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Why I Hate Camping: Let Me Count the Ways...

Updated on September 5, 2014
This photo by By Bobjgalindo (Wikimedia) makes camping look beautiful...
This photo by By Bobjgalindo (Wikimedia) makes camping look beautiful...

I'm Not Strange, I Just Hate Camping!

I HATE CAMPING. I hate camping in Maine, where I grew up, in scenic Colorado where I now live, and will probably hate camping in every other place I end up. I have hated camping ever since the first time I went camping with my parents. I've hated every single camping trip I've ever been on. My most recent camping trip was no exception: eight adults, a one-year-old baby, and way too much stuff.

Do you hate camping, too? Keep reading to see if any of my top-10 reasons resonate with you.

1. Camping Checklist: A Heck of a Lot of Stuff

Camping involves too much STUFF. A tent, sleeping bags, sleeping bag pads, pillows, clothes, all the toiletries you could possibly need plus first-aid equipment, flashlights, bottled water, food... and so much more. Camping equipment for one couple can easily fill a backseat and a trunk, with a duffle bag on the roof for good measure. This is not really an option when you have to fit five adults into one car, but somehow, people think they can make it work.

And don't even get me started on putting AWAY the stuff you bring back from camping. The dirty, greasy, stuff that smells like a week-old campfire.

A lovely scene by John Matzko (Wikimedia)
A lovely scene by John Matzko (Wikimedia)

2. Dirt, Grime, Sweat, and General Ickiness

I've said time and time again, camping wouldn't be so bad if there were SHOWERS and NICE BATHROOMS. Some campgrounds DO have these things, but not the ones we go to! Porta-potties with no sinks? Sign me up! Waking up after a day of hiking around and sitting in front of a campfire and NOT showering? Yes please!

I'm kidding, of course.

I HATE all the mess that goes along with camping. Anything more than an overnight is just unbearable. If you're a guy, you can't understand the grossness that is long, fine hair after a day and night of camping. It's enough to make me feel sick. Besides, who can be confident and outdoorsy when they feel and look disgusting?

As Jessie Eastland (Wikimedia) shows us, camping can be beautiful.  I'd still rather sleep in a real bed, though.
As Jessie Eastland (Wikimedia) shows us, camping can be beautiful. I'd still rather sleep in a real bed, though.

3. Tent Camping: The Art of (Not) Sleeping in a Tent

Who invented tents, anyway? And who thought that sleeping in a sleeping bag IN a tent is a better option than sleeping in a nice bed at home? A home that conveniently includes SHOWERS and BATHROOMS?

I absolutely LOATHE sleeping in a tent. The sleeping bag slides on the pad, which in turn slides on the slick tent floor. Do sleeping bags RUSTLE when you roll over, or when your tent-mate rolls over? YOU BET THEY DO! Is it annoying to zip and unzip your sleeping bag when you feel cold or hot? You know the answer to that question.

And speaking of zipping - the tent! Do you have to pee in the middle of the night? Unzip your sleeping bag, find your shoes, unzip your tent, freeze on your way to the (aforesaid disgusting) bathroom, or a nice patch of bushes. A mosquito will probably bite you on your trip, too. THEN, come back! Unzip the tent! ZIIIIIIIIP! Get in! Zip it back up! ZIIIIIIIP! Get back into your sleeping bag, try to reach your feet to warm them up (which you can't, because your sleeping bag narrows towards the bottom like a coffin), and zip up your sleeping bag again.


By Elle Chyun from New York (Wikimedia)
By Elle Chyun from New York (Wikimedia)

In Conclusion

In conclusion, I really, really hate camping. Unfortunately, I know have many friends that seem to thrive on the "thrill" of camping. Somehow I always end up getting talked into camping, but after writing all that down, I'm considering never camping again.

After a camping trip, I'm always left with the same question: Can someone tell me what's more fun about being outdoors all day and SPENDING THE NIGHT instead of being outdoors all day and then coming home to a shower and a bed? Anyone?

If you are unlucky enough to get stuck camping despite all of its objectionable aspects, click here to read a survival guide for the reluctant camper.


