The Underachiever's Guide to Saying No To Camping

See - I can be flexible on vacation!

For years, friends of mine have been begging me to go camping. 

The answer is no.

No.  No.  Hell no.  Not a chance.  Not if it was THE most fun thing to do all summer long.  I have said no so many times that I was thinking I would start handing out a public service announcement-type pamphlet listing the reasons why I choose to just-say-no-to-camping.  I am most certainly NOT a primadonna so stop judging me!  I am absolutely NOT closed minded.  I like to try new things.  But like the fact that I've never tasted cheesecake in almost 40 years of living - I am not missing out on the temptation of fattening calories.  I can say that there is something that I DON'T eat that is sinful.  So it's the same with camping. I can say that it is something I've never done, and that's ok.  I can say no - and be perfectly content that there are plenty of things I DO try that make me adventurous (such as staying in hotels without wi-fi, etc). and therefore I am not being stubborn.

Let's start with the arguments brought forth by avid campers, followed by my rebuttals:

1.  Don't you want to know how it feels to sleep under the stars and wake up at dawn to birds chirping?
Answer:  Since I will not actually "fall asleep" due to my all-consuming, irrational fear of being eaten by a bear or another sizable creature, the question does not apply to me.  Also, if I really wanted to 'sleep with one eye open' under the stars, I could always sprawl out on my lawn furniture in the safety of my deck, look up for approximately 5 minutes or less, depending on my attention span at that moment, and then when I snap out of it, I can trudge back in the house with my blankie and crawl in my own damn bed.  As far as morning goes - I don't tolerate being awake long without my morning coffee.  So if I have to get up at 4 am, chop wood, build a new fire, boil my water and make Nescafe for everyone else while they sleep in - so they can enjoy their java when they wake with the sunrise - no thanks, I'll pass.  There are too many sharp objects and rogue sticks and branches for me to be stabby around those I love.  I don't buy the Raisin Bran commercial of John Denver smiling into his bowl of cereal while his dog sits by and watches peacefully.  Not buying or believing that craziness. And for the record, sunshine on my shoulders (while camping), makes me stabby.

(denverpost.com)  The only Rocky Mountain High I'm going to get from camping is if someone throws some pot in the fire and I inhale it while choking down s'mores.

2.  You'll be so tired from the hiking trails, swimming, and setting up camp that you'll fall right to sleep!   Hello.  Have we met?   A.  I don't 'own'  hiking-friendly shoes. B. I hate bugs.  C. Swimming in a pool of Canadian Geese- poop- tainted water, thus resulting in a bad case of duck itch later on, is not something that will help me 'peacefully' fall asleep from fatigue.  I will be suffering there in my sleeping bag, in the crunchy dirt -made earthen mattress, fantasizing about Benadryl while scratching my skin off from my skin that is now the parasites' home.  So to counter your argument - my point is no - no way in hell will I be tired from hiking, swimming, swatting mosquitoes, and struggling to find a comfortable spot for my sleeping bag.  In the crazy, rare event that I would be so exhausted from the terrors of the outdoors, I can just imagine me falling asleep with a leftover s'more in my hand, inviting a raccoon to attack in the middle of my slumber and all I can find to poke him with is a plastic spork left over from dinner.  You never hear about death by sporking now do you?  Raccoon -  1, DG - 0.  No.  I will be angry and aggravated, grouchy, bitchy and humorless.  And like Bruce Banner (Hulk), you wouldn't like it when I'm angry.

3.  But don't you want a break from the Blogworld, Facebook, Social Media, Computers, News, the World?  I am a blogger.  Taking away my laptop is like pulling the couch out from under me while I'm in session with my shrink.  I resent the implication that I spend too much time in Cyberspace.  And for your information, being in cyberspace is like 'sleeping under the stars' for me.  So ...next question.

