Mom Goes Camping

10+ Reasons You Hate Camping (And How to Fix Them)

hate camping

As much as I love camping, I completely understand why some people hate camping.  Some people simply don’t take pleasure in unplugging and connecting with nature. Even if you do like nature, it takes a lot of knowledge to camp successfully.  But, if you’ve tried camping and hate it, don’t give up right away.  A lot of the reasons people hate camping can actually be fixed pretty easily.


1. Packing Tons of Stuff, Even for a Weekend Trip

camping gear packing pain in the butt

Camping means you’ve got to bring all of your necessities with you: shelter, sleeping setup, hygiene, first aid food…  It takes a lot of time to pack and admittedly is annoying to do for a short trip.

Solution: I keep all my camping gear together so packing is easier.  My first aid kit even remains pre-packed and ready to go.  I use this checklist to make sure I don’t forget anything.


2. Being Eaten Alive By Mosquitoes

camping mosquito bites

There’s nothing like being eaten alive to make you enjoy the great outdoors!

Solution: Go camping at higher elevations where there aren’t as many mosquitoes. Otherwise, load up on the bug spray and insect-proof clothing.


3. Sleeping On the Ground

Who wouldn’t hate camping when you sleep on the cold ground with rocks poking into your back.  And of course the ground isn’t flat either so end up with all the blood draining out of your head!

Solution: Take some time to find a flat area and clear the ground of objects before you pitch the tent. A good self-inflating sleeping pad will keep you warm and comfortable. And, if you really can’t stand the ground, then get yourself a nice camping cot. Just don’t make the mistake of sharing a sleeping pad or bag.  Nobody sleeps well when co-sleeping in a sleeping bag!


4. Feeling Like an Idiot When You Can’t Get the Tent up

tent fail

Of course the instructions don’t make sense. And then the campground Wifi doesn’t work so you can’t even ask the internet for instructions!

Solution: Always test all gear at home before you go camping.  This includes your tent, stove, lanterns and other gear.  And make sure you are getting a tent which is quick and easy to setup.


5. Rain

hate camping in rain

Solution: Rain doesn’t have to ruin your trip.  Get a rain jacket and rain pants so you stay dry and set up a tarp over your camp kitchen station so you have somewhere to escape.  Read more about how to enjoy camping in the rain.


6. Annoying Neighbors

Loud music? Drunk idiots?  Random kids coming over to ask you what you are doing every 10 minutes??? Not everyone has the same idea of camping, which means campground neighbors can do some really annoying things to ruin your trip.

Solution: Go wild camping on public land instead.


7. Crowds Ruining the Most Beautiful Places

crowds at national park

Camping is now popular and suddenly every single Instagram influencer needs a shot of themselves at a National Park. It means you’ve got to trek to find parking, fight through crowds of people taking selfies and that you can forget about getting some peace and quiet!

Solution: If you can’t visit during the off-season, then consider going to less-popular local attractions.  Nature doesn’t have to be “spectacular” for you to enjoy connecting with it.


8. Pooping in the Woods

If you are a good camper, you will dig a “cathole” 8 inches deep each time you have to poop and there’s no outhouse available.  It’s surprisingly hard to dig through hard dirt full of rocks and tree roots, which means you will nearly poop your pants if you don’t time it well.

Solution: Once at camp, I pre-dig my cathole so it is ready when I need to poo.  It even gives me time to pick the perfect spot with a view. 😀


9. Sand in Tent

It’s pretty much impossible to keep sand out of the tent when camping on the beach.  Then it sticks to your sweaty body, giving you one more reason to hate camping.

Solution: Consider hammock camping instead.  Even if sand does get in the hammock, you can just shake it out.


10. Washing Dishes

It’s definitely not fun to lug around stacks of dirty dishes to the communal washing station, especially when your Dutch oven is encrusted with burnt food because campfire cooking was harder than you realized.

Solution: Keep meals simple and eat out of the pot.  Then you won’t have to deal with so many dishes.  Here are some easy camping meal ideas. And do yourself a favor and bring a few camping sinks.


11. Insects and Spiders in the Tent

Just when you thought you couldn’t hate camping any more, you wake up with a massive spider crawling over your face.

Solution: Make a rule that the tent door ALWAYS stays closed. Whoever leaves the door open is responsible for getting spiders out of the tent at night.


12. Having to Pee in the Middle of the Night

You’ve finally gotten comfortable in your sleeping bag and now have to trek out into the freezing cold night to pee.

Solution: Embrace the pee bottle!  Women can even use a pee funnel so they can use a pee bottle too.


13. Checking for Ticks a Zillion Times Per Day

Checking for ticks multiple times per day is annoying as hell but necessary – the sooner you get them off, the less likely they are to transmit disease.

Solution: After getting bit by dozens of ticks (and had a tick head stuck in my skin and also got Lyme disease), I now carry a tick tool with me everywhere and spray my clothes with permethrin.


14. Waking Up Freezing Cold

The early mornings can be very cold when camping.  It’s hard to get out of your sleeping bag when there is literal frost on the ground!

Solution: Brave the cold! Get dressed, start moving and you’ll warm up quickly.


What do you hate about camping? Has it completely stopped you? Let us know in the comments section below.

Image credits:
IMG_2734” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by euphro,
The Sad State of our Tent” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Sarah&Boston,
ticks, mosquitos, chiggers = camp legs” (CC BY 2.0) by woodleywonderworks,
Devil’s Hole Camping Area” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Wilderness Kev,
Abmarschbereitschaft” (CC BY 2.0) by Gerrit Berlin
Waiting for Sunset” (CC BY 2.0) by Bernd Thaller

About the author /

Diane Vukovic grew up camping and backpacking in upstate New York. Now, she takes her own daughters on wilderness adventures so they can connect with nature and learn resiliency. With dozens of trips under her belt, Diane is an expert in minimalist camping, going lightweight, planning, and keeping her kids entertained without screens.

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1 Comment

  1. Mark

    Camping just sucks, including all the things you mentioned. Just don’t go camping. It’s too much work for a vacation. It ruins my time off from work to go camping. I’ve got a back yard, pool, and deck. BBQing is way better at home where all my stuff is. Wife makes me go.

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