Finally, you are back in nature. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want. You have promised yourself and your family that you will respect your natural rhythms -- you will enjoy your vacation, one moment at a time. You have no plans but to let yourself go with the flow. You will do whatever you want, whenever you want. No need for a watch. You have even left your phone at home. Ahhh, life is good.
Before you set up camp and let your kids and pets roam and play freely, take five to read about camping etiquette.
You wouldn't want to be that guy, the one that the entire campsite is talking about?
Follow these steps and live in harmony with the great green space and your fellow campers.
1. Set up camp where there is no vegetation and don't alter the setting.
Don't build any structures, dig holes or trenches. Remove all cords and ropes that you may have installed. Only use the trails that exist and follow each other single file.
2. Follow all fire instructions and completely extinguish all fires.
Every fire that you make must obey all regulations and restrictions. Build them with dead wood, branches and twigs, found on the ground. Disperse cold ashes and remove leftover garbage.
3. Admire mother nature from a distance.
Make sure that your children, your dog and your cat don't interfere either. Don't feed the wild animals. Protect your provisions.
4. Respect your camp neighbours.
Greet them when you cross them.
Safety first. Clear paths that lead to the toilets and communal spaces.
Don't trespass other campsites. Make sure that your little and four-legged ones also know the boundaries.
Adjust the volume of your voices, techno gadgets and radio. The woods are known for their powerful echo and the walls of your tent are not soundproof.
Point flashlights and lanterns to the ground. They are not welcome in other vacationers' zone.
Clean up communal spaces and toilets after you have used them.
Sticky situation: Your neighbour is getting on your nerves and is disturbing your peaceful place.
• Don't discipline other's children or pets.
• Speak to the adults; ideally, man to man and woman to woman. This way there may not be any perception of bullying.
• Breathe. Don't yell. Plan your discussion.
• Get up and go to your neighbour.
• Don't point fingers. Don't make accusations.
• Start with a smile. Shake hands. Make eye contact. If you haven't already done so, introduce yourself.
• Be direct yet friendly. Describe the situation, what is niggling at you and the desired outcome.
"We have small children and we would appreciate it if you could please bring down your radio's volume at the designated curfew time. Thank you."
"I know that it can be difficult to always keep a close watch on pets. Our teen daughter was once bitten by a dog and she has since been very fearful of them. Could you please make sure that you keep him away from our site? Thank you."
• Your lot dweller continues to irritate you? Don't let is escalate. Speak to the manager, ranger or patroller.
5. Leave with only your memories without any traces of your visit but your footprints.
Everything that happens when you camp, comes back with you. Nature should remain intact. Bring back all your stuff and dispose of garbage and recycling in the designated areas.
Sticky Situation: You would like to bring back a natural souvenir?
Solution(s): Take a picture. Never take anything from its habitat -- plant, rock or animal. It is illegal and hinders our collective heritage.
Whatever you do when you camp, leave your memory making space as you found it or better.
You have a sticky situation at work or at home? This is your forum. Write to Julie and she will reply promptly. Want more solutions to sticky situations? Go to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or order your autographed copy of Etiquette: Confidence & Credibility. Planning a conference? Julie happily travels coast to coast and beyond, to present customized activities. With Julie's help, farewell faux pas and embarrassment. Hello confidence & credibility!
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