British Columbia

Camping etiquette in B.C.'s outdoors: dos and don'ts

CBC radio producer Margaret Gallagher heard from some experienced campers about everything from excessive noise to food left out in the open in some camp sights.

Experienced campers discuss pet peeves when trying to find peace in the wilderness

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy announced Thursday its adding almost 600 campsites to B.C Parks and Recreation sites. (Ministry of Environment)

You've packed the car with your trusty sleeping bag, tent, bathing suit, and cooler full of food and beer. You're ready to hit the road, and you arrive at the campground you've been frequenting for years. It's the start of the summer and all your troubles are behind you.

But wait. What if your urban troubles follow you to your outdoor adventure because your fellow campers are disturbing your peace?

CBC On the Coast producer Margaret Gallagher took to Twitter to ask for for examples of camping faux pas. Excessive noise, including loud music, arguments, and leaving food outside topped the list of camping pet peeves. 

Camping pet peeves

Sam Waddington, a former Chilliwack city councillor and owner of Waddington Outdoor Sports says there's a common misconception that campers can leave food out if they're car camping. He says that lack of awareness can attract bears and raccoons and put the whole campsite at risk.

Some of the most common complaints from campers include excessive noise and leaving food out in the open. (Sam Waddington)

Good camp relations

Waddington says to be mindful of the fact that you have neighbours and carry the same mindfulness you do in your regular life.

According to Waddington, the safest and most effective way to ensure good campground relations is to introduce yourself to your neighbour and let them know what your intentions are for the trip. "There's sort of ... that connection that people don't want to abuse.

"There's sort of a familiar relationship that you have," he said.

If you'd rather have a quiet camping trip, Waddington suggests picking a tenting-only area, or looking for areas that don't allow for loud generators. 

More options this summer

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy announced Thursday it's adding almost 600 campsites to B.C Parks and Recreation sites. This is in addition to the 431 campsites created in 2018.

A handy resource on rules and regulations regarding campsites is the B.C. Parks web site.

On The Coast asked listeners for their camping complaints. 


  • An earlier version of this story said Sam Waddington was a Chilliwack city councillor. In fact, he is a former Chilliwack city councillor.
    Jul 29, 2019 5:13 PM PT

With files from Margaret Gallagher, On the Coast


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