4.  But you'll be in a tent - you'll be fine. Let me start my argument to this statement with some information on tents. 

Tent fabric may be made of many materials including cotton (canvas), nylon, felt and polyester. Cotton absorbs water, so it can become very heavy when wet, but the associated swelling tends to block any minute holes so that wet cotton is more waterproof than dry cotton. Cotton tents were often treated with paraffin to enhance water resistance. Nylon and polyester are much lighter than cotton and do not absorb much water; with suitable coatings they can be very waterproof, but they tend to deteriorate over time due to a slow chemical breakdown caused by ultraviolet light. The most common treatments to make fabric waterproof are silicone impregnation or polyurethane coating. Since stitching makes tiny holes in a fabric seams are often sealed or taped to block these holes and maintain waterproofing, though in practice a carefully sewn seam can be waterproof. (wikipedia)
So there you have it.  A lightweight raincoat is with a few poles held in the ground by a stake that you hammer in with a rock because someone inevitably forgets a hammer, is going to protect me from creatures lurking in the woods.  False.  It is like the wrapper on a candy bar for a bear.  So lightweight and airy that they can bite right into it and not mind the chewy outer layer of a delicious snack that is my leg.  Na-ganna-happen.


5.  Don't you want a change of scenery to get refreshed and just breathe and take in the beauty of nature?   If you mean 'don't you want to give up your king sized comfy luscious bed with 500 thread count sheets in your cool, dry, bug free, incredibly well-built home made of structured walls around you and 3 different beautiful, well-operating bathrooms complete with hot running water, sinks, and outlets for your flat iron?  Then  No.  No I do not want to give any of that up to breathe in the beauty of nature.  That is why I have a rose garden on the side of my house.  I can go outside - stop...and smell my roses.  Then I can go back INSIDE my home and carry on with my day.  See.  I'm outdoorsy in that I enjoy the flowers in my yard.  Win/Win.

Classic.  http://www.someecards.com/

6.  It would be so much fun you wouldn't even know you were camping.  Add the alcoholic drinks and you'll be laughing in no time.  Ok so let me understand.  Your intent is to get me so tipsy that I won't be upset that there is NO bathroom - that I'll revert to some type of Cavewoman status and feel free to just drop trou anywhere and relieve myself and my weak, underachieving bladder that is damaged from 3 children?  So I'm supposed to be excited about the fact that I can have the adventure of wandering in the woods every half an hour to find a safe place to pee while I run into the Charmin bear - so friendly and kind - just waiting for me with toilet paper in my time of need?  Nein danke.  No.  Nicht.  Oxi.  Nei.  Nan.  Non.  Hells no.

A bear in the woods does not want to help me wipe my ass by providing soft toilet paper like the Charmin bear here.  He wants to take a bite out of my ass.  So thank you very much - I'm going to say no.  http://www.charmin.com/

7.  Camping is like an art.  As long as you are prepared, it is a beautiful experience.  If I'm hearing this right, there is some skill involved.  Like art.  Art requires skill.  I am a terrible artist who can barely draw a stick figure - so once again, I fall short in the talent that is needed to camp.  And what do you mean by 'prepared?'   Prepared to me, means bringing along everything - including the kitchen sink, a garage, an mosquito zapper, a taser gun, a stereo, fridge, grill, trash compactor, bed, walls, carpet, outlets...am I forgetting anything?  NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOO can anyone hear me?  You can NEVER be prepared enough while camping.  Never. Ever. Stop lying to yourselves!

Okaaaaay, I'm readyyy!  (http://www.dumb.com/)

8.  You'll be outdoors - no one cares about your hair and makeup but you.   Again, you've known me how long?  Have you EVER seen me without makeup and a flat ironed hair job?  Contrary to popular belief, I do NOT wake up this beautiful.  It takes a team of experts including MAC cosmetics, John Frieda, Bobbi Brown and the rest of my beauty team to get me ready in the morning.  I don't see enough room at this campsite for my entourage.  If you recall, dear friends, even after the births of my 3 children, I was photo ready, complete with eyeliner and mascara.  Sue me.  I wasn't born with a naturally gorgeous look about me.  As far as my hair goes..it's more of a safety issue.  I can imagine my hair, after a day of being in the hot and humid outdoors, exploding to 25x its size, thus being an attraction to bats flying overhead.  I would inevitable end up with a bird or other flying object stuck in my hair, and fall into the fire from a complete freak out reaction.  For my own safety and the safety of people, birds and other wildlife around me, I must decline the camping offer.

