There are a lot of great things about camping – I mean, there’s a reason that people have been doing it for decades. The idea of going out into the woods and spending time in the great outdoors is one that appeals to many people, and while there are variations (some people prefer to keep things very, very simple, while others enjoy camping with all the bells and whistles), at its core, it’s all about being outside and enjoying nature.
It may take rookies a bit of time to become experts at some of the camping-related tasks, like successfully pitching a tent or starting a campfire, or even just figuring out what the bathroom etiquette is in the forest. However, those who come to enjoy camping figure it out fairly quickly – even if they burn their first batch of campfire stew, even if they sleep terribly because they forgot to pack extra blankets, there’s something about it that they really enjoy.
And then, there’s another type of person. The one who starts whining within five minutes of parking the car and walking around the campsite. The one who wishes she (or he) were anywhere but where they currently are. The one who has nothing but negative remarks and a sour face the entire time.
Here are 13 signs you just won’t survive camping.
13 Being in the middle of nowhere is your worst nightmare
I mean, you technically could set up camp in your backyard, but the whole point of camping is to go off the beaten path, to find a great spot amongst the trees and lakes and nature, etc. So, while many campgrounds’ structures mean you’ll be setting up not too far from other camping, one of the whole points of camping is the solitude. If you’re the kind of person who thrives on being in a bustling metropolis and can’t stand the silence of crickets chirping and trees rustling, you may find yourself stressed out rather than relaxed while you’re sitting around the fire or laying in your tent at night.
12 The concept of building your own shelter is baffling
When you step into a hotel, the process from entering the lobby to relaxing in your room takes about two minutes. You verify details or book a room with someone at the front desk, you get a room key, and you proceed to your room with your things. When you camp, before you can do anything, you have to literally set up the place you’ll be sleeping for the night. Do hotels ask you to build your room before they hand over the key? No! Yet for camping, you’re expected to create a comfy, water-proof, wind-proof room out of fabric and poles that will keep you happy all night. And you’re definitely not getting room service. If you’re not up for the effort, camping might not be for you.
11 You dislike hot dogs, marshmallows, and most things cooked over a camp fire
Many seasoned campers get very, very creative with their dining options out in the woods. They learn how to pack spices is teeny, single-serve packets, they learn to cook a wide array of things bundled in foil, they somehow create skillet cinnamon buns out of thin air. However, for the average camper, you’ll be subsisting on some of the basics – hot dogs, roasted marshmallows, or perhaps prepared canned soups that you can open and simmer in your little campfire pot. If your idea of a great vacation is all about five course feasts and discovering a great local bakery, then the fare you’ll expect camping might be a bit of a letdown.
10 You can’t go a day without running water and a luxe bathroom
Okay, caveat – there are some nicer campgrounds that have a central area with bathrooms containing toilets that flush, and perhaps even showers. However, if you’re camping the old-school way, that means you’re just bringing along a few rolls of toilet paper and heading out into the woods whenever nature calls. You can bring things like baby wipes to clean up a bit temporarily, but there’s no deep conditioning masks and full body exfoliation when you’re camping. If you can’t bear the thought of going several days without a steaming hot shower, or using some of your favourite bath products, then camping might not be for you.
9 You hate bugs
There’s really no way around it – when you’re camping, you’re going to meet a lot of bugs. Sure, there’s a ton of critters out in the wild, but apart from perhaps birds, you may not see all the creatures that nature has to offer. A deer spotting or even bear spotting is an unusual occurrence, not a standard feature of every camping trip. Bugs, however, are there pretty much wherever you go. They’ll be buzzing around you all the time, so if the sight of a spider sends you into hysterics and you don’t step out of your house in the summer until you’re bathed in mosquito repellent, then you might want to pick an alternate activity.
