Common Camping Symbols: A Rookie’s Handbook

Common Camping Symbols For Beginners

So you want to start camping. That’s a great decision!

But before you go, there are some things you’ll need to know, and you can start with understanding the most common camping symbols.

When you book your site online, you’ll notice a bunch of symbols and icons. These symbols will also show up at the campground and on any park maps. They’re important to note because they’ll explain everything you need to know about your accommodations.

Camping symbols indicate everything, from the nearest payphone to the best fishing spots. Be familiar with them every step of the way, and you’ll enjoy a safe and awesome camping trip.


Before You Book: Campsite Feature Symbols

It’s important to know the details of the site you book before you get there. You don’t want to get to the campsite only to find out you booked a site that won’t fit your RV. Or worse- that you brought your pooch only to find out your site doesn’t allow pets.

Here are 10 common symbols that most campgrounds and parks use to help you figure out which site you need.

Campground symbols to represent park details.

  1. Dog Friendly: These sites allow your best canine friend to join your trip.
  2. No Pets: Unfortunately, you won’t be able to bring Fido to this site.
  3. Wheelchair Accessible: Handicap campers can enjoy these sites easily.
  4. Pull Through: You can pull your RV through to these sites instead of backing in.
  5. Partial Hookup: There isn’t really a symbol for this, but these sites have water and electricity, with no sewer hookups.
  6. Trailer Site: Your trailer or camper is welcome here.
  7. Group Site: These sites are big enough for large groups and many tents.
  8. Vehicle Access: You can access these sites with your vehicle.
  9. Wooded Site: Shady sites surrounded by trees to keep you cool and private.
  10. Parking: You’ll easily be able to park your car here.


Campsite Amenity Icons

Camping symbols you see will also represent what your campsite has to offer. This is especially important for RVers because you need to know which hookups you’ll be able to use.

Here are 10 common campsite amenities that you’ll want to pay attention to during your trip.

Camping symbols to indicate details when you book your site.

  1. Electrical Hookup: Electricity is available at these sites.
  2. Sewer Hookup: Some RV sites have sewer hookups to connect to your sewage system.
  3. Water Hookup: These sites have access to running water.
  4. WiFi: Rejoice! You can still use the Internet at these sites.
  5. Grills: There are grills at these sites so you can get your barbecue game on.
  6. Campfires Permitted: You’re safe to start roasting marshmallows for those s’mores.
  7. Campfires Not Permitted: Unfortunately, there won’t be any s’mores-making at these sites.
  8. Generators Permitted: You can use your generator safely on these sites.
  9. Fishing Permitted: Bring your best fishing rod to these areas because you’re allowed to fish.
  10. Fishing Not Permitted: Leave the fishing rod behind when you go to these areas.


Park Map Symbols

Campground symbols on your park map are key to understanding the layout of the park once you get there. It’s important to be familiar with where everything is so you can make the most out of your trip… and not waste time searching for the showers.

Here are the 20 most common symbols you’ll see on a park map in most North American campgrounds.

Camping symbols featured on a park map. Understanding common camping symbols.

  1. Dumping Station: You can dispose of your RV’s sewage waste safely in these areas.
  2. Trash Dumpster: These areas have dumpsters for you to throw out your trash responsibly.
  3. Restrooms: Generally these areas refer to clean, flushable washroom facilities.
  4. Accessible Facilities: Handicap and disabled campers can easily use these services.
  5. Laundry: Take your dirty clothes to these areas for a good washing.
  6. Showers: Wash today’s dirt off in these shower facilities.
  7. Firewood: You can purchase wood for your campfire s’mores here.
  8. Picnic Area: These areas have plenty of picnic tables for you to enjoy an outdoor feast.
  9. Snack Bar: Hungry? Grab a snack at one of these areas.
  10. Point of Interest: These spots usually contain interesting landmarks, statues, or views.
  11. Trailhead: Start your hike in one of these areas.
  12. Waterfall: Head to one of these areas to take in the beautiful sight of running water.
  13. Boat Launch: It’s safe to put your boat in the water in these areas.
  14. Canoe Access: You can jump in your canoe and head out in one of these spots.
  15. Fishing: These areas are safe and bountiful for you to try and catch some fish.
  16. Motor Bike Trail: Do not walk here! These trails are for motor bikes to enjoy.
  17. Viewing Area: Here, you can take in a breathtaking view from a perfectly located spot.
  18. Playground: Bring your children to these areas to play all day (and to tucker them out).
  19. Amphitheatre: Check your park’s information for a schedule of shows in these areas.
  20. Visitor Information: The answers to all of your questions are right here!


Other Campground Symbols

These symbols don’t fit in a specific category. But they’re also important to know so you can make sure you’re following the park rules.

More campground symbols and signs.

  1. Bottles: You can use bottles for your beverages at these areas. Always recycle, though.
  2. Cans or Bottles: Both cans and bottles are accepted here.
  3. Litter Bin: This is where you’ll throw your trash. Not on the ground!
  4. Pets on Leash: If you take your pet here it has to be on a leash.
  5. Stay on Trail: Don’t step off the trail in these areas. It’s usually for a good reason.


Health and Safety Camping Symbols

These ones are probably the most important symbols you should pay attention to. They’ll keep you safe and notify you of any dangerous areas you might be entering.

Here are 8 important camping symbols you need to know for health and safety purposes.

Camping symbols key. Understanding common campground signs.

  1. Low Vision Access: Be careful in these areas because you won’t be able to see well.
  2. AED (Automated External Defibrillator): Note where this is incase of an emergency.
  3. Emergency Phone: If you need to make an emergency call, know where the phone is.
  4. Falling Rocks: These areas have a high risk of falling rocks, so try to stay away.
  5. Stay Back From Edge: Don’t get too close to the edge in this spot, for your safety.
  6. Uneven Walkways: Watch your step in these spots because the walk isn’t going to be easy.
  7. Slippery Ramp or Steps: Watch your step here! These areas are prone to being wet or icy.
  8. Lifeguard: A lifeguard is on-site so you can swim safely.


Choose From Thousands of Campsites on

Now that you’ve got a grasp on all things camping symbols, you’re ready to book your site and set out on your trip.

Book Your Site makes booking and reserving your perfect site easy. We’ve collected all the important information from thousands of campsites in North America for you to choose from.

All you have to do is tap or click to begin your next adventure! What are you waiting for?

Download the app or check out the website now.

Find Campsites in North America and book your site instantly.

This entry was posted in Camping, Hiking, Outdoors.