Snakes in hair? I might be Greek - but I'm not digging the Medusa look.  http://www.bztoonscom/

9.  The water from the stream is ice cold refreshing and safe to drink.  Ok, so the malaria-induced fever you have from too many mosquitoes biting you has led you to believe that drinking stream water is safe.  Call me later when you have symptoms of the ebola virus.  Sucker.  You may just fit into that size 2 dress that you foolishly bought and hung in your closet.  (Wait a minute...weight loss that easy?  Finally - a perk to camping?  Give me a drink of that damn stream water - and get out of my way!)

10.  (Drumroll) And finally - the grand finale - the line that gets me everytime...Don't you want to have the experience of camping out with your kids?  Let's think about this for a minute.  As if my own needs aren't enough to worry about during a day/night in the rough, I have to think of all of their needs too?  I need to pack their blankies, their favorite stuffed animals, their must-have snacks, their nighttime milk, their favorite lullabies.  I would have to spend half of a day packing their stuff - then schlepping it to the campsite - unpacking it, listening to them ask me a hundred questions on why I forgot to pack their Star Wars mini-figures, their this, their that.  I'd be replacing their hot dogs after they repeatedly either drop it on the ground and/or burn it or drop it in the fire.  I'd be paralyzed by fear that someone is going to get pushed, trip or fall INTO the fire.  I'd be constantly taking one of them into the woods to pee.  Nope.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Simple Math/Addition Problem:  One cranky mom plus 3 children like the one listed above equals infinite number of freakouts per hour.  http://picture-book.com/content/camping-tripmcgraw-hill

I know.  I'm a drama queen when it comes to the outdoors.  I get that.  I have this whole crazy scenario worked up in my head.  Save your "why don't you try it, you'll like it" comments because I am not going camping.  I'm ok with that. I'm a city girl.  You can take a girl out of the city, but you can't get her to shut up if she's miserable at a campsite.  It's all fun and games until someone has to deal with an uncomfortable, scared version of me in the outdoors.  For everyone's safety and comfort, I'm staying home.  If you or someone you know is a camper and loves every minute of it.  Congratufreakinglations.  And I mean that with a warm heart.

Love and Bugfree Hugs,

Brilliant pic - (bluntcards.com I think!)


  1. Oh. My. God. THANK YOU. Thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart. Why is it a crime to not want to go camping - especially when Mom is the one that has to plan, pack, prepare, unpack - everything! Hilarious. I loved every minute of it. Signed, another non-campers anonymous

  2. Thanks for this! I dont intend to "pop a squat" in the woods either! I have had one experience camping where I fell to peer pressure. I was 6 months pregnant and it was 98 degrees! Needless to say at 4am I was packing everything and insisted my husband take me home! Horrible experience but it now is a funny memory!

  3. Heck yeah lol my husband has got this sudden urge to go camping. We have a 9 month old together and he has a 12 and 10 year old from a previous marriage.. the 12 and 10 year old are hardcore gamers (xbox 360, ps3, nintendo ds.. you name it and they play it.. daily).. and the thought of me having to listen to them complain because they're bored and have no game systems, having to make sure all their stuff as packed, as well as the massive amount of things needed for a baby, AND make sure my hubby is packed, and we have everything else we need (my husband's philosophy for packing is " if you didn't pack it then we didn't need it") just exhausts me to think about... combined with my fear of snakes and other creepy crawlies.. no thanks i'l stay home in my air conditioner.. we live in arkansas and we're in the middle of a major drought so those pretty sparkly streams probably don't even exist right now lol

  4. Solution - tent in the backyard. Full on outdoor experience with an easily accessible bathroom and kitchen...and WiFi! Everyone wins :)

  5. The tent in the backyard can be for the kids and hubby! Not me. Like you, I LOVE my bed. Why would I ever sleep on the ground or even a blow-up mattress. Others want to, fine. But leave me out of it!

  6. I always joke the only place you will ever catch me camping is at the Ritz Carlton. I will never, ever go camping. Call me what you will, I don't care. The camping advocates can bite me....at least the bugs won't.

