How to make camping bearable for someone who hates it?

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by worm761, May 2, 2013.

  1. Pigeon

    Pigeon DIS Veteran

    Jan 12, 2005
    I hate it too. We solved the problem by having Dh join Y-Adventure Guides with the kids. He and they went camping and I got a blessed weekend alone twice a year.
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  3. Darcy03231

    Darcy03231 DIS Veteran

    Nov 1, 2006
    OP I could have written your post. I also hate camping. Having said that I go for a long weekend once a year. We get together with a big group of friends that I love, but they all live about 6 hours away from us. This is what helped me:

    1. Large tent with 2 separate areas. There's a sleeping area and a living area. We can stand up in it.

    2. DH and I each have our own cots and air mattresses.

    3. We invested in a really nice (small) propane grill and coleman camp stove.

    4. We always stay at a campsite that has bathrooms and showers.

    5. We have an easy-up screen house. It makes sitting out at night pretty comfortable.

    6. I usually have a couple of glasses of adult beverage in the evening and take a benadryl before I go to bed.

    Good luck to you.
  4. MrsDuck

    MrsDuck DIS Veteran

    Sep 2, 2011
    I've been camping twice and I HATED it. I'd bring an air mattress and lots of delicious snacks along with good books and sleeping pills.
  5. Pooh67_68

    Pooh67_68 <font color=teal>My head looked like a brillo pad<

    Aug 8, 2003
  6. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

    Apr 19, 2002
    Not that I'm a huge fan of camping, but I can enjoy a night or two so long as the weather is just right: crisp but not cold, but ABSOLUTELY NOT IN HOT WEATHER! (Also, here in my part of the midwest, Spring often means tornadoes, so even though the temps may be good, I'm not about to risk getting caught out in the woods during a twister.)

    We don't own a lot of camping gear at all; besides just the general-use stuff such as rope and flashlights, we do have sleeping bags, but that's it.
    If we camp, we rent the rest from REI. It costs about $100 to rent a full set of good-quality gear for a weekend.
  7. mhsjax

    mhsjax DIS Veteran

    Mar 3, 2006
    Don't like camping, don't care what conveniences you have. Do not like it in any way what so ever. Motel 6 is about as far as roughing it as I would go. Sorry I wasn't any more help.
  8. design_mom

    design_mom <font color=royalblue>I am probably more like my d

    Feb 1, 2007
    I had no idea you could rent camping gear. (Although we don't have an REI to rent it from anyway.)
  9. worm761

    worm761 <img src=

    Feb 4, 2001
    Thank you all for the advice. I will have to look at what is available. I think I could do a camper. The tent was horrible. We do have the camp stove/grill and the lanterns and stuff. When a hurricane hits it is like camping in your own house. :rotfl:
  10. branv

    branv <font color=blue>The safety feature in my parents

    May 20, 2005
    Ack, I loathe tent camping too. I mean, I like the part in the evening when you can see the stars and sit around the fire, but everything else stinks. My family used to camp every summer (dead of Texas) on an island at the lake. No bathrooms, no electricity, nada. I am positively terrified of bugs (I put a hole in the tent when I was 9 b/c I was trying to kill a spider with an ax). I hatehatehatehatehate the heat. Seriously, how does anyone sleep without A/C. It's insanity. At the lake it was always so hot, even the water was like bathtub water.

    And I DO NOT use the bathroom outdoors. Not anymore, not gonna happen (when I was a kid, I made myself sick every time holding it in). And since as an adult I always have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, even if there is a nearby bathroom center, I'm not getting dressed, grabbing a flashlight and hauling myself alone all the way to some spooky Camp Crystal Lake scenario. Seriously, even those really nice campsite bathrooms always have some awful spider/scorpion/centipede lurking in the corner. BLAH! I also sleep lightly, so no matter how glam the camp, I will be up all night. So on the flip side, most campgrounds are so overrun nowadays, and people so clueless about camping etiquette, that you might as well be camping in a parking lot for all the peace, quiet and nature you get.

    The only way I might go camping now is if it's not actual camping, like with a good RV or a nicely maintained cabin with a frequent relationship with an Exterminator. Though my idea of the latter is something like the Wilderness Lodge. That's about as close to roughing it as I like to get.
  11. indimom

    indimom Are We There Yet?

    Jul 18, 2008
    I don't think that's a "not nice" suggestion. It's actually a pretty good compromise. OP's hubby enjoys camping. And, if he's like my hubs, he also enjoys doing all of that stuff.

