When Loud Neighbors Attack

As is often the case, it is not something huge and dramatic like a roaming bear suddenly strolling into your campsite or becoming hopelessly lost in the wilderness that is most likely to ruin your outdoor experience: rather, it is something as simple as a noisy neighbor in the next unit preventing your from enjoying the piece and quiet that lead you back to nature in the first place. So, what are some basic steps you can take to neutralize this threat to your camping experience?

The number one thing to do is likewise the most obvious: simply go to the neighboring campsite and ask the people if they could quiet down. You would be surprised, you would be outright shocked at how often this will love the problem. Chances are that the party in question really did not know that they were being so loud, and with not a small amount of embarrassment, they will immediately stop.

However, this is not always going to be the case: sometimes, the problem will be a crying baby or noisy and rowdy children, in which case your neighbor is probably just as annoyed as you are. The neighbors might be a group of college students spending their spring break getting drunk in the wilderness, who will agree to quiet down at first but forget within a half hour. In this case, things are a little more complicated.

In the former case, the one with the noisy children, you really may not be able to do much: if the campsite permits children, they have as much right to be there as you. Your best bet if you want to enjoy the peace of nature in this case is to get away from your campsite for awhile: go hiking in the woods or fishing down by the lake, or use your imagination to find some other activity. Children have a tendency of burning themselves out fairly quickly once they have expended a certain amount of energy, and chances are when you return it will not be a problem anymore. Another option is to ask the parents if there is anything you can do to help them out so they can turn their attentions to their children: as long as you seem fairly trustworthy and you make it clear why you want to help, you will be surprised at how many overwhelmed parents will accept this offer. Hopefully, when they are able to turn their attention directly toward their children, they will be better able to get control of the situation.

As mentioned above, the former case is more complicated. A lot depends on context. In the end, you may need to seek help from a park ranger or the manager of the campsite, but there are at some polite steps you should take beforehand. The most important is to ask the college students to quiet down at least twice before you seek outside help. When you ask, it is important to come off as friendly but firm: tell them you understand they are just trying to have a good time and do not make yourself come off as curmudgeonly, but also make it clear that you will contact the proper authorities if it does not stop. Also, make sure you speak to someone who will be able to convince the party to quiet down: if you ask the shyest person there, it is not likely they will be able to impress upon the rest of group that you are serious. This takes a bit of character judgment, but picking the right person is not too hard: it should be someone who seems able to talk to the group and who is also sympathetic to your complaint. This person will be your closest ally in getting the noise problem taken care of quickly and without too much fuss.

As mentioned above, one thing you do not want to do is go directly to the camp supervisors without making any direct attempts at solving the problem yourself. You may be perfectly within your rights in doing so, but you should remember that you are not the only one who wants to enjoy nature, and that if you just put yourself forward a bit, you can easily solve the problem on your own.