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Camping Sucks And You Know It

By on July 12, 2014

I’m the first one to admit that I’m not exactly an “outdoorsy” person, but let’s cut the crap, camping is the worst regardless of your love for the wilderness. Centuries ago everyone was camping because that was called “life”. Those people didn’t enjoy it, ergo they invented; running water, indoor plumbing, air conditioning, mattresses, electricity. I could go on, but you get the point.

I’m sick and tired of saying “I hate camping” and having people look at me like I must be a spoiled brat. It’s not a vacation! It’s sentencing yourself to a miserable week of work and feeling grubbing.

In my quest to even comprehend camping as an activity I’ve asked these so called “happy campers” to explain to me the appeal, the answer 95% of the time is “getting drunk around a fire is fun”… so build a fire pit in your backyard and be done with it.

I think people tend to look at the past and the natural environment and romanticize it until they’ve built into their heads an unrealistic vision. They think that if they go camping they’ll be at one with the earth and look like this,


or this


But then reality hits and we realize we look like this


The truth is, camping sucks and here are the top reasons why;

1. It’s always wet

It doesn’t seem to matter what time of year you go camping, it inevitably rains. And it doesn’t seem to matter what kind of super-deluxe tent you bought, it leaks. Your clothes get wet, your bedding gets wet and then that oh so lovely mildew/musty smell sets in. Your also stuck in said damp tent waiting for the rain to end so you can “enjoy the great outdoors”.


2. Bugs

Going camping means spending a lot of money to smell like deet and feel slightly sticky at all times. If you’re lucky the bug spray you put on won’t leave a grease stain on your clothes and may deter some of the mosquitoes from biting you … if you’re lucky.


3. Hygiene

Once you arrive at a camp site, you can kiss hygiene standards goodbye. Washing your hair in a lake, washing your clothes and your utensils in a bucket will become your only option. No amount of deodorant can cover up the smell of not having a real shower and no matter how much shampoo you use, rinsing with lake water means you will still smell like a dirty sock.

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4. No bathrooms

Without plumbing going to the bathroom becomes a horrendous affair. And goodness help you if you have to get up in the night to go to the bathroom. Taking along glow in the dark tp becomes your only choice if you want any resemblance to feeling clean.

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5. The smoke smell

Ahh, you’ve just washed in the smelly lake and are ready to sit by the fire. Lucky for you, the stink of that lake water will soon be covered up with the smell of smoke. That smell will latch on to your hair, your clothes and your skin, mmmmm!


6. Camp hair

Humidity, campfires, rain and sleeping on the ground all add up to hair that isn’t exactly photo ready.


7. Cold

No matter what arctic level sleeping bag you buy, you will be cold. You’ll layer on sweat pants and hoodies until you can’t bend any of your joints and you’ll still go numb in the night while your body struggles to keep circulating blood to your extremities.


8. Wild animals

Here’s one complaint about camping, even people who enjoy camping make; wild animals. But here’s where I get lost YOU walked into THEIR homes and now you’re annoyed that they are interfering with your holiday. Accept that if you go camping, there will be animals and get over it. Show some respect to their homes and make sure you clean up your site before leaving.

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9. Dirty

This one is sort of self explanatory, isn’t it?


10. Can’t sleep

After being unable to fall asleep at night for hours because you’re, oh I don’t know, lying on the hard ground or worried about how many bears are outside your tent preparing to eat you, you will undoubtedly awake at an ungodly hour as the chirping birds are ready to go at 4am and the sunshine will pour into your tent. It’s a shame that pesky sun doesn’t come with a snooze button or a dimmer switch.

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11. No electricity

You know all those devices you’ve spent a lot of money on to entertain yourself? Ya you can’t use any of them out here.


12. Dangerous

Now that you’re out appreciating nature, you’re ready to discover that nature is out to kill you. If the poisonous plants or infected water don’t get you, you may fall into crevasse while “enjoying the outdoors” and never be heard of again.

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13. Uncomfortable

The photo below represents the highest level of luxury and comfort you’ll find in the woods … enjoy.


14. Boring

Once you’ve completed setting up camp (hours after you arrived) you realize, there is absolutely nothing to do.


15. The food stinks

You know that fire we all put our feet near when it’s cold at night? Well now we’re going to cook the food you’re going to eat in that same spot! Doesn’t that sound delish? And if you wanted anything besides a burnt hotdog or a charred marshmallow, well, you’re outta luck.


16. Neighbouring camp sites

No matter where you set up your campsite, your neighbouring sites will be beyond annoying.

To your left, the family that are out to have child appropriate levels of fun and teach their kids some important life skills. Their kids will also be up screaming at the crack of dawn, ready to make sure you don’t get to sleep in.


To your right, the people that have been camping for WAAAAAYYYYYYY too long. These people are beyond strange and you will consider writing a letter stating that if you go missing, they should be the prime suspects in your disappearance.


In front of you are the bros. These guys are out in the wild ready to have a wicked time. Their drinking starts at 11am and doesn’t end till someone leaps over the fire pit and then passes out looking for that chipmunk you saw earlier.


Behind you, the hippie earth lovers. These people will make you wonder “where are your shoes?” and how do they ever make any money to keep affording their love of camping and being one with nature?


17. Blisters

Hiking, doesn’t that sound like fun? A long laborious walk in those hiking boots you haven’t had on since last summer’s camping trip. Hope you brought lots of bandaids, cause you’re about to need them.

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18. The activities suck

All of the activities you’re suppose to love about camping, actually suck. Canoeing means sitting in an uncomfortable piece of wood that tips with the slightest movement. You’re lucky if you can figure out paddling and don’t wind up just going round in circles.


19. The guy who thinks he can play guitar

Ahh, possibly THEEE worst part of camping, the guy who thinks he can play guitar. There’s always one in every group who busts out his acoustic strings and wants everyone to sing a “meaningful” rendition of semi-sonic’s ‘Closing Time’.


20. Packing to go home

While the prospect of going home is the best part of the trip, nothing ever fits back into the car the way it did when you left. You’re certain the bag your sleeping bag came in has shrunk because their is no way it is going to fit back inside. Your pots and pans are gross and need to go somewhere, but you can’t remember where and somewhere along the way you lost a tent pole.


So to those of you out there who still wish to maintain that camping is fun, I would argue that you are living in a delusional state and should really give up trying to convince the rest of us (who think that a vacation should actually feel like a vacation) that it’s a good time.


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Jessica Strickland

About Jessica Strickland

I’m a lady whose ordinary, needs that ‘extra’. With a background in corporate communications, I love the thrill of connecting with audiences and engaging with their interests. I’m fairly certain in a past life I was a mermaid…ok, I’m totally certain. One day I’ll be living ocean side again. I love animals, and my golden retriever puppy Briar, is my pride and joy. @pr_in_heels