The Struggles of Camping


So it may be getting chilly but there are still a few good weekends of the year left for those missed summer opportunities. Like camping. The great outdoors. A chance to get back to nature and have screaming rows with your nearest and dearest.

Oh, wait, we’re not supposed to talk about the latter part of that are we?

Camping is meant to be families around an open fire. Making smores. Cheerfully playing board games. And somehow, in these images we create in our minds, the sun is always shining. It’s never pouring with rain, the toilet is blocked and the kids have been screaming at each other for hours. And sure, some trips might go like idealized stock photos – but others descend into acrimony in no time at all.

Argument 1: Who Gets To Sleep Where

You’ve found your campsite. You’re getting ready to set up, and you’re all eying each other. You can all see it; the slightly less comfortable patch of ground. You know someone is going to have to sleep on it. But who? You circle like stags before a fight. Someone tries to mediate.

It doesn’t work.

Someone else suggests that sleeping on a Sleep on Air mattress means the ground doesn’t matter. This is quickly shot down. There is no room for logic here.

Before night falls, you decide to draw straws, but the resentment lingers. If you’re stuck with the uncomfortable bit of ground, you swear you’ll never go camping again.

Argument 2: Cooking Flare-Ups

Camp food is meant to be simple; it’s what our ancestors survived on. It’s a time to channel your inner caveperson and get on with it. You’re free from the restrictions of a million and one preparation gadgets –

Oh that’s right. The gadgets were useful. Now you have to do everything by hand.

Divide up chores and make everyone do their bit. Resort to bribery if necessary. Or go back to the Stone Age quite literally and tell everyone they can eat what they can catch, and you’ll soon have a merry little production line going.

Argument 3: Dealing With Bad Weather

The sunshine you have imagined isn’t happening. It’s pouring with rain, fat droplets that slide down the back of your neck and make you shudder. It doesn’t take long for someone to voice the idea of going home.

“It’ll clear,” you say cheerfully, ignoring your own set of doom and the fact you’re surrounded by grey skies. When you’re stuck inside with a lack of activities, in a small cramped space that is designed as a base not a hotel, tempers soon flare.

The only option here is to bring along distractions. Even the most ancient of board games will be fallen on like it’s a gift from the gods in the midst of a rain storm. Or get on with some of that food prep everyone was whining about – it depends how desperate things get.

Of course, all of these are papered over by the time you get home. You know they might happen, but it doesn’t stop you. Family petty squabbles aside, there’s simply too much to enjoy. It’s worth it.



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