What Park Rangers Want You To Know
For most RVers, camping can be an opportunity to make amazing memories that will last a lifetime. And this isn’t just because our parks are located in exceptionally beautiful wilderness areas. State, provincial, and national parks are run by park rangers who have an absolute passion for the outdoors and helping people enjoy it.
Park rangers are responsible for ensuring everyone brings home happy camping memories. From helping you get the right campsite to making sure the washrooms are spic and span, park rangers do a lot to help make sure you have the best possible stay at the campground. However, there are five things park rangers would like you to know to help ensure everyone has a good time at the park.
1. Learn the park’s rules.
Park rangers love helping people enjoy the outdoors. Their job is to help ensure that everyone has a good time, while protecting the park’s flora and fauna. In order to do this, park rangers post a list of the park’s rules on the website and at the park.
It’s your job to learn what the park rules are and to follow them. Park rangers don’t like having to remind you about the rules. Learn the rules before you camp and obey them.
2. Understand the reservation system.
More people want to camp in our parks than there are campsites available. Park rangers have no control over the reservation system, and there is no way around having to book campgrounds that offer sites by reservation only.
There are less popular parks full of natural beauty that have plenty of first come, first served campsites available. That being said, if you want a campsite in a more popular park, you’ll often need to book three to five months in advance.
3. Make sure you are in the right site.
Not much is worse for a park ranger than finding campers all set up and settled into a different campsite than the one they reserved.
Imagine having to tell these people to move to their own campsite. Know your campsite number and stick with it, unless the park ranger says it’s okay to switch sites.
4. Park rangers aren’t there to clean up after you.
Don’t make a mess. It’s hard to believe, but park rangers report that some people go camping and leave trash, toilet paper, and even tents behind when they leave the campsite. Don’t be one of these people.
Leaving trash behind attracts wildlife to campsites and can make wild animals very ill. Leave your campsite just like you’d like to find it. And, I don’t know who needs to hear this, but campfire pits are not for leaving trash in. Please pick up all trash and any dog waste and dispose of it into a nearby trash receptacle.
5. Ask questions!
Parks are beautiful places. Enjoy all they have to offer. Park rangers aim to help make your stay five-star!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. They want to help you find the best area attractions, places to hike, local swimming holes, and fishing spots.
Park rangers are there to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. Find out about the reservation system and park rules before you go, and be sure to ask the park ranger about must-see spots near the park.
I’d like to thank veteran park ranger Kathy Carlson of the BC Park Service for her input into this article.
For all of your camping and trip planning needs, look no further than RV LIFE Campground Reviews and RV LIFE Trip Wizard. Campground Reviews is a trusted source of campground and RV park reviews offered by camping and RV enthusiasts just like you. With its accompanying RV LIFE App, RV Trip Wizard gets you to your camping destinations utilizing RV-friendly routes specific to your RV and travel preferences.
Lynne lives, travels, and works full-time in a Forest-River R-Pod 180 with her 2-pointers, Jolene and Annabelle. Lynne has been an enthusiastic RVer for over 35 years. And then one day in 2019, she began full-time RVing as a lifestyle experiment. She quickly fell in love with the convenience, freedom and minimalist lifestyle offered by full-time RV living. Lynne is a professional writer and has been a professional dog trainer since 1995. You can read about her travel adventures on her R-Pod Adventure blog, R-podyssey at: http://www.rpodaventure.com
Thank you saying that. As a host for parks. I can tell you that the exactly what happens when they come to a camp grounds. We are not your maid!
Thomas Wenzler says
Thank your Park Rangers, I never met one I didn’t like. Help when you can, when we see a camper leave trash behind wr clean it up. There us not much we can do about selfish people, I was taught at an early age to leave your campsite cleaner than it was before you got there. In my younger days we came across a backpacking site where a bunch of 4 wheelers left dozens of beer cans and trash, we bagged them and carried them out at the little Missouri River trail.
This article should be titled to both Rangers AND Volunteers. We Volunteers are also involved in each of these issues. In some cases such as cleaning camp sites, Volunteers are the only ones that have this responsibility. Yes we also address all of the above issues and if not able to find a solution we then call the Ranger on duty. A good article about many issues the park systems have to deal with.