I Hate Camping: Let Me Count the Ways

Last weekend I went camping with my family. My husband seems to commune with nature. It somehow soothes him. The kids love it. We have all sorts of gear. We plan fun meals and snacks. Everybody is happy!

Except me. I fucking hate camping.

I made a promise to myself that when I pulled my son out of Cub Scouts I would make sure that I took him camping. I wanted him to still get to the fun things that scouts do except without all of the bigotry and sanctimony. I resolved to suck it up and do two family camping trips a year. So we went camping this weekend and I remembered something.

I loathe camping and I will tell you why. In list form.

  1. It is in the woods.
  2. The woods are outside.
  3. Bugs are outside.
  4. Snakes are outside.
  5. Bears are outside.
  6. No power outlets.
  7. No wifi.
  8. No television.
  9. No air conditioning.
  10. You have to sleep on the ground.
  11. Mixing children and fire makes me nervous.
  12. I always feel like I need to wash my hands.
  13. Too hot.
  14. Too cold.

We went to one of those nice facilities where you car camp. Your car is right there and you get a picnic table and a fire ring. Another nice amenity is that they have bathrooms with flush toilets (believe you me, this is the only way I will agree to camp) which is lovely except for ALL OF THE SPIDERS IN THE BATHROOM. It wasn’t like three or four spiders. There were eight to twelve huge ass daddy long legs on each wall and all over the floor plus the big fat brown nasty ones were crawling around too. Spiders aren’t really something that bother me much, but this was nuts, my daughter just started screaming and screaming and I had to comfort her like a responsible adult instead of running screaming to my car and taking a bath in deep woods off and clorox like I wanted to.

We sat by the fire drinking illegal beer (the beer itself was legal you just weren’t supposed to have it in the park) and watching the fire with bugs and snakes all around us and my husband said “I love this. Isn’t this the best?” and as I looked around a big moth flew right into my face.

I died a little on the inside.

He said “What are you scared of?” I said “Snakes, bears, the Blair Witch, ticks, other bugs. You know, nature.”

I hate nature.

I camped three days ago and my back still hurts. I would have been the worst pioneer ever. I would have either had to take a job at the brothel or die first. There is no way I would have braved the plains or the godforsaken mountains in a covered wagon. I would have paid the kings taxes. I would have converted to Anglicanism. Whatever it took to have the privilege of sleeping indoors.

You see what I am saying? Camping blows.

Don’t tell my husband I said that. 

Photo Credit

Aiming Low is hosting the Non-Conference at Callaway Gardens, October 12-13, 2012. The conversation  will be hot and the drinks will be cold. Can’t wait to see you!
About Goon Squad Sarah

Goon Squad Sarah rocks the mic like a vandal.

Sarah can also be found at Sarah and the Goon Squad, Draft Day Suit, That's Right. You Heard Me.,on twitter @goonsquadsarah or yelling at her TV.


  1. Tracy says:

    YES. I have never been camping and have ZERO desire to go even once. This baffles my husband: he literally can’t wrap his head around the fact that I don’t want to get all Blair Witch in the woods while sleeping on the floor. Love hearing I’m not the only one!

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  2. Kristin says:

    Haha I told my husband when we were still dating the closest I would get to camping would be a Holiday Inn.

  3. Marcy says:

    My now ex-husband wanted to go camping for our honeymoon. Um, no.

  4. Megan says:

    No bed, no blow dryer, no deal. Boo camping.

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  5. Jessi says:

    I used to say that I wouldn’t sleep anywhere that didn’t have a hot shower. So, my stepdad bought a portable, solar-powered camping shower. So now I am demanding a flush toilet and climate control.

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  6. Ms. J says:

    Thank you for this. It really captured how I feel about camping.

    I was fortunate (or smart?) enough to marry someone as uncomfortable with nature as I am, thank goodness.

