This is a big one. As I said, the thing that I hate most about camping is the tent part. The stuff that surrounds the tent part isn’t so bad. I would love to have a whole day of hiking and swimming and end it all off with a campfire if I could sleep in a clean, dry, bug-free bed afterwards.
There’s just something about waking up in a tent, all sticky and sweaty and probably exhausted thanks to not having slept through the night, that I will not abide. Because you go to bed and it’s cold, right, so you’re all bundled up in your sleeping bag, the hood on your sweater up over your head, socks on, and you try your best to drift off to sleep (usually, this takes my hours, because I’m trying not to focus on how damn stuffy it is in the tent, and you just want to hire Kitchener movers to drag your whole dumb tent to the lobby of a hotel, so that you can crawl out and go right up to the desk to book a room).
And talk about stuffy. The stuffiness of the night before is nothing compared to the morning. Because you’re still all bundled up because of how bloody cold and damp it was the night before, you are now absolutely boiling in this tent-turned-greenhouse is a hot, breezeless oven, and the sun’s rays are cooking you. Oh, and because of all this heat, you’re also sweating. So you’re boiling hot, suffocating, and drowning in your own sweat. And it’s not like there’s a shower to hop into. No no. Not a clean one, anyway. You’ve either got one of those gross, communal, porter-potty type shower situations, or a lake. Honestly, I would take the lake. But it’s the early morning, so remember, it’s going to be freezing.
And God forbid it rains. Granted, when I’ve been in a tent and it’s rained, I haven’t had a tarp. That’s, admittedly, my fault. I take full responsibility for sucking at camping. Doesn’t change the fact that the inside (yes, the inside) of my tent was home to puddles that started at the edges and slowly started creeping towards me. Just thinking about it makes me shudder. But let’s say you’re prepared for this and you have a good tent and a tarp and all other great anti-rain gear. EVEN THEN, everything outside your tent is soaked. So you wake up, gross and sweaty, and you can’t even go outside to get any air, because you’ll get soaked, and where’s the only dry place? Oh yeah, your tent. Where you sleep. Have to pee? Well, that means you have to go outside, put on shoes, go to the bathroom, and then somehow get back into the dry tent without tracking water and mud in with you. Good luck with that.
And do not even get me started on bugs. And I do not want to hear that if you keep your tent totally zipped up and are really careful about it, they won’t get in. Those little buggers will find a way. And all it takes is one measly little mosquito to find its way in, and you’re in for one hell of an itchy morning.
In case you’re convinced this is something you want to try, for whatever reason, this guy looks like he knows what he’s doing: