Unwritten "rules" for travellers and campers

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 09:38
ThreadID: 99806 Views:4567 Replies:10 FollowUps:45
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As we travel we soon learn that there are unwritten rules that go a long way to making our experiences more enjoyable.

Some familiar unwritten rules that come to mind are:

Don’t camp on top of your neighbour.

Carry (and use) your own recovery gear.

If you use a generator, put it well away from where others are camped.

Be friendly to others but don’t impose yourself.

Bury your personal waste and don’t leave toilet paper to litter the landscape.

Don’t pollute water sources with soap….


What other matters are in the unwritten “good manners and good ideas” guide for travellers and campers?
J and V
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Reply By: Member - Ross N (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 09:44

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 09:44
I would add
Keep noise levels down particularly music, TV, & slamming car doors(early in the morning when breaking camp)
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 10:32

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 10:32
.
Don't you just love those "Wicked" campervans with their sliding side doors?

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Michael John T (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 10:48

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 10:48
Yes they are annoying at times, however we hired one a few years ago when touring New Zealand and I have to say no matter how careful we were when opening and shutting those doors it was impossible to do so quietly.

Mike.
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It's time to go again...

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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 11:02

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 11:02
The old WIZZ BANG, one night at about 9pm the three backpackers in the wizz bang 50 mts away opened and closed it 13 times in about 10 minutes before they finally went to bed.

They had no idea how annoying it was.
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Follow Up By: nowimnumberone - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 11:20

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 11:20
dont forget those people who choose to stay in tents etc
the noise of the zips being done up and undone 10000 times is
so anoying why dont they just buy a caravan then no one would complain about zips or sliding doors and would spend more time worying about more important things like enjoying the time away.
cheers
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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 11:23

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 11:23
These vans are often hired by kids with limited money – what do you want them to do sleep with the door open all night?
I have mostly found them friendly and good natured.
If you are so intolerant of someone else’s right to camp then maybe you should book into a nice secluded apartment away from camping grounds and all the riff raff.
What a mob of grouches.
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Follow Up By: Off-track - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:07

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:07
+1 Dennis.

Not that I dont get a little frustrated sometimes as well but we have to keep it in perspective. If you dont concentrate on the source of annoyance it wont be one. If we wanted to have a perfectly quiet camping experience there is always the option of isolation that few take up.
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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:16

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:16
For all you perfect people out there, no one was whinging about the wiz bangs we just said they were at times annoying.

The wife and I actually found it amusing while watching them, getting in and out 13 times in 10 minutes.
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Follow Up By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:25

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:25
I find these conversations amusing, The majority of prob's people experience are caused by overcrowding and theyd disappear if we could half our population. You should experience camping in Europe and youll get a taste of whats in store for us if we keep importing and breeding. You have to book camp grounds months (sometimes years) in advance, and they pack you in like sardines


Imagine that a quiet spot to camp near a river with nobody around, i remember those days.

Cheers Wilko

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:28

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:28
.
Hi Dennis,

I agree that they are great kids and I too find them friendly. But the issue with the doors is that they are sometimes opened and closed noisily and repeatedly every 30 seconds late in the evening. They are closed rapidly and with force producing much noise whereas they could be closed slowly and pushed onto there latch rather than loudly banging.

But because they are young and vibrant I chose to not dampen their enthusiasm of life by chiding them. Is this the behaviour of a "grouch"?

And who said anything about their "right to camp"? All I said was "Don't you just love those "Wicked" campervans with their sliding side doors?"

Would you care to reconsider your allegation of me being intolerant?

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:39

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:39
This happened at the Victoria River Road house, it was November and there was only the 2 of us in the camp ground, they had also parked their van so close to the toilet block it could have been described as an on suite. LOL

The next night at Lake Argyle we were once again the only people there to start with, we did the rounds and the boat trip, on return there was a Britz wiz bang parked so close to us that I could not open the side of the trailer, at this point I did politely explain to them that there was close to 5 acres of empty camp ground and we would like some space, they reluctantly moved.
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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 13:42

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 13:42
Hi Alan,
It wasn’t you in particular, it was a generalization of all who complain about the sliding doors or other noises of those unfortunate campers who had to camp alongside the grouches.
I was camped at Peaceful Bay a couple of years ago when an old tart was complaining to my missus that the young couple in camper next to her, kept her awake by having rowdy sex all night.
Bloody disgusting I told her.
(Lucky buggers – at 67 I can only dream of that sort of thing)
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 13:52

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 13:52
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I'd tell her "bloody disgusting" too Dennis.......... then get back to it as soon as I could. At my age it takes "all night"! LOL

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 16:31

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 16:31
Agree with having a bit of patience, and generally tolerant.

