10 Reasons Why I Hate Camping

31 Aug

Camping; a great British pastime that to me is one of life’s truly overrated experiences. Sod ‘getting in touch with nature’ and all that malarkey, give me a holiday where I can chill out and not have to worry about collecting sticks and trying to keep warm please. I went camping once and I’ve vowed never to go again. If I ever get even a little bit tempted to join friends on their camping trips, I always remember the reasons why I hate it so much. Then I spend the next few days sat at home in my warm house, sleeping in a comfortable bed, smiling to myself in the knowledge that one of them will be stumbling to a nearby bush in the early hours of the morning to urinate and will probably tread barefoot in fox’s shit. With that in mind, here are those reasons why I hate camping so much:

 1)  It could be the middle of a glorious summer, a delightful heat wave period, but rest assured, as soon as you pitch a tent it will start raining. Once it starts, it doesn’t stop, and it is impossible to keep anything dry. Clothes, personal belongings (such as phones and wallets), seating and even food will soon be damp. Don’t even think about trying to start a raging fire for you and your fellow campers to congregate by. Instead, you’ll be forced to huddle around a smouldering pile of sticks in an effort to keep warm.

 

2)  Once sat in your huddle, there will always be someone in the group who will get out their guitar that they have brought with them especially. After a few minutes of strumming out-of-tune chords, they will try and get everyone else to join in with renditions of Kum-By-Yah or some other song that nobody really likes nor indeed knows the words to. A few campers will start clapping along. It is at this point you should consider going home.

 

3)  The food is always terrible. As it is neigh on impossible to plug in a freezer, tinned foods are on the menu for the majority of the camping period. Granted, a few sausages may be cooked on the first night, but after these have been consumed you can only look forward to a diet of sludge. Any meat that is cooked will be nice and crispy on the outside, and raw on the inside. Unless you have a cast iron gut, you’ll be squatting in the bushes in no time at all. This leads me nicely onto my next point

 

4)  There are no toilets, or if they are, you need to go in prepared. By prepared, I mean you’ll need overalls, wellington boots, a nose clip, a gas mask and a step ladder so you can hover above the mountain of filth that has already accumulated. If there are no toilet facilities (because you’ve chosen to camp in some woods rather than a site), then you’ll have to make do with a bush. How great is that! If neither of these choices appeal to you, you have the option of holding it in until you get home. What a fantastic holiday experience.

 

5)  Due to the above reasons, most people will be in a pretty bad mood, and conversation will therefore be mundane and quite frankly, annoying. Typically, some cad will start to tell ghost stories as the night draws in, so you can all scare yourselves shitless, hoping you’re not going to bump into one when you venture out of your tent, or not get murdered during the night.

 

6)  Sleeping is impossible. If you’re not sat with your eyes wide open, saying “what’s that?” worriedly at every noise you hear and thinking the worst, you’re laying shivering in a sleeping bag, with only the tent canvas between you and the wet grass. The wind will blow the sides of the tent in, sticking it to your face as it is so wet, and there will always be, without fail, an earwig or beetle underneath your sleeping bag in the morning.

 

7)  The games you are forced to play such as Rounders or some other nonsense sport, which always results in the alpha male of the group smashing a ball with a lump of wood into a nearby field so that a group of children and women scamper after it, trying to avoid the cow-pat landmines. The same resulting arguments always follow during these games; ‘I was no way out!’ or ‘Those aren’t the rules!’, for example.

 

8)  I’ve mentioned earwigs and beetles somehow getting into the ‘sealed’ tent, but there are loads of other bugs and creatures too. Moths as big as dinner plates swarm around the campsite, like crazed drug-fuelled creatures looking for their next hit of light. Then there are the mosquitoes which just love biting everyone as much as they can, as if they are saying “Ha-ha, you’ve gone camping!”. Spiders and stag beetles roam the site, kicking lumps out of anyone they see. Wearing knuckle dusters and smoking any dropped cigarettes, they’ll pounce when you least expect it, shouting, “Wanker!” at you as they launch their attack.

 

9)  The tent itself is one of the most annoying things about camping. Putting the thing together in the first place is akin to a challenge you’d find on The Krypton Factor. Again, arguments will ensue, normally about which piece of the frame goes where. There is a high chance that at least one peg will be missing, so the tent will have to be weighed down from the inside. I am also under the impression that the manufacturers base their tent sizes on dwarves. ‘Two man’ tents are only really suitable for a child, a six-man tent can fit 3 people at a push; you get the idea with that one. Then there is the sweaty condensation that forms on the inside of the tent, so that it clings to you should you be so brave to put your face anywhere near it. The zips are so loud; some are known to be louder than a Boeing 747 taking off. Tents are rubbish. I’d rather sleep in my car.

 

10) The air of depression in the car on the way home, once the camping trip is over. It’s the realisation that you’ve wasted a few days of your life to live outside. All your clothes are dirty and wet, and you have to take all of your rubbish (which by now smells a great deal) back home with you. Why did you go camping? Why?!

 

People always tell me, ‘camping isn’t like that anymore, they have showers and everything!’. Well I should fucking think so! A shower is the minimum I’d expect if I was going on holiday. The absolute minimum! Plus, surely staying on a campsite is the cheats way to camping? Any excuse for them to say that they’ve been on holiday really, but it’s not proper camping. It’s not too dissimilar from me pitching a tent in my back garden, and then nipping inside to use the shower every morning.

 

I just don’t know what the big appeal is about the ‘Great’ Outdoors. I think maybe it stems from the youthful enjoyment of building a den with your mates, and pretending you were on some sort of great adventure. There can’t be any other reason for it. Sometimes, I do have a guilty admiration for those people that enjoy camping, but then this admiration soon passes and I think to myself, ‘Grow up and have a proper holiday’.

 

I hate camping.

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