Camping Ettiquette

Camping is the best. The food is good, the sleeping bags are cozy, the fires are warm, the conversations are memorable. Buuuuuuuuut sometimes a fun outdoor weekend can get ruined by someone else's actions. You can usually salvage the experience and use them for story time at the next camp out, but maybe following these five tips can help you be the best camper you can be, even if the other campers aren't doing their part.


1. Don’t leave your trash. Period.

Leave no trace shouldn’t have to be a thing. But people lack common sense and common decency. If you brought it in, throw it away or take it out. Hey, even if you didn’t bring it in, leave a place better than you found it.

Also make sure you pack up your consumables/trash at night before you turn in. Animals don’t need an extra temptation. Keeping things packed up while not in use keeps wild animals from being drawn to your camp. From bears to raccoons it’s best if everyone stays separated.


2. Don’t be loud past quiet hours. Everyone hates you.

The majority of us came out to sleep outside and enjoy nature. Even if it's one night in a populated campground, that microadventure may be the most convenient way to re-fill our “nature tank”. Don’t ruin the rest of the camp’s enjoyable evening just so you can get rowdy until 3am. And if you still decide to be an idiot, we’ll definitely all be pointing and laughing as you puke your brains out the next morning. Karma.


3. Share the sinks.

If you’re staying in a campground with showers and indoor plumbing, try and be courteous while you do your bedtime routine. We all want to brush our teeth, wash our face, or wash our hands. If you’re using an entire sink to do a face mask, try and share the space.


4. Glamping is fine, don’t be pretentious about being a purist.

People ask me all the time if I’m against “glamping”. Urban Dictionary defines glamping as: “Going camping, but with glamour. A combination of the two words. It's like regular camping , but with nicer things than usual, being warmer, and more comfortable. Glamping isn't done by usual outdoor types who climb mountains.” That’s ridiculous. If you’re car camping, glamp it out. Add the twinkle lights, bring a massive stove to cook on, bring the eggs, bacon, pancakes, muffins, french press, and pots of chili. Minimalist camping vs. car camping shouldn’t be a thing. Each are great in their own way. Do what’s most comfortable and fun for you and don’t be a jerk about it.

5. Follow the rules and be respectful to authority.

Sometimes a park rangers or park attendant are going to enforce rules you disagree with. Big deal. When you reserved the campsite you most likely accepting some terms and conditions when you hit the “confirm” button. So don’t get defensive when you do something small that may violate the rules. Plus, in most situations, a chipper, respectful attitude will get you farther with an authority figure than coming at them in a confrontational manner.

I'll probably think of more of these as the season continues, but these are the ones that popped into my brain after a couple autumn trips this year. Now, get out there and get camping!


Top Five Views Within 3 Hours of Bowling Green, Kentucky

     I frequently get asked where good hikes are in our area. Bowling Green has a couple local favorites, but unfortunately living in cave country doesn't make for many good views above the ground. If you are looking for a stunning spot to soak in the landscape, you've got to be willing to drive a ways. These are five of my favorite places that are within a three hour drive of Bowling Green.  

5. Narrows of the Harpeth - TN

     The Narrows is only about an hour and a half away in Tennessee. It's the perfect spot to take in the sunrise with a cup of coffee. The river below the overlook is beautiful and there is even a man made water feature if you want to extend your trip. The hike to the top is about a mile long but it's straight up so be prepared for a steep path. 

4. Pilot Rock - KY

     Pilot Rock is an hour away in Todd County. And though I wouldn't call it much of a hike, It's basically a flight of stairs and then a quick rock scramble to the top of the cliff. This is definitely the best view for the least amount of work. Sunset's up here are nothing short of magical. You do have to deal with what the graffiti goons have left behind, but the rolling Kentucky hills and sprawling farmland make up for it.

3. Eagle Falls - KY

     Eagle falls is located in Cumberland Falls State Park, two and half hours away. It's a heavily trafficked trail two mile trail that not only gives you this pay off, but yields beautiful views of the larger Cumberland Falls along the trail. Bring your swim suit if it's warm out, Eagle Falls makes the perfect swimming hole. 

2. The Pinnacles - KY

     The Pinnacles are located two and half hours away in Berea, Ky. This trail system has a West Pinnacle and an East Pinnacle and multiple other overlooks along the way. The entire area holds 6-8 miles of trails depending on how you hike them. Bring a snack and soak in the views from all directions!

1. Dog Slaughter Falls - KY

     Dog Slaughter Falls (yes I know, the name is terrible)  is also located in the Cumberland Falls area. It maxes out the travel restrictions I've put on this blog post, but three hours in the car is worth it, I promise. This is a 2.2 mile trail that snakes alongside a beautiful stream all the way to the end. It's the most relaxing hike listening the the sound of water the entire way. In the summer it will be busy, but not as much as Eagle Falls since it isn't as close to the main state park attractions. 

     Get out there and take a day trip. It doesn't have to be far to be rewarding!  

Maria Goes

Maria Goes.

     ...That's what people think about me at least. I can't tell you the amount of times that a friend or acquaintance has come to me and asked, "Do you still work? You're always on a trip or going somewhere!". This statement never fails to catch me off guard because to me, it seems like my 40 hour work week is all that I do. Wake up, coffee, desk, emails, numbers numbers numbers, clock out, eat, workout, sleep. That is the normal schedule.

     So if that's the non-glamorous truth, then how are people getting the impression that I'm constantly adventuring in the woods, mountains, or even just a new city? The answer, my friends, is the "micro adventure". A phrase coined by the inspirational Alastair Humphreys. He describes a micro adventure as " Simple expeditions and challenges which are close to home, affordable and easy to organize". 

     Despite my despairingly average week life, I try to create as many three day or two day weekend excursions as I can possibly muster during the weekends, along with a few weeknight activities to spice up the monotony of my existence. Camping, biking, hiking, road tripping. It's simple!

     I suppose that my skill set of being not only a meticulous planner, but also a photographer, lead people to believe I have an overly exciting lifestyle simply because I document the places I go, the people I'm with, and the things I see a whole lot more than the average human bean. (That was one good run on sentence, eh?)

     So, what has been the point of all of this needless information? I have made the decision to utilize the blog feature on my website that I pay for year after year but never put to use. Instead of flooding my portfolio with every photo I take, I will add them to blog posts where I will re-cap the "adventures' that I experience. Follow along, leave a comment, and ask some questions, and even subscribe if you'd like! I'm happy to share the things that perk up a young (semi) professional's life.

(Photos below are from 2017 excursions)