How’s that for a clickbait title? lol.
It’s not incorrect though. I get a lot of invites to go camping and I want to explain fully why I decline to go every single time. The looks of incredulity I get when I tell people I don’t like camping drive me crazy. It’s as if people simply can’t comprehend why I think camping is terrible.
Let’s start with the very basics. I reject the very premise of camping right off the bat. Its the idea of removing yourself from the comforts of the 21st century, and for the life of me I cannot figure out why anyone would voluntarily do that. I’ve heard all sorts of reasons of course, but no real satisfying explanations.
Think about this way: it has taken humans 50,000 years to get to where we are now. We had to figure out how to hunt, gather, rule ourselves, and basically survive in a rather unforgiving environment in that alotted time. We also had to learn how to make fire and hide in caves from predators, and caves were likely our first real shelters that we lived in. We’ve done well since then, given the fact that air conditioning, showers, and down pillows exist now. Our lives have truly never been more comfortable, at least here in the Western world.
I basically see no desire to spend even one second of my life living as my ancestors did. Why would I reject modern advancements in comfort? Why would I want to be outside for several days at a time? Why would I want to subject myself to heat, cold, wind, or rain when I don’t have to? Camping to me is spitting in the face of every modern inventor and innovator. It’s like we’re collectively saying, “Fuck your lightbulbs, air conditioning, soft bed, and gas stove. We’re going camping for a week!”
I don’t want to reconnect with nature by going to live in it. That’s overkill. If I wanted to do that I could go to a park. The best thing about that is after I have soaked up some sun and fresh air at said park, I get to go home and not be outside anymore. Also, in no way is camping relaxing. I’ve heard people describe it that way and that is utterly befuddling to me. In order to go camping, you need to get a permit, pack your car to the brim with supplies, get lost on the way to the campsite, pitch the tents, set up a fire (if you are allowed to), and then unpack everything else. That sounds like the antithesis of relaxing. That sounds like a lot of work.
Camping isn’t even really “camping” anymore either. It’s what I like to call shitty camping. I’ll only cosign to your camping trip if you actually try to “reconnect” with nature. That means no tents, no supplies, and no technology at all. Just you and your bare hands. You have to make your own shelter, fashion your own weapons for hunting, start a fire, and then actually go hunt and look for water. That’s roughin’ it. Anyone who brings a tent and their own food is not really reconnecting with nature in the purest sense, are they? If you go full-on Bear Grylls when you go camping then to me that’s more acceptable than cheat-camping. Don’t even get me started on people who bring RVs for camping. That’s not “camping” at all. That’s just taking your house and moving it to a rural area. It’s not camping if the water comes out of a fucking tap and you have a flushing toilet.
Of course, no one wants to do any of the Survivorman stuff. They don’t want to do any of that because it sucks. This is what I’m on about. Campers want to have their cake, and eat it too. They want to reconnect with nature, but they want to do it with the comforts of the 21st century. It’s almost hypocritical, really.
If all that wasn’t enough, the natural hazards of camping are by themselves enough reason to not go. When you remove yourself to a rural area a whole host of dangers present themselves. I have no desire to go live among bears, mountain lions, or anything of the sort. I do not wish to encounter snakes and asshole insects. I do not wish to be three hours by helicopter from the nearest hospital when I trip over an asshole plant and break my leg. I also do not want to accidentally wander through poison ivy and spend the next 4-5 days in itching hell.
I’ve done a lot of bitching about camping so far but here’s a legitimate complaint: camping is a by-product of our entitled nature here in the Western world. There are people in developing nations who live in camping-like conditions on a daily basis, and to me people in the West going camping is essentially saying, “Your terrible life is something we do for fun.” People look back on camping trips with fond memories most of the time, but to think fondly of camping just shows how privileged and ignorant we are of the problems of the larger world. No running water is a temporary inconvenience for campers and something to laugh about, but it’s a way of life for many people.
And I’ve been camping. I’m not talking out of my ass, here. I’ve gone camping three times with three entirely different sets of people in three entirely different locations and I detested it all three times. It’s simply not fun for me. If I want to get away from technology or relax then I can think of at least 15 ways to achieve both of those things without having to even leave my neighborhood.
Anyone who asks why I don’t like camping will be automatically referred to this post. I appreciate the camping invites and it’s very nice of you to think of me, but I’m not going. I don’t even really have a problem with you going, just don’t expect me to join you.