If you’ve been reading much of the content on this website instead of scrolling past it, you will have learned something. That would be that we happen to know a thing or two about camping. We’ve covered all kinds of topics ranging from how to build a campfire to the proper gear to pack for your trip and everything in-between. Finally, we get to get something off our chests about camping. This time around we are going to share with you the top things we hate about camping. Yes, as much as we enjoy the great outdoors, there are a few things that wreck it for us.
You will probably agree with most of the entries here so, without further delay…here is our short list of the things we hate about camping.
1 – RVers
Yup. We have a great deal of difficulty wrapping our minds around the idea of camping with what basically amounts to a small house on wheels. What are you teaching your children? This is not roughing it nor is it anything close to camping. The RVs that are climate controlled, contain beds better than the average five-star hotel, a shower, full bathroom and kitchen facilities really take the fun out of getting away from it all in our minds.
2 – Insects
No, we are not still talking about RVers. While we get the whole idea behind getting out and living in nature, there is a point in every camper’s timeline where the amount of great outdoors that gets up close and personal crosses that line. The onslaught of biting, crawling, chewing and flying critters we can handle – for a little while – but when they end up in our food, tents, sleeping bags and clothing for the rest of our camping trip, it’s enough.
3 – Fees That Magically Appear Out Of Nowhere
Okay, maybe there is a shortage of firewood this season thanks to all the wildfires over the past couple of years. We can accept that. But to charge us $25 for a few semi-dry sticks to roast weenies over at the private campground is off-highway robbery. Even if you manage to get a spot in a state-run campground, there always seems to be an added fee here or there as if the camp host thinks we’ve never done this before. So much for budgets.
4 – The Stupid Long List Of Rules
Alright. We know. Lights out and all quiet by 10 PM. That we can live with but the massive list of rules at your average campground comes across like a list of demands. Don’t do this. Don’t go there. Don’t be this. Don’t, don’t, don’t. What happened to rolling out the welcome carpet each time someone in a small car pulls up and you can see the back is stuffed with camping gear? We all wanna get along but all the don’ts just make us wanna leave.
5 – Forgetting Something Vital
It happens. Yes, we usually pack the car or pickup following our carefully crafted camping check list. But for some reason, the odd time something on that list gets skipped over until later but later doesn’t happen until the camping trip ends. In the meantime you have to make do without toilet paper, toothpaste, money or whatever is was on that list you forgot. Trust us, you’ll have this happen to you just once and it’ll never happen again.
6 – Campfire Smoke
Why is it that regardless of how careful we are in building the appropriate sized campfire for our campsite that the smoke always ends up in our faces – regardless of where we sit and how often we move to different locations around that campfire? It’s as if there’s some kind of plot out to get us and make us despise the one outdoor activity we’re actually pretty good at. Campfires are not that hard to deal with – with a bucket of water handy.
7 – Campfire Bans
We understand that the wildfire rating has pretty much everything to do with this. We also know that some embers can travel a mile or two and that can be devastating in a high risk area. However, when it has rained for most of the weekend and we just wanna show the kids that you can still stay warm camping without the need of one of those pansy RVs, and we aren’t allowed to spark up some kindling…that really gets our attention.
8 – Outhouses
There is a certain amount of charm that gets wiped away from a back to nature, rustic setting for a weekend of camping when your only option for bathroom facilities is an outhouse that hasn’t been cleaned for decades. We’re not expecting pristine facilities but it would be nice to be able to not smell the outhouse 100-feet before you get to it. Luckily, we’ve never drawn the short straw that would put us in the campsite next to the outhouse.
9 – Campsites Next To Outhouses
Um, who did the layout on this project? Was the engineer at least visually impaired because that could explain this and a few more issues we can identify at the average campground. There should be no reason why anyone would want to set up their tent so close to the outhouse(s) that they can hear everything going on in them all hours of the day and night. It doesn’t matter if they get a discounted camping rate. Camping close to the outhouse is just wrong.
10 – That Guy
You know the one. He’s a couple of campsites over and he just can’t leave you alone. He knows everything about everything and has no problem sharing all or most of it with you. Oh, and he’ll even tell you what you did wrong with the layout of your campsite, your tent selection, your food selection, the type of vehicle you own, your career choice, who you married and so on. If you can last the weekend without trying to poison him, good for you.
11 – That Girl
You’ve avoided her at least once. She’s the one that’s just a bit too tipsy and happens to like being so close to you that she ends up rubbing against you in ways that make you feel uncomfortable. Sure, she’s attractive, seems to have her stuff together but slurs her words and really likes to use innuendos to make her points. In general, she’s harmless but you also don’t want her to fall into your campfire, when there isn’t a ban in place.
12 – Sleeping On Rocks
It never seems to matter how carefully you examine the campsite before you place your tent. It also never seems to matter how many thick blankets, foamies and other bedding you bring. Regardless of the extra effort, sleeping on the face of Mother Earth is never quite as comfortable as that orthopedic bed you have at home with all the settings, heat and other do-dads. This is why it’s called roughing it but when did the ground get so freakin hard?
13 – Booking In Advance
If you live somewhere in North America where you can just pull off the road at the nearest field and set up camp, embrace that freedom for as long as possible. Having to book your campsite in advance – typically a year or more before you need it – is a lot like watching paint dry. It’s painful. It’s unnatural. It’s insane. How do you know you will still be as excited about camping on May 23, 2025 as you are this afternoon? It’s not fair at all.
14 – The Stupid Weatherman
So we’ve planned this camping holiday for about a month. We’ve been paying close attention to the weather and as the day drew closer, we got a lot more serious about the weather. Finally, on the day of our trip to the campground the weather looked promising. The forecast was good and all indications were for a decent weekend. That was until we got our camp set up. Moments after the tent was secured the sky opened and it rained throughout the entire weekend.
Don’t take this list too seriously as we really do enjoy camping and all the left curves and hiccups we encounter along the way. It’s part of what makes the entire exercise an adventure. Just remember to be properly prepared (as in, expect the worst, but have what you need in case that happens) and you’ll do fine. Camping is a great way to enjoy your natural surroundings, meet some new – sometimes wacky – people and if you camp as a family, bond a little tighter.