Saturday, July 17, 2010

Not a Happy Camper

Am I the only person in this world who does not like camping? I know I’m the only person in my (limited) circle of friends who does not.

I do like the type of person that is into camping. Campers are usually a somewhat liberal (I’m talking campers here, not survivalists) and laid back sort of people. These are the type of people with whom I’ll discuss politics, religion, education and the environment. I just don’t want to talk camping with them.

Camping discussions crop up frequently, especially at this time of year. Everyone and their brother is preparing to go out and live in the woods and I get to hear all about site selections, propane stoves, tents, tents to go over top of tents in case of rain, sleeping bags, etc. And I am the lone, quiet, voice that wants to scream “I don’t care!” I am not a snob. I am not an elitist. I just don’t want to pitch a tent, crawl in it, and declare myself on vacation.

I’ve got a nice bed at home. At the end of a very short hallway is a bathroom. I don’t have to put on shoes or take a gun to get there. My hubby is on the far side of our king-size bed and a fan is running so I don’t have to hear his breathing, muttering and flailing. My daughter is in the next room; close enough to know if she is sick, but not close enough to hear her muttering and flailing. I’ve got a lamp and a glass of water by my bed. Also a little fuzzy rug. I know if I get up during the night that the little fuzzy rug will not grab me, disembowel me, and leave me for dead.

And what if I want a late night snack? If I open a bag of Cheetos, everyone in the tent will wake up when they hear that rattle of plastic. The outdoor critters will get a whiff and come to investigate. What if that chicken cooked in a 20-pound iron skillet that I lugged to the campsite was still a hair on the rare side? I just might not make it to the outhouse (or hole in the ground) before that dinner tries mightily to make its way outside of me. I can just see myself soiling my camping jammies upon tripping over a log or sleeping bear.

I’ve never been fond of sardines in a can (is this what you eat when you forget the 20-pound iron skillet?), I really don’t want to pack myself into a tent with several others who have not had the ability to fully bathe in days. I don’t want to smell me. I sure don’t want to smell you.

I’m fond of the little things in life – hot water and other plumbing related niceties, sturdy tables that don’t have others’ grease stains and gum wads on them, dry pillows; dry socks, toilet paper, ceramic plates, wine glasses. Of course, there are little things in life that I am NOT fond of, and these things can usually be found at the bottom of a sleeping bag, the bottom of a creek, or flying up my nose.

I might not roll with the Rockefellers or pal around with the Du Ponts, but, like them, I might be just a bit happier in a hotel with a view and a well-stocked mini-bar. To me, a vacation means good food (cooked by someone else) with a candle on a table (sans used gum) and a chandelier over my head, a hot bath, and perhaps a chance to play with a bidet. I want a uniformed man to bring a shower cap to my door if summoned. I want little shampoos, soaps, and gels. And when the vacation is over and its time to go home, I want to leave my rumpled bed items, towels and garbage behind for the staff to deal with.

I’ll sum this post up by saying: Does a bear shit in the woods? Yes. But I don’t.


  1. Totally agree with you. I loathe camping and I love comfort.

    I will say The Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana IS my idea of camping though :)

  2. i like camping alone. i get it though. it take a lot of oomph to get out there and i've not camped in a few years now. but once out there i never want to come home. yeah its uncomfortable and you sleep like crap...yeah everything is hard. maybe it is just nice to be alone, get scared some crazy person will kill me, be in nature, worry about bob cats or bears...and realize i dont need most of what i think i do to get by. and you know me...that aint much to begin with.
    i like getting dirty. you are a priss miss kim. :)

  3. I love comfort AND camping! We tried RVing, it's convenient but there's a whole strange subculture there. Though I haven't tent camped in ages, I agree with Paula, it takes a lot of organizing to make it happen, but once you're set up, it's awesome.

  4. This could have been written by me. I did the whole camping thing a few times as a kid. Today, as I sit on the cusp of 40, my idea of camping involves a Swedish masseuse named Sven, room service, and daily linen service. And if I see anything resembling a bug, I want my money back.

    All of that said, there's this little resort in northern Michigan that my family has gone for darn close to 100 years that has no AC, no TVs, one phone in the entire place, and is generally referred to as "rustic." And I love it. Every single second of it. Of course, it does have indoor plumbing, hot running water, a wonderful chef and a fantastic wait staff, although no room service or anyone to bring me little shampoos.