Pack It In, Pack It Out: Montana Camping Etiquette
No matter camping style or skill set, being mindful of your fellow campers and our great outdoors isn’t only a suggestion, sometimes it’s the law. Be like “The Dude” and abide, please.
Give us a wide berth.
Camping is all about getting away from the traffic, work, and weird smells from the dog food plant...you get the idea. So why would you take all the effort to pack up everything needed for an amazing outdoor getaway only to set up 30 feet away from the family camping next to you? They don’t want to hear you singing Kumbaya while you attempt to cook a 5-course meal with nothing but a stick and 30 packages of hot dogs. Rule of thumb, if you can see someone else’s campsite, keep on truckin'.
Pack it in, pack it out.
The old saying goes “leave things the way you found them.” I’ll do you one better and ask that you try and leave your favorite camping spot even better than you found it. Pick up trash along your hike, stay on the trails, and don’t try to burn anything that doesn’t burn. I.E bottles, cans, your wedding ring after your wife threatens to divorce you because you forgot to pack her favorite wine coolers.
Speaking of burning stuff, make sure your fire is COMPLETELY OUT before leaving the site.
We’ve got enough problems with dry summers and fires ravaging the Montana wilderness every year; we surely don’t need any more due to something avoidable. Douse your campfire with water, then douse it again, and repeat until it’s safe to set your hand on top without any heat. This goes for your fire setup: this isn't high school. There’s no need for a 50-foot bonfire (I know.. I know.. It's pretty cool, I get it), but setting fire to an entire mountain and hard-working folks potentially losing their home just isn’t worth it.
Respect property rights, please.
Before you go, make sure you know. Free property maps can be found at your local forest service or handy apps like OnX Maps can save you an unpleasant meeting with a local landowner or even sheriff for setting up shop where you aren’t welcome.
Use common sense.
This is pretty self-explanatory. Think of the spot where you are camping as your own land because if it’s in a National Forest, it is. It’s all of ours, so let's take care of it, and be respectful of our camping neighbors and property owners. Oh, and don’t forget the stupid wine coolers.