However the backpackers / tenters at Kalbarri CP who turned up late after midnight pm and then proceeded to remove about 60 pieces of kit from the van, each of which was accompanied by a door slam over a period of an hour, tried everyones patience.

A bloke who was in a camper trailer next to them eventually shouted out .... "fer chrissakes open doors, remove all your bloody kit, then for god-sakes close the doors !!!!"
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 17:31

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 17:31
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Good on ya Scott, come over here and sit with us "Intolerants"! LOL

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Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 17:57

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 17:57
Allan B said
"I'd tell her "bloody disgusting" too Dennis.......... then get back to it as soon as I could. At my age it takes "all night"! LOL"
Not are you only intollerant but a bloody boaster as well. ROFLMAO
Cheers,Bob.

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 18:01

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 18:01
And there can't be much worse than an intolerant boaster Bob.
In a class of my own. LOL
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Allan

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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 18:43

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 18:43
I think the expression I am looking for is that "it takes me all night to do what I used to do all night".
Takes me a fair bit of time just to remember what it was I was going to do and a bit more to remember why I was going to do it anyway (:-((

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 21:12

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 21:12
I'm in the same age group and can really relate to both of you. lol.
(But to get back on track, when we are out vanning we definately follow the "unwritten rules")
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Follow Up By: SDG - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 22:09

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 22:09
Heavy snorers are worse than those van doors.

Personally I never hear snoring as i'm always asleep.
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 10:17

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 10:17
Rules of camping-traveling off the beaten track......

R1.. There are no hard and fast rules !

R2..Anyone who deems to 'make' rules for camping-traveling off the highways and byways needs to follow rule no1 !!!
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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 11:09

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 11:09
Yep live and let live
R3.. Don’t tell me how to live my life and I won’t tell you how to live yours.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 11:25

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 11:25
I reckon if there's one rule, it's make sure your toilet paper and mess is destroyed and / or out of sight.

Nothing destroys the beauty of Australia more than toilet paper and human faeces.

We keep to ourselves a lot and if I can take someone else's rubbish with me I do, but I'm not making it a rule for everyone else.

Hoo roo,
Steve
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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:45

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:45
Alloy C/T you are right there are no real rules, however I suppose we should expect people to use common courtesy.
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 13:56

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 13:56
Well said....there are no rules!
We are all there for different resons so show a bit of respect for others and tollerance if what they do doesnt suit you.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 18:49

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 18:49
Maybe that's the only rule needed, respect others and just maybe they will respect you, just don't hold your breath waiting.
Unfortunately now it seems that the overiding rule is "Do unto others before they do unto you"

Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: Member - Terra'Mer - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 10:57

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 10:57
Respect traditional aboriginal land
Respect historic sites
Respect the land and wildlife

Leave a place better than you found it by picking up rubbish, clearing away stray rusty pegs, etc

If a toilet doesn't have bog roll and you have one to spare leave it so the next visitors aren't caught out

Dispose of organic waste like fish heads in the appropriate manner and downwind of campers

Don't feed wildlife because our food is not good for their health, it tames them and dulls their natural instincts to be wary of humans, they can get aggressive or become masterful theives if they have become dependent on human food when not everyone gives them what they want.

Avoid walking/stumbling through someone else's camp in the middle of the night on the way to or from the toilet

If you have used wood and kindling for your fire that was already collected by the previous camper then replace it for the next camper before you move on

Use the fire places, pits or rings provided or that have been used by other campers. Don't make a new one.

Always let someone know where you are going, how you will get there and how long you intend to take and remember to let them know when you get back
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 11:38

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 11:38
It should be as simple as treating others the way we like to be treated, and repect the environment etc as we would if camping in our own backyard.

Of course people may want to socialise, while others keep fairly much to themselves . . . and some people don't treat their backyard all that well, but thankfully these people don't go camping often, or at all.

If everyone simply followed the 'did unto others' principle then you would significantly reduce the yobbo experience . . . luckily we haven't had the negative experience of bad camping neighbours as yet.
_
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:37

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:37
Well said. Live and let live is well and good in some circumstances (for example rock concerts, tag-along tours etc - don't go if you don't like the conditions) but in "mixed camping company" good behaviour and respect for others and the environment should be paramount.
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 14:10

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 14:10
Dead right Les. `Do unto others....'

Its just a shame that so many people focus their energy on whinging and complaining all the time. Camping isn't always going to be perfect, nothing in life is.

