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Readers Respond: What Has Spoiled One Of Your Camping Trips?

Responses: 60


From the article: Campground Safety
I've been on camping trips that weren't necessarily spoiled, but they sure weren't very pleasant. I've been on camping trips where I was attacked by mosquitoes, bombarded by wind and rain, evacuated because of flood and hurricane and invaded by thieving raccoons. I've had noisy neighbors in the next campsite, and I've met inconsiderate camp hosts. I've been to campgrounds where the bathrooms were unsanitary, and I've been camping when I suddenly got sick. Lots of things can happen. What has spoiled one of your camping trips?

Rain and bears- THANKS NEIGHBORS

I took my girl scouts to the KOA in the Great Smokey Mountains. We were ready for everything....except the ground being solid rock and the bears. We had taken 2 extra sets of stakes for each tent and had to go buy more because they broke or got bent. We couldn't completely stake down even half of the tents. Of course the whole time we are trying to do this it was pouring down rain. Then the neighbors kept leaving out food, even when they left the site. We told management and the neighboring campers kept saying "we'll get it put up before bed" which I trusted they would but they never did. I woke up the next morning with bear prints within 15 feet from my tent and food residue everywhere from the next site over. I spent the next night in a chair by the camp fire circle on bear watch because it was a busy weekend and we couldn't get a site anywhere else. Didn't sleep a wink. Hint to inexperienced campers. Bears are not tame, not even the Smokey Mountain ones.
—Guest GS Scout Mom

What spoiled one of my camping trips

No ground fires allowed at Dog Canyon in the bitter cold at Thanksgiving this year! We are responsible campers and needed a fire for warmth and comraderie. It would have made all the difference in the 15 degree weather not to have to huddle alone in our tents when we could have been roasting marshmallows and warming our mits with one another at the fire. Rethink this!
—Guest aretaa

Loud Drunks

Having fun and relaxing are the whole purpose of camping. But when it comes to people getting drunk, loud, and/or obnoxious, it can ruin the experience for others. Many of us have very limited vacation time, and it's not exactly a treat to put up with rude, loud behavior from other guests. Hey, there's nothing like a couple of beers around the fire, but friends should keep an eye on the one who's clearly had enough. They should re-set that person's tent to the snoring section far away, and pour them peacefully into their sleeping bag, and let the others have some peace and quiet.

Over Zealous Management

Camped in Michigan 'thumb' this past summer and the management was way over zealous regarding noise. At promptly 11pm each night, they would come by the campsite and tell you to stop talking. Really... stop talking (they never actually said go to bed, but....). A family member in their camper had mgt knock on their door and tell them to turn off their TV even though the kids had on headphones. It got to be a joke where we'd try to make as much noise as possible just before 11pm when we'd all start whispering. We were never a noisy campsite, but would ALWAYS sit around the camp fire and talk. We were made to feel like school children and always felt like we were being told to go to bed. They would stop regardless if there were 2 people at the site or 20 people at the site. We all got lots of sleep that week cause we all went to bed before the rangers had a chance to chastise us!

Bad camping experience

We like a "woodsy" feel camping but this campsite was very open because every tree was trimmed very high up and the management watched people a lot. We were told we couldn't hang our towels to dry among other things. I don't know where they expected us to hang our wet towels after swimming. We felt we were being watched every minute and couldn't relax. They were driving around every hour or less checking everyone. Needless to say, we will never camp there again. We are not teenagers, we're senior citizens, so don't know what they thought we were going to do.
—Guest Pat

2010 Camping Spoil

One of the campers had someone ill at home and the individual died. Some of the campers had to leave the campground. There was sadness for the campers and a void when they left.
—Guest Patricia

Spoiled camping trip

I have had great camping trips, relaxing camping trips and fair camping excursions. Since I have a very hectic, demanding weekday schedule getting away for a few days and nights whenever I can is always a great relief and recharge. On one recent occasion though, it had been and was consistently very hot, muggy and still and there were definite storms brewing on the horizon. I got a few days and nights to get away so I did, in spite of potential thunderstorms. I suffered through the high heat as early as 10:30 in the morning, setting up my tent and area but was quite exhausted by noon, so I took a nice swim and relaxed a bit after enjoying the coolness of the nearby lake. As I started warming, I decided to go for a short trip, down the road to grab a fast chicken sandwhich instead of suffering through the heat to cook lunch. I ate my chicken and salad and juice. That night however, during a fierce, windy thunderstorm with torrential downpurs I got very sick, trapped inside my tent.
—Guest naturelove

camping break-up

i had a fight with my then boyfriend and broke up with him, then we were stuck camping together for the next 3 days!
—Guest rmlf1

Worse camping trip

Arriving at 2 pm at state park, site I was given had boat parked in it. At 5 pm Ranger told me to park in spot two rows down. Got all hooked up and power didn't work. Ranger again moved me. Finally got hooked up by 7 pm. Missed all get together and food with RV group I was with. Not only that, people who had taken my site with their boat returned 9 pm and were very rude.


After a long canoe day trip, long because of all the fun, went to get in the tent and found a skunk had beat us to the cookies we brought. Nobody got sprayed, I guess we brought the right type of cookie. Did not ruin the trip, but we slept in the car that night.
—Guest Rod

Very Noisy Place!

I had been at this campground twice before with both my cub and boy scouts and it was quiet, peaceful and a great place to camp and launch for outside campground activities. So I took my family and camper back, but over a holiday weekend, and it was all night noisy every night. The sound of beer cans being tossed into trashcans, yelling, music and talking all night long. It was not a fun weekend there.
—Guest Larry


We stopped along the Mississippi River in a beautiful campground, spent the day lounging, went to bed rested and were woken by the blast of a train whistle at 3 am not 10 feet behind our camper behind a very deceiving wall of bushes!
—Guest Dawn

Spoiled camping trip

A troup of Boy Scouts picked to go on their annual camping trip on one of our camping weekends, so it wasn't as peaceful as we hoped it would be.
—Guest Caroline

Another Bad Experience Camping

It's not too bad when people with about a dozen little kids all in one tent are about 10 ft away, and the kids are giggling and talking. What is bad is when the parents keep screaming at them to shut up and go to sleep. Also people need to turn off their cell phones at quiet time or turn down the volume on the ringer. Nothing like being kept awake by 3 dozen or more cell phones ringing all night long.
—Guest RV girl

Bad Camping Experience

The worst camping trip I've ever experienced was when my youngest daughter and I went to Marion Forks for the Fourth of July. We spent 4 days there, but the second day a camper next to us threw a brick at my golden lab/golden ret mix puppy and broke his tail. Bear wasn't in his campground, but right on the edge between his and ours. We heard him yelp, but couldn't see the damage at first. The man left right after the incident. Later that day, when I was grooming him, he cried and I noticed it was swollen. Took him to the vet, but nothing they could do because of the location. I am glad that the man was gone by the time I got back. Sad part was he skipped out not paying for the night he stayed there either. Told the rangers what had happened, but nothing they could do either. I guess some people are just nasty people. I could have seen him yelling at Bear or even me, but to throw a brick when the dog wasn't even in his campground is uncalled for. What would he do to a child?
—Guest Bearsstar

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