Summer along Australia’s east coast is perfect for camping holidays, and we all know it. Given the chance to unwind for a few weeks at the beach, who wouldn’t want to work on their tan, perfect their barbecuing skills and spend a lot of time in the water?
But with so many heading to the coast, campsites filling up quickly and all of us living in such close proximity in houses made of fabric, it’s really important to be good neighbours, because as television drama has told us, ‘good neighbours become good friends’. So here’s our five top tips on being a great camping neighbour.
- Spread out, but don’t spawl. In most campsites over summer you’re allotted a defined space. There might be lines, and there might not be. Either way, set up your campsite so that you’re conscious of the space others might need, even if that means leaving a path down your border or keeping guy ropes tidy. Make sure everything fits, including your car or trailer.
- Say hello and introduce yourself. Getting friendly with your temporary neighbour early is not only a great way to be invited to join them around their esky, but a good relationship will help both of you consider the other’s needs.
- Remember that tents, campers and caravans are poor noise insulators. The people trying to sleep literally right next to you probably aren’t that impressed with your snoring, your crying baby, the argument over who did or didn’t inflate the air mattress, or maybe even your more intimate moments. Some of these are avoidable, others less so, but try your best to keep things quiet in the quiet of night.
- Avoid noisy activities late at night. Not just in the tent, but out of it, be aware that noise travels. Starting your car to charge your phone is a terrible idea, as are the loud conversations late into the night. Most campsites agree that once 10pm hits, its time for quiet conversations or lights out.
- Offer to help. Whether it’s holding a tent pole as your new neighbour sets up his tarp city, or passing camping gear up onto the roof racks, or even keeping an eye on some kids, an early offer of help during the potentially stressful time of setting up or packing down camp can be a real game changer.