WELCOME to the wide open-outdoors of South Dakota (or anywhere). Please, become familiar with the etiquette that comes with it.

The etiquette is for everyone of all ages. Yes, we each have a role in making great camping memories!

By the way, when in doubt about anything, please ask someone in authority.


This catchy phrase means a lot. It’s more than staying on the developed trail and it’s more than carrying out what you carried in, although that’s part of it.

Leave no trace goes further than that. It also means getting your firewood at or near the campground. No one needs to assist insects and plants that aren’t native to the area. The Don’t Move Firewood site explains more about the issues firewood can bring.

One can also take it to mean using non-toxic solutions to your camping needs, such as solar lighting in place of battery powered lights. Save the landfills!

You can learn much more about Leave No Trace by studying The 7 Principles (click here).


Those handy fire rings aren’t meant to be your trash can! There are various types of campfire options. Please refer to LEAVE NO TRACE’s explanation (click here).


Some campgrounds offer lighting to ensure safety against tripping as guests walk around the park. As for your campsite, we suggest you keep the lighting low. Your camping neighbors are trying to rejuvenate, or maybe they’re star gazing! Please don’t leave your awning or campsite lights on all night, and please dim them to a low glow before that, when possible.


Pets need to be monitored and leashed. They also need to be contained to the trails or your own campsite. A 6’ leash is safest. Pets need to be well behaved, picked up after, and in control of their vocal noises. Don’t leave them unattended, for their own safety and comfort and for the sake of your neighbors.

By the way, on our Find a Campground page,  you can search for Pet Friendly campgrounds and for campgrounds that have a Dog Park.

Always, be sure to honor the park’s rules.


Read and understand the rules before you book your campsite, especially but not limited to those who:

  • Have pets
  • Expect to have a campfire (they can be banned due to dryness conditions)
  • Might need to cancel
  • Are expecting guests
  • Ride a motorcycle

Your vacation or getaway experience is more likely going to be wonderful if you agree with the policies and rules. If you don’t agree with them, it’s better to keep searching until you find a campground that fits your style. So, we suggest you know before you book!


Cutting through occupied campsites is a big no-no. Those guests are on their vacation and likely didn’t invite you to join them.

If something of yours rolled into their area, ask permission to retrieve it. While it’s nice to have some friendly chit chat, just because they’re sitting outside doesn’t mean they’re hoping to have a lengthy conversation with others. This is their vacation, too.


Campgrounds enforce quiet hours to assist in ensuring that all of their guests enjoy their stay. No one enjoys hearing noise during typical sleeping hours. Your social time needs to be wrapped up before quiet hours begin. If it’s set for 10 p.m., please be tucked inside, exterior lights extinguished, and noise down to a hush before 10 p.m. And remember, tent canvas and RV walls are very thin! Shhhhhhhhhh.


Be prompt and courteous when using the laundry equipment or showering. Leave the area tidy and presentable for the next guest. Sure, there may be cleaning staff to truly sanitize but there might be many other guests using the facility immediately after you.


Save the fancy perfumes and colognes for the urban parties and let nature be your fragrance of choice for your camping trip. If you’ve ever entered the confined space of a bathhouse soon after someone spritzed their favorite scent, or if you’ve hiked behind perfume on a hiking trail, you know what we mean! Most people prefer the scent of nature.


When you’ve moved on down the road, someone else is going to be coming in to make their own memories from the spot you just vacated. Did you leave it the way you would have enjoyed seeing it when you arrived? We hope so!

Our Find a Campground page makes it easier to narrow the list of campground to those which best suit your preferences.

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