I’d be surprised if we’ve not all been in this situation…

You’ve pulled up at your favourite free camp mid-afternoon, set up camp, and just as you settle in a group of young folk come in, pull up right near you, take over the camp and party on through to the early hours of the morning.

Partying is one thing, but disturbing reports are coming to us about noisy campers described by some as hooligans who enter campsites in an unruly manner, making those that are already there concerned, uncomfortable and questioning what to do about the situation. It’s a safety concern many caravanners have, and I completely understand. If you like to have a party and carry on, that’s fine by me, but you need to respect those you’re sharing the campsite with. A bit of noise is one thing, threatening caravanners and being rude and disrespectful is another. It’s not on.

It’s all well and good to get a sudden rush of blood to the head and confront unruly, noisy hooligans, but is this the right approach and could you be placing yourself and your partner in danger?

It’s not as easy as just going up to some of these people and asking them to be quiet and respectful. So how do you go about ensuring you don’t get in a position where this happens to you?

In my experience those who are fuelled by alcohol and other substances and are out to cause mayhem and more likely to create trouble in campsites close to towns, as spending money to travel further is not their scene. So you can start off by being smart on the camps you choose, and how you travel.

Obviously there would be strength in numbers if you were travelling with friends or in a convoy, help from police or rangers may be far away and almost impossible to achieve. This means we need to check out our campsites carefully before setting up camp. Look for evidence of hooligan behaviour like broken bottles, tyre skid marks, graffiti etc. This is a sure sign NOT to camp at that free camp.

At the end of the day, the onus needs to be put on authorities to minimise this kind of behaviour. Young Hooligans must be stopped – for the sake of safety, let alone them ruining our pristine wilderness.

Have you been in this situation before? I’d love to hear from you. Email at [email protected] and tell me your thoughts. How do we put an end to this issue for good?