A Quick Guide to Common Campground Symbols: What They Mean

Campground Symbols: Your Guide To What They Mean

For beginner campers or RVers, or even those who have been camping a few times, the number of campground symbols you see at campsites can be overwhelming.

You may wonder if you are doing everything the way that you should be doing if you are unintentionally breaking a rule, and it can be quite confusing.

However, these symbols are important for those who are going to a campground or RV ground.

These symbols are meant to ensure that everyone understands what they should be doing while camping here, what they cannot do and any other specifications that they need to keep in mind about the campground they are at.

That is why it is so important for a person to fully know what each symbol is and what this means for them.

Knowing these symbols is just as important as knowing how to properly set up your tent and carrying a first aid kit with you.


Common CAmpground Symbols to Watch Out For

There are several campground symbols that you may see when camping and these could be important to remember.  

Here are a few that are commonly seen at campgrounds throughout the country.                                                                                                         

  • The Bear symbol is a warning that bears could be in the area. This does mean that you should take all the precautions to ensure that you are not attracting bears to your campsites.
  • The hiking symbol is meant to show that there are hiking trails nearby and that people are safe to use these for their hiking adventures.
  • A snake symbol is meant to show that there are snakes in the area. You may want to read up on the area to find out what types of snakes are common in the area so that you know what to do if you come upon these snakes while hiking.
  • A dog on the leash means that dogs are more than welcome in the area, though they need to be leashed. Even if you have a dog that is highly behaved, the rules state that they must be leashed.
  • A stick person on a bicycle means that there is a great bike path for those who are interested in biking.
  • The symbol of the person on skies is often seen in campgrounds that offer ski slopes to have for recreational purposes.
  • The falling rock camping symbol does mean that you need to be aware that falling rocks in the area do happen. This can prepare you to avoid an emergency!
  • A person on snowshoes is often seen in more Northern campgrounds in which snow falls throughout the year and often in large depths.
  • A person looking through a scope could often signal that you are near a sightseeing area that comes equipped with binoculars to look around.
  • A person climbing up a cliff signal that you are near an area that rock climbing is permitted…if you are interested and know how to do this safely.


In the above chart, these symbols are commonly found at campgrounds and are meant to help people to navigate the actual campgrounds.

  • The first refers to the tent area in which people can use for setting up their tents.
  • A picnic table refers to an area that is full of picnic tables.
  • A fork and knife often refer to an area that the campground may have for getting ready-made food, as many campgrounds have grills or restaurants on the site.
  • A fish symbol showcases that there is fishing nearby for those who want to partake.
  • A fire shows that you can have a fire going in this area.
  • The person hiking points the way towards hiking trails and that hiking is something that is available at this particular campground.

Campground Map Symbols You Need to Know

For those who are camping, having a map of the area is something that you should always have. Why is this?

You will be surprised at how handy this could come in later in the event that you were to get lost.

However, many people simply want to have this as reassurance when they are out exploring.


The above symbols refer to the boundaries that are seen on a map.

Knowing what these boundaries are will help a person to truly understand where they are at all times.

  1. This line refers to the national boundary.
  2. This refers to the state or territorial boundary.
  3. This refers to the county or the equivalent of a county.
  4. This refers to the civil township or equivalent
  5. This is the federally administered park, reservation or monument, external
  6. This is the internal federally administered park, reservation or monument
  7. This is the state forest, park, or large county park boundaries
  8. This is the Forest Service administrative area
  9. This is the Forest Service ranger district
  10. This is the National Forest System land status
  11. This is the National Forest System land status – non-Forest Service lands
  12. Small park (this can be county or city)


There are also symbols for those who will be out exploring while they are camping. Here are some water signs to be aware of.

  1. This refers to a Perennial stream
  2. This means a Perennial river
  3. This is an Intermittent stream
  4. This is an Intermittent river
  5. This is a disappearing stream
  6. This refers to a small fall
  7. This refers to a large fall
  8. This means small rapids
  9. This means large rapids

Why You Need to Know Your Symbols

For those who are going camping for the first time, knowing these symbols can make your whole experience that much better.

The good news is that after camping a few times, these symbols are going to start to be cemented into your memory.

Before long, you will be able to see new symbols and automatically know what they mean. These symbols are all designed to communicate an idea to the public.

Here is why you need to know what these symbols mean:

  • These symbols are often the reason that everything stays organized and logical at a camping site without having to have a ranger on duty at all times.
  • These are meant to keep everyone safe.
  • They give you an idea of where to go and what there is to do at the campsite.

Are you ready to put your new-found knowledge of camping symbols to work? You can easily book a campsite at BookYourSite.com!

There are sites throughout North America offering amenities that everyone will love.

You can easily go to the website or even book through the app, making it easier than to hit the road to your new campsite whether you are camping in a tent or an RV!

So, what is your excuse for not being out there and enjoying the great outdoors?

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