The Not So Fun Parts Of Camping
As much fun that camping brings by being in touch with nature, there are those who are not so fond of it. They reason that since the human species have spent so much time trying to advance and modernize, why would you undo this by going camping? It is dirty and expensive, and bugs, insects and bad weather are inevitable and unavoidable.
When it comes to eating and sleeping well on a camping trip, these are two important factors that can make or break your camping experience. However, in order to properly elevate your camping trip, there are other nitty-gritty factors that should be taken into consideration as well.
One of the most annoying things about being in the outdoors is the bugs and insects that seem impossible to keep out. Even if you think you took all necessary precautions, there is bound to be that one rogue bug that manages to make its way into your tent and ruin your night.
A possible (and inexpensive) solution to this would be the use of insect repellent with effective ingredients such as DEET. However, this is not always the best choice as repellents are not the safest or healthiest option and it often smells bad. In such a case, natural repellents like citronella oils or even using tiki torches might work. Tiki torches can be placed along the borders of your campsite to create a barrier and even adds a bit of pizzazz.
Woes of the Outdoors
While camping, having a comfortable bed is not always possible and sleeping on the cold hard ground is often inevitable. This can make it hard to get a good night’s rest, even with the help of a sleeping pad. What’s worse is that you might even wake up feeling sore all over and still feel tired. The use of an air mattress may help mitigate this but investing in one of good quality is important as the cheap ones tend to become deflated while in use. However, these air mattresses can be heavy and take up the already limited space you have while camping. Hence, another alternative is cots and/or hammocks, which has been proven to work just as well.
Another factor of camping that is out of your control is the unpredictable weather. Come unprepared for just the slightest bit and this might just ruin your camping experience. Especially when it rains, things become a lot more difficult to accomplish as everything is wet and slippery. One way is to get waterproof gear and a foldable canopy that can help keep the rain away from ruining all your precious equipment. These canopies allow you to continue cooking or even start a campfire despite the weather conditions and also provide a good shade when the sun is shining bright.
Lastly, being outdoors means that bathrooms are either dirty and insect-filled or not present at all. Showers are not always guaranteed at campsites and when they are, they are often of sub-par quality. Hence, it is important to read up about the place you would be going to beforehand and come prepared with sponge baths or Biowipes, should your campsite not provide shower facilities. For example, Surviveware wipes are made especially for campers and are hypoallergenic, biodegradable and unscented.
It can be boring and tedious to be outdoors for extended periods of time. There is a limit to how much eating and fire-watching you can do and thus this makes for a lot of time spent sitting around while camping. Thus, it is probably best to plan some activities for yourself and with friends beforehand. Such activities could include biking, hiking, playing games or even exploring nearby attractions. Making the effort to bring things for entertainment such as speakers or a frisbee can make your whole camping experience much livelier and fun.
Noise and the Crowds
Especially during the peak season, campsites are bound to be packed like sardines. Many campsites are not exactly the most spacious and you would often find yourself sandwiched between other campers. Moreover, with the buzzing of generators and compressors, RV parks are usually noisy even at night. Therefore, a way to avoid this is to go camping off-peak season and/or find a more ‘off-the-grid’ campsite. Normally, campsites see the most number of people during the summer and are even more crowded on holidays and weekends. Furthermore, more popular campsites are usually located nearer to popular cities so looking for those that are either tent-only campgrounds or somewhere further on places such as HipCamp or GlampingHub can be useful.
Cooking outdoors is synonymous to transferring your entire kitchen at home outside, including the sink. If this is not something up your alley, you would probably have to settle for simple, easy-to-make meals. It is much more cumbersome to prepare, wash, cut, cook and clean in the outdoors. Again, preparation is key here. Granted it will still be quite time-consuming but camping with friends or family means that you are able to allocate different tasks among the group. One handy equipment to have is a camp stove that can help to cook easy meals such as tin foil dinners and chicken quesadillas.
The Trouble and the Costs
Before you can even commence camping, you would first have to pack all your bags, make your way to the campsite, unload your equipment and set up your tent. This can already be enough of a deterrence to some from camping. Not to mention, cleaning and packing up to leave after you are done and this can make camping hard to enjoy by yourself. Moreover, the inexperienced camper would probably not have essential camping equipment lying around at home, such as tents, toves and sleeping bags and having to get brand new ones might be pretty expensive.
Therefore, as with the above-mentioned downsides to camping, planning and preparation can help to mitigate this. Splitting up tasks, using bigger bags and completing most of the food preparation can help make the whole camping process less troublesome. Planning out exactly what gear to get and shopping and secondhand stores or borrowing from others can be helpful as well.
At the end of the day, camping is an activity that can help to bond family and friends on a deeper level and train up your independence, which can feel extremely rewarding. It is also a chance to disconnect and relax from technology and the hustle of the city.
In essence, camping can still be enjoyable if the necessary preparations and arrangements are made, so just fun and stay safe!
Hi, I am Amy I have two loves in my life camping and writing. When I am not writing for The Expert Camper, I am usually camping. Lake District is one of my favourite spots, but really anywhere in the UK under canvas I am happy.