  7. I love every word of this. I am a non-camper surrounded by family who have made it their mission to turn me in to one, and they are just not getting that it is Never Going To Happen. Think I'll be distributing this post near and far, lol. Love, love, love it! Best one yet.

  8. My boys are Cub Scouts and I am constantly being asked, why I don't camp or why I want to miss out on sharing the experience with them....I usually throw out a sarcastic answer of my own, but I think I will just forward this blog post to them from now on. Thanks!

  9. I hate camping. I hate using a community shower/bathroom. I hate sleeping bags. I hate bugs. And, what's more, I hate s'mores. Most overrated dessert in the universe. I'm a climate-control kind of girl and I make no apologies about it.

    1. Have we met? I'm sure I was just reading my alter ego! Wow, this is straight from my heart as well :-)
      'Cept that I've never had s'mores...
      All hail the airconditioning!!!

    2. Carin - I'm rather like DG with her cheesecake; I've never actually EATEN a s'more, nor do I want to. Each of the ingredients is fine individually, but it's a disgusting, melty mess when put together. And it involves a campfire, which I hate, too. And then a bug will fly into the gooey mess. And I hate bugs....

  10. I am a lifelong, avid camper and admit to being guilty of trying to convince friends and family that they will love it if they try it. I've been wrong - a lot! I laughed all through this post! I could hear the voice of a dear friend reading it in my head the whole time. I have learned through bad experience that a person who thinks they aren't the camping type, are probably right, and will suck every bit of enjoyment out of camping for everyone else on the trip. Now, I don't even try to convince anyone, I want to go and have a good time with no one whining. I will have to share this post, I know a few people who will love it!

  11. Oh yeah, whoop-tee-fuckin'-doo!!!! Let's all get into a caravan the size of my car and spend a rainy 3 weeks packed into that space!!!
    Or worse yet: a tent!

    When I was a kid, my parents bought a big caravan and put it on a campsite. We went there Every Bleedin' Weekend And Holiday!!!! When it was Spring, the tent was being put up and nailed into pallets so it would stay there untill late into Fall. My sister and I got to sleep in the tent wether it was warm, humid, rainy, cold.

    When Winter set in the tent was put down and my sister and me got to sleep inside the caravan in a bunk bed. Yuck!

    It was always too light, so I didn't sleep well. This went on for about 13 years.

    My parents thought they were doing us a favor. They still love it there.
    Not everything was bad. I had friends there, we swam, played volleyball, explored the woods. But it was always the same.

    So: NO WAY I'm going to do this to our kids. Call me a luxury-lover, and I'll say: HELL YEAH!

    If I don't sleep well, I'll be cranky. The idea of a holiday or trip was to relax and have fun, right? Well, lack of sleep is not funny and not relaxing at all.

    To each his own. Put me up in a nice hotel or condo and I'll be happy. Therefore, my family will be happy(ish).

    Well said, DG!!!! I salute you.

    hugs from across the Atlantic.

  12. This is wonderful stuff! I would NEVER do this style of camping!! We have a 35 foot travel trailer with 2 kitchens, 400 thread count sheets and the kids have their own bedroom! I don't want anyone to go with us (eventhough we can sleep 10!), I just like to have all our space for ourselves. LOL. We do canoe and bike and take walks/playgrounds/swimming, but we always come back to the great A/C and shower!
    That being said, it is still not home, but we love it and would never want to "talk someone into going". If you dont want to go you are just going to make it miserable for the rest of us, so we will check ya when we get back! :)
    I heard a comedian once talking about camping - she said "I don't live in a trailer park, I just vacation to one......pass the dirty ketchup, this is living!!!"

    Great Read DG!!

  13. Hilarious! I am going to make my husband read this because he's been campaigning for camping since our son turned 4 last November. He wants a fun family experience but what he doesn't realize (no clue how he doesn't get this after we've been together for 10 years) is that outdoorsy stuff makes me miserable. And, when I'm miserable, EVERYONE is going to be miserable with me. Bravo on another fabulously funny post that I can relate to!

  14. I laughed the whole way through this because I have both been camping and experienced some of the anxieties you foresaw. Stay away from camping. As a fellow sufferer of morning bitchitis, camping is not for the person who could easily invision stabbing a loved one in the face with a fork for being to perky before they've had a few cups of coffee and a shower. Great post!