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    • scauthor1969 profile image

      scauthor1969 6 years ago from Upstate South Carolina

      My wife says that camping is when you stay at the Holiday Inn instead of the Hilton! We will never go camping, with her at least!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

      Although I'm past the stage of wanting to tent camp (prefer the nice comfy motor home with real beds!), I loved camping when I was younger. Yes, there were some inconveniences, but I loved being out in the woods with our kids, sitting around the campfire and roasting marshmallows, telling stories. At bedtime there were no arguments because everyone was tired and ready to sleep. I loved being outdoors at night and looking at the starry sky, and I was thankful to be able to pass on my love of the outdoors to my children. Sure, you can spend your days outdoors and go home to a bed and shower, but there's something special about a family tent camping trip.

      I'm glad we did it when the time was right, but now I'm ready to enjoy nature in more comfort. Fun and funny hub!

    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      This was hilarious! Great hub!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from North America

      I love waking up and finding a gull in my tent - that happened at Mackinack. I do like hearing the early morning birds and the fresh air. I'd live outside if I could.

      Rated up!

    • hazelbrown profile image

      hazelbrown 6 years ago from Central PA

      Patty, a gull in your tent? Oh my! Once I came home and found a pheasant that had flown through a window of my porch. That was pretty surprising! I had to throw a towel over him and toss him out - he was fine :)

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Hahaa, you make a good point, hazelbrown! I've loved camping all my life, but packing all the STUFF is indeed a hassle. And LOL@ unexpected bird intrusions!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from North America

      A visiting pheasant! - that's new. :)

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

      Great hub! with some humor in it. I really like camping but only in specific places due to the near by showers and restrooms. I never disclose or recommend these places as there are few like them and selfishly I enjoy them and their remote status. They are in Arizona at altitude of possible snow in August and I've seen it but it borders on temperatures that any accumulation is in the shadows Showers are cold water, but I carry a 2 gallon sun shower that gets to 100 plus degrees so I hang it on the shower head with a wire contraption just for this place so you can turn on the spray type head and open the valve to mix a warm shower, get wet turn it off soap up and turn it on again and rinse off. Makes for an evening of comfortable sleep. There are only 10 spots scattered far enough between the trees to be semi private with a steel fire grill and concrete table/ bench set up and a 5 day maximum stay along a small stream of brown trout with a 1 keeper per day limit per license. The game warden/ camp ranger visits 2 to 3 times a day. Dogs have to be kept on a picket or leash when walking the trails, picking up the turds is a have to. Just an excellent spot and it hasn't changed much in the 5 decades I've used it. I have a 4x4 trailer that folds out into a great space with a queen size bed and a room on the ground that is 10x12 foot, slide out gas stove/oven/sink and slide out cooking/eating utensil drawer. It all stays neatly packed and washing the bedding and dishes just for a thorough clean is all that's needed once home. Fill the water tank and propane and it's ready to go again. I think given my style of leisure it's the best 18k I ever spent. Made in Australia.

      Great hub, thanks, 50

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 6 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Fantastic hub

      Like yourself I hate camping. I refuse to stay anywhere without four solid walls and a roof. And i'm a very outdoorsy person so supposed to love camping!

      Surely you can let the boys do there thing and go off and have a bit of luxury and pampering?

      Give me some luxury everyday

      Great hub

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination. Sleeping outside overnight isn't for me, either. Although I have fallen asleep on the grass during the day. The closest I've come to sleeping in a tent is being at a campsite in an RV

    • hazelbrown profile image

      hazelbrown 6 years ago from Central PA

      Thanks all! Looks like there is a secret population of camping-haters out there. I recently read another hub about camping in an RV type thing... I might be able to handle that!

    • profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 6 years ago

      We camped once for three nights in Saudi Arabia. Night one and Night three a bethroom was a wrecked car so we had something to hide behind. Night two we spent in a 5-star hotel. Guess which night I liked best?

    • Mrs. Menagerie profile image

      Mrs. Menagerie 6 years ago from The Zoo funny! Maybe you can talk your boyfriend into investing in a nice camper all stocked with stuff. We call it glam-ping!

      Great hub!

      Nice fishhead, btw.

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      I love camping but I agree, it is a lot of work! I think it's great to get kids outdoors and feel what it's like to not have those luxuries that they are used to! Very humorous hub and congrats on your nomination!

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination. I love this hub. Very well done. After spending last weekend camping, I agree. A million mosquitos, rain, mud, wet wood.... the list goes on. And when you add children it more than doubles. And they get bored. The idea of camping seems nice, but is nothing like the reality.

      And I really miss Boulder.


