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New to Camping? Do’s and Don’ts for the New Camper. 

We’ve all been the ‘newbie’ at something in our lives, and the last thing you want to do is make a faux pas.

Do you know the feeling when you realize that you’ve been breaking an ‘unspoken’ rule?

Camping has a lot of those. If you are new to camping, it’s important to understand the do’s and don’ts. Recently I saw a long post on FB about a campground owner that was ‘mean’ because the customer decided to drive around the campground to pick out their spot before stopping in the office – only that is a huge no-no!  The FB group tried to gently guide the Newbie, but he wasn’t hearing it.

To help you have a great camping experience we are putting our campground owner’s hat on and sharing our observations.  AND… good news – campers are among some of the friendliest people, so even if all this doesn’t sink in, someone will likely give you a heads up if you are heading in a problematic direction.

Camping 101

Quiet Time Means Quiet Time:

The biggest challenge a campground deals with is complaints about other campers, and the number one complaint in noise.  Campers are relentless with bad reviews if a campground has allowed a noisy night, even if no one let the campground know!  Quiet hours vary by campground and can come as a huge shock to new campers that picture playing midnight cornhole, having an 11 PM sing-along or a late-night beer pong tournament.  The most common quiet hour is 10 PM.  The latest we have seen is 11 PM.  Cozy Hill’s quiet hours are 10:30 and strictly enforced with security.  Quiet hours apply to mornings too – be very considerate if you are planning on leaving at 6 AM!

Bringing your Kids camping:

Campgrounds are a wonderful place to let kids run and explore.  All campers tend to keep a close eye on one another’s children, just like the old days! But, that is no excuse to not teach your kids camping manners.  Things like throwing rocks, running through others sites, extreme yelling, all can be dangerous or annoying to others.

Don’t walk through others’ camping space and explain to your children to not do so either.

Leave Wood at Home:

Campgrounds that allow open fires will have firewood for sale. Use it. Transporting your own wood can spread insects and disease and could threaten an entire local forest. In CT, it is illegal to transport wood more than one mile! Lastly, never take wood from standing trees.

Check in hours:

Campground are not hotels.  They do not typically have staff in the store/office 24/7.  At some point they need to go home for much needed rest.  So, for a variety of reasons, darkness, safety, staffing and quiet hours, most campgrounds end night check ins at some point.  Make SURE to plan accordingly and let them know if you have hit a snag.

Help A Campground Out:

Be considerate of others after you’ve completed your morning ritual. Make sure the paper towels hit the trash, and wipe up around the sinks and counters. If you spot a problem you can’t fix, report it immediately to campground staff.

Keep It Slow:

Campgrounds are typically full of kids on bikes and folks walking dogs. Be sure to keep to the slow posted speed limit. It’ll keep the dust down, too. You can make enemies fast (no pun intended) if you zip around at 10 or 15 MPH – which might not feel very fast to you!

Respect Your Campsite:

Don’t dig trenches or hang clotheslines or hammock from trees without the OK of the campground owner. Also, only use the designated fire pit, and know that usually it is not cool to move the fire pit!

Smoking:

Cigarettes aren’t campfires. Be considerate of your fellow campers and be sure to pick up your butts and put them in the garbage. Keep in mind, that like so many other places, many campgrounds are reducing the areas where you can smoke so check that out on arrival.

Campground WiFi:

Please remember you’re in the woods, there are hills and terrain and travel trailers are remarkably good at blocking WIFI signal. WiFi here may be different than your home cable connection. A quick email or Facebook post is great, but this may not be the best place to stream movies 24/7.

Leave it Better Than You Found it:

After you pack up, check around for garbage. Move back anything you’ve relocated, like picnic tables. If anything is broken be sure to let the staff know. Recycle what you can. If you loved the campground, the kindest thing you could possibly do for the staff is to help clean up.  It’s a great teachable moment too!

Bringing Pets to a campground:

Pets must be on a leash at all times, except when using a dog park. Owners need to clean up after their pets throughout the campground, and control excessive barking. NO ONE wants to listen to a dog bark their whole stay!  Be aware if your dog barks when you are out of sight or you may get a LOT of glares when you return.

Put the Fire Out:

When going to bed, be sure your fire is out and not smoking. And don’t use the fire pit as a garbage can burning plastic is awful!

Generators Are A No-Go:

Private campgrounds do not allow generator unless something like a power outage occurs. Make sure to check before ever staring up a generator.

Don’t Leave Food Out and dispose of garbage before nightfall:

Cozy Hills picks up garbage all day, but by 7 PM you are on your own to put your garbage in the dumpster. Even one left out bag can mean hours of clean up!

When you are new to camping, know the do’s and don’ts it will make all the difference.

Safe Travels!

Cozy Hills is a family friendly campground located in Bantam CT. Contact us for more details

Cozy Hills Campground Rules

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