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Old 08-03-2017, 01:25 PM   #21
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OR- own what I have and that's the "Little Red Campfire".
I reluctantly broke down and bought an Outland Firebowl a while back, as it is a good focal point for a group for those situations where a real fire is not allowed, but does not compare in the least to a real campfire, which to me since being a wee kid has been synonymous with camping. There is just something about the life of a real campfire, the flames, the glow and the hot coals, that add comfort to the soul. I will take campfire smoke over the smell of burned propane any day. But, different things have different meaning to everyone, that's what makes us individuals.
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:47 PM   #22
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Campfires and Smoke.

The perceived need for a campfire something I can do without. In fact I think I've had one or maybe two campfires in the 200 days of camping.
Campfire drawbacks.
1. Smoke gets in your eyes and you end of breathing smoke.
2. Campfires draw your eyes to fire like a moth the flames. Destroys your night vision.
3. Your neighbors have to breath your smokey campfire.
Just to name a few.

During our backpacking days we were often in places where campfires were banned year around if not during the fire season. We learned rapidly that a campfire wasn't necessary since all of our cooking was on white gas single burner stove. I also learned that your night vision is destroyed by staring at a campfire. I'm more interested in observing the bats flying around, the sounds of a racoon walking through the brush than staring a campfire or listening to the crackle of burning wood.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:01 PM   #23
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1. Smoke gets in your eyes and you end of breathing smoke.
2. Campfires draw your eyes to fire like a moth the flames. Destroys your night vision.
3. Your neighbors have to breath your smokey campfire.
Just to name a few.
.
This is why I say folks need to learn how to light and maintain a fire.
1. There is no smoke in the eyes, as there should be next to no smoke, it should rise up, and if there is a breeze my tip of the day is to not sit downwind.
2. Yes, I love that, and a few seconds away from the fire your eyes normalize. It is very common for us to lay on the grass and stare at the stars close by the fire pit.
3. Not sure where you are camping, but I have never had a fire that affected another site. Besides, there should be no smoke short of when lighting it.

Maybe I will see some issues with campfires as I tour more further away from home, but only once have I seen an issue, and that was at a campground near Jasper where they musta been some kind of inversion as there was a bit of smake just floating in the air, though I was just driving through.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:08 PM   #24
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We were camping in a Private CG in Duluth MN last weeks and a tenter next to us came over at 10pm and said our fire glow was disturbing him and his family trying to sleep and since it's quiet hours I had to put it out. We were far enough away and talking quietly and I'm sure if our convo had been bothering him he would have said something but only mentioned our fire which was down to mostly coals and a small flame that I don't think was even visible above the fire ring. Does quiet hours include extinguishing your fire as well? I thought it pertained to noise which we were making none of. I had even turned out all the camper lights as a courtesy to the tenters around us.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:09 PM   #25
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There was a significant improvement in air quality when BC Parks stopped providing free firewood many years ago.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:10 PM   #26
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This is why I say folks need to learn how to light and maintain a fire.
1. There is no smoke in the eyes, as there should be next to no smoke, it should rise up, and if there is a breeze my tip of the day is to not sit downwind.
2. Yes, I love that, and a few seconds away from the fire your eyes normalize. It is very common for us to lay on the grass and stare at the stars close by the fire pit.
3. Not sure where you are camping, but I have never had a fire that affected another site. Besides, there should be no smoke short of when lighting it.

Maybe I will see some issues with campfires as I tour more further away from home, but only once have I seen an issue, and that was at a campground near Jasper where they musta been some kind of inversion as there was a bit of smake just floating in the air, though I was just driving through.
I was in Death Valley a couple years ago the college kids that camped next to me had a very smoky fire that the smoke came right into the trailer. It was hot enough that I didn't want to close it up so I suffered all night. Yes a hot fire should produce very little smoke, but your neighbors go to bed and leave it burning to go out it will cool down and smoke.

A lot of backpacking was above timberline where wood was scarce so no fires were allowed.

If you were to read a bit about cones and rods that are the keys to night vision and how long it takes your eyes to recover you might sing a different song. The last I remember was about 3 hours of sleep.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:16 PM   #27
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Whenever I camp I like to share all my pink flamingos with all the campers around me putting one at each campsite...
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:18 PM   #28
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I'd say you're probably preaching to the choir here. But a reminder never hurts.

