How To: Survive Camping

By on June 6, 2014

So you agreed to go camping this weekend even though you can think of a thousand things you’d rather be doing. Like teaching your dad the difference between posting a Facebook status and posting on someone’s wall, or cleaning out your cat’s litter box.

If you’re not a “happy camper”, fear not, there’s hope. You can get through this. Throw on some flip flops (ugh) and follow this survival guide. Here’s how to survive camping:


Embrace The ‘Naked And Afraid’ Look

It’s rainy, it’s woodsy, the humidex is skyrocketing off the charts – worst of all, there’s not a full length mirror in sight. Learn to accept that your hair is going to be in full control of your person for a few days. The sooner you give into the disheveled hobo look the better. If you’re constantly trying to primp yourself, checking out your reflection in the car door, and applying lip gloss by the hour, you’re really curbing your fun potential. This is your chance to be liberated! Free from all of society’s expectations and fashion trends, and showering. There’s no one to impress out in the woods and everyone’s on the same boat, so take heart – you’re not the only uggo on the island.


Eat And Drink All The Time

There are few instances in life where booze actually comes to the rescue exactly the way you hope it will. Camping is one of them. You and your friends are in the middle of nowhere, you’ve got a cooler full of beer and snacks you ordinarily wouldn’t be caught dead with in the break room at work. Now is your chance to let loose and make the most of this rare opportunity by gorging on hotdogs and Oreos, and downing alcohol like a Spring Breaker. Pass the time wisely and give into your indulgences. Bottoms up, my friend.


Prepare For All Existing Relationships On Site To Be Terminated

They say the true test of friendship or love is a road trip. If you survive without killing each other, you can get through anything. Well, camping involves a road trip plus roughing it in the wild for a few days with no other entertainment but each other, so it’s safe to say that in this case a “test” becomes a death wish within, like, two hours. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time later to make amends and apologize for drunkenly hurdling their iPhone into the lake or drawing obscenities all over their face while they’re sleeping. Just be prepared for tension and resentment that will last an indefinite amount of time. Watch your back.


Admit That You Are Afraid Of The Dark

It’s a universal truth, one that is never truer than when you’re alone at night in a remote area surrounded by trees and GOD KNOWS WHAT ELSE. When you’re lying in your tent at night listening to the sounds of bullfrogs and howling coyotes, you turn back into a 5 year-old and wonder what’s creeping around in the dark. Don’t try to be a hero and deny it; acknowledge your perfectly natural, basic human fear and simply use it to tell awesome scary stories around the campfire. You big baby.


Pretend You’re On A Reality Show

Ah, imagination. It can nourish the soul. Or completely torture it, depends on what you’re imagining. Roughing it on a camping trip is a great chance to really explore your ‘wild’ side (quite literally) and act like you’re on Survivor or Survivor Man or Ultimate Total Survive-iest Survivor. I mentioned Naked and Afraid earlier, which is a reality show where people are left in the wilderness to fend for themselves completely naked. That could be you! Only with clothes on (optional, though) and you’re not on TV. You and your friends can even take it to the next level and plan challenges and scavenger hunts to really put your most basic instincts to the test. From scouring the land for the best fire kindling to makeshift triathlon races, you can come up with all sorts of awesome ways to make your camping trip memorable.


Whatever you do, remember to keep a steady supply of bug repellent and s’more fixings. And booze. Happy Camping!


Courtney Gilmour

About Courtney Gilmour

Courtney is a Toronto-based writer and editor whose work has appeared in various digital and print publications, and probably the back of your chair in high school. She is known for her ability to create a near perfect plate of nachos and her inability to properly close a pizza box. Follow her on Twitter: @minxcourtney

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