10 Things I Hate About Camping

Followers of Midwestern Plants are probably scratching their beans wondering why I would write a post like this… Well, there is a dark side to camping and I need to share my experience so YOU won’t be duped.

During my childhood, ‘camping’ to my family, was staying at a Super 8 πŸ˜‰ I started my camping adventures tent camping at 18. Finally, after many years of sleeping on the ground, my husband and I bought a travel trailer (TT). The ‘normal’ progression of a tenter is usually to buy a pop-up. We thought pop-ups were just as annoying as tents. They take as long to set-up and pack-up as a tent, along with the fact you still don’t have your own bathroom.

Our first TT was 27′ long and was perfect for our family of two. We now have a 37′ Toy Hauler (it has a garage for our motorcycle). We love this new trailer. It has everything we need and more.

Without further adieu, here is my list of things I hate about camping, in no particular order:

#10 – Weather

Bad weather camping is pretty bad in a tent, however it’s not so bad in a TT. At least we have DVD’s, books and other things to keep us occupied. Sadly, it still means no campfires, kayaking or dog walks. Bad weather is also inherently attracted to trailer homes. We’ve rode out a few bad tornado warnings, knowing we could hit the well built shit houses. We don’t go there early, as they usually don’t want dogs in there and I’m not leaving my dogs in an unsafe location.

I can’t wait until we can control the weather and only have it rain on weekdays πŸ˜‰ I was hesitant to toss this one in as no one has control over it… yet.

#9 – Campground Reviews

I wish folks could put aside their feeling when writing reviews and just stick to the facts. Many times I can read past what folks whine about and glean the pertinent information that works for me, for example:

“The kids were bored as there were no activities…” = Super, no screaming children!

“The site was very uneven…” = You don’t know how to level your trailer.

“The campers next to us were loud…” – If they weren’t permanent, who cares, we won’t see them.

When reviewing a campground or anything else for that matter, state the facts only please.

#8 – Unleashed Dogs

I can’t begin to tell you how many times we encounter unleashed dogs of all sizes. After Breck was attacked in our own yard, we are quick to take notice of any situation that might harm our boys. Dog’s are funny when one is on-leash and the other isn’t. Unless your dog is 100% trained to stay at your side, leash them!!

#7 – Loosing Your Site to a Seasonal

If you’ve booked at a private campground, most likely you’ve seen the verbiage ‘you will be moved if a seasonal wants your site.’ Sadly, this has happened us a few times. Although we tell the campground the size of our TT, they inevitably move us to a site too small for us…. and it’s the last site available. There’s no real protection from this happening, unless you book at a state campground, which only allow a maximum stay of 2 weeks.

#6 – Full Hook-Up is Not Really Full Hook-Up

Full Hook-Up means: there is electricity, water and sewer AT THE SITE. Welp. Some campgrounds will tell you they are full hook-up, but what they really mean is that there is electricity and water AT THE SITE and they have a dump station or pumping services for sewer service. Clearly, it’s very inconvenient to pack-up and bring your camper to the dump in the middle of our stay, thus you then must pay for your tanks to be pumped.

 

#5 – Meeting Scary People

For the most part, campers are good folk. I’ll actually say there are 100% good folk, as the one scary person we came across in the campground was not really a camper. All I’m saying is to be aware, especially if you’re remote camping.

There was a trail that went through the county campground we were staying at. A man walked by with a beer, telling us our dogs were cute and if he could say hello to them.Β  Hmm, it was daylight, other campers around, so no alarms went off. We started chatting about border collies and camping… Husband offered him another beer and a chair as the sun went down. When the topic of his site and type of trailer came up, he then informed us he was just ‘passing through’ the area on foot. OK, I’ve met many homeless folks that were really nice. However, all of a sudden, things got weird. He started discussing female genitalia and things he liked about it. I gave my hubby the ‘I’m-uncomfortable-look’ and excused myself, saying I needed the loo. Hubby gave me our code word for get the protection at the ready, our loaded 45. When my husband knew I was safely inside and packing heat, I listened out the window to my husband tell this man that his topics were not welcome and he had better take his leave. He left without incident, thank goodness.

#4 – Campground Up Charges

Owning a campground isn’t exactly a get rich lifestyle. Many times camp owners are left to deal with rotten situations their guests put them in. Whether it be acts of bad driving (running over signs, pipes or trees), flushing large, unknown items down the toilet or even just littering, camp owners get creative about adding on fees to your daily, rental fee. Here are just a few we’ve seen:

$10 fee per dog – The campground felt the need to charge this to cover the doo-doo removal service.