I was concerned when we pulled into a site at Lake Pleasant last year, encountering loud music next door and a couple of slightly "elevated" women dancing around camp with bottles of beer in one hand. But when they saw our kids, they toned it down and actually became great neighbors, even rescuing a ball our kids sent sailing into the lake. One turned out to be an old teaching colleague I hadn't seen for ten years.
So teachers do like to party wildly! lol
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:49 PM   #29
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Couple of things after reading all the posts...

Here in south Georgia and Florida the state birds might as well be the skeeters...in my experience campfires help a lot in keeping them at bay and the gnats too...when they are really bad we also burn several citronella candles and a thermocell. I also cook over an open fire almost every camping trip some of the best meals I have had are done over an open fire...but I do make sure the fire is out or down to nothing but a few coals before bed...I am a night out and like sitting around the fire til around midnight, very relaxing to me.

I do keep 1 sting of soft lights lit at night so if we have a need to exit the camper any time after dark we can see where we are stepping, it is snake country where we camp...to me it is a safe practice...is that considered bad etiquette? I thought all campers had curtains or blinds to keep out unwanted light, my tents always were positioned so the openings were not facing adjacent campsites...
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:31 PM   #30
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Johnny, regarding the lights, I'd say "When in Rome..." That is the essence of courtesy- to blend in with local norms.

I've been in developed campgrounds with lots of ambient lighting at night: bathhouses, security lights, porch lights on campers... In that setting, I don't think anyone would notice your string of lights. I've been other places where it's pretty dark at night and skywatching is one of the attractions. There it would be considerate to turn them off. A flashlight pointed toward the ground is the old-fashioned solution for midnight forays.

We often open windows and curtains at night for ventilation and to enjoy nighttime sounds and sky as we drop off to sleep. Our first time to South Carlsbad Beach State Park we stayed at a site that was about 30 feet from an intersection. The crosswalk automatically cycled with the light and had an audible alert for the visually impaired. Annoying, but nothing to do with campground etiquette!
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:55 PM   #31
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There was a significant improvement in air quality when BC Parks stopped providing free firewood many years ago.
How I wish camp fires to be banned everywhere...
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:19 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Johnny, regarding the lights, I'd say "When in Rome..." That is the essence of courtesy- to blend in with local norms.

I've been in developed campgrounds with lots of ambient lighting at night: bathhouses, security lights, porch lights on campers... In that setting, I don't think anyone would notice your string of lights. I've been other places where it's pretty dark at night and skywatching is one of the attractions. There it would be considerate to turn them off. A flashlight pointed toward the ground is the old-fashioned solution for midnight forays.

We often open windows and curtains at night for ventilation and to enjoy nighttime sounds and sky as we drop off to sleep. Our first time to South Carlsbad Beach State Park we stayed at a site that was about 30 feet from an intersection. The crosswalk automatically cycled with the light and had an audible alert for the visually impaired. Annoying, but nothing to do with campground etiquette!

Ah yes the joys of camping in State Parks and RV Resorts.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:30 PM   #33
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This thread was an interesting read.

I've only one caution, for what it's worth. Spending a significant portion of my life in law enforcement gave me a whole new perspective on what people are capable of. Sure, folks who camp and RV are generally pretty pleasant, but I'd highly recommend against moving anything from an adjacent campsite - like burning fire logs while the neighbor is sitting around them.

Some folks are crazy, and it's generally not worth the risk of provoking violence.
That could really ruin your day. Used to be you could pretty much reason with anybody, but today, not so much. Much better to simply contact the campground manager and have them deal with it.
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Old 08-04-2017, 03:48 AM   #34
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Etiquette isn't just a thing of the past in campgrounds, just drive down any 4 lane highway and watch the way people drive....Direction signals ? What's those?

Seems that the attitude is "OH, those rules apply to someone else not ME! in everything.
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Old 08-04-2017, 04:29 AM   #35
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In my opinion, acts like some describe (including one rude one I had to delete), where folks become vigilantes to a degree and act themselves with disrespect do nothing to promote good campground etiquette. Lead by example, not by reacting in kind which makes you no better than them.

