I get it: Camping is not for everyone! I didn’t even think it was for me just a few years ago and would have related to and wholeheartedly agreed with nearly everything on Buzzfeed’s list of things people who hate camping hate about camping.
A lot of the gripes in the article are true: There might be bears, there are nasty plants, there’s a lot of dirt. How well you cope with that is just a matter of preference. I won’t argue about any of that.
But let’s be fair: Some of the items on this list are just silly.
While some things – bugs, dirt, weather – are non-negotiable and non-controllable, you’re not helpless against the things you don’t love about camping. There’s a lot you can do to improve your comfort level, depending on how far you’re willing to go: You can purchase outdoor showers if you need to be spotless at all times, you can get hot water on demand if you need warm water and so on.
What Buzzfeed got wrong
1. The sun will wake you up in the morning.
Does the sun wake up in the morning at home? Why not? Because of shade, right? Same with camping. Put you tent under some trees and point the entrance west, and you’re good.
If that doesn’t work, wear a sleeping mask! I don’t use one at home, but camp mornings can be a little intense. Put a sleeping mask on your face and you are going to sleep like a baby. A baby.
2. It’s “boring as hell.”
No, bored people are boring. There are a ton of things you can do to have fun while you camp. Don’t be that loser who can only entertain himself with an X-Box. Or, at least don’t admit it.
3. If there’s no cell reception, you’re screwed if you get lost.
Ah, the immortal words of John Muir. Wait. No they’re not! While this is technically true, planning ahead should fix that. If you’re hiking, stay on the trail and have a map. Make sure someone knows where you’re camping and when you’ll return.
4. Sleeping on the ground is a horrible, horrible idea.
Totally agree. That’s why I protect my princess backside with a Coleman double high air mattress. I ain’t no fool!
5. Camping on those little stoves is horrible.
It’s not ideal, for sure. That’s why we use the fire! (and the Perfect Campfire Grill, natch).
6. You will freeze your ass off at night.
Again, you do have control over whether you freeze at night. Pack a warm hat, socks, jacket, layers of clothing and have a nice, warm sleeping bag and a flannel pillow and you’ll sleep like a warm, cuddly baby. Bonus warmth if you’re bringing a dog or two! If you have room and your dog likes it, put him in the sleeping bag with you. It’s the best.
7. Starting a campfire is not easy.
I don’t think the person who wrote this article has attempted to start a campfire. Ever. Yes, it’s difficult if it’s windy, but that’s when you bust out the fire starting paste. If you haven’t planned in advance and find yourself in a tough fire-starting situation, kindling, pine needles and pine cones ignite nicely and burn hot. If you can start out with a mix of soft and hard wood, then move to hard wood exclusively when the fire is sufficiently hot. We always have lighter fluid on hand, too.
8. Fires are forest fires waiting to happen.
Yes, they are if you’re being a jackass! If you follow the rules regarding where to build your fire, building your fire to a particular size and materials you can put in the fire, it’s unlikely you’ll start a forest fire. How often have you heard of a forest fire being started by a responsible camper?