8 You love sleeping in (hello sunrise!)
You may be able to find tents with certain features that help you with getting a good night’s sleep, but for the most part, when you’re camping, you kind of wake up when the sun does. It’s unavoidable – there are no blackout curtains in nature, no blinds that can be drawn. If you’re a heavy sleeper, it might not be much of an issue, but if you’re a light sleeper who absolutely loves sleeping until noon, you probably won’t be able to during a camping trip – that pesky sun will be peeking through your tent, not to mention the birds chirping in the trees. If you’d rather be able to pull shut the blackout curtains in a hotel room, that might be a better alternative for those looking to catch up on their sleep.
7 You’re always cold
You can buy a high-tech, super insulated sleeping bag, bring an air mattress to lift you off the ground, and even pack a ton of sweaters and wool socks to keep yourself all warm and toasty. However, at night, there’s kind of no way around nature – the temperature pretty much always dips overnight, and you may find yourself shivering. If you’re the type of person who is always turning up the thermostat, you may not survive camping – Mother Nature has a thermostat, but it’s not one that you can control! Plus, if you need to go to the bathroom at night when you’re camping, and have to exit the bubble of your tent? Prepare for a serious chill.
6 You have a terrible sense of direction
Okay, there are probably some amateur cartologists out there who could easily survive with just a basic map or set of directions. However, the average person living in 2016 is really dependent on technology when it comes to navigating - I mean, how many times has your GPS totally saved you when you’ve taken far too many wrong turns? However, when you’re camping, that’s usually not an option. In the middle of a forest and your GPS signal cuts out when there’s nothing around but identical trees as far as the eye can see? Cool. You’d better hope you decided to take a flare gun on your impromptu hike.
5 You’re addicted to technology
You may be able to pull off a few tricks like charging your phone in your car, or just limiting your technology use so it lasts the whole camping trip, but in general, camping is an activity where you’re sort of expected to put the technology aside and connect with the real world. Talk to friends or fellow campers, enjoy the sounds of nature, go for a hike and enjoy your surroundings. If the thought of being unable to check your social media accounts sends you into a panic attack, you probably won’t survive camping. Perhaps scrolling through campfire shots on Instagram might be a better alternative.
4 You have high standards for your sleeping arrangements
Technology has come a long way over the years when it comes to camping gear. There are new materials and ways of constructing things that make them far more comfortable and efficient. However, at the end of the day, let’s be honest – no matter how expensive and fancy your sleeping bag, no matter how many layers of foam and air mattress you put between yourself and the ground, you’re still essentially sleeping outdoors. If you’re the type of person who has a thick, plush mattress pad atop your mattress, and surround yourself with tons of pillows, you might find the sleeping conditions during camping to be a little less than palatable.
3 You’re clumsy
No one is saying you need to be a master outdoorsman when it comes to going on a camping trip. However, you’re going to be out in the woods, around things like fire and sharp branches and poisonous plants, etc. If you’re clumsy in real life, you might skin your knee or burn your hand while cooking something on the stovetop. If you’re clumsy while camping, who knows what’ll happen? Bug spray in your eye, stabbing yourself with a hot dog roasting stick, burning yourself in the fire trying to extract your fallen hot dog, accidentally falling into a bush of poison ivy… the possibilities are endless and terrifying.
2 You prefer all out glam to the au naturel look
Many people camp with their cars parked nearby, so you do have a few small mirrors to glance into when it comes to combing your hair if you’d like, or even slicking on some tinted moisturizer. However, let’s be honest – when you’re camping, you’re not exactly going to bust out the red lip and perfect smoky eye. Camping is a place for ponytails and chapstick, and the natural flush that comes from spending time outdoors. If you’re the type of girl who can’t leave your house without seven types of lip gloss in her purse, and maybe an emergency mascara or two, you might not survive camping.
1 You hate the outdoors
There’s really only one way to put this – if you absolutely hate the outdoors and find nothing enjoyable about being outside in the fresh air, chances are, you will absolutely hate camping. Being outdoors is basically the whole point of it, so if you dislike that part, you’re pretty much guaranteed to dislike any kind of activity you might do camping. If the thought of eating food outdoors and sleeping outdoors and hanging around a fire drinking beer outdoors makes you want to run for the hills, you might just be more of a hotel kind of person.