I too love the sound of rambunctious kids playing, that is what kids do. They are having fun, and that is what camping is all about.

As long as music is not blasting to the degree I cannot converse with those with me, I have no problem with it during allowed hours. I have heard some complain about guitar, ukulele, and other instruments being played, whereas I am drawn to that and have even joined in for more good fun. I said before that camping and campfires are synonymous to me, you could add guitar into that too, and as long as it is not overdone,

We have to remember that the camping experience is for everyone, and not just ourselves. Sure, I would love it if everyone followed my own set of rules for etiquette, but I know that is not going to happen just reading through the thread. I think we all need to be tolerant within the bounds of the campground rules (and maybe give just a little), and report offenders to someone in charge to have them deal with it.

I must admit to being a very social camper, mostly used to camping with many friends and family, and often going on trips with other couples. When in campgrounds I love meeting folks from different places on this continent and talking with them, knowing that their background to camping is likely going to me different than mine. To me, this is part of the campground experience. I look in wonderment at those who seem to hole up in their RVs and never come out, though the places I mostly camp do not have these big units or folks like this fortunately.

Heck, earlier this year I had an offer to use a fellow campers fishing boat while they went off on a road trip for the day. Other than sitting around a campfire with them a couple nights, never knew them before. I am always eager to help a fellow camper out if I can, in most any way. This is the comradery I enjoy.

The instances I have seen of what I would consider poor camp etiquette are very far and few between, and pale to all the good I have encountered. Our own attitudes go a long way to our enjoyment.
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Old 08-04-2017, 04:58 AM   #36
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Exlnt post Jim. Like the mention of the use of the boat. Think I mentioned this before but back in "95 we were at Lake Powell for a week. After sailing for many years I saw only one sailboat on the lake I looked him up at the end of the day. Don't remember now where he was from but his main sail ripped and he didn't have an extra or anything to repair it. Went back to the motorhome and grabbed a sail I bought to use as a tarp. Took it to him, take whatever you need and think he took the top 6'. Perfect, his vacation was renewed and I still had plenty of tarp. I'd bet $1000.00 there wasn't another sail within 300 miles . Anyway, you never know how the campers are around you.....music or campfires.
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Old 08-04-2017, 08:02 AM   #37
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Whenever I camp I like to share all my pink flamingos with all the campers around me putting one at each campsite...
That was YOU! Now my wife wants some of her own, thanks a bunch!


Really it does boil down to the golden rule and allowing others some slack so they can enjoy themselves even if a bit differently than I might.

When I find myself thinking (or hearing) "they shouldn't be allowed" or "that should be banned" my first question is how much harm is being done and to how many. Second question should be is there anything I can do to make the situation better.

Giving a bit of split kindling to someone struggling with a smoky fire and maybe a pointer or two on campfires or the value of an axe to make kindling is better than getting me own undies in a twist over the smoke.

Drunk teenagers are an abomination, I tend to avoid campgrounds close to urban locations on weekends because they tend to be popular with that crowd. Thought the chumming for raccoons was priceless.

Myself I have been known on one occasion to enjoy some Janice Joplin at a high volume with my breakfast when my camping neighbors ignored my request that they turn down their radio and respect the quiet time the night before since I had kids trying to sleep. I wasn't willing to have a confrontation with intoxicated people over it that night, but I also was not going to deal with it a second night. As it happens I also like Willie Nelson with my morning coffee, apparently they didn't.

Back then I fed large pieces of steel to presses for a living, sober and in daylight the young fellows did not desire a confrontation, but the night before people would have been hurt had I pushed. It takes some care and judgment to tow a camper, I think it is important to apply that to social conflict once at the campground. Better to talk to a manager, ranger, or even police later if the situation warrants it than get into a confrontation with someone who is not sober or not interested in finding a resolution.

Got a smart phone? Then inconspicuously record the noise, video the drinking or loud activity. Show it to rangers or manager next day. In the end you can't make others do stuff, can only choose what you will do.
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Old 08-04-2017, 09:22 AM   #38
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That was YOU! Now my wife wants some of her own, thanks a bunch!