    • hazelbrown profile image

      hazelbrown 6 years ago from Central PA

      You gals are so funny! Deborah, I had forgotten about the mosquitos! Ugh! I also see that there are no guys posting here about how they don't like to camp... maybe it's too uncool to admit it? ;)

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 6 years ago from Midwest

      I guess I'm in the minority on this hub ;) I LOVE camping - being outdoors, seeing the millions of stars in the sky and the absolute quiet when everyone is asleep. I also go camping at a site that is very little used, extremely clean and has nice hot showers that practically blow you through the wall ;) so I think camping is awesome.

      The deer come out of the woods and graze and if you are quiet you can watch them - I hear owls in the trees and even coyotes howling at night :) I haven't had the chance to go in a couple of years and I miss it.

      Congrats on your nomination :)

    • Keeley Shea profile image

      Keeley Shea 6 years ago from Norwich, CT

      I agree with you about hating camping but I am trying to find something to like about it since my boyfriend also likes it. It doesn't help having two boys either. Great Hub! Great that you can laugh and make fun of it too!

    • Slave2No1 profile image

      Slave2No1 6 years ago from Oneida, NY

      I've never liked camping either, which is why I wrote the Hub: The Advantages of Stay-cations. If the men in your life were the least bit sympathetic, they'd haul everything (their tent stuff, etc.) in a small trailer (where you can sleep and have a bathroom-shower & sink. Apparently, they want you along for the cooking, clean-up etc. In reality, the guys should be MEN and go by themselves. Sometimes vacations apart make for better relationships. 24/7 together can be a strain, even in the most loving, giving &/or tolerant situations.

    • profile image

      stessily 6 years ago

      hazelbrown: I haven't gone camping in a while but I loved it when I did, even though I had not actually thought that I would like it 'cuz before I met my then-boyfriend I was 100% city girl. I went with my boyfriend and his brother, who's a fantastic campfire cook, and we used to go midnight trout fishing and be visited every time by a mother duck with her babies and savor the freshness of pan-fried trout. The stars were so close that I felt that I could touch them but instead I let them stay free! One time my boyfriend was taking my picture while I stood on the roof of my beloved yellow Toyota Corolla (hand-painted by him and me), and all these cows ambled over to be in the photo --- it was a great photo, all those black-and-white cows staring at the camera and surrounding me on the Toyota as though they were protecting me! One time we were walking, rounded a bend in the road and heard splashing and happy sounds; it was several otters playing in a pond and having so much fun. Perhaps I was just lucky, but it was magical!

    • Kind Regards profile image

      Kind Regards 6 years ago from Missouri Ozarks - Table Rock Lake

      I couldn't agree more, although I do love the scenery, the outdoors and just being there. Unfortunately, all the things you mentioned make it pretty miserable.

    • Slave2No1 profile image

      Slave2No1 6 years ago from Oneida, NY

      Seems to me there are people who are 'out-doors-y' and people who aren't, but I suppose there are also degrees. IE: Those who are year-'round & those who prefer better weather; those who are hunters or not, etc. It could even be a matter of claustrophobia, but as I see it, it's more the willingness to tolerate bugs, (bears?) wild animals & turns of bad weather, (heavy wind & rain).

    • hazelbrown profile image

      hazelbrown 6 years ago from Central PA

      Thanks for the great comments, everybody! You're starting to make me remember the things I actually do like about camping... but also the things I don't :D

    • Slave2No1 profile image

      Slave2No1 6 years ago from Oneida, NY

      Even as a child, I always thought "Why are we leaving all the comforts of home to spend time under conditions that were tough on our ancestors?" It was almost like a yearly reminder that no matter what few 'luxuries' you may have at home & no matter how 'poor' you thought you were, I know I was ALWAYS glad to get back home when the vacation was over, NEVER sad that it was; Plus the fact that there was some measure of relief that our home & all our possessions were still in tact. It's a well-known fact that thieves & burglars love 'vacations' of any kind to ply their trade. I never understood what could make all the extra expense & hassle worth the risk. Grass is NOT greener somewhere else & even if it's blue, what's the point? How can it possibly make any difference?

    • hazelbrown profile image

      hazelbrown 6 years ago from Central PA

      Ha, nice point! I agree!

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Hazel thise was entertaining to say the least. My wife is in line with your thought process. Her idea of "roughing" it is to get a Motel without cable TV.

      I vote up and funny...

    • hazelbrown profile image

      hazelbrown 6 years ago from Central PA

      CMerritt, I'm with your wife! I didn't even know you could get a motel room with no TV... yikes!

