I wasn’t brought up camping. But I have two little boys, an outdoorsy husband, limited holiday funds, hundreds of gorgeous camping spots within a two hour radius and friends who are veteran campers. So I camp. And I have learned to love it.
I promise you can too.
Just so you know — I’m not into roughing it but I’m no princess either. Probably more of a down-on-her-luck duchess who cooks her own meals but doesn’t grow the food. If you are a bit duchess-y yourself, here are some ways to love camping.
If you hate camping, there has to be a reason. Why all the venom? Really bad experience? Unless there is a good reason to hold on, make like the ice princess and Let It Go. Just because it rained every camping trip as a kid and your parents made you eat uncooked noodles and pee behind a wet tree doesn’t mean all camping is bad.
It’s all about the real estate
You need to check it out before you go. The view is important. The amenities are paramount. And like all real estate – don’t trust the website pictures. Also do not trust people who say that “real” camping involves communing with nature and doing your business in the bush. Those people are not your friends.
You can do nothing and that’s the whole point
There isn’t much to do when camping. But there is sitting. How often in your busy life do you get stretches of time to do nothing but sit? Even on other holidays there is always the pressure to go do and go see. But when you camp, you set up shop and you stay there. It’s kind of blissful.
You can drink. Whenever you want.
Aside from the sitting, there is also the drinking. They go surprisingly well together. And it’s always past noon somewhere in the world.
The kids take care of themselves.
If you have kids and go with another family, the kids will entertain each other. If you don’t go with another family, the kids will find some other random kids and entertain each other. Basically, they will take care of themselves in a way that they don’t at home. And you won’t care in a way that you would never not care at home. Probably has something to do with the sitting and the drinking.
You are almost forced to go to sleep.
Okay, I admit a camping bed isn’t exactly as inviting as five star enormous king size bed. But you can make it pretty comfy as long as you raise your bed off the ground. Invest in a stretcher. It makes a huge difference. And once dinner is done, the kids are in bed and you have had a few minutes of adult chat around the camp fire, there’s nothing left for it but catching up on some much needed sleep.
You can pretend you don’t have internet access.
You can tell people that you are completely uncontactable. Before you go, you make a face and say “camping”. And everyone will leave you alone for a few days.
You get to see your partner in Bear Grylls mode.
Is there anything sexier than seeing your partner take on the wild? I mean, aside from seeing them do the housework and put the kids to bed? Okay, to be honest my partner probably goes more into Grizzly Adams mode when we camp, but I loved that man and his bear when I was kid. And the bristle isn’t too bad after a few days.
You can catch up on reading (actual books)
My favourite part of camping is having the time to sit and read. A good book, a comfy chair, a cold glass of bubbles and the children having a good time, nowhere near me — it doesn’t get much better than that.
IMAGE REF: Tent pictured is the “What a Melon” tent from Field Candy.