It’s time for a rant. I’m sorry, but I have to. I was recently asked to go on a camping holiday. Me, a person who thinks that putting the bins out is a trip too far and someone who thinks the neighbor’s cat is a wild animal. The person asking wasn’t joking, but they were clearly insane.
“But why not?” they asked when I laughed in their face, realized they were joking and them gave them a bemused stare. “It’s a long story,” I told them. “I don’t have anything against people who camp and for some people, I’m sure it’s a great pastime. But I’m not those people and I’d rather binge on Cheetos and catch up on GoT.”
Instead of leaving me alone, they persisted, “But why not? It’s so much fun!” So, I will tell you what I told him.
This is why I don’t go camping:
1. I Like my Journeys to End in Comfort
I hate traveling. I hate the stress and the chaos. I’m British, so my idea of a holiday is to throw a few things in a bag, get into the nearest queue and check several times to make sure I packed my favorite tea bags. My partner is Greek, which means, well, the opposite. There is stress, noise, chaos—at the end, I feel like a tornado has been through the house and then politely packed everything it destroyed into my suitcase.
After all of that, and after a long car journey, I like to end up somewhere warm and cozy. I’ll take a cabin, a hotel, a friend’s house, but offer me a cold tent in the middle of nowhere and I’ll be taking my suitcase elsewhere. Also, the fact that I am British means my camping holiday is probably a lot different than yours, involving more rain, more wind, and temperatures that make you wish nature had central heating.
2. It’s Expensive
I’m 50% English and 50% Scottish, which means I 100% hate spending money. One of the few selling points for a camping holiday should be the fact that it’s cheap. It’s an argument my “friend” made, right before I asked him if that meant I would be given a free tent, a free stove, a free sleeping bag and a free place to camp for the night.
Obviously not. Even if you opt for the cheapest of the cheap and cut back on home comforts (a tent, a sleeping bag, some tea) then you’re still spending the same, if not more, than you would for a few nights in a top hotel.
Have you seen the price of tents? TentsAndCampGear.com recently tested some of the bigger ones on the market and drew several conclusions relating to the quality. I drew 1 conclusion: they are bloody expensive.
I love animals. They are ideal humans, in that they are loving, kind, furry and don’t talk. But I’m not big on wild animals. Thankfully, I’m not in the US, so I don’t have to worry about bears, mountain lions, and whatever other animals TV has told me are a very real threat over there. In the UK, we don’t have deadly spiders, scorpions, snakes or anything or the sort. You can be bitten by a dog…but we don’t have rabies either, so you’ll just and up spending the day waiting in A&E—that’s “Accident and Emergency” or the emergency room, for you Americans—(because “a day” is the average waiting time it seems) before being sent home with a tetanus jab, a sticky plaster and, if you’re lucky, a lollipop.
Personally, I don’t care if those spiders are deadly or not, they’re still spiders. We also have bugs. And sleeping on the floor where all of those creepy little guys can crawl over me and into any orifice they choose does not appeal to me in the least.
4. There Are No Toilets
There is no acceptable bathroom solution when it comes to camping. If you go to a camp ground, then you have to embrace public toilets, where you take it in turns to use a mold-encrusted block that seems to have been decorated in the fecal matter of former visitors. If you have a motor home, then at one point you’re going to have the job of emptying a week’s worth of human waste. And if you skip all of that and opt for the most basic method, then you’re left to bury your own poop like an animal.
I’m sorry, but none of that appeals to me.
5. You Can Never Feel Clean
I have been camping before. I was young and basically held against my will. During that time, one of my biggest issues was the fact that I never felt clean. Not really. The showers were too weak and too cold, and that’s only if you could actually find one that worked. You’re surrounded by dirt and thanks to the toilet issues mentioned above you’re always just a few feet from someone else’s morning excrement.
The last time I went camping I had the misfortune of staying in a tent int he middle of nowhere, where the only toilet was a shovel and a roll of paper. There were six of us and during the first two days I watched as they all veered off into different directions to do their business. Each time, they would veer a little further off course to avoid digging in the same place and eventually I realized that they were basically encircling me. I was surrounded by a barrier of hidden human excrement.
I had nightmares of all these burial mounds exploding, merging together like the T-1000 from Terminator 2 and attacking me.
How can you ever feel clean in a situation like that?
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