    That's one of the reasons I actually enjoy tent camping. Once the tent is up (I do help with that), DH does just about everything, including the cooking. I just relax and occasionally hand him something or hold a stick (with a hot dog or marshmallow on the end of it) over the fire. :rotfl2:

    These are excellent ideas. The bigger the tent, the better. I could never stand a tent I had to bend over in. Blech. We have a huge tent now, with three separate areas (two for sleeping, one for living) and I love it.
    Make the tent as much like a hotel room as possible. Double air mattress that sits as high as a bed. Use some of those Rubbermaid drawers to create a bedside table (as a bonus, these work better for holding clothes than stupid duffle bags or suitcases which litter up the floor of the tent). Bring lamps, fans or a window a/c unit, an indoor-outdoor rug and create a "home" inside your tent.

    You can do some of the same things outside. Use an easy-up. Put down an indoor-outdoor rug, bring a folding table to act as your kitchen, comfy camp chairs for relaxing. There's always a picnic table at campsites, reserve that for eating only. Use inexpensive tablecloths to cover the top and the seats. Heck, make it pretty. Use a small container and pick some flowers for a centerpiece. String Christmas lights around the easy up.

    And you can only go up from there.

    Of course, all of this is easier if:
    a. you get a campsite with power and water.
    b. you have a truck or minivan to haul all your stuff. :rotfl:

    Good luck with your decision, OP. If it's just two nights, and you can borrow the necessary equipment to make it more homey, you might find it's not that bad after all. :thumbsup2

    Oh, and as others have said, a campground with clean public restroom and showers are a MUST. No way am I using a nasty public shower room or chemical toilets or the great outdoors for my bathroom needs. Heck to the NO!
  12. LisaR

    LisaR <img src=>

    Sep 26, 2000
    :rotfl2: :lmao: Too funny and I am right there with you.
  13. eliza61


    Jun 2, 2003
    Amen to that!!

    OP, my dh and sons loved camping and fishing. I loathe, hate and despise both of those. like you it seemed like every time I tried it, it rained the entire time.
    Truthfully I think they had much more fun when I didn't go. So after a few times at it, I left the camping to them. They called it their "man" trip. I stayed home, ate chocolate cake, watched all my corny musicals and went window shopping by myself at antique stores. :cloud9:

    they were happy, I was happy.

    Ft. Wilderness is about as "wilderness" as I want to get.
  14. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

    Apr 19, 2002
    Oh, REI isn't the only option. Most outdoor-equipment specialty stores have rental programs set up; as it's rather common in that industry to want to try before you buy.
  15. bettymae1121

    bettymae1121 sure. fine. whatever.

    Jan 5, 2010
    For me, it's comfort while sleeping. That means either a GOOD air mattress or a camp cot. I hate sleeping on the ground with just a sleeping bag. I also hate being hot while trying to sleep (well at any time but while trying to sleep it's unbearable to me) so I'd either only go camping while it's still cool at night and/or bring a fan (assuming I can get electricity to run it).

    If you hate cooking over a fire, maybe invest in a camp stove that runs off of propane (the small mini tanks). They aren't that expensive and it's more like cooking over a gas stove. You could also try and plan a lot of meals that require little to no cooking.
  16. shortbun

    shortbun <font color=green>Peacenik<br><font color=purple><

    Aug 21, 1999
    Holiday Inn
  17. John VN

    John VN DIS Cast Member

    Aug 2, 2003
    I can't do the camping thing either but love the RVing thing.

    Instead of a tent could you rent a camper or motorhome. Our motorhome has a great kitchen with 3 burners and an oven-4 door refrigerator-convection microwave-double sink and a combo washer/dryer all for me, a nice living area with a couch that opens to sleep 2, a dinette that converts to sleep 2 children, enough room left on the floor for 2 or 3 kids in sleeping bags on air mattresses, a half bath for that area and then our bedroom with a queen bed, closets and drawers, and a full bathroom with a huge shower.
  18. scrapquitler

    scrapquitler DIS Veteran

    Aug 15, 2007
    I grew up camping. My family had a pop up camper that was permanently parked and set up on a property, we did take it on a few trips. I also camped regularly with my girl scout troop (6-8 times a year for about 6 years).

    But now? :rotfl2: No way. When I was a kid it was fun, but now I realize that if I were the Mom on the camping trip it would be too much work!

