Blog: SF/F, Food, and Other Weighty Topics

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Camping Tips (from Someone Who Hates Camping)

I recently went to a church camping retreat. I hate camping. It rocked- an amazing spiritual awakening. I still hate camping.

Here’s some tips if you hate camping but want to have a great experience:

1) Go with someone (or some people) who know what they’re doing. No matter how many internet science fiction blogs you read about camping, experience will always win out. There’s a million little tricks involved in camping comfortably, and one person with experience trumps any listicle.

2) Learn what poison ivy looks like.

3) Don’t force yourself to a boring diet. It’s easier- much easier- to just say you’re going to live on nuts and granola bars for a couple of days in the woods, but nothing helps get spirits up like hot bacon cooked over a fire. I.e. be prepared to drag a cooler out there and back. It’s worth the extra weight.

4) Cut out all the other extra weight. You do not need five changes of clothes, extra boots, triple tarps, musical instruments, etc. out in the woods. Campsites exist in a weird parallel universe where everything weighs twice as much and takes up triple the space as it does at home.

5) Bring a bedroll or pad to bring under your sleeping bag, and a headlamp. Headlamps look amazingly dorky, especially if everyone has one. But they’re super useful, so suck it up and accept that you’ll look like a bunch of Geth cosplayers for your trip to the woods.

6) Something will break, so just accept it. We had winds somewhere between “gale force” and “we’re not in Kansas anymore” blow down tents, chairs, food, lamps and everything in between. I personally watched as all my utensils took a dive directly into the fire, where they promptly melted. If you go in assuming Murphy’s Law is a real thing, this will be much less stressful.

7) Go with friends! As with fraternity hazing and Soviet gulags, camping brings people together through shared suffering. The discomfort of being out of your natural environment will provide an opportunity to deepen relationships and be more vulnerable with people that you love. Don’t let it go to waste.