Thursday, August 26, 2010

If Only That Bear Would Have Eaten Me

As much as I hate telemarketers, acne, serial killers, and global warming...I hate camping more.
This topic is fresh in my mind because I just recently came back from our 2nd annual camping trip. By "our" I mean myself & four other girlfriends who, for some reason, think that joining the ranks of the great unwashed & almost getting eaten by a bear are good times. Thus, here is the ultimate list to remind me of why I will never, ever go camping again. 

Freezing & sleepy while my friends were off hunting/gathering/doing camping things.
1) The Succulent Smell of Camping 
There's nothing I love more than the smell of outhouses, body odor, bug spray, sunscreen, clothes that smell like old campfire smoke, and morning breath from the person in the sleeping bag next to you.
You wouldn't believe all the layers I have to wear to cover up the smell.
2) The Harsh Elements
Glacial winds, torrential rains, snow (yes, in May), hail (yes, in the middle of summer), and waking up covered in dew. Yes, the Canadian landscape is unpredictable at times. Yes, there are plenty of gorgeous hot summer days to go camping. But it's far more fun complaining about the crappy, cold weather we always seem to luck out with when we do go.

A cry for help, written on the beach. I'm laying on a towel wearing 3 sweaters & a blanket at the time.
3) Unnecessary Work/Effort for Things You Can Enjoy From The Comfort of Your Own Home
There is tons of work involved with camping: packing hundreds of things into your car; unpacking hundreds of things from your car; setting up a flimsy shelter (known as a "tent"); chopping wood for basic warmth and wielding an axe without looking like an idiot; blowing up air mattresses with your mouth; maintaining the fire and risking smoke inhalation, burns, and potentially falling into the fire; cooking as though you're a caveman; using the last of your battery on your MacBook; and having to poop in the forest and/or fly-infested outhouse. I would much rather stay in a hotel room & order room service -- far less time consuming & strenuous. 

Chopping Wood. IN THE RAIN. It's not me chopping it (are you crazy?!?). I'm sitting in the car.
We were only able to watch half of Edward Scissorhands before my computer died.
The poop tree. You sit on it, with your butt hanging over the edge, and go. 
4) Life Threatening Situations
So it's 4:30 AM and I'm lying wide awake on my damp, lumpy air mattress. Everyone else is snoring. I'm paralyzed with terror because I hear ripping, slashing, crunching, growling, and tearing coming from the eating tent (which is a few feet away from the sleeping tent that we're in). I wake everyone else up. Somebody exclaims, "whoops, we left the garbage out!" Rule #1 of camping that even I know: DO NOT, under any circumstances, leave the garbage out for fear of unruly night creatures. Nobody knows what to do. I suggest that we make a lot of noise to scare the bear away (friend #2: "maybe it's a skunk!" as the tearing and growling are getting viciously louder). Friend #3 says: "How about we just sit here and be quiet until it goes away?" I love being a sitting duck, feet away from a ravenous bear, with nothing but the thin tent material to protect me. So, we get up, run to the car, drive around the campsite for a bit to "shake the bear off."

Campfire protective gear. This is a necessary precaution if you want to spare your feet from burns, bites, and/or amputation. Unfortunately, it won't help you outrun a bear.

5) Disgusting Things
Flies, soot in your spaghetti noodles, dirty fingernails, animal feces, cobwebs, having food prepared by friends' unwashed hands, kids screaming at 7AM, sour milk, sand in your sleeping bag, hanging your jeans up to dry & finding a cocoon in your pocket a couple of days later, people stealing your firewood, etc. etc. etc.
Me holders pincers from a crayfish that was eaten by a duck. Who wants to go swimming? 
Yes, the great outdoors is wonderful to enjoy. In small doses. From my backyard.


  1. Haha! I told my boyfriend once that I like camping, but by that I like camping Girl Scouts style, meaning that there's running water and facilities on the camp site. He was pretty pissed when I told him I would never dig a hole to poop in. We never had to do THAT in Girl Scouts. Your camping trip sounds scary (was there really a bear?) but glad to hear you're still alive!

  2. Yes, I'm glad I'm alive too!! We talked to the warden the next day, he said that there was a baby bear wandering around all the campsites. Plus, I'm convinced that a small rodent wouldn't be ripping, slashing, & growling like this thing was. Ahhhhh, never again.