A rule, (if one needs them), that could be considered and may well help the negatively energized campers amongst us could be...... `Be tolerant of others'.

Everything really isn't down to rules, its about common sense, courteousy, consideration and compromise. If we can encompass those four things, in general I believe we can have a good time.

Unfortunately situations will always arise where someone else has no idea or such ethics. We come across these people in every walk of life. This is where I can offer no `across the board' solution or guide. The outcome of each of these situations should they be unfortunate enough to arise, ultimately depends on who we are, and those we are dealing with. Options I guess are invariably limited and I would sumise often not palatable.
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Reply By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:20

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:20
Hi J and V,

My only unwritten rule is dont wee into the wind. Its also a good rule to turn up your doof doof music to maximum and turn your generator on when you see another camper about to pull up nearby,

They'll think your an imbo, move on and youll have it all to yourself ; )

Cheers Wilko
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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 00:56

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 00:56
Yair, that's a good trick Wilko.

But bettered by the punters in Rudall River who turned up thier Slim Dusty tapes just as we crested thier campsite. How'd they bloody know the Slim was the required medicine...?

Doof doof, no worries. I've got speakers too...

Cheers.
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Reply By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 18:01

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 18:01
The thing that I find both amusing and annoying is the number of contributors that don't know the difference between an observation and a complaint. Is the forum suffering from creeping political correctness, I wonder?
I do wonder what such people talk about during those often mentioned social camp fire gatherings if their personal code of ethics will not allow them to criticise even people who annoy them.
I wonder; do they realise that their responses on this thread are critical of other posters. So they are violating their own code, aren't they?
Cheers,
Kevin
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 18:06

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 18:06
.
Open your mouth on this forum and your'e fair game Kevin.

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Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 18:23

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 18:23
I didn't read that in the forum rules, Allan. In fact I thought they suggested pretty much the opposite.
Kevin
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 19:04

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 19:04
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I really had my tongue in my cheek Kevin but I here quote from the Forum Rules:


"The Personal Attack Rule: There is no grey area in what is a personal attack - it is when a negative statement is directed towards another person."


I would think that there are some pretty "negative statements" being chucked around here and even more on Thread 99763 but the sky has not fallen in has it? Maybe "Rules ain't Rules" after all.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 20:34

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 20:34
I guessed where your tong was but I thought the point worth making anyway. I have been following the other thread because I have an interest in a cargo barrier but I am still trying to work out if KSV is fair dinkum or if he is yanking our collective chain. Rules or not it is all highly entertaining.
Kevin
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 21:55

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 21:55
I think KSV is yanking his own chain if he honestly holds the opinion that a properly constructed and fitted cargo barrier is a "useless piece of junk".
If he has found an equally effective and safe way of storing his gear then fair enough but why denigrate others that do not follow "his" way of doing it.
But yeah, you are right Kevin, a good old fashioned keyboard v keyboard "discussion" is certainly entertaining.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 01:34

Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 01:34
This post has been read by the moderation team and has been moderated due to a breach of The Personal Attacks Rule .

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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 11:58

Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 11:58
I would have thought bringing up a past disagreement from a different thread, naming the person and then hanging shit would be....."personal attacks", Off topic", and "trolling"?????
The bloke made a comment some disagree with.......( I disagree with it too)......but let It go, or finish it on that thread.
Ya starting to look like school yard bullies. LOL
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Follow Up By: ModSquad - Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 13:06

Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 13:06
How about you leave the moderation to us eh?
Moderation is just rules

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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 13:11

Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 13:11
Fair enough.

Steve
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 13:41

Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 13:41
This post has been read by the moderation team and has been moderated due to a breach of The Inappropriate Rule .

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Follow Up By: garrycol - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 16:46

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 16:46
This post has been read by the moderation team and has been moderated due to a breach of The Inappropriate Rule .

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Reply By: Ross M - Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 00:39

Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 00:39
I am always very tolerant except when I'm not. Same as you lot.
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Follow Up By: Jeff D - Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 07:10

Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 07:10
I'm the same way Ross and I am also very considerate except for when I'm not.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 13:08

Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 13:08
Wow, that went well didn’t it? Just kidding – I have seldom seen a thread wander so far OT.

A few of you jumped on my use of the single word “rules”. Well, I was anticipating misinterpretation, but not well enough it seems. So I did put that word in inverted commas, qualified by the word “unwritten” and also described what I was looking for as “the unwritten “good manners and good ideas” guide for travellers and campers”. But English is a slippery beast and nuances are hard to deal with – so “rules” got jumped on.

