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apr 27 2010

Should alcohol be banned at campgrounds?

For many campers, beer is just as much a part of the experience as eating S'mores, telling ghost stories, and unleashing vulgarities while struggling to set up the tent. But in one state, campground guests are looking at the first-ever summer with a prohibition on booze.

The state is Maryland, and, per the state park service, the ban first went into effect last November, with the explanation that there's "a potential conflict with the family atmosphere of the park campground if visitors are consuming alcohol." Alcohol can be consumed on park grounds only if you have been approved and paid for a permit ($35), only for special events, and only in designated shelters spelled out in the permit.

The new rules are getting attention now that camping season is upon us -- and now that, thanks to details in an AP story, it's looking like the booze ban could be bad for business. Just yesterday, a group of 40 said they were going to shift their annual outing from a Maryland state campground to one where they're allowed to enjoy a few beers around the campfire, no permit required.

What do you think? Many folks who've spent the night in a tent know that there's some wisdom to downing a couple beers before hitting the rock-hard sack.

Would you prefer your camping experience to be dry -- and not just meaning that it doesn't rain?

If you found out a campground had a no-alcohol policy, would you switch to one where you could drink?

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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