Camp Etiquette

A man plays guitar
Be sure your enjoyment does not impact others.

NPS Photo / David Snyder

Quiet hours are posted in most campgrounds, typically for a range of time (such as 10 p.m. - 6 a.m.). While some people like to stay up late, others like to get up early. Be courteous to your neighbors and observe the quiet times. Use the time to enjoy a symphony of natural sounds. However, courtesy does not end when quiet hours do, so keep in mind that others are sharing the campground as well, and see that your fun does not get in the way of others' fun.
Two tents are illuminated from the inside with stars shining above
Enjoy stars and the night sky above.

NPS Photo

Most campgrounds do not have regulations regarding lights in your campsite, but consider how your lights affect others who may be trying to sleep or enjoy the darkness a campground can provide. Keep lights shielded and pointing down. You may want to turn it off completely so you can enjoy that beautiful night sky.
A young lady sits alone next to her tent
Please respect one's personal space.

NPS Photo / Kent Miller

Personal Space
Please note that it's considered rude to enter or pass through another occupied campsite site without the occupant's permission. Likewise, you should not set up parts of your campsite that encroach on your neighbor's site.
Three men sit in a backcountry food preparation area cooking food
Cleanliness is very important in the backcountry.

NPS Photo / David Restivo


Leave your campsite cleaner than you found it. It sets a good example for others and discourages animals and insects from looking for food. If you're in the frontcountry, throw your garbage away in the campsite dumpster each night and wash your dishes. If you're in the backcountry, remember to pack it out. Part of the fun of going camping is that it allows for some license to be dirty and smelly. But for the sake of others, don't let it get out of hand. Check out these tips for maintaining personal hygiene while camping.

A brown campground sign with the campground name "Apgar" and the word, "full"
Resist the urge to take a campsite that isn't yours.

NPS Photo

Don't Steal a Campsite

The popularity of camping in some parks has created a surprising problem - campsite theft. Please be do not steal a reserve-only or first-come, first-served campsite that someone else has claimed. Please leave the occupancy tag in place and do not replace it with yours. Please be considerate of others. Thank you for your cooperation.

Last updated: August 16, 2019


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