5 reasons why camping sucks

I have never been a camper. NEVER EVER NEVER.  You are thinking, "but Annie, you hate showering and your best friends in the whole world are hippie, nature loving, bone boiling, scat collecting biologists." I do hate to shower and yes my friends are dirty hippies, but camping still sucks. Why?

Scan00021. Because of bullshit maps. OK, bullshit navigators.

You should know that most of my hatred of camping stems from my one and only true hiking trip during a high school summer.

Long story short, my BFF Katie wanted to go and somehow I agreed to join her. Fast forward through a  few months of "training" via my dad (e.g., - DAD: "we'll fill your pack with canned beans and you can climb the stair-master at the gym), and BOOM, we were in North Carolina. Or South Carolina. A Carolina, OK? With some bearded, hacky-sack loving counselors who didn't know how to read a map.

How do I know this fact? Because we bushwhacked up Devils' Courthouse with wet branches snapping back into our faces, full bladders and rain drenching our pathetic, awkward teenage bodies. No path, no problem? Screw that.

Upon arriving at the top, our celebration was quickly quashed by the realization that THERE EXISTED A ROAD LEADING TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN. We weren't alone; one minute chests puffed out with the pride of conquering a mountain, the next, heads hung as kids smashed their faces against car windows to get a glimpse of our sad little azure-loving group.

2. Because of bullshit weather.

Ooh, she's gonna be so mad I posted this.

Ooh, she's gonna be so mad I posted this.

In college, I conceded to a spring break mini-hiking trip with my hippie besties in exchange for a side trip to Branson, MO to visit my grandparents. Have you been to Branson? It's fabulous. Anyway, we set out with a car full of condiments, some cheese and a terrible harlequin novel we read aloud to each other as we traveled through the dirty south.

Side note: S Main does not read "SMAIN" street on a map.

When it was my turn to make good on a promise, we ended up "hiking" in the rain. The quotes are necessary here because I am pretty sure we made it in a mile in when my friend, Katie's, pack snapped a branch into my face and my two supposed comrades collapsed into a pile of evil laughter. Asshats

Screw that noise -  I was done. With feet firmly planted on a hillside, I set up the tent (they might have, I don't remember. OK, they set up the tent) and read for hours. My hippie friends collected berries or took baths in patchouli or whatever they did. To make matters worse (f0r me, not them), we awoke to my boots outside the tent, sopping wet from the previous day's/night's storm.

Squish, squish, squish back to the car for me. Snicker, snicker, snicker for them. Jerkwads.

3. Because people stink. At least I do. I am a greaseball. It's just how I role, OK,  judgers?  Anyway, when we returned from our "one of the Carolina's trip", my grandparents made me unpack everything outside and leave it on the porch. I have nine words for you: One week, one pair of long underwear. No potty. Seventeen years later and my olfactory system is still reeling.

I have pictures from our spring break trip where I look like a deranged Dracula -wild-eyed with my hair plastered to my head. You should thank me for not sharing them. For the love of God, I still have my backpack from way back when and found mold growing in it.

I am sure other campers are cleaner with their Arctyrx gear and fancy water purifiers. However, I am a shower daily, eat an entire cake in a sitting, sleep in a bed  I don't have to carry on back kind of girl. Ain't no shame.

nombom4. Because animals/insects are batshit crazy.  Ever read about animals attacking campers? Insects laying eggs in your earholes? While visiting northern Wisconsin we were attacked by worms falling from the sky. Fine, we weren't attacked and they weren't worms (tree caterpillars), but it was still gross. It would have been even grosser if I ventured ouside. Can you IMAGINE? Nature?

And that time in Canada when we had to hopscotch over frogs to get to the outhouse? Crazytown. If I am going to jump over stuff to get to the bathroom, it's going to be dirty underroos and hust (hair-dust) balls.

5. Because camping is spendy.This is probably my weakest argument because I have so many hippie  outdoorsy friends that are happy to loan gear. That and I love shopping at REI/Patagonia. I am the worst type of hypocrite because I get all snarky about Arcteryx and then buy my kid a hooded Patagonia fleece. ON SALE, mind you! Still, I recognize that I am a grade-A a-hole.

That said, I can't get on the tent, thermarest, hiking boot train. You can call me a jerk, but I am just being honest man; the jacket I'll wear, the rolled up mattress will be a hundo down the drain-o.

So...should I sign up for site along the Wisconsin river this summer, or you?

No one ever accused me of being rational. Follow Swirleytime on twitter @swirleytime and Facebook for interesting stories, links and a lot of self-deprecating humor.

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    Annie Swingen

    Chicago-based hyperbole enthusiast. Mom to a kid and sometimes my mom. Overboard (1987) obsessed weirdo. I like the funnies in life.

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