    I could camp. IF:
    -we were in a cabin that was already set up before we arrived and Ihad an actual bed to sleep in.
    -there was a real bathroom and working shower
    -I didn't have to sleep in the same space as my children
    -I didn't have to cook and do the dishes
    -there were no mosquitos, snakes or other critters

    so yeah, I'm probably never going camping again.
  19. MIGrandma

    MIGrandma Lives in the middle-of-the-mitten.

    Aug 12, 2009
    I never went camping as a child, but DH and I camped a couple of nights on our honeymoon (we were gone a week, the other nights were in hotels). We had a van that the couch in back made into a bed, and we had a Coleman cookstove and lantern. We had a good time and I discovered I liked camping.

    We had a tent for a couple of years, then when the kids were a bit older we "graduated" to a pop-up camper and did a lot of camping while the kids were growing up. They loved it too.

    Then we moved up again to a 5th wheel camper, and we're on our second one of those. We have it parked at our property in Northern Michigan for the entire camping season. We have what I consider "the best of both worlds" because we're camping, enjoying the great outdoors, cooking (either over the open campfire or on the grill), enjoying the nature (deer, turkeys, bear, birds, black squirrels, chipmunks, etc.) but yet we climb into a real (queensize) bed at night, and have a full bathroom with running hot/cold water and shower, full kitchen with refrigerator/freezer, double sink, microwave, stovetop and oven, dinette for eating at if we don't want to sit at the picnic table, and a couch (hide-a-bed) and recliner in the "living room" along with TV and DVD player. It has electricity, sewer, air conditioning and furnace. We pretty much have all the comforts of home when we're camping.

    We also have a truck camper that we use during the summer to go other places like an occasional state park, Nascar races, etc. It has a queen size bed, full bathroom, kitchen (no oven) and couch. Also electricity, furnace and air conditioner.

    Not sure I'd want to go tent camping anymore, even if we had air mattresses. I'm pretty used to the 5th wheel and truck camper ammenities. :)
  20. elaine amj

    elaine amj DIS Veteran

    Jan 26, 2012
    In my university days I adored camping and we went frequently - happily sleeping even without air mattresses sometimes.

    Now I'm older, wiser, and more spoiled. DH and I rarely camp with just our family anymore - too much work. We tent camped for a weekend last year with just the 4 of us. UGH. DH was super grumpy setting up and it was 2 scorching hot mousquito infested hours setting up with him grumbling and complaining about everything. I spent a ton of energy being patient with him. Our kids were not hugely helpful and eventually we just sent them to sit in the van out of our way. Afterwards, DH said no more camping by ourselves. Plus he really, really hates having to walk to the bathroom.

    Now if we tent camp, we go with a group of friends. They have most of the supplies...and it doesn't seem as much work setting up and tearing down with a group.

    Some stuff that makes me more comfortable in a tent:

    - When I have the space (and usually I do), I bring large rugs. I have a couple of dirt cheap fairly large area rugs. Because they are cheap, they are very thin. Those cover the floor of the tent and make it much more comfortable to walk on. I love it (but they sure make my friends crack up!). Before I started bringing those rugs, I had large rattan area mats.

    - I have the cheap roll up rattan beach mats (from the dollar store) and use them as door mats. One inside the tent and one outside the tent. LOVE them.

    - I bring a foam mattress topper, which becomes my bed. It's bulky and takes up a ton of room, but a world more comfortable than an air mattress.

    - I use real bedsheets, pillows, and comforters. Bedsheets take up no space (I tuck them inside the pillow) - I use the for my mattress topper and also on my kids air mattresses. My son is comfortable on a sleeping bag on the ground so I set up the sleeping bag to make a pad and spread the bedsheet over top. Much nicer sleeping surface. Real pillows are just so much better than crappy cushions and also make the car much more comfortable. Comforters take up barely more space than sleeping bags. (I do also use sleeping bags when necessary).

    - Hubby sometimes brings a small fan if there is access to electricity. One trip where our site had no electricity, he brought it along anyway. Hooked it up to our van and let it run for 10 mins or so to help cool down the tent interior. He also bought battery operated mini fans that we use at night when necessary. Made a BIG difference on a hot night.

    - we'll eat out when necessary if we don't want to cook.
  21. kimmar067

    kimmar067 TAGS?? It's all about the 'likes' now!

    Mar 7, 2001
    92,105 in. a. hotel. room. popcorn::

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