Having recently just gotten back from a long weekend camping at Locust Lake with my family, I feel compelled to share my opinion of such “whippersnapper” behavior – if only in a curmudgeon-in-training sort of way.
1) Treating Department Of Resources Employees like maids. They have enough to do managing the National Park system rather than pick up your messes. If you break some glass, that’s fine – just pick it up.
2) Using lanterns that have a SOLAR FLARE setting, especially at night. People who enjoy camping are typically there to enjoy nature. We like sitting in the dark, looking at the stars over a campfire. We didn’t put the time and effort into all of this – just to have our retinas baked out of our skulls by some dorks with universe-ending blast of light from the neighbors’ campsite. Sharing is good, but not with this.
3) Walking through other peoples’ campsites. Camping is a friendly, social affair but boundaries are good to. Be considerate of your neighbors. If you feel compelled to overstep the line here, please remember these three words: Malaysian Tiger Trap.
4) Burning things other than wood in your campfire. Let me save you some book learnin’ here. Throwing non-flammable man-made things into a fire will either give off harmful chemicals, taint the food you may later cook on that fire, or harm the animal life still living in that forest after you go. Leaving food will invite critters. Small critters may not be harmful, but large critters are. If you want to be lower on the food chain, go somewhere else please. Volunteer as lion bait at the closest zoo or something. Here’s another science tip. Don’t play with lighter fluid around open flames. You’re not going to impress anyone having Charles Darwin on speed dial. Even fewer will be impressed when you torch the park after uttering the phrase, “Hey guys, check this out!”
5) Leave the perfume/heavy scents at home. If you’re that high maintenance that you can’t walk away from hair care or personal care products for a few days, camping may not be for you. The discerning camping nose avoids such aromas because it becomes a magnet for bugs and mosquitos. Save the swanky aromas for your next bar-hopping jaunt.