7.03.2013

how i learned to hate camping

Things I like about camping:

1. Food on a stick
2. Chatting around campfires
3. Swimming
4. Stars
5. Not showering, wearing cute outfits, or putting on makeup

Unfortunately, they aren't quite offset by the things I don't like about camping:

1. Rain (and general damp)
2. Mosquitoes
3. (Not) sleeping on the ground
4. Absence of toilets/presence of portapotties
5. Not showering, wearing cute outfits, or putting on makeup
6. Dirt in the tent
7. Post-trip laundry

We spent this past weekend in Maine, where I went on my second official camping trip and learned all the things I hate about camping. (My first trip was one night on a beach on the North Sea, so I'm not sure it counts.)

I actually did have a good time, and will likely go on more camping trips in the future. But, give me a choice, and I will always opt for a hotel in Europe or a house at the Jersey shore or staying with friends in New York City. (Or even a cabin in the woods...indoor plumbing, people.) It's not the country I dislike (though I dearly missed the city on this trip). It's mostly that I am very untalented at being uncomfortable.

I was kind of hoping to discover that I'm a rugged outdoorswoman, inspired by nature and baked beans. Instead, I discovered that I like mattresses and running water. And I really hate mosquitoes. The seasoned campers insisted it was the worst they'd ever experienced. I hope so. Because 26 bites on one foot is enough to sour my weekend at least slightly.

I did have fun though. And I returned home with a new appreciation for modern comforts. I didn't manage to snap any photos, but I wish I had captured a few of my favorite moments...the lazy river and our tubing adventure, the roaring fire rimmed with corn on the cob and skewers of hot dogs and marshmallows, all twenty of us lounging on the beach...

So let's just remember it like this...

camping
via

Camping...yay or nay?

18 comments:

  1. Ever seen Troop Beverly Hills? If not, go watch with. And if you have, that is my sentiment for camping. I love being in the outdoors and exploring nature and getting all up on campfires and melted decision fire torched food. That said, I effing love coming home to a bed and a shower. For me, it's nature day trips with a hotel/B&B/Cabin at the of the road.

    It sounds like you're really giving it the go, which is admirable! I bet you'll learn to love it as you get used to all the cons and get the routine more down pat! Good for you for getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new - that takes courage!

    eileen
    leaner by the lake

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    1. YES! Thanks for jogging those memories! =)

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  2. Yes camping is much more romanticized in movies and books than it actually is in reality lol. As are many things actually. 26 bites on one foot? That's the pits!

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  3. NAY. I love the outdoors, but I also love sleeping indoors and indoor plumbing -- especially for showering. I can handle outhouses. I cannot handle a day without showering. So I can relate!!

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  4. Big freaking nay. I'll let Jim Gaffigan cover this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdqIpYhM6PE

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  5. I'm going on my second camping trip in August and I am terrified. The first time was only one night, which, quite frankly, was plenty. This time it's THREE nights. I may not make it.

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    1. Eeeep! Good luck! I'm sure you'll be ok. I kept thinking I might want to leave early, but the time actually flies, and the moments of discomfort always pass. =)

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  6. Oh, UGH! I always THINK I like camping, but then things like your 26 bug bites happen and remind me that really, I much prefer my nature to come in smaller doses, where I can retire to indoor plumbing when I'm ready.

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  7. Nayest of the nay. Though I love campfire whiskey and chocolate and brisk morning air, I hate dirt and discomfort. And bugs. Rah!

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  8. Yikes! I'm so sorry to hear about that bug experience! I'm going to have to go "yay" on this one, with the caveat that I spent my entire childhood camping which means the following:

    -I spent my formative years camping and being outside, forced into a small tent with my family with dirt, bugs - the whole 9 yards. My standards for comfort are a lot lower than most.

    -I have some amazing memories from camping (Read: The most amazing star-gazing under the Australian night sky and lovely memories with my family) which help me to see past the bad memories of camping (Read: The time a frog got stuck to my sister's leg, or the time it rained so hard we had to pack up and leave in the middle of the night)

    -We are talking camping here, not backpacking. I've backpacked with my Dad twice, and both times was convinced I would never back it back alive. No thanks.

    I now am married to someone that says a resounding "nay" to camping, so we do some small 1 night trips as a compromise. It's always great getting back home from a camping trip, no matter how much you like it.

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  9. Yikes! I'm so sorry to hear about that bug experience! I'm going to have to go "yay" on this one, with the caveat that I spent my entire childhood camping which means the following:

    -I spent my formative years camping and being outside, forced into a small tent with my family with dirt, bugs - the whole 9 yards. My standards for comfort and cleanliness are a lot lower than most.

    -I have some amazing memories from camping (Read: The most amazing star-gazing under the Australian night sky and lovely memories with my family) which help me to see past the bad memories of camping (Read: The time a frog got stuck to my sister's leg, or the time it rained so hard we had to pack up and leave in the middle of the night)

    -We are talking camping here, not backpacking. I've backpacked with my Dad twice, and both times was convinced I would never back it back alive. No thanks.

    I now am married to someone that says a resounding "nay" to camping, so we do some small 1 night trips as a compromise. It's always great getting back home from a camping trip, no matter how much you like it.

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  10. Neigh! If I ever sleep in a tent again call me a horse's you know what! If I have to be in the woods, I prefer a fold out camper or a cabin...no tents, tents are for children in living rooms. Did you feel like you were a wigwam and a tipi? Two tents (too tense)? Hahahaha! Love you!

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  11. friggin' HATE camping. no effing way someone could pay me enough money to go camping. one night outside - fine? that's it. no more, and i'd happily take less.

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  12. The mosquitos!! They seriously kill it all for me, can't even get past the idea of them. I too wish I were more into the idea of camping, especially since boy is so outdoorsy. Camping on a beach seems much more my speed :) Good for you for trying though!

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  13. I love love love camping, but bad weather can take a pleasant trip full of beautiful views and bright stars to a place of mosquito-ridden hell (and you're stuck there too!) I'm sorry to hear that you got so many bites- must be because you're so sweet! Have enough people made that joke already?

    Best post-camping experience: q-tipping after spending a week in the desert of Death Valley. That easily made the difficulty of finding water worth it. :-P

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  14. I love camping! Though, I haven't done it in years, so maybe I've changed- I'm sure my 30-year-old bones can't quite handle sleeping on the ground the way my younger bones did. I grew up camping- I was a girl scout, so it was a pretty regular thing. I have awesome memories of my best friend scaring the other girls with her campfire story about the poop monster (no one would use the outhouse afterward), and making up a game called hamalamawakaluma. I also think I will do anything that involves s'mores.

    I hope that you have better experiences in the future!

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  15. Um, 26 bites on one foot? Are you cereal? I currently have three on one ankle and was feeling reallllly sorry for myself. :)

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Thanks for making me smile. =)