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How to make camping bearable for someone who hates it?

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

  1. North of Mouse

    North of Mouse DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2011
    A three day tent camping trip years ago ended any thought of ever camping that way again - rain, rain, rain :headache: Thankfully DH felt the same way.

    Since then, its been RV trailers, or else! We both love to 'rough it gently'. LOL
    The last 10 years have been in a MH and that's our speed - like to be self contained with own bed & bath, and a lock on my door! :thumbsup2 Love to cook outside in the mountains with a coleman stove though! ::yes::
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  3. burnurcomputer

    burnurcomputer DIS Veteran

    Aug 18, 2010
    I do not understand camping in a tent. I have done it, and I hate it....tons!

    I still have trouble with all the things that you need to be comfortable being piled in your car, just so you can just go have an outdoor adventure. Packing for a hotel is easier, takes up less room, and has air conditioning.

    For us we need:

    our huge tent
    sleeping bags
    air matresses
    cooking gear for fire
    cooking gear for camp stove
    extra shoes for everyone
    small broom to sweep out tent

    I have 4 kids and my Dh to have equipment for, plus myself.

    Hotel needs:

    suitcase with clothing and swimming things included

    See my point?
  4. The Mystery Machine

    The Mystery Machine Sunrise at my house. :+)

    Jan 4, 2001
    Rent an RV-type camper.:thumbsup2
  5. gunka

    gunka DIS Veteran

    Jan 24, 2012
    Buy/rent a really nice motorhome. 35+ feet. Hot showers, Comfortable Bed, TV w/Blu Ray & Surround Sound, Outside TV, Large Refrigerator, Etc.
  6. elaine amj

    elaine amj DIS Veteran

    Jan 26, 2012
    I take a full sized broom these days :) Used to take me 10-15 mins with the tiny brush. Now 2 mins and my tent is all swept out!
  7. minkydog

    minkydog DIS Cast Member

    Dec 8, 2004
    I must admit, I don't get the "I hate camping" sentiment. I've been camping all my life, first in tents and later in campers. But I do understand not wanting to do certain things. For me, it was NYC. I had very negative impressions of NYC and I NEVER wanted to go there, ever. But my DH really, REALLY wanted to see NYC. I put him off for many years and finally decided that it would make him very happy if I just went with him on the trip. Did I love NYC? I liked it well enough. My DH was over the moon and seeing how happy he was made it worth my while.

    I suggest that if your DH is asking you to go camping, that you find a way to make it work. It would not be too much to ask your DH to do the set up, campfire, etc, since it is more important to him than to you. He needs to meet you more than halfway, IMO. If he would compromise by choosing a cabin or an RV it might be more fun for you. But really, it's all attitude. If you make it clear that you DON"T want to be there, that you HATE camping, it's lame, nasty, buggy, etc., eventually your DH will stop asking you to go. Which would be a shame really. Your DH just wants to spend some time with you. That's the greatest compliment in the world.

    If nothing else, perhaps you all can go camping nearby your house. You could spend the days out at the campground and return at night to shower and sleep in your own house. Maybe you could indulge him by staying ONE SINGLE NIGHT at the campground. I bet he'd be in hog heaven! :worship:

    Perhaps you can make a deal with your husband. You'll agree to go camping if he agrees to something that you love.
  8. worm761

    worm761 <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/sw.

    Feb 4, 2001
    He has not asked since the one horrible trip that we had. This is just something that I am THINKING of suggesting because I know it would make him happy. And we have two kids. One is a 17 year old, the other is a 3 year old.
  9. Darcy03231

    Darcy03231 DIS Veteran

    Nov 1, 2006
    The other thing I do is remind myself that I can do anything for four nights. We never go longer than that (although I think DH would love to go for a week to 10 days, but he compromises too).
  10. minkydog

    minkydog DIS Cast Member

    Dec 8, 2004
    Well, don't be surprised if the 17yr old doesn't want to go. Our kids camped with us from preschool age, but by the time they were 15-16 they had other stuff to do. The only way we could get them to come was to take a friend or two. Something I prolly wouldn't do if it was my first trip.

