You’re In The Wrong Camp for Camping

By Patrick Kayes, Guest Writer

Travel along down the road of imagination with me for a moment, if you will. You’re nice and warm under your covers in your bed. There might be a slight, sweet breeze blowing through the windows, your pillow is soft and your mattress might as well be a cloud for how comfortable it is to lay on. 

You’re fading away into unconsciousness, when with all the subtlety of a gunshot in an enclosed room, your blankets are stripped from your bed, your pillow is torn from your head, the sweet breeze is replaced with the shrill blast of 35 mile an hour winds, and that soft mattress you slept on? It’s replaced by hard packed soil. 

Oh? That doesn’t sound fun to you? It didn’t sound that fun to my friends when I described it to them that way either. But it’s crazy, because that’s exactly what camping is. Now, before I get berated by all you “nature enthusiasts” or the people that pretend to be artsy and post their hiking pictures on Instagram, I like being outside. I love to swim, be on the lake with friends and take walks in nature parks with my girlfriend. 

Consider if after doing all of those things, instead of coming home to your beautiful house or apartment where you can shower  and be comfortable, the person you were with turned to you and said, “Ah, this day outside has been great! But you know what would make it so much better? If we spent the night out there!” 

Again, I love nature. Some of my fondest memories include vast swaths of nature. For example, I went to see these incredible, lush, green mountains by the seaside in Hawaii this past winter. They were, without exaggeration, one of the most incredible sights I’ve ever seen, but if someone turned to me and said, “Hey, do you wanna sleep on one of these?” I’d stare at them like they were crazy. 

I mean, can you imagine how insane that suggestion would be in any other activity? You and I go to the movies, we both sit down for the previews, I pull out three poles and a sheet and I ask where I can “set us up” for the night. 

Equally important, unless you’re Stan Warren from Diary of a Wimpy Kid and you can afford a one thousand dollar tent and have an automatic s’more maker, camping is far too expensive of a habit. If you have no supplies to go camping, it’s literally hundreds of dollars to get started. Sleeping bags for everyone in the group, a full tent, supplies to make food, coolers, tools to start a fire — all of that trash starts to add up way too fast. 

Moreover, humans were not made to live in the wild  — it’s why we’re smarter than every other animal. Before us, there was no inside versus outside. We created the concept of the indoors: a place where you didn’t have to deal with bugs, dirt, mud, weather hazards, wildlife and anything else that wanted to kill you. If you go camping, you just disregard all of what was built before you to keep you safe. 

It’s as though you were in a car and you not only didn’t decide to put on the seatbelt for a ten hour car ride, but you insisted on being strapped to the roof with elastic cables. Sure it might keep you in place for the ride, but why would you take such an unnecessary risk? 

Anyways, I’ll let you guys seethe in your anger for a little while. I need to go back inside and enjoy a nice comfortable bed while you shiver on the wet hard ground in your tents!