What Dress Code? It’s normal to rock up to a spring and find everyone in suits—of the swim or birthday variety. While there is no set rule, respect and courtesy go a long way. Don’t worry; if you find a tub full of bare-it-all bathers, no one will make you “follow suit.” But likewise, if you show up underdressed to a shirts-and-shorts convention, gauge the group. They should be OK with you strippin’ down, but you may want to ask politely, or at least slip in discreetly. As in the rest of life, just don’t be a weirdo and the good times should flow for everyone.
Don’t Put Yourself in the Hot Seat. Things can change fast out here, including thermal activity, so always check the temperature before hopping in. Done tubbing? If there’s a valve to control flow, leave a trickle—not a raging torrent—to keep the water primed for its next guests. And with extremely hot pools often nearby, be sure to keep close tabs on your pups, too, especially if you’re camping overnight.
Don’t Get Too In-Tents. Park your tents, vans, and other sleep vessels far enough from the spring that your campsite doesn’t hog the view, hijack the spring’s ambiance, or scare off any local critters who rely on it as a life source. Private property? Camping is frowned upon without permission or a sign that says you can. Campfires are fun, but be aware of all local restrictions and NEVER leave one smoldering; make sure that bad boy is drowned out before you hit the sack or the road.
Leave It How You Found It. Being a good steward is what hot springing is all about. There are phenomenal hot springs on private land, and many Nevada ranchers out here let people enjoy them as long as they don’t trash them. If the gate on the road is open, leave it open. If you found the gate closed, close the gate once you’ve passed through. And of course, anything you pack in (or happen to find that shouldn’t be there), always pack it out.