    However, your 3yr old will most likely love it! Especially if you go somewhere that has a playground or a pool or even a little creek nearby. I would keep it short and sweet with a very young child who isn't used to camping. Our first trips with the littlest kids were kept to 2 nights, Fri-Sun. When they were little we always camped in places where there were nearby things to do, like movie theater or dollar store or (short) hiking trails.

    My motto is "leave 'em wanting more." One or two days of real fun beats 7 days of "OMG, I can't wait til this is over!" Good luck.:flower3:
  11. FINFAN

    FINFAN Mom to Tinkbell

    Apr 30, 2001
    well you know the comedian who said "I do not spend most of my life working hard at my job- that gives me 2 lousy weeks off - to vacation like I'm homeless"....sums it up for me. I do applaud your good intentions tho. I threw in the towel long ago and my family knows it's for their own good. I had an awful experience in the 3rd grade w/the girl scouts...never, ever, EVER will I voluntarily camp as a vacation option. That said, I love Colorado, hiking, rafting etc., but I want to slide that key in the door at the end of the day and flip on the lights. I also want to blow dry my hair in the morning and have a toilet that flushes, lol :laughing:
  12. bookgirl

    bookgirl DIS Veteran

    Oct 22, 2006
    Rent a suite at a nearby hotel. Not kidding.

    My brother and I grew up camping because that's what my family could afford. I look back at it as an experience and one that I'm comfortable enough with if I had to camp I'd be "okay, where are we going". It wouldn't be my first choice and I figure I'd be good for about three days but then I'd be looking for the nearest Holiday Inn. I have camped since those family trips which is how I know I'm good for about 3 days.

    My mom and brother ask for directions to the nearest resort immediatly. ;) Neither one of them have camped since the 80's and have no intention of every driving through the gates of a campgrounds ever again.

    IMHO There is no way to make it bearable for someone who just doesn't like that type of vacation. If you can suck it up for a few days then do a quick weekend trip, but I think asking anyone to suffer for longer is just asking for a meltdown.
  13. Imzadi

    Imzadi Saved by an angel in a trenchcoat

    Oct 29, 2004


    Sums it up for me too. Vacation should mean: pampering. NOT "roughing it." :crazy2: I have no desire to relive "How the West was won." :sad2:

    One BF's family did have a lovely trailer, permanently installed at a campsite that we would visit down by the Jersey shore each year. So we got to sleep indoors. And the bathroom & shower was just down the hall - especially at night. :thumbsup2

    And we had a regular stove in the trailer for the foods that need regular cooking, instead of being cooked on the campfire. We planned very carefully what could be cooked on an open flame, to purposely get a nice BBQ, smokey taste.

    And they had a huge ez-up, screened in gazebo, where we dined outdoors, but screened in, to lessen the bugs getting at us.

    There were cots off to the side, raised up off the ground, so we could snooze in the gazebo on nice warm nites.

    However, THAT was the extent of what I liked about camping. As night descended, that meant the dew would set in. AND worst of all, being in the WOODS, mosquitoes and every bug and critter imaginable would come out. I HATE bugs! There isn't a yard spray or citronella candle, or body bug spray strong enough to keep the mosquitoes & spiders away. Plus, isn't the whole point of being outdoors is to be out in the fresh, natural air and unsprayed flora? :rolleyes:

    And I have the type of blood or body scent where mosquitoes always go after me and leave everyone else in my party alone. :duck: :mad: So I'd wake up in the mornings with a million bites, after the mosquitoes banqueted on ME all nite, and everyone else woke up without a single bite. :headache: So, what I'd end up doing is sleeping very lightly, if at all, to try to keep the bugs off of me. And you know how that goes. . . once you think there is a bug around, you start itching, even if nothing really did touch you. :rolleyes: :headache:

    I also hate waking damp if it rained out and the humidity is up to 100%. Or standing or sitting around damp all day with frizzy hair, if it rained all day.