    I showed my husband this article and pointed out I’d totally become a Ho in order to avoid Pioneer life, as you suggested. He sweetly replied “I’d get you a pillow and knee pads.” (Swoon, lol).

    Really, awesome work here!!!!!

  7. Hi Sarah! I just read Wild by Cheryl Strayed about her four month long trek up the PCT under a 60 lb. pack with her toenails falling off and using a sponge for a tampon and I just thought, “Shannon, you are such a little pussy.” I’m glad I’m not the only one.

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  8. IzzyMom says:

    I was supposed to go camping with my husband and son this weekend (then I remembered I had the awesome #noncon to attend). But they camped in a glorified park with lots of amenities so it probably didn’t suck so bad. I wouldn’t know because I’ve never gone REAL camping…

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  9. Alexandra says:

    I have it pretty nice here: the camping facility is only 50 mins away and hot water showers are bathrobe traipsing distance away.

    It’s really not that bad.

    We sleep in tents and the kids love it and my husband and I endure it for them. But I know it’s pussy camping … my kids have no idea how tame it is.

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    • mrman says:

      That’s how ours is too, but I still hate it. It is the “cushiest” camping you could expect: campsite near bathroom with running water and hot shower, electric power in each camp site, nearby playground and river for the kids to play…
      Doesn’t help. I hate it. It isn’t even the sleeping bag, sleeping outdoors, no wifi, etc.
      I can well do without that stuff.

      It’s the dirt, the boredom, and the arduous chore of packing and unpacking all that junk in and out of cars at the start and end of it all. For 3 days of camping, it takes a full day of work before and 3 days after to load/unload and clean/wash all the messy fall-out from camping. Ugh. Who wants a vacation that is just a big old clean-up job?

  10. Anne says:

    I would fake a medical emergency to get out of camping. Ow, my spleen!
    For me, camping is staying at a Holiday Inn Express.

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  11. smart aleck says:

    We have a cabin in the mountains. That is my idea of camping…I sleep with AC or heat while looking at a majestic view. The husband doesn’t get it. I tell him he is welcome to sleep outside whenever he wants to…but since there is a bobcat in the neighborhood and I have seen its paw print, I will not be joining him. But I will bring him coffee in the AM.
    So far he has slept inside with me. I will walk around you all day outside but I need a comfy bed and shower when night falls. I’m like Cinderella but with nature, not a ball.

    You also forgot to mention the poisons out there… ivy, oak, and all of their bitchy friends. No thanks!

  12. Vikki says:

    I laughed out loud when the moth hit your face.

    I used to like camping but now I agree with your list. And Sleeping on the ground makes my hips hurt.

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  13. Camping = Pretend Homelessness = STUPID.

  14. Angela says:

    Bless this post. Everything that you said is 100% accurate for me. I HATE camping.

  15. Jenny K. says:

    August 23rd, Mt. Hood Oregon

    8pm: After driving for 5 hours, and nearly getting our car stuck up a dirt road, we finally find a vacant camping spot far, far up a lonely mountain road.
    9pm: We finally get our tent set up after realizing one of the poles is broken.
    10pm: We realize that it gets REALLY cold at 6,000 ft, and we go to bed with all of our clothes and blankets on a shiver ourselves to sleep (sort of).
    11pm: Two truck loads of locals arrive, and their leader, a man named ‘Tater’, informs us that this is their Party Spot, and that their ‘hits’ are about to kick in.
    3am: Tater and friends depart.
    4am: A night bird (at least we tell ourselves it is a night bird) shrieks a piercing, blood-curdling cry.
    5am: It begins to rain.
    6am: Oh, glorious sunrise! We have survived the night and all it’s perils. No raping, bear-mauling, or freezing to death occurred. We pack up our wet and dirty gear and head back to civilization where people with the means to do so sleep indoors!

    Thank you so much for your post, Sarah. I could not agree with you more.

    Jenny K.

  16. Tom says:

    I know exactly what you mean. I don’t like camping either especially when bugs and spiders get inside the tent.

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