Really it does boil down to the golden rule and allowing others some slack so they can enjoy themselves even if a bit differently than I might.

When I find myself thinking (or hearing) "they shouldn't be allowed" or "that should be banned" my first question is how much harm is being done and to how many. Second question should be is there anything I can do to make the situation better.

Giving a bit of split kindling to someone struggling with a smoky fire and maybe a pointer or two on campfires or the value of an axe to make kindling is better than getting me own undies in a twist over the smoke.

Drunk teenagers are an abomination, I tend to avoid campgrounds close to urban locations on weekends because they tend to be popular with that crowd. Thought the chumming for raccoons was priceless.

Myself I have been known on one occasion to enjoy some Janice Joplin at a high volume with my breakfast when my camping neighbors ignored my request that they turn down their radio and respect the quiet time the night before since I had kids trying to sleep. I wasn't willing to have a confrontation with intoxicated people over it that night, but I also was not going to deal with it a second night. As it happens I also like Willie Nelson with my morning coffee, apparently they didn't.

Back then I fed large pieces of steel to presses for a living, sober and in daylight the young fellows did not desire a confrontation, but the night before people would have been hurt had I pushed. It takes some care and judgment to tow a camper, I think it is important to apply that to social conflict once at the campground. Better to talk to a manager, ranger, or even police later if the situation warrants it than get into a confrontation with someone who is not sober or not interested in finding a resolution.

Got a smart phone? Then inconspicuously record the noise, video the drinking or loud activity. Show it to rangers or manager next day. In the end you can't make others do stuff, can only choose what you will do.
When searching for State Parks to camp at , I have noticed that certain SP's near urban centers have recently introduced bans on the possession or consumption of alcohol. One can draw their own conclusion but the reasons for the ban seem fairly obvious to me.
In my state it appears that the SP's could fund themselves off of recycling beer cans.
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Old 08-04-2017, 09:31 AM   #39
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I have only been an RV camper now for 3 years, before that tent camping in back country, so campgrounds were an adjustment. I like the tranquility of the back country, but since camping in both campgrounds and RV parks I have learned to appreciate seeing all the different campers from all walks of life spending time as families. (and yes some families prefer to do it inside in the comfort of their nice big diesel pushers, to them that is there way of camping, sort of). We as a country need more of this, much more. So I can be tolerant of music, campfire smoke, etc. etc. We will even invite or join in on games like corn hole, etc.

Now when it turns into a drunken party that's different as I have a small child. If at all possible if I see that coming I try to head it off by selecting a different campsite if possible in another area. If not, simply greeting them before it gets out of hand and telling them about my career in public safety (firefighter and law enforecement) somehow seems to keep it toned down...

TIP: If you don't like camping around a bunch of drunks, loud music, generators, smoke (of various sources), dancing on anything elevated (you know the kind that involves strings of beads) then avoid camping at or near any NASCAR event...

One thing I have found that seems to go over very well is to take that first step to walk a few feet to your neighbor with a friendly wave and "Hello neighbor!". We also offer any firewood left over to anyone close by upon departure. Oh and any extra dessert from the dutch oven goes along way as a good gesture to neighbors and campground staff alike...

On a recent trip I walked over to help a family with a big travel trailer as they had just bought it used and it was their first trip and the guy didn't know how to work the awning. It broke the ice, they were grateful, and our kids ended up playing together most of the trip...
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Old 08-04-2017, 12:04 PM   #40
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We had a bizarre camping experience in my opinion about 20 years ago at JW Wells State Park in the Michigan UP. Not many campers except a large family group near us. We went over and talked to them when we got there, said hi, talked to one of the wives. We were tent camping and had an infant baby at the time. As the sun went down they proceeded to launch bottle rockets over our tent, and I mean right over, despite the fact that there were wide open directions they could have launched. No park ranger to stop it, nothing, they did it for at least 2 hours. The next morning we packed up to leave (a day early) and there were bottle rocket sticks all around us and at least one on the tent. Really nice family group targeting a young family with a baby.

The easiest way we found to avoid most riff-raff is to camp where there are no hookups or electricity.
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