Here’s something to consider: A camper’s book of etiquette.
Rule No. 1: When heading out to do some primitive camping (that’s camping not in a campground), don’t set up camp right next to someone else. People who grab their tents and head out into the boondocks usually want to get away from other people. Idaho has a lot of public land, there’s plenty of room for all of us.
Rule No. 2: If your favorite campsite is already filled by the time you get there at 8 p.m. on a Friday night, don’t sit at the entry road to the camp and loudly complain that you don’t know how someone else could possibly be camped there because it’s always wide open. Obviously, it’s not, so move on.
Rule No. 3: If you want to scream and yell and blast your radio at all hours of the night, make sure you’re far away from anyone else, or consider just staying home.
Rule No. 4: On the list of campfire-acceptable instruments, trumpets and bugles fall somewhere near the very bottom along with snare drums, cymbals and those 1980s keyboard guitar things (on principle if nothing else).
Never, ever should you pull out your trusty trumpet and start tooting randomly in the night. Those things are loud—that’s why the army used them to call orders in the din of battle. Never, never should you use said trumpet to play “Taps” in the middle of the night, and never, even under threat of painful and humiliating death, should you ever play “Revelry” at the crack of dawn unless you are at a government-sanctioned military boot camp.
If you really need to tap into your musical soul while in the wilderness, try a harmonica or the time-tested acoustic guitar to lead a round of “Kumbaya.”
No. 5: When breaking camp, clean up after yourself. Don’t leave plastic bottles, tin cans, full bags of trash or your bent tent stakes behind. And most importantly, don’t leave your used underwear half buried near camp. That’s just gross.
Got more suggestions for the Camper’s Book of Etiquette? Let’s hear them.