Writer’s note: We think any camper is a great camper, and the more people outside, the better. This is a cautionary tale from my own experiences with terrible campers terrorizing a campground, written with a heavy dose of sarcasm. Reader beware.
Some people go camping to get away from full email inboxes and incessant Buzzfeed lists. Others go to share a few cold ones over a campfire with their best friends.
Then there are those people who roll into the campground with speakers blasting so loud that it makes you wonder what you did wrong to deserve this cold, cold campsite karma.
Wondering how you, too, can harness some of their weekend-ruining power? Here’s your comprehensive guide to pissing off other people in the woods.
Quiet hours are for the weakYour arrival to the campsite is a pivotal moment in your weekend-ruining experience, so be sure to announce it with plenty of flair.
With your car’s stereo turned up to an eardrum-rupturing decibel level, pull into your campsite and talk just loudly enough so the family four tents away knows how bad traffic was on your way here.
Remember, it’s totally fine to keep your high beams on, and banging car doors adds to the ambiance of quiet hours.
It’s your job to get this party started, so be sure to come prepared with portable speakers or a noisy blow-up mattress.
There are shortcuts all around you
If someone else’s campsite falls between your tent and the bathrooms or trashcans, it’s best to walk through their area without asking for permission. (Don’t worry, they won’t mind.)
You can even manage to stroll right through someone else’s campsite at night if you’re equipped with a bright flashlight or headlamp. There are shortcuts all around you if you just look hard enough, you little trailblazer, you.
Let your kids have free reign of the campground
Kids love camping, so by common assumption, everyone will love your kids.
Send them off to explore your neighbors’ campsites — especially if they do so on bikes and scooters. At nighttime, keep them close by for noisy games that involve a lot of yelling, or set them up with a loud portable videogame.
Campground rules rarely, if ever, apply to you
Just because everyone else left their booze at home doesn’t mean you should have to suffer in sobriety. Break out the beer bottles and leave them arranged on your picnic table for park rangers to see. How else will they know to crack down on the more subtle beer lovers?
It’s much easier to wash your dishes in the bathroom sinks despite the sign asking you to wash them outside, and you can always dump your dirty water in the lakes and streams nearby.
But, most importantly …
Leave your campsite worse than how you found itMaybe you’ll toss a few candy wrappers in the campfire pit before you go, or heck, an entire trash bag.
Leave your picnic table wherever you moved it and be confident the next campers to inhabit your campsite will be able to fix the broken grill you tossed in the corner.