  15. hilarious! this one reminded me of your first dates with your husband. the hiking story I will never forget. I happen to love camping, but I totally appreciate all the reasons you list here as to why you wouldn't. I bet when I have a child I will learn to hate camping. ;)

  16. Amen, Amen, Amen! I'll spend the day outdoors, but at night I want a bed, a shower and a toilet. I want the bed off the ground, and the shower and toilet within steps of the bed...and not steps that take me through woods, gravel or dirt...

  17. I don't have a blog, so my name is Laura. Nice to meetcha, and thanks for cracking me up this morning... on to my comment:

    Touche. I, too, am a lifelong camper, and absolutely love it. Yeah, there are bugs, yeah, there's poison ivy (unless I missed it, you forgot to mention the poisonous or otherwise pokey/sting-y/dangerous plant life...), but for ME, it's a wonderful way to get away.

    How 'bout this? I'll stop bugging you, the non-camper in my life, about camping, if you quit telling me that I'm a freak because I like it. Ok? I'll stop extolling the beauty of the outdoors if you quit telling me that I'm a lunatic because I turn off my A/C, don't use hair products unless absolutely necessary (besides shampoo/conditioner) and am a Nature Girl.

    And at the end of the day, we'll come together and still be friends - City Goddess and Nature Girl.

  18. *screeches to a halt*
    Wait. You have never had cheesecake?? :-o
    . . . Okay, I'll read the rest of the post now.

  19. I don't get the concept of camping for those of us with 'affluent' lifestyles.

    My parents, (God love them) didn't have much money growing up. My Mother was a teacher and always had Summers off. (God help me!) So Dad decided it was a good idea to buy some huge caravan, strip out the back seats, and make this our "camping mobile" for years and years. I've been to EVERY waterfall in the UP of Michigan. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE!

    I get the mindset of my parents. They wanted us to go on a vacation as a family, and this is what they could provide at the time; long ass drives, waking us up at 2am to start the journey up North, community bathrooms that never had hot water, electricity was a gift, the horror of mosquitoes buzzing in your ear, waking up every morning barely able to breathe because of your horrendous allergies, the feel of sand in every crevice of your body, (it's inevitable - you can't get rid of it!) and the never-ending feeling that you're always damp/wet. NO THANK YOU!

    We camped because we had no money.

    So let me get this straight... I worked my ass off from the moment I got out of college. I didn't have kids - I worked. I didn't get married until almost 30 - I worked. I spent 60 hour weeks behind a desk or on a plane while friends got hitched and popped out babies, wracking up credit card debt and buying houses they couldn't afford. I worked.

    Now that I live in a 3,000 square foot house, with jacuzzi tubs, marble, a $3,000 bed w/Egyptian cotton sheets, my 6 doggies, (I love my dogs) 3 full baths with lush towels and ALWAYS warm water, where I don't have to put on flip-flops for fear of some unknown foot fungus... You want me to leave all this to go sleep on the ground, in the woods, with bugs, to rough it?

    So I'm lost. I work my ass off for 20 years of my life for the 'finer' things, and now you want me to go live like we did when my family was poor?

    What is wrong with this picture?

  20. OMG! How did U do this? Somehow U found your way into my brain and took all of my thought about camping and wrote this blog (except oly have 2 kids-nice touch!!)

    My idea of camping is staying at the Marriott!!

  21. I personally LOVE camping but I also LOVE this post. I have never suggested to anyone or try to convince them that they go camping. You can pretty much gauge in the first minute of a conversation about it whether or not someone would be into it. You pretty much have to be into it in order to enjoy it (pretty much like ANYTHING ELSE).

    I'm just surprised that once you have said no folks still invite you. I'll invite one time. If they say no, it's all good. I don't pressure my friends to go camping if they don't want to and I don't get invited to their mani/pedi days (we are all happy!) :)

  22. I love camping and I love you. You should stay away from the wilderness. You are too sweet, and the bears would eat your sweet ass for sure.


Support random acts of kindness and leave me a nice comment..it totally counts as a good deed.