It's officially summer, and people are out camping. It's a tradition in BC to spend the first long weekend of the year - Victoria Day, May 20th - camping. It's never appealed to me, and certainly not this year when we didn't get a decent day of sun until about halfway through the week following the holiday.
Nevertheless, there's a lot of hype around camping, and so I have been trying my best to figure out what the appeal is. Because as it says in the title, I don't get it. Here's what I've figured out so far.
1. Theory: Camping is a good chance to get out in nature. Agreed! If you live in a city and the only green you see is bordering your office building's entryways, then camping is a great chance to see some lovely foliage. My objection: I don't feel a lack of green in my life. I live in a medium-sized city right on the coast, and I see lots of nature, not to mention the ocean, every single day. I am not aching for fresh air.
2. Theory: You can go swimming! Again, if you live somewhere far away from lakes, oceans, and rivers, and need to drive for a few hours to find some, camping nearby might be a good idea. My objection: I can go swimming in a lake, an ocean, or a river, anytime I want. But I don't, because I'm afraid of sharks. Shut up.
3. Theory: You can sit around outside all day! I have this lovely green place with comfy lawn chairs and a picnic table where I can do just that, and it could not possibly be more close to hand. I call it my yard.
4. Theory: Camping is a fun opportunity to get a little drunk with your friends, because no one has to drive home. I don't drink, so I really can't see the appeal of this one.
5. Theory: You can get away from it all! Most of my "all" I am pretty fond of. That's why I keep it nearby.
Mostly, to me, camping just seems like a lot of work: packing up everything you need (shelter, food, drink, entertainment, furniture), driving in a cramped car to your campsite, unpacking everything and setting it all up, then spending two days and nights scratching in the dirt, fighting off insects, and listening to the drunken yahoos in the site next to you. Then you pack up everything again - except now everything is wet and/or dirty and/or smelly - and head home, sunburnt and exhausted. And THEN you spend another two days cleaning and scrubbing everything down. And people find this relaxing?
(It's just occurred to me that the pioneers of yore would probably think that our custom of going out and "roughing it" for a few days, when we don't have to, is utterly ridiculous and possibly a sign of mental illness.)
I really do want to understand camping. If you enjoy camping, please tell me why. What am I missing?