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The Husband’s view – why I hate camping

OK, I accept that given the audience this won’t go down well but I hate camping. This might not come as a surprise to those of you who have been following The Wife’s blog but I thought I’d try and explain why it’s not for me, along with why I’ll be continuing.

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that people who camp are wrong. I’m a fairly liberal kind of bloke and each to their own, unless you’re a caravanner, but that’s a different post and I digress.

Camping prohibited signI just don’t get camping. I think there might be something about ‘learned behaviour’ here. In my formative years I can count on one hand the number of family holidays we went on and while I have vague recollections of going away to the seaside I couldn’t describe the accommodation or even where we went. What was certain is that we never camped. Contrast this with The Wife whose family camped regularly, creating her memory-bank of happy memories and, dare I say, rose-tinted view.

My holidaying didn’t properly start until my early twenties and then it was always to sunny, foreign climes. I’ve made it a mission to go abroad at least once a year since then and I’ve pretty much done it. I’ve visited some amazing places from Spain to India and the Maldives. I’m not bragging here, I’m just saying that this is my ‘learned behaviour’, my normal.

I can still hear some of you asking why I can’t like camping too? The Wife has asked the same question. She describes me as a bumpkin, I have an environmental occupation, I know the names of birds, animals and plants. I know how to catch rabbits, hell I can skin one in less than 2 minutes. But I still don’t get camping. When I’m at home I have my luxuries at hand, it’s warm, there’s a fridge and I don’t have to walk through a field avoiding guy ropes to go for a pee.

When I’ve been asked the question before I’ve just said ‘I don’t like it’ but there has to be a reason. I’ve given it some thought and I’ve come up with the following:

I don’t sleep well. Tents just aren’t dark enough and airbeds are uncomfortable. I’m 6’ 1” and my feet drop off the end of the bed or I slide off completely, not the recipe for a good night’s sleep. At home we have a lovely comfortable King sized bed. Surely holidays are about luxury and comfort not sleeping on the floor, which is something I’m getting a bit old for?

I hear everything. Those who know me know that I have slight OCD. When we go out I can check the front door four or five times and I’ve been known to turn the car around and go back to the house to check again. When we camp though there isn’t a door, and all that protects my family from the knife-wielding lunatic outside is a piece of canvas with a zip round it. As we have a tunnel tent with bedrooms at either end and a door in the middle, what’s worse is that this silly excuse for a door lies between me and the Tinies and might delay me getting to them. So the upshot is that every sound is enough to wake me – hardly conducive to a good night’s sleep.

I like my own space. Don’t get me wrong I love my family but just occasionally I like some time to myself. This might be as simple as unloading the dishwasher, doing the laundry or cooking a meal but it gives me time out. You can’t do this in a tent. Oh and I hate mess, and in a confined space a 3 year old and a 6 year old can make a hell of a mess!

Also, the weather’s rubbish. When the idea of camping was sold to me I was told of warm summers and days on the beach. The reality is howling winds and torrential rain. We were due to camp four times last year and managed twice, the other two cancelled because of the weather. Now The Wife will have you believe that up until this year I’d never camped. This isn’t exactly true, in 1993 (when I was 21), I spent an Easter weekend at Skegness with an ex-girlfriend and it snowed. Don’t get me wrong we found ways to ahem, amuse ourselves but even this couldn’t make camping look appealing. So my strike rate isn’t good. Three trips, one whiteout and two washouts = 100% failure.

So you’re probably thinking I’m mad to have agreed to go again? Well I probably am but while there are numerous reasons for me not to go camping again, there’s just one reason why I will be going. Simply, the kids love it and The Wife’s quite keen too. As I see it we all have to make some sacrifices for the sake of family and in my case camping is it.

And the payback? Well according to the countdown on my phone, in 25 weeks, 6 days, 2 hours, 19 minutes and 33 seconds we’ll be getting on a big white bird and going to see some guaranteed sun.

Adios everyone.



6 thoughts on “The Husband’s view – why I hate camping

  1. Phil Daniels

    It takes a big man to ‘front up’ like that! I guess if your Wife didn’t understand you before, she does now!

    1. admin

      He is indeed a big man Phil. I reckon I had a pretty good idea before he wrote this, but the “protecting my family” bit had passed me by, perhaps because, from experience, I don’t consider camping inherently dangerous.

      I was pleased to give him his right to reply though.

  2. Rob Baker

    I can’t argue with anything that you say here and you are right that learned behaviour has a lot to do with it. I only went abroad twice as a kid and camping was very much our normal so I have many happy camping (and caravanning) memories to fall back on.

    What I will say however is this, the first time you go camping and the sun shines you will instantly “get it”, I guarantee. You have been unlucky to start the hobby in 2012, we kept waiting for the summer but it never arrived – but it won’t be like that forever. We are lucky I will admit in that we seem to have a knack of booking our camping trips to coincide with the good weather, we managed a week in Wales in May 2012 which turned out to be one of the few sunny weeks we got. We played on the beach, we mooched round sundrenched promenades and we got sunburnt.

    Whats more, it won’t be the holidays abroad that your kids remember, it’ll be the camping trips.

    Ps. There’s no such thing as guaranteed sun! Even abroad!

  3. Rosie

    I hate caravanning but hubby loves it. I go along with it to make him happy, but I dread summer and caravan season. Don’t mind a weekend of camping, but its so boring when stuck in a caravan for longer, especially in our sunless wet climate.

    Our tourer is a luxury caravan and has everything one could want, apart from room service and sunny weather but I still hate the ruddy thing. I keep hoping hubby will get fed up with it, but don’t see that happening any time soon..:(

    1. Louise Post author

      I understand. Husband is the same. We’re hoping to move house & trying to keep hols cheap so my parents have offered their caravan. Despite it having all mod cons, he’s still not sold.

      I still live in hope though…

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