Charging $10 per day, per camper for campground amenities and not allowing an opt out.

We have WIFI! (for $2 a day… and its only available near the office… with 2G download speeds…)

$5 a day charge for air conditioners.

 

#3 – Site Trespassing

It’s rare that we find a campground that has large sites. However, the larger the site, the more likely you’ll have folks walk right through the middle of it. We put our boys on 20′ feet leads when we’re at our site. Of course, we size them shorter if our site is smaller. One long weekend of camping had us on a site what was about 40′ feet by 40′ feet. That is huuuuge compared to most campgrounds, we were able to add on to the boys leashes to give them 30′ to play. One day, while we sat near our campfire, a family of 6 rode their bikes right into our campsite and was freaked out when our boys ran after them! The one kid was so terrified he dropped his bike and ran. We asked his parents why they thought it was OK to trespass right through our site. They played the ‘no speaka da English’ game. I then translated my distaste for their actions in an international language way…. We didn’t see them the rest of the trip.

#2 – Not Using Fog Lights at Night

One of my husband’s biggest pet-peeves is drivers in campgrounds using their headlights at night. At best, the speed limit in a campground is 5 mph. At these speeds, the chances of having an accident are slim. Since many campers don’t have their own toilets, driving to the loo becomes an hourly occurrence, especially when there is liquor involved. Camping is about reconnecting with nature, and seeing stars is a part of it. Constantly being flashed in the eyes with headlights is no fun.

#1 No Outside Firewood

As an arborist, I understand the dangers of transporting firewood. All kinds of pest issues are caused by folks moving around contaminated wood. By law, you cannot move firewood outside of 50 miles or over state lines. If you’re within those parameters, no problem. Clearly, campgrounds again, in the never ending search to make money, try to have you buy a 4 piece bundle of wood for $10.Β  We buy one bundle from the campground and then find someone selling it nearby for 1/64 of the price.

Yes, I have also watched folks drive to a campsite where someone had just left to see if they left any firewood behind.

 

 

 

 

Β© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

36 thoughts on “10 Things I Hate About Camping

  1. Seems like quite a lot can go wrong at a campsite, but you are prepared! πŸ™‚ I agree on the No Tent thing. πŸ™‚
    I went camping in a tent as a Girl Guide; it was pretty rough – not even an air mattress! As an adult we took the kids camping in a tent several times, till one of them decided to smash her head open on a rock by the sea our first morning and we had to drive miles to get it stitched up! Not so keen after that!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your camping post. We never owned a car so all the years we went camping it was with a tent. the last time I did it was in Maine on Mt Desert Island. We use an airbed which is very comfortable. Cautionary note: blow up the bed while it is inside the tent. One time we didn’t have power in the car so had to put the tent and with bed in it on the roof of the car and drove to the bathrooms to find a plug to blow up the bed.. We got some bemused looks form other campers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We camped many years – all good points along with a nice dose of humor. The one thing that kicked my butt was the packing and unpacking. We couldn’t get the TT close enough to the house to leave it plugged in so you unloaded all the food after each trip and then reloaded for the next one. I always envied friends who pulled home, hooked up electricity, and went in the house with their dirty laundry. πŸ™‚

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    • My TT sits 15′ from my door πŸ˜‰ Love that! I do shut down the fridge, however I leave all my dry goods. Most of my camping buddies either have to store their trailer somewhere or are seasonals. Both have to haul junk around. Me? I treat my TT like a storage unit. If I need something, its right there. Hope I didn’t make you jealous 😚

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  4. I am not even going to admit to how many times I have scavenged firewood from other sites.

    And the problems with tent camping really do all start with the weather. I’d put up with almost anything if I didn’t have to worry about rain or wind or cold when tent camping.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my! I camped when I moved to my new home before the home was built. The sad part is that the home never got built! It was okay. I had a nice place to camp. I was homeless in a place that was nicer than where most people get to spend their vacations.

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    • I actually want to be “brick & mortar homeless” asap πŸ˜‰ I do see many great locations when I camp. We haven’t camped off the grid yet, but it’s on the list. I can’t wait to be able to have a different view out my window each week πŸ€—

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      • What is ‘brick & Mortar homeless”? Homelessness is not something I would recommend, at least in this society. However, there are some very interesting advantages that ‘outsiders’ do not see. As unpleasant as ‘haters’ can be, the generosity of the majority of everyone else is astounding. The homeless of Felton have a page on Facebook, ‘Felton League’, it is worth looking at if you are interested in homeless society as well as camping. I might eventually do a blog about it too.

