Don’t be ‘That Guy’: Camp Master’s Essential Guide to Outdoor Etiquette

We bet you’ve encountered “that guy” at a campsite. The one with the loud music all night, the empty Nik Naks packets drifting from his unfastened bin bag like shiny tumbleweed, and his initials carved into the hammock tree. Nobody wants to be or be near that guy because that guy soaks up all the tranquility of an experience in nature and turns it into really bad vibes for everyone he encounters. Here at Camp Master, we’re committed to helping you never become that guy. Have a look at are our essential rules for outdoor etiquette because we’re all going to have a nicer time in nature together, when we agree on some ground(sheet) rules!

1Leave no trace

This sounds self-explanatory because it is. If you bring rubbish into nature, it should always come out with you. Respect both the environment and other visitors to clean up after yourself. Depending on where you’re camping, you might need to take all your waste off the reserve with you. Make sure to check in with the venue beforehand to prepare adequately and bring more black bin bags than you think you might need.

Try hauling all your waste home in a Camp Master trailer.

2. Don’t feed the animals

We know. The temptation to feed a grazing buck a piece of your apple can be overwhelming. Their ears seem so soft and they seem so friendly, and it’s harmless, right? Wrong. Not only can people-food be disruptive to the digestive systems of wild animals, but it’s also likely to encourage behavioural patterns that could get animals in trouble in the future. Think of it this way: if an animal stops being scared of people because it regards it as a food source, imagine how much easier that animal will be to poach. Keep Bambi safe by keeping him hungry.

You can stash your own snacks in our nifty range of soft cooler boxes on the go, though.

3. Don’t stray off the trail

The concept of being a “trailblazer” is a fun one, but trails are there to keep you and the environment safe. Unless you’re in an area where “bundu bashing” is actively encouraged, sticking to the trails wherever you hike or roam is the best way to avoid accidents and harming the environment. In the mountains especially, veering away from trails dramatically raises the possibility that you’ll get injured by encountering a sharp drop-off or hazardous terrain.

It’s also profoundly embarrassing being scooped up by Mountain Rescue teams and explaining to them that you just “didn’t feel like staying on the path” when you broke your ankle bundu bashing off a boulder. Wandering off the trail could harm nature, too. You could run the risk of crushing vegetation, disturbing wildlife, eroding soil, and contaminating water sources.

Just so that you never have to veer off the path to find water, make sure you’re always carrying some in this Hydro bottle.

4. Keep the noise levels to a minimum

Everyone believes that their taste in music is actually, secretly, the best. Unfortunately, we can’t all be right! No matter how much you love your Spotify playlist, the people you’re hiking or camping with probably aren’t such massive fans. Especially if they’re hearing it for the first time through a tinny Bluetooth speaker from the campsite next door.

If you must listen to music outdoors, do so with headphones in but make sure the volume is low enough that you remain aware of your surroundings. The same goes for other loud noises late into the night – even talking! Many people venture out into the outdoors for quiet, and you’re robbing them of that experience when you don’t practice noise-level self-awareness. It’s also much less disruptive to local wildlife if you keep it down, so if you won’t simmer down for the humans, do it for the bush babies.

Rather than getting raucous outdoors, why not settle down on this self-inflating mattress and stargaze in silence? 

5. Uphill hikers have the right of way

Nobody ever tells you, but you’re somehow expected to know that when two groups of hikers encounter one another on a path, the uphill hikers always have the right of way. This may seem counter-intuitive because you’d imagine the guys on the challenging trek upwards might welcome the rest, but it actually makes sense! It’s much more difficult for uphill hikers to gain momentum and start walking again than it is for downhill hikers to do so. It’s kinder to let them keep going at their pace. You’d want the same courtesy sent your way if the roles were reversed!

When you return to home base, settle into ultimate comfort in Camp Master chairs.

Nature, especially the abundance and diversity of it that we have in South Africa, is an incredible gift that you’ve been given. However, the gift has been given to everyone else too and we must learn to enjoy and share it in ways that reduce irritation and harm. There are heaps of other “must-do’s” when you embrace the outdoors, but if you start with these five, you’re already laying a solid foundation for being a happy camper!

Did we miss anything critical? Slide into our DMs on Instagram to let us know, and we might include it in our next blog!



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