What weird rules have you come up against on campsites?
May 16, 2011 10:05 AM   Subscribe

Unusual restrictions or rules on campsites? Looking for examples of strange rules on camping or caravan sites.

Hi all,

I'm still writing for a camping website, and my latest assignment is to find 15 unusual rules on campsites. I'd guess this is probably UK-centred, but anything would be great to hear about. I have been googling, but can't find much of use. Any help would be much appreciated. Links to whatever rule would be great also.

Thank you.
posted by mudkicker to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (24 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
When camping at the Delaware Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club grounds, you mustn't molest the helicopter.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:12 AM on May 16, 2011

Don't know if it fits, but because of Asian longhorn beetle infestations you are no longer allowed to bring camp firewood into Massachusetts campgrounds. All camp firewood has to be bought on premises.
posted by Gungho at 10:17 AM on May 16, 2011

Don't want to threadsit, but that's exactly what I'm looking for, Gungho, thank you. If anyone else could help please do :)
posted by mudkicker at 10:23 AM on May 16, 2011

Echoing Gungho, in Wisconsin, you *can* bring in firewood, but it has to be from less than 20 miles away. But, it is for the Emerald Ash Borer.
posted by ian1977 at 10:36 AM on May 16, 2011

Here is the actual rule:

In addition, state and federal laws forbid moving firewood out of emerald ash borer quarantined areas [PDF, 101KB]. Currently, this means that firewood that has been stored, purchased, harvested, or that has moved through the quarantine areas with stops longer than what it takes to re-fuel a vehicle, may not be moved out of these areas. If such firewood enters a DNR managed property in a non-quarantined county, regardless of whether it is within 25 miles, it will be confiscated. And firewood may not be moved from counties in eastern Wisconsin to anywhere farther west under gypsy moth quarantines. State and federal fines up to $1,000.00 apply for violations of firewood quarantines.
posted by ian1977 at 10:37 AM on May 16, 2011

In the 1980s, I remember that state campgrounds in Indiana (USA) usually did not allow campers to gather firewood, and the signs were worded using language that specified "disturbing the humus" as a violation. I remember that because it was such a funny wording, and we used to engage in hilarious hijinx by poking sticks into piles of decaying leaves as a blatant act of humus-disturbance. It appears that's been slightly modified in more recent regulatory language:

"Do not injure or damage any structure, rock, tree, flower, bird or wild animal. Do NOT gather limbs, brush or trees (either dead or alive) for firewood because they rebuild the natural humus."

These park regulations for Allegan County (Michigan, USA) similarly prohibit you from removing so much as a grain of sand without written permission. Better check your boots.
posted by SomeTrickPony at 10:40 AM on May 16, 2011

Yea, no place around here allows you to move firewood. Pretty sure that's a rule in pretty much any Forest Service area.

You also have to empty your ballast water where you got it, not move fish between different estuaries, and never ever ever wear felt soled wading shoes because we're having a real issue with invasive algae right now. We've got a couple places where you're supposed to shake-out your stuff before repacking to leave or move to the next site, to make sure you're not taking critters with you. There are some places with suggestions about bear precautions, and lots of places with catch-and-release and barbless hook restrictions, but those probably aren't exactly out of the ordinary. There are also some places around here where you can't have any wood fire at all---sometimes for wilderness preservation and sometimes for forest fire prevention.
posted by TomMelee at 10:43 AM on May 16, 2011

In Yelowstone, all cooking utensils must be stored in your vehicle at night. Even brand new never used. And the rangers will wake you up to make sure you do it.
posted by SLC Mom at 10:50 AM on May 16, 2011

At campgrounds in British Columbia firewood was provided free!
posted by SLC Mom at 10:52 AM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Like Yellowstone, Yosemite also has a lot of bears, and all food, drinks, and toiletries have to be stored in bearproof lockers.
posted by zombiedance at 11:02 AM on May 16, 2011

[removed link, please put it in your profile or the appropriate thread if you'd like people to look at it, thank you.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:12 AM on May 16, 2011

I don't read Chinese, so I can't tell if this sign is about rules or information.
posted by bentley at 11:56 AM on May 16, 2011

Rowardennan - favourite camping spot of wee Glasgow neds - used to have a sign that said, "Please don't burn the signs". It had to be replaced frequently ...
posted by scruss at 12:03 PM on May 16, 2011

It's not a campsite rule, but it may apply to beachside campgrounds: rules on when and where you can drive on the beach. (pdf)
posted by vespabelle at 12:29 PM on May 16, 2011

We camped in Eastern Washington State, US, last summer and found a sign on the inside of our (extremely) rustic cabin that read something like "Do not clean fish or game inside the cabin." This went a long way to explaining the dodgy black stains on the indoor-outdoor carpet.
posted by lulu68 at 2:22 PM on May 16, 2011

Some of the Christian-run campsites we used to camp at when I was a kid had a strict no-alcohol policy. Is that weird? (I thought so).
posted by lollusc at 4:16 PM on May 16, 2011

In Hawaii, many state parks are closed to camping 1 day per week, to prevent people from taking up residence.
posted by theora55 at 4:48 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Alcohol is not permitted in these campsites on Victoria Day and the preceding ten days.

Not any other long weekends. Also, on any weekday leading up to the long weekend, but not after the 24th.
posted by cathoo at 6:54 PM on May 16, 2011

In Baxter State Park in Maine, use of any kind of electronic equipment is strongly discouraged, even radios. Also, apparently berries and fiddleheads may be collected, but for PERSONAL USE ONLY (so don't get any ideas about driving out to the middle of nowhere in Maine to collect fiddleheads for commercial purposes).
posted by mskyle at 8:31 PM on May 16, 2011

Not allowed to pick mushrooms in North Cascades National Park in the Pacific NorthWest.
posted by seawallrunner at 9:00 PM on May 16, 2011

From the Cosy Cottage holiday park, Rotorua, New Zealand:

Danger Thermal Area.
Do not cross this stream.
Hot mud burns instantly!

The friendly holiday parks

Also, I think some of the Foresty Commission campsites in the New Forest (Forest Holidays) might have rules about feeding the ponies. If they don't they certainly should - they are practised breakfast swippers.
posted by Helga-woo at 6:06 AM on May 17, 2011

I know when friends visited Fraser Island to camp they were told it was illegal to feed the dingoes.

posted by wwax at 11:33 AM on May 17, 2011

These are great, thank you. Yes, no alcohol on a campsite is weird...
posted by mudkicker at 11:39 PM on May 17, 2011

SLC Mom writes "At campgrounds in British Columbia firewood was provided free!"

Park maintenance has been privatized, it's not free anymore at most sites.
posted by Mitheral at 7:24 AM on May 18, 2011

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