From The Confessional: We're All Set With Camping, But Thanks Anyway

by Karen Johnson
Johner Images/Getty

Okay, seriously, parents who love camping—please explain. I can appreciate the great outdoors and fresh air and the smell of a campfire like the rest of you, but then after a long day of hiking and roasting hot dogs and smores and drinking beer by the fire… I’m gonna need to sleep in a bed, in a house, with indoor plumbing. Because honestly, nothing is worse than waking up at 2 a.m. and needing to pee, only to remember you’re in the fucking wilderness and may or may not encounter a hungry bear or walk through a spider web trying to pee in the woods. No thank you.

And then you add kids into the mix! And they have to pee at 2 a.m. or they drop their marshmallow into the fire or they get stung by a bee or they step in mud and drag it into the tent or they whine because it’s too cold or too hot or too loud or too quiet or they really just want to be at home with their iPad. (And you’re like same, kid. Why TF are we here?)

Because camping is the worst.

However, we all know those camping-loving families. Maybe you are one. Maybe sweat-sleeping in a tent, waking up at 5 in the morning with back pain, and swatting at mosquitoes all night is your jam, and if so, you do you! I’ll take my air conditioning, not-damp toilet paper, and Netflix instead. Send me pics, though! *hugs*

I should be packing for our stupid camping trip, but instead, I'm sitting here watching Futurama, drinking a Rolling Rock, and eating popcorn. Don't care. Camping is not my favorite. I can just as easily cook, clean, & chase after kids at home, tbh.

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I don't care what anybody says, camping is NOT a vacation! Not for the mom, it ain't.

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H thinks we should make camping our thing. I am not dragging this shit show on the road and making literally every single aspect of my day harder while also being packed into 1/20th of the space I have now. Fuck no. Where does this insanity come from?

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MyBoyfriend and my DD3 are returning tomorrow from a 5 day camping trip, I wish I could have a do-over and spend the entire five days in bed relaxing. This will likely NEVER happen again, and I totally wasted 5 days. Shit.

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The thing is, camping is a shit-ton of work. And tired parents of littles who really need an actual vacation end up coming home dirtier than ever, more tired than ever, and covered in bites. That’s like the antithesis of a vacation.

We got back from a weeeknd camping trip with the kids. H sat on his ass as me and the kids unloaded car and put everything away. Yelling at me the whole time to just let the kids do it. He didn’t help pack or unpack, so fucking lazy.

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H thinks it's my fault I didn't enjoy yet another vacation camping. Gee, cooking over a fire, boiling water to wash dishes, no shower and sleeping on the ground while he was out every day fishing. Yes H, I had a f-ing blast.

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Seriously H same week every year we go camping. Why is it every year you aren't ready? You had all year to get your shit together. Dont get mad that i have a timeline to get my stuff done. No i cant help you

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Leaving for week long camping trip tomorrow. I have shopped, packed, sorted, and have yet to clean. I am currently making supper. H is researching compound interest rates. Thanks for the help, dick.

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And if you have a partner who doesn’t help and only adds to the mountain of work, camping just went from bad to OMG I’M ABOUT TO BREATHE FIRE ON YOUR ASS worse.

Can't poop without cell phone. Out camping and I'm afraid to bring it in the porta pottie. Guess i can't go poop in porta pottie... win?

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While camping with cub scouts I peed in a ziplock bag filled with paper towels during the night because the bathroom house was too far away.

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I am honestly impressed with people who enjoy and take their kids camping. I want to like it but I hate not having a bathroom or space away from others and sleeping on the ground.

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Here’s the thing. You can’t call it a vacation if there’s no running water or toilet to shit in. Or, if there is a toilet to shit in but you have to walk through rugged terrain to get there and bring your own toilet paper. Not having to go outside to pee is a basic vaca requirement.

Why do people like camping? It’s hot. There’s bugs and snakes. I will never understand it. Everybody where I’m from loves it!!! Gross.

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For 20 year anniversary, I want to go to Portland & shop at good stores & eat at good restaurants. H wants to go camping in the mountains. Hell to the no. I'm a city girl. Camping, mountains, & wilderness can go suck a dick.

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I don't get the appeal of camping as a vacation. How can something less convenient than your house be a vacation?

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Fuck camping.

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To all the camping-lovers out there, have at it. You can take my dirt square on the ground too because this momma doesn’t do tents. Unless by “tent” you mean a cabana by the pool drinking a margarita. Then I’m all in. But between the rain, the freezing cold, the blistering heat, the bugs, the lack of freshly perked coffee, and the lack of bathroom amenities, it’s a hard pass on the camping thing for me. But my husband and kids love it, so they can go, tell me I’m “not fun,” and I’ll stay home. Alone. In the quiet. With a dry pillow, hot coffee, and no bears. Being “not fun.”

Poor me.