Camping is like playing with race cars on a track. The fun part is not setting up the track. The fun part is racing the cars. Camping is nothing but setting up the track. And then once it’s all set up, you break it down and go home. It makes zero sense.
I don’t know why people work hard to put a decent roof over their heads with indoor plumbing and refrigeration only to leave it behind and eat hot dogs out of a cooler while reeking of musty sleeping bag and OFF! bug spray. What is it that campers think they need to get away from exactly?
Perhaps it’s mirrors. Camping seems to be a license to look your worst.
Maybe it has to do with all the work involved in making a lousy cup of tea in the morning but campers seem blissfully unaware of the concept of bedhead. Plus you get to wear your crappiest, ill-fitting clothes. Yay?
Anything goes. I guess that’s the attraction. I don’t think anything should go especially if it involves sleeping on an air mattress as raccoons try to pry open the cooler full of wet pop cans and sandwich meat at 2 a.m.
And while wild animals try to raid your makeshift kitchen, that is when a trip—and it is an actual trip—to the washroom is necessary. The routine is the same for everyone: wriggle out of the sleeping bag, find a flashlight, and march with purpose to the ugly brick building with the row of toilets and two shower stalls, all the while hoping a bored or frustrated murderer hasn’t chosen this weekend to go camping too.
I know I’m not the only one who has chosen a toilet stall based on the human-to-spider ratio and the location of each arachnid. Big black one too close to the toilet paper—next. Daddy Long Legs too close to my head—next. Juicy looking one with big butt within a 10-foot radius—next.
I’ve tried naming spiders I’ve had to shower with just to make them a bit cuter and the whole experience less awkward. It doesn’t really work. There’s something very disconcerting about being naked with bugs. This kind of thing doesn’t happen at home.
It’s not as if I don’t like the outdoors. I’m happy to paddle past a campsite in a canoe while I take in the beauty of the lake and trees around it. I love a good hike through the woods and if I happen to spot a pretty bird or a deer, I’m over the moon.
But then I leave and I go home to my natural habitat. It’s covered in red brick and has a working shower, a fridge, a hairbrush, and comfortable bed with a toilet just down the hall.
When you jam a tent, cooler, lawn chairs, a Coleman stove and other camping paraphernalia into the trunk of your car you’re not leaving the chaos of your life behind. You’re trying to pack the comforts of your life into the back of a Toyota Corolla. What you’re really leaving behind is your dignity.