    And I like my HOT showers. I need them to wash off all the bug spray from the night before, and all the sticky, dirty feeling from "roughing it."

    I think men like "roughing it," because it primordially reminds them of their cavemen days.

    I'm a highly evolved woman in need of a hairdryer. :lmao: I like pampering!!! I get grossed out if I stay in a Motel 6 that even looks like it has mold. :scared:
  14. Liberty Belle

    Liberty Belle <font color=green>I was going to reply, but I see

    Aug 23, 2006
    Haven't read the other replies yet, but my advice is to buy an air mattress, a coleman stove, and lots of bug spray.
  15. mommyrosa2

    mommyrosa2 DIS Veteran

    Apr 27, 2011
    :thumbsup2...Truer words have never been spoken :rotfl:
  16. superme80

    superme80 DIS Veteran

    May 2, 2010
    We went camping a few years ago when DS #1 was little. We got a cabin, that was basically an 1800s model last year. . It had beds, chairs, table, no electricity. DS says he wants to go camping this year. I am debating a one nighter or getting a cabin for a weekend at KOA. I love nature, but I need a hotel or my home when I go to bed. I would agree with a weekend. Go, have fun, never do it again.
  17. BriarfoxinWA

    BriarfoxinWA DIS Veteran

    Dec 22, 2001
    We camped a few times. Never in a tent. We had a load-on camper for the pickup and later bought an older mobile home. I threw in the towel years ago. It was never fun for me. After working full time all week, I got to buy groceries, load the camper, and pack for everyone. Then I got to supervise children, cook, and clean up after everyone all weekend. When we got home I got to unload the camper and clean it all up. I finally put my foot down and told DH that I wasn't going again until he took care of everything. I refused to do it all. We haven't gone since.

    I think it can be fun, if you go just make sure that your DH appreciates you're making an effort for him.
  18. Southernmiss

    Southernmiss <font color=green>I am hazed everyday<br><font col

    Aug 27, 2011
    Fort wilderness cabins. Closest we'll ever get to camping.
  19. ksjayhawks

    ksjayhawks DIS Veteran

    Feb 14, 2004
    Buy one of the double high mattresses. Take a good pillow, sheets and a blanket. Take along a comfy chair to sit in. Plenty of bug spray and a good stove to cook on.
  20. dogluva

    dogluva DIS Veteran

    Jan 18, 2007
  21. Iforgetmypassword

    Iforgetmypassword "I am Mrs. Nesbit!!"

    Oct 19, 2012
    I hate when I hear people say "I hate to camp." They invariably mean, "I hate sleeping on the ground with all the bugs, and hate squatting over a smoky fire, trying to cook, and hate walking to a disgusting bathroom in the middle of the night with a flashlight."

    Why not try camping in a nice camper, that has a real bed, just as high and comfy as yours at home? Eat sandwiches, or-gasp-eat out? Most campers have bathrooms now, with showers, so you only need to take a few steps. :cool1: And why not get furnaces and/or air conditioners in them too?

    For us, a fire is part of camping. It just adds a cozy element, and cooking over it seems natural. Usually, it's as simple as a hot dog on a stick. Pre-purchased potato salad, fresh fruit. Beer, or wine. No one is making me cook if I don't want to!!

    Why didn't you make your husband do all the packing, unpacking, and camp chores? Why does the fact that you're "the mom" mean you had to do it? That's sexist. If he wants to have all the fun, make him do the work.

    I love camping, but even I would not be thrilled to do a long trip in just a tent. And again, who says that "camping" means being in a tent, and nothing but a tent?

    I always thought "camping" meant "sleeping directly on the ground, with just a sleeping bag". I don't camp like that. I have a nice, thick mattress with a memory foam topper, and a real pillow, and real blankets. Inside my pop-up camper, with a real sink, hot water, and a real stove. And a fridge.

    That's not camping. That's backpacking. Very different.

    When we tent-camped, we kept almost all the stuff you list in the trunk of the car, all summer. Then, when it was time to go, we packed the clothes. Having a truck, or a big SUV would be better.

    Of course!!

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