However you define them, there does exist a set of generally agreed actions and behaviours that guide our participation in all human activity – including camping and travelling. Arsenal Phill described them as “common sense, courteousy, consideration and compromise”. I wholeheartedly agree with that. The “do unto others” dictum/advice/injunction/rule is likewise a good principle. I was just trying to flesh it out a bit in a travelling and camping context, so thank you to those who were kind enough to do that.

This thread has reminded me of a campfire shared by a big group of people. What sometimes happens is that those with the biggest (and sometimes better lubricated) voices dominate the conversation with glib self-assured, self righteous one-liners, often punctuated by innuendo and intolerance. They forget that there are others around the fire, who don’t make their voices heard – the quietly spoken, the thinkers and often the women. These soon get fed up and withdraw, even if it just means sitting in cringing silence.

A bit like a campfire, this forum has a large number of silent participants; there are usually over 1000 people logged in, and this thread alone has over 1500 hits so far.
Of these people some must be newcomers and novices looking for information. Sadly, in the past few days these people have seen little to encourage them to share our campfire.

Anyway rant over. Thanks again to those who made a positive contribution.

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
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Follow Up By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 13:35

Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 13:35
Well summarised Val ,but there is one very big difference between a camp fire chat and contributions to a forum. On the forum contributors are mostly anonymous. It makes a big difference.
Cheers,
Kevin
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 16:51

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 16:51
Good point Kevin, anonymity can make a big difference. Generally (but not always) those who use their own names online are those who I find most credibile. Conversely there is sometimes a strong correlation between pseudonyms and online utterances.

Cheers,

Val
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Reply By: Member - Min (NSW) - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 16:17

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 16:17
Hi John & Val (and forumites)

I have been 'off air' for some months mostly because of travelling and catching up with commitments in between.

Within the few threads I've read this afternoon I've often come across the word 'respect', respect for other travellers, for residents of towns we pass through, for our environment, for the law, and I would like to add, respect for contributors to this forum.

I think respect is what this post is all about and I think that you have prompted us to rethink some aspects of it by inviting us to add to your list in the light of our combined experience. So, in the 'good idea' category I would like to add: seek out and talk to rangers in national parks, especially remote parks. It is so worthwhile as they often have very lonely and thankless lives so talking to them gives them encouragement and they always have interesting, sometimes vital, information to impart and their stories are wonderful to hear.

Thanks J&V, and as I continue to read the threads I hope they become more respectful and less petty. It's good to have some fun and I'm all for a bit of leg-pulling but it's not good to read some of the nasty things that are said on this forum.

Min
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 16:42

Monday, Jan 07, 2013 at 16:42
HiMin,

Good to see you back on the forum again. You bring up a good point about using the rangers to gain a better understanding of the Nps that they are responsible for.

You are right about respect - even a little goes a long way. Its just a pity that recently there have been a few jokers on here who seem to relish overstepping the mark. Hopefully its just the heat!

Cheers,

Val
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Reply By: gocampingaustralia.com - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 16:43

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 16:43
I am going to jump right into possibly dangerous waters here based on some of these comments!!


John & Val have raised valid "rules" that allow all of us who camp to camp harmoniously and with respect. It's not about being grouchy or unreasonable. Its about sharing your camping space with other campers responsibly and making sure that everyone can enjoy themselves.....which we all want to do isn't it?


Camping etiquette is one of our most popular articles. So much so, that we did a Part 2 due to volume of opinions on it!!


Top 10 Camping Etiquette Tips

Camping Etiquette - Part 2



Some of you may disagree with some of these suggestions/guidelines, but overall, this is what the majority of campers hope for when they go camping. And with camping increasing in popularity here in Australia, then having some manners and respect in more crowded camping locations, is going to ensure we all get along.


Happy Camping!



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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 17:02

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 17:02
Where oh where is this 'Majority of Campers' ? How many were surveyed and in what age groups ? Very different expectations of a good camp in say 18/25 year olds than the expectations of a good camp in 50/ 65 year olds ,,,
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Follow Up By: gocampingaustralia.com - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 18:25

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 18:25
We have over 740 Facebook followers who commented and emailed us directly re this etiquette issue - our average following is in the 35-44 demographic, but all ages are represented from 18 through to 65+.

Plus those who subscribe to our blog, and over 700 Twitter followers.

Hope this helps clarify some of the people who helped compile some tips/guidelines on camping; something John and Val were trying to do!

Happy Camping.


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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 18:37

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 18:37
So 1400 /1500 people are a " majority " of campers ,, what about the other 1/2 million who go camping , bit like saying 1500 people were surveyed about the etiquette of eating a pie and the 'majority' have decided we must all use a knife and fork to eat same ,,,,
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