you might be other pets, maybe some people who are allergic to pets, and maybe some who are fearful of them. All of the people who are camping near you are paying guests who are perhaps away from work for their few days of vacation for the entire year. While camping, pets should be confined by a 6’ leash, well behaved, picked up after, and in control of their vocal noises. Don’t leave them unattended, for their own safety and comfort and for the sake of your neighbors.

By the way, on our Find a Campground page you can search for Pet Friendly campgrounds and for campgrounds that have a Dog Park. Please be sure to honor the rules.

ABIDE BY CAMPGROUND RULES

Read and understand the rules before you book your campsite, especially but not limited to those who:

  • Have pets
  • Expect to have a campfire
  • Might need to cancel
  • Are expecting guests
  • Ride a motorcycle
  • Desire to use marijuana.

The campground owner determines the rules based on many factors, including rules set by their local authorities. Your camping experience is more likely going to be wonderful if you agree with the policies and rules. If you don’t agree with them, it’s better to keep searching until you find a campground that fits your style. So, know before you book!

STAY IN PUBLIC AREAS OR ON YOUR CAMPSITE

Cutting through occupied campsites is a big no-no. Those guests are on their vacation and likely didn’t invite you to join them. If something of yours rolled into their area, ask permission to retrieve it. While it’s nice to have some friendly chit chat, just because they’re sitting outside doesn’t mean they’re hoping to have a lengthy conversation with others. This is their vacation, too.

AFTER HOURS HUSH

Campgrounds enforce quiet hours to assist in ensuring that all of their guests enjoy their stay. No one enjoys hearing noise during typical sleeping hours. Your social time needs to be wrapped up before quiet hours begin. If it’s set for 10 p.m., please be tucked inside, exterior lights extinguished, and noise down to a hush before 10 p.m. And remember, tent canvas and RV walls are very thin! Shhhhhhhhhh.

SHARE NICELY

Please be prompt when using the laundry equipment or showering.  Leave the shower house and laundry equipment tidy and presentable for the next guest. Sure, there may be cleaning staff to truly sanitize but there might be many other guests using the facility immediately after you.

FRESH AIR IS A GREAT FRAGRANCE

Save the fancy perfumes and colognes for the urban parties and let nature be your fragrance of choice for your camping trip. If you’ve ever entered the confined space of a bathhouse soon after someone spritzed their favorite scent, or if you’ve hiked behind perfume on a hiking trail, you know what we mean!

CONSIDER THE NEXT CAMPER

When you’ve moved on down the road someone else is going to be coming in to make their own memories from the spot you just vacated. Did you leave it the way you would have enjoyed seeing it when you arrived?


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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