12 Important Camping Etiquettes: What You Should (and Shouldn’t) Do While Camping

Camping Etiquettes

When it comes to camping, the UK is a treasure trove of beautiful locations. There’s a spot for everyone from the Scottish Highlands to the Cornish coast. But to ensure that these natural wonders stay beautiful and accessible to all, it’s crucial to follow proper camping etiquette.

Rooftop tent camping has become increasingly popular in recent years and for good reason. It’s a fun, unique way to experience the great outdoors. But as with any form of camping, you need to follow rules to ensure that you and your fellow campers have a safe and enjoyable time.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Camping Etiquette

Here are the camping etiquette do’s and don’ts you should follow while camping.

Do: Follow Leave No Trace Principles

Leaving the environment as you found it is essential when you’re camping. This means packing out all of your trash, using biodegradable soap, and avoiding damaging plants or trees. Leave No Trace principles are especially important for rooftop tent campers, who may be in more remote locations.

Don’t: Camp Outside of Designated Areas

In the UK, it’s illegal to camp on private land without permission. Ensure you know the camping regulations for the area you’re visiting, and always camp in designated areas when possible. If you’re rooftop tent camping, make sure you’re not blocking any paths or impeding access for emergency vehicles.

Do: Respect Quiet Hours

Many campsites have quiet hours, usually from 10 pm to 7 am. Even if you’re camping in a remote location, it’s essential to respect these quiet hours, so you don’t disturb other campers or wildlife. If you’re rooftop tent camping, make sure you’re not making excessive noise while setting up or taking down your tent.

Don’t: Leave Your Food Unattended

Leaving food unattended can attract wildlife, which can be dangerous for both you and the animals. Make sure you store your food properly in a bear-proof container or hang it from a tree. If you’re rooftop tent camping, make sure you’re not leaving any food or garbage on your roof, as this can attract birds and other wildlife.

Do: Be Considerate of Other Campers

When you’re camping, it’s essential to be considerate of other campers. This means keeping noise levels down, avoiding bright lights late at night, and respecting others’ privacy. If you’re rooftop tent camping, make sure you’re not taking up too much space or blocking anyone’s view.

Don’t: Damage Trees or Plants

Camping can put a lot of strain on the environment, so it’s important to be mindful of your impact. Don’t cut down trees or damage plants, and avoid building campfires in areas where fires are prohibited. Make sure you’re not damaging the roof of your car or any trees or plants

Do: Practice Fire Safety

If you plan to have a campfire, make sure you adhere to fire safety guidelines. Only start fires in designated fire pits or areas where fires are allowed. Always keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby, and fully extinguish the fire before leaving the campsite. It’s important to be extra cautious when it comes to fire safety to prevent any accidents or damage to your tent.

Don’t: Forget to Pack Essentials

Before embarking on your camping trip, ensure that you have all the necessary equipment and supplies. This includes a first aid kit, sufficient water, food, appropriate clothing, and camping gear. If you’re rooftop tent camping, make sure you have all the components and accessories for setting up your tent securely on your vehicle.

Do: Observe Proper Waste Disposal

Dispose of waste responsibly by using designated bins or recycling facilities. Avoid leaving any trash or litter behind, as it not only detracts from the beauty of the surroundings but can also harm wildlife. If no waste facilities are available, pack your trash and dispose of it properly when you reach a suitable location. Campers should be particularly mindful of securely storing their trash to prevent it from flying off while driving.

Don’t: Neglect Personal Hygiene

While camping, it’s important to maintain personal hygiene. Use eco-friendly biodegradable soap and shampoo when washing yourself or your dishes. If there are no shower facilities, use a portable camping shower or wet wipes to freshen up. Remember, cleanliness is essential for your comfort and to minimize your impact on the environment.

Do: Be Mindful of Wildlife

Respect the wildlife you encounter during your camping trip. Keep a safe distance, never feed them, and avoid leaving any food or scented items in your tent or campsite that might attract animals. If you’re rooftop tent camping, be aware of any nesting or roosting sites on your vehicle and avoid disturbing them.

Don’t: Ignore Campsite Rules and Regulations

Every campsite may have specific rules and regulations in place. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with these guidelines and adhere to them. Respect any restrictions on noise levels, speed limits within the campsite, and specific camping areas. Being a considerate camper ensures a harmonious experience for everyone, whether you’re rooftop tent camping or using traditional tents.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I camp anywhere in the UK?

No, you can’t camp anywhere in the UK. It’s important to camp in designated areas or obtain permission from the landowner if you’re on private property.

Are there any specific regulations for rooftop tent camping in the UK?

The regulations for rooftop tent camping are generally the same as traditional camping. However, you need to ensure that you’re not obstructing paths or impeding access for emergency vehicles.

Should I bring my own firewood for campfires?

It’s best to check with the campsite or local authorities regarding firewood regulations. Some campsites provide firewood, while others may require purchasing it or bringing your own from outside the area.

What should I do if I encounter wildlife while camping?

Maintain a safe distance, observe from afar, and never feed or approach wildlife. Enjoy their presence while respecting their natural habitat.

Can I use my rooftop tent in all weather conditions?

Rooftop tents are designed to withstand various weather conditions, but it’s essential to check the manufacturer’s guidelines. High winds and extreme weather conditions may affect the stability and safety of your rooftop tent.

Are there any specific safety precautions I should take when rooftop tent camping?

Yes, when rooftop tent camping, ensure that your tent is securely fastened to your vehicle according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Be cautious when accessing or exiting the tent and always follow proper ladder safety protocols.


Camping in the UK, especially in a rooftop tent, offers a unique and adventurous experience. However, it’s crucial to remember and practice proper camping etiquette to preserve the beauty of nature and ensure a pleasant experience for everyone.

Respecting the environment, following Leave No Trace principles, adhering to campsite rules, and being considerate of fellow campers are vital aspects of camping etiquette. Whether you’re enjoying a peaceful night under the stars or embarking on exciting outdoor activities, your actions can make a difference in preserving natural landscapes and wildlife habitats.

So, pack your gear, plan your trip, and remember to embrace the joy of camping while being mindful of your impact. By following the dos and don’ts of camping etiquette, you can make lasting memories while contributing to the sustainability and enjoyment of the camping experience for all.