6 Reasons to Love Camping (Even if You Hate the Outdoors)
While my fiancé is packing up our Subaru with tents, bear spray, and all sorts of weird gadgets that make absolutely no sense to me, I am quietly fretting the entire camping trip while I rummage through our bathroom cabinet looking for facial wipes and a sunscreen that won’t make me break out. ABBA is playing in the living room, and I contemplate locking him outside and staying indoors all weekend, sipping espresso and reading books. This, to me, would be the perfect weekend.
It’s strange, I suppose, that for a person as daydreamy as myself, I haven’t always been keen on the idea of outdoorsy stuff. First of all, pretty much all freak accidents happen while camping (scientific fact). Then there’s bears. BEARS. Or where we live, mountain lions! And rattle snakes! Going and sleeping in a nylon triangle with my snoring fiancé and our two dogs while wild animals roam feet away from our tent sounds, oh, I don’t know, terrifying? Traumatic? Stupid?
It’s obvious what is beautiful and breathtaking and impossible about nature. What’s not as obvious is how wonderful camping can be for the not-so-outdoorsy person when amply prepared and open-minded! So here it is, a list of things to consider before deciding you aren’t going camping, because you consider camping to be THE WORST.
1. It’s so quiet
I know, I know, that’s what everyone says. But seriously: it’s so unimaginably still out there. Every shrieking tire, car alarm, and ringing cell phone disappears when you get out into the woods. Your mind has room to think without interruption. Or to not think at all and just be. Or you can sing Rihanna really loud and not worry about a damn thing.
2. Space food
When we went camping as kids we brought hot dogs, chips, beans—the usual. Holy moly me-oh-my it’s changed a lot since then. They have food packets that only require hot water at places like REI. While they aren’t cheap, they’re incredibly good and lightweight, making your pack a little lighter and your stomach a little fuller. Not gonna lie, I’ve definitely eaten the chili packet while not camping at all, just sitting in my living room watching GIRLS.
3. Facial towelettes and bandanas
Just because I’m going camping doesn’t mean that I don’t want to look fly and ca-yute. One major setback for me has been the inability to maintain some of my facial regimens while camping. Roll your eyes all you want, but that stuff brings me joy, and I don’t wanna skimp out on it because I also want to climb a mountain. A lot of skincare companies make facial towelettes alongside travel-size lotions. Even all-holy Dr. Hauschka has a travel set! Being good to your skin doesn’t have to stop once the hiking boots go on. And remember to wear sunscreen! And a bandana wrap-up atop your gorgeous camping goddess head!
4. Ghost stories
Just kidding, those are terrifying.
5. You wake up with the sun
Spend one night in a tent and you’ll know how sensitive your body is to the sun rising. The night before might have been full of wine and marshmallows, but the sun is a’coming and you’re waking up with it. It’s so amazing to be able to wake up with the Earth. Oh my god, I can’t believe I just typed that, but I mean it!
6. No technology
Technology is great! It’s how you’re reading this article right now, and how we call our grandmas and how NASA exists. It’s also a mega mind-eraser and makes us act like zombies that walk into poles because we are busy texting. Camping unplugs everything and forces you to be with yourself. It’s slower and sweeter and fulfilling.
I’m still terrified of being eaten alive by a mountain lion, and I will never ever tell or listen to a ghost story ever in my life, but you know what, you guys? Camping’s not that bad. It’s actually kinda fun.