In my family, we have camping lovers and camping haters. My husband, kids, and I love to go camping. My mother just stares at me every time I talk about an upcoming camping trip and asks why I want to leave my brand new home that has a brand new bed with a brand new mattress so that I can go sleep in the woods on a mattress I fill with air. Being the articulate person I am I say, “Because it’s fun.”
It’s hard to explain to a non camper how relaxing it is to be out in the open air all day at a campground with miles of trails to hike and bike; or by a lake to go swimming, boating, or fishing in.
I tell my Mom how it’s fun to explore the area trails; looking at the views, the vegetation, and the wildlife. For example, during a recent camping trip an evening bike ride brought me within 10 feet of a baby deer out with its mother. It’s hard to explain how fun it is to be able to see something like that.
But instead my Mom asked me how bad the bugs bit and if I got sunburned during that day’s hike.
Then I try to explain to her about how much fun it is to sit around the campfire at night. It’s a great time for casual conversation and to have a beverage and maybe a few toasted marshmallows or S’mores. I love watching the flames and listening to the wood crackle and pop. My mom asks how we keep the mosquitoes away (lots of tiki torches and mosquito repellent) and says, “Doesn’t it get boring after a half hour?” Again, being the articulate person I am my answer is, “Ummmm, no.”
I try to explain the food cooked outdoors just tastes better. Campfire coffee along with bacon and eggs is hard to beat. And those little S’more makers you can buy in the store are nothing like the delicious S’mores you make over a real campfire. And if you’ve never had a pudgie pie made over a campfire, you’re missing out on one of the best camping foods there is! But when I explain to my Mom how good camping food is, she wonders if the bugs buzz around the food we’re trying to eat and asks if I miss my dishwasher. Thanks Mom! My pop-up camper doesn’t have hot water so I have to do things the old fashioned way and heat the water I need to wash dishes.
When it comes to camping though, most non campers could deal with sleeping in a tent or a pop-up camper and wouldn’t mind cooking their food outside. But the one sticking point for many non-campers is the bathroom and shower facilities at campgrounds (unless you’re lucky enough to have a camper with its own bathroom and shower facilities). Camping is not like staying at a 5 star hotel. The bathroom and shower amenities take a little getting used to. Some people will wait as long as possible to go to the bathroom because they want to avoid using the pit toilets at the campground any more than necessary. My sister-in-law doesn’t mind the pit toilets as much as she minds the spiders that are usually in them.
Camping is what you make of it. Nobody says you have to like it. My Mom doesn’t but I sure do. It’s a way to get away from the daily stresses of your normal life, kick back, relax, and enjoy yourself for a few days. You’ll have responsibilities no more taxing than deciding what clothes to wear that day, what to eat, and whether you want to go for a walk or a bike ride or just sit in a chair and relax by the campfire.