There is nothing better than gathering up your best friends, a cooler full of fresh salmon, and Pacific Pilsners, then hitting the woods for a few days of fun, sun, and sleeping in a tent, right?
Kill me now.
Camping is an insult to electricity, indoor plumbing, toilets, memory foam mattresses, couches, digital cable, and every other luxurious human invention that only can exist within the comfort of a building. A building has walls made out of wood or concrete and doors with locks that protect you from disgusting things like the weather, animals, and perverts. Walls allow you a private space to yell, play music, have sex, or cook revolting foods without the possibility of the drawing attention of animals or perverts. I like walls. A tent made out of Rayon DOES NOT qualify as a wall. Do you remember that episode of Parks and Recreation when they all go camping and Aziz Ansari’s character, Tom, turns his tent into a hotel room with a big screen TV, a Roomba, and a massage chair? I would camp with Tom. I’d fuck Tom for that tent.
I like and respect nature as much as the next guy watching The Nature Channel, but camping is for idiots.
Making a Fire
Watching a grown adult try to build a fire out of semi-wet chunks of wood, broken beer boxes, and sticks is ridiculous. Stop pretending to know how to make a fucking fire. You do not know how to make a fire because you were born in the 80s in a fucking hospital. Young people who go camping because “it’s fun to go camping and party, man” do not know what they are doing. They are too focused on swimming nude with “the beautiful nature” and getting wasted to worry about the reality of the sun going down and being left with NOTHING. Most people—not all people because there are camping hippy freaks who live for the bush life—can’t handle camping. They should invent a fire building APP then the idiots could camp successfully.
You Are Intruding on a Wild Animal's Home
Isn’t it bad enough that we have built our amazing, luxurious four-star hotels all over the homes of skunks, raccoons, bears, and cougars? Now, we think we are so powerful that it is totally OK if we intrude on the only places we left for them to survive during our nice family vacations? Of course they want to eat us and our prissy, domesticated animals we bring with us on vacation. Imagine you are a bear and it is spring and you are just going down the mountain to take a dip in the water, maybe catch some fish, and a bunch of drunken frat boys have set up a giant tent in your zone. They have chucked their empty beer cans everywhere and now, they are lying out on their Metallica beach towels on your Earth. They are high on acid and screaming about pussy while pissing in your lake? Of course you, the bear, want to eat all their food and maybe even them. Of course you are mad. Do not piss off the bears. If bears could talk they would tell you to go rent a hotel room, drown yourself in the public pool, and fuck off forever.
Camping Is Not Cheap
While on tour with some friend’s bands a few summers ago, we had to stay the night in Mount Shasta. Being too cheap to get a motel room and too tired to drive, we decided to camp (despite the fact that we had no camping gear). Our whole genius plan was to sneak into the campsite late and leave really early in the morning as to avoid paying the campground fee, which was around $50. We ended up getting really drunk on orange juice and malt liquor. Because we had no tents and the van was not big enough to sleep all six of us, two people slept in the van, another pancaked on a picnic table, and my friend Justin and I had to sleep on the roof of the van. Have you ever slept on the roof of a van with someone else? You can’t move. If you move, you fall off. In the morning, Justin refused to wake up and we ended up leaving the campsite later than we had planned, which meant we had to pay the campground fee of $50. A Motel 6 room costs about $43—with Internet and cable.
Sleeping in a Tent on Rocks, Roots and Dirt
Every time I have ever been coerced into camping (with the allure of hippy drugs), something has gone wrong with our tent. The tent smells like piss because someone got piss on it. We forgot the poles, so the tent is just, like, a piece of fabric now. The tent is too small for all eight of us. The tent doesn’t exist because we forgot it at home. I’m sure the tent situation has been fine a few times, but even when the tent is “fine” it’s not fine. Sleeping in a tent means that your wake-up time has to align with nature’s wake-up time, which is the time most of us go to bed on the weekend. Revolting, hot-dog-stinking morning breath gets trapped in the tent because most people have allergies when camping and sleep with their mouths open. Plus, sleeping on the ground feels like you are lying on a dead old woman who is so thin and fragile that her bones jar out from her paper skin. I don’t want to sleep on old ladies. I want to sleep on my mattress.
Periods and Poo in the Woods
Do you know that when you change your tampon in the woods you either have to bury it (like a fucking cat buries its crusted piss in the litter box) or you have to wrap it in a leaf and save it on your person until you find a garbage can with a bear proof lock? Do you have ANY IDEA HOW ANNOYING THAT IS? I love toilets. I spend a lot of time on the toilet. Sometimes I just sit there even after I’m done pissing and thank Thomas Crapper that I have a toilet. Why would I put myself in a situation where I do not have a toilet? And, while we’re on the subject, an outhouse is not a toilet. An outhouse is a black hole full of feces, barf, and dirty diapers with a gaping, one-size-fits-all opening that makes you feel like Alice before she got sucked down the rabbit’s hole.
All I’m saying here is that when you really look at it, camping is utterly disrespectful not only to nature (the deer, the bears, the slugs, the bugs), but to Christine Magee, Thomas Crapper, and every other entrepreneur or inventor who risked their mental capacity for human luxury. Do you want to be a disrespectful person? No, you don’t. So unpack your cooler, open up Priceline in your Google Chrome, and book a hotel room with an imitation salt-water pool like a good little human.
Photos by: Michelle Ford and Daniel Pitout