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Get your camp on!

July 9, 2012
By KAYLA VAN DYNE - The Scene , Times Leader

THE SUMMER months are here, and students are out of school. This is the time for trips and family vacations. While trips to visit family and friends are options so is traveling to water parks and theme parks. But there is another option as well - camping. Whether it is trekking out into the great outdoors, renting a spot at a campground or even just popping a tent in the back yard, there are some rules that campers need to follow. All campgrounds have rules that visitors must follow. These rules are pretty basic and are to help ensure that all visitors have fun.

Upon making reservations and entering the grounds, please read the rules carefully so that as a guest you have an idea of what is and is not allowed and what is expected of you and what you can expect from the campgrounds. One of the main rules that one must keep in mind at all times is be a good neighbor and guest. Most of the rules that these campgrounds have are to provide a memorable experience for everyone.

If you want to bring your pet, check to see if pets are allowed. If pets are allowed, there are two very important things you need to remember - clean up after him or her and if possible, leash the pet. This is mostly just keep him or her out of neighboring spaces. Not everyone will love your pet as much as you do.

Be prepared for anything and everything, whether it is rain or cold. Bring at least one hoodie or jacket, and long pants. Some nights, the temperature might drop. It's the same for rain; it could cloud up at any time without a moment's notice. Be sure to bring enough food to last the entire stay; stores that surround the campgrounds will more than likely mark up prices for the season since campers have no other choice. By making a list in advance and not waiting till the last minute to pack and shop. this should easily be avoided.

Going back to the rule of being a good neighbor, some grounds may have communal showers and bathrooms so remember to be neat and clean up afterwards. Also, share the space, mirrors, and electrical outlets. Always pick up after pets as well as yourself. At the end of the night or after meals, put away all food so that no other visitors are attracted to your campsite. Try to leave the grounds like you found them.

The don'ts of camping in a rented site are very simple and more about common courtesy then anything else. Nobody likes a loud neighbor and a messy one to boot. Always keep this in mind when staying at a campsite.

If primitive camping, also known as pitching a tent in the middle of the woods, is more your thing, this has dos and don'ts as well. The most important thing to remember when camping in the woods is to make as little disturbance as possible to the environment. Basically, leave no trace of evidence of being there.

A very important things to remember is to pack well with minimal gear. One way to help is to get the proper primitive camping gear, such as hiking boots, packs and clothing. A water purification system is always handy to purify any water without having to take along plastic bottles.

Some of the most important things are not to go alone and to be sure that someone knows the area where you will be pitching a tent.

Be prepared for anything and everything.

Van Dyne can be reached at



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