Odds are that if you avoided going camping for the first long weekend of the summer, you’re going to get propositioned to join your pals on the next. So if you’re willing to give camping a whirl – or if you want to prove to them why you should never, ever try camp again – we’ve come up with some pointers. From me to you – one city-dwelling anti-camper to another.
From the get-go, prove why you shouldn’t have gone camping in the first place by over-packing the car with your bags, pillows, blankets and miscellaneous items, and when questioned on your abundance of goods, simply reply that you’re extremely prepared. After all, when the time comes to utilize your bug spray, sunscreen and duvets and hair straightener, your friends will eat their words when they ask to get in on your stash.
Scrap the Tent
If you’re anything like me, the last thing that seems like a holiday is unpacking your belongings, eating burgers cooked without a meat thermometer and sleeping on the cold, hard, insect-infested ground. (Not that I’m dramatic or anything.) So to drive your “guys, I really don’t camp – believe me” point further, insist on making the car your very own tent. That way you won’t have to worry every time you hear a wolf (or coyote or black bear), and the only mosquitos you’ll deal with are those that you’ve heard haunted your pals the night before.
Bring an iPod; Avoid All Acoustic Guitars
You know how to spot the resident douchebag? Leave out an acoustic guitar and wait to see who picks it up. Campfires have somehow become the new stage for “burgeoning talent”, so to combat the homeboy with “mad skills” bring with you portable speakers, plug in your iPod and make no apologies. Rude? Perhaps. But at least you’ll be DJing a party that’s lacking the high notes of “Sweet Caroline” – unless you want to hear a Livestrong bracelet-wearing 20-something channel his inner Neil Diamond.
Drive to a Hotel
The only thing worse than sleeping on the ground is peeing in the woods, so unless you’ve got an affinity for outhouses and crouching by a tree (seriously – who enjoys that?), to hop in the car and drive to the nearest service station/restaurant/hotel is not an unreasonable request. Better yet, take the car, sleep at the hotel and meet your friends in the morning. You may miss out on the drunken debacles that will fuel summertime story-telling, but you’ll have peed alone, showered and slept in a bed. (Which, arguably, is a great story on its own.)