    • DynamicS profile image

      Sandria Green-Stewart 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      hazelbrown, I was with you until recently when we went to a Learn to Camp program. Everything was provided for us; all we had to bring was our sheets,comforters, pillows and food stuff.

      While I might be a converted camper, one night was all that I could tolerate. I was ready to go home and get a long warm bath the very next morning. Although, the campsite had a comfort area with showers and washrooms. So I guess it wasn't that bad.

      I'd say go camping in a camper or a rv. At least you're not sleeping on the ground and you can be in some comfort. Not to mention that most rvs have air, connections for electricity, running water and sewage. I agree with you though, roughing it is not my style. Give me a five star hotel and room service...

    • hazelbrown profile image

      hazelbrown 5 years ago from Central PA

      Hmm, I would definitely be up for trying a RV trip! I like the look of those pop-out campers too... but the RV wins for having a bathroom and electricity :)

    • profile image

      mrGuy 4 years ago

      100% agree with this. My wife loves it; my kids love it.

      I despise it.

      Camping to me is nothing but loading up an enormous pile of stuff, unloading it, setting it up, tearing it down, reloading it into the cars, unloading it again at home, WASHING a ton of clothes and supplies,

      and in between, several days of bugs, heat, sweat, dirt, and discomfort.

      And this is even WITH a place that at least has a shower.

      One point I'd like to add; camping is insufferably boring. One day of swimming in the lake, sitting by the fire at night, eating out in the campsite, is actually fun. But 3 days? 4 days? longer?

      I know some people love it. Believe me. I realize this.

      But to me, a camping trip is just a triple shift of work and aggravation that leaves me tired, annoyed, and desperately needing a vacation, except that all I get to do is go back to work.

      Look, we're not Lewis and Clark. We are not out in the woods for months fighting for our survival. We are supposed to be having time off and having fun. Not with camping, I'm not.

    • profile image

      phillip 3 years ago

      We go camping every year and some how something gets spilled on my pillow every year and it is the worst felling ever.

    • hazelbrown profile image

      hazelbrown 3 years ago from Central PA

      Phillip, how awful! Nobody wants to camp with a wrecked pillow! Ugh!

    • profile image

      3 years ago

      Suck it up. Camping is the best.

    • profile image

      JMScae 2 years ago

      We just bought an RV and I hate it. Trying hard to at least be neutral when we go camping, but it's like living in bizarro world. Just don't get what is fun about being stranded for days at a campground. My husband has always wanted an RV, and I always said the last thing I want to do is hurl my body down the road in a big metal box. So, here I am, getting ready to wash the sheets, make the bed, buy the groceries and cart all of it to the RV and stow it so I can sit around for the weekend getting another round of bug bites, then come home and haul stuff back into the house and put I t away.

    • hazelbrown profile image

      hazelbrown 2 years ago from Central PA

      Oh dear... I just got sympathy camping nausea from reading that, JMScae! You must love your husband a lot to agree to an RV! And who is doing all the work to get ready for camping, eh? So sorry!

    • profile image

      Chris 2 years ago

      so the number of times your S.O. does something for you they absolutely despise they should be able to torrentially downpour on your parade the same way? Enjoy the memories while you can, just because it's work or not perfectly clean and sanitary conditions doesn't mean you can't find something enjoyable about it. Some of the comments I've read especially the one about the ducks and watching the otters play that's things people would pay good money to see and you got to experience it for free. Or simply your doing something selfless and indulging your S.O. in something they enjoy and bringing some happiness to their world. Obviously they are passionate about it and are trying to share that passion and excitement with you.

    • hazelbrown profile image

      hazelbrown 2 years ago from Central PA

      Hi Chris, I totally agree that selflessly joining in on the passions of your significant other is the way to go. I really do. This Hub was just expressing how much I dislike this particular activity. I agree that going along with something that makes your partner happy is worth it, even if it makes me uncomfortable. This hub was written after one particularly uncomfortable camping trip, for many reasons. As a life rule, however, I am with you all the way! Thanks for reading & commenting.

    • profile image

      mouselol 2 years ago

      I loathe camping. From feeling scungy, to everything being damp when you try to sleep, to my creature comforts being at's just not for me! My version of camping is a heated extra long trailer or a chalet by the lake. No electricity, no running water, no coffee maker....count me out! Yuck

    • hazelbrown profile image

      hazelbrown 2 years ago from Central PA

      Totally agree, mouse! I got a squirrely feeling just reading your comment. Camping... ick!

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