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        • I’m not a hater of homeless folks at all. I envy them in certain respects. Brick and mortar homeless means I wouldn’t live in a house or a permanent location, I’d live in my trailer, bringing it wherever I wanted.
          I know society looks down on the homeless… but screw society!
          I know we’re new reading each other’s blogs, but I’m not your regular bird. I don’t confirm to society or as little as possible. Having too many things is a huge hassle.
          I will go check out the Felton League, it sounds interesting!

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          • It seems that many of us are not regular birds. Conformity can be a lot or work. I am from a town where conformity is very important, and people who move in actually tell me how I need to conform, right down to the car to drive. It does not matter that I am a native, and that my ancestors have been there for generations. Those who conform always seem to have a better idea of what is appropriate. I have no problem with the majority of conformers; but it seems to me that the best quality people are those who do not conform, including homeless people. I prefer to not be homeless, and live in a home where I can watch my trees grow for the rest of my life. However, homeless people have taken me on some of the best adventures away from home, including my trip to Oklahoma that I sometimes mention in my blog.

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            • I agree! Most of my friends are very different than what society finds acceptable. I find them fascinating!
              Here’s how conformity works for me tho: I work for a landscape contractor that focuses on one of the richest areas here (Northshore of Chicago). Folks will spend $300,000 or more on landscaping alone. They fiercely battle over who had the best landscapes! Once a neighbor puts in a paver driveway.. we get calls for someone down the street to install one also. Its the phrase, “keeping up with the Jonses”!!
              The sad part is that I visit these properties later and the $23,000 grill island is still unused after a year and still has the manual in the grill! Why did you have us install it if you weren’t going to use it?! It’s all about outward appearances. I think that’s sad.
              I would never want to live my life in this faux way!

              Liked by 1 person

              • Yes, we get the same here, and in Southern California as well, although some of our clients are quite realistic, and some of the wealthiest can at least enjoy their wealth. One of the wealthiest (blue blood) families in Los Gatos still uses their 1974 Ford LTD. They have had it maintained very well, and painted so that it looks like a new car. They like it too much to give it up. It has been through three generations. Of course, the nouveux riche in the neighborhood really dislike it.

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                • Ha! I’d love to see the 1974 Ford rumbling by multi million dollar houses πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚ Yes, there are folks that don’t need to show off their wealth. I applaud them for their lack of need to keep up with society.
                  If I won the lottery, I’d be thrifty enough with my money to live out my life volunteering my time in lieu of working.

                  Liked by 1 person

  6. I can, with a doubt write that you covered everything about camping. Some of it is funny and not funny. I, do not like camping and actually, hate better describes the matter, But, hey if you love to travel, have dog/s and you like new scenery then I say go glamping or what ever the word. Great post.

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    • Thank you!
      Yes, camping is not for everyone, if it were, there’d be a hellava hard time making reservations πŸ˜‰
      It does work great with our dogs and our income level. I’ve never calculated our costs to glamp compared to going on a regular vacation. I’ll have to do that for yuks. I just calculated my daily rate, via my mortgage payment… it’s $8.33 a day to stay. Actually less, because I can take the taxes off because it’s a second home! 😊

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    • Bummer. Camping used to be very inexpensive, but some private campgrounds think they are Marriott Hotels! Going as far as to only allowing trailers less than 5 years old πŸ˜›
      We avoid these. Camping at state or federal campgrounds is only about $20 a night. If you’re willing to dry camp (no amenities) you can camp free on federal property.
      Too broke, I understand. Too old? I hope I never understand! πŸ˜‰

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    • Luckily, #5 hasn’t happened again. We’ve met so many nice folks since then, it is a distant memory.
      You’ve just got to be prepared and have a system in place ahead of time. Or secret word is ‘muskrat’ πŸ˜‰ If that word comes up in convo, we know the other is trying to say something important, in a secret kinda way 😁

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        • Right?! πŸ˜‰ I don’t think it registers to folks when its said. I’ll be talking about the weather, and say only muskrats would like it… or even just right in the middle of a sentence muskrat about anything. If they catch it, they just think I’m weird or they may be embarrassed that they didn’t understand me… Either way, I don’t usually get called out on it 😁
          If someone is a big fan of the movie “Meet the Parents” (muskrat was their secret word) then they might get it!

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