Sometimes, you meet your camp neighbors and it feels like you've been friends for your entire life. Other times, your neighbors inspire you to hastily pack up in the middle of the night and head home. Here are a few signs that you, very unfortunately, have come across the kind of campsite neighbors that...well...suck.
Photo: Ryan McKinney
1. They announce their arrival with authority.
You can hear their terrible music coming from literally a mile away. As they wind their way through the campground, you hold out hope, but you quietly accept that there can only be one possible destination - the pristine campsite right next to yours. And when they arrive, it only confirms what you already knew. That you must have done something awful in another life that you’re now about to pay for.
2. They’re trailblazers.
There’s nothing like turning around and seeing strangers trekking through your camp, over and over again. Make all the subtle noises and sideways glances you like, but there will be no stopping them. It's almost impressive. Their need to get to the bathroom or wash their dishes five seconds faster dominates their whole being. You have to give it to them - they’re amazingly efficient. But equally annoying.
3. They brought the beer pong table!
Car Camping Bro (n). This peculiar species of Bro annually migrates to beautiful outdoor spaces every spring and summer to breathe in the fresh air and soak up the sunshine, while pursuing their competitive "sport" of choice. They are usually friendly enough, and may even invite you to join in the festivities. But be warned, they are often found taking dirt naps or passed out in a bush by early evening, and it’s best not to wake or feed them.
4. “Hey, who packed the speakers?”
When you hear those words, you can almost guarantee that your neighbors won’t be getting to sleep anywhere near 10pm...and neither will you. Loud music typically morphs into loud late-night cooking, sing-a-longs, and outlandish campfire stories. It’s all kind of funny… until you find yourself wishing that a rabid raccoon would do something terrible to your speaker-toting friends around 2 a.m.
5. They packed their wildlings.
When you see little ones pile out of the SUV next door, it should raise an eyebrow. When you see said kids acting like drunk homeless people, you should be worried. Now don’t get me wrong - I'm a parent and I take my kids camping. I know it's not easy. But letting your kids scream at all hours of the day/night and then sending them into your neighbor's camp to “make friends" is not awesome.
A quick note: If you're out there camping and having fun, you're winning no matter what! This is a light-hearted article about some of the things we've all experienced while car camping (on either side). Please consume with a massive helping of salt.
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.