5 Things A Local Park Ranger Wants You To Know
As a park ranger at Beverly Beach State Park on the Oregon Coast, I’ve gained valuable insights on enjoying and respecting nature. Here are a few tips to enhance your camping adventures and preserve our outdoor spaces for years to come.
Make sure your campfires are all the way out
The importance of properly extinguishing campfires cannot be overstated. When a campfire is not properly put out, it can lead to devastating wildfires, causing harm to both wildlife and human life. A responsible camper leaves no trace, and this certainly includes making sure your campfire is completely put out.
Recently, our team has had to extinguish a few fires that were still smoldering after the campers had left. It is essential to make sure that your campfire is entirely out. This isn’t just about following park rules; it’s about preserving the natural beauty we’re all here to enjoy and ensuring the safety of everyone in the park.
Respect the campground restrooms & showers
Respecting the campground restrooms is not only a matter of courtesy but also a fundamental aspect of preserving the camping experience for everyone. These facilities are shared resources that all campers rely on. When they’re not treated with care, it’s not only unpleasant but can also cause hygiene and health issues. Damaging these facilities can also lead to a temporary closure for repairs, which is an inconvenience for everyone.
I cannot stress enough the importance of treating our shared facilities with respect. We’ve had instances of vandalism and disregard that make the restrooms less pleasant and sometimes even unavailable for other campers. These facilities are a critical component of the camping experience, and treating them with the same care as you would your own bathroom is essential for the enjoyment and convenience of everyone in the park. After all, a little respect goes a long way in maintaining a positive camping environment for all.
You may be able to score a campsite, even if the campground sign says “Full”
Many times, our campground signs may indicate that we’re full, but there may still be a possibility to secure a site if you ask a park ranger. This is because there are often last-minute cancellations or changes in plans. Even if a campsite appears fully booked, it never hurts to approach the park ranger’s office and ask if there have been any changes.
When you see a “Full” sign at the entrance of our campground, don’t let it deter you immediately. There might still be a chance to score a site. We can’t promise anything, but it’s worth a try. Remember, the goal here is to provide everyone with an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature. Sometimes a bit of patience and persistence can go a long way.
Research your campsite ahead of time
Campers are often drawn to the most popular campgrounds because of their proximity to major attractions. However, it’s crucial to note that popularity doesn’t always equate to the best experience. For instance, some popular campgrounds, while close to the beach, are also nearest to the highway. This could mean dealing with the noise from traffic, which may not be ideal for those seeking a peaceful camping experience.
Each loop offers a unique experience, and depending on your personal preferences, a less popular but quieter loop might provide a more enjoyable and relaxing stay. Always consider what you value most in your camping experience when choosing a site. Research your campsite ahead of time with a tool like RV LIFE Campgrounds to learn more about where you’re staying.
Be respectful of noise at night
Maintaining a respectful noise level, especially at night, is a vital aspect of campground etiquette. Our campgrounds are a shared space, and it’s important to remember that people come here for various reasons. Noise at night can disrupt the experience for those who are trying to sleep or enjoy the serene sounds of nature.
Your fellow campers might be families with young children, individuals looking for a peaceful retreat, or wildlife that are sensitive to human-made sounds. It’s about respect and the collective experience. A quiet night under the stars can create some of the most memorable moments in nature. Let’s preserve that serenity for all to enjoy.
Find more campgrounds near you
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David Schultz is an Associate Park Ranger at Beverly Beach State Park on the Oregon Coast. He enjoys camping in a DIY converted camper van with his partner, Nikki.