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People who don't enjoy camping
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Steve Genest
(srfish59) - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: these are totally true reasons on 07/15/2014 18:46:36 MDT Print View

You know...it does look like Bart!

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Bart Simpson on 07/15/2014 19:22:07 MDT Print View

Oh no! Now I can't unsee it!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
I admit I am a wuss on 07/16/2014 14:47:14 MDT Print View

I love hiking. I love the outdoors. But honestly, I don't actually like sleeping outside. I have never enjoyed that part. I have often seen backpacking as a means to an end - so I can see more miles, more sites.

Before I had my last two kids, I went on a frenzy for 2 years to do longer mile days - so I could come home and sleep at night. Worked for me.

My problem is I get bored after awhile - the point of hiking is it is an activity I enjoy. But once in camp...well, after setting up, eating, cleaning up....and watching nature, eventually I run out of things to do. Granted now I have a smartphone with many books to read (woot!) but I also miss my kids.

And don't get me going on winter camping. Not much more boring than being in a tent at 5 pm, in the dark :-P

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: I admit I am a wuss on 07/16/2014 16:22:06 MDT Print View

Sarah,
It's not about bravery or being a wuss. We all want different things from nature.

For most people on most days, 5pm means dinner, couch, TV.
Then you get tent sleeping that could turn into a Sensory deprivation chamber, a solitary prison cell, because while we have many trail miles logged, we have much more couch sitting hours logged.

When there is a trail buddy, we have philosophical conversations about life, family, religion, politics, while taking time lapse photography. One trail buddy likes to drink whiskey, but on another trip another buddy goes to sleep early at sunset, because it usually was a long day with little sleep the days before.

When I'm solo, I don't let brain stimulus happen organically at random, I set myself goals and tasks to do and think about, to keep my mind occupied, until I fall asleep. Perhaps sunset photography, spy on night wildlife, develop a plan for world peace, plan future wife bribes to promote future solo outings and plan for career change and early retirement.

By the time I get 45 mins into this mental exercise, I'm snoring. At home I have insomnia.

Edited by RogerDodger on 07/16/2014 16:23:52 MDT.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: I admit I am a wuss on 07/16/2014 16:46:24 MDT Print View

Personally, unless there is a rock in my back I couldn't be happier sleeping on the ground outside. My main problem is I also love to lie there in the early morning watching the light change and listening to the birds and other noises, and don't like to get up early.

If not for necessary bodily functions I might not get up until noon.

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: People who don't enjoy camping on 07/16/2014 19:26:10 MDT Print View

When asked afterward if he had fun, a non-backpacking friend who went with us on a short (20 mile) two-night backpacking trip into the Winds responded:

"Did I have fun? That's like asking someone if they had fun climbing Mount Everest. Hell no, it wasn't fun. But I'm glad I did it."

Maybe he'll go again one day. But probably not. Even if he doesn't, at least he has that memory of enigmatic non-fun happiness that he found in backpacking - something that lots and lots of folks never experience.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: I admit I am a wuss on 07/16/2014 19:47:50 MDT Print View

"If not for necessary bodily functions I might not get up until noon."

Ah, another member of the Crack of Noon club. Welcome.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: I admit I am a wuss on 07/16/2014 22:16:17 MDT Print View

I usually fall asleep around 2 am, wake up at first light. I do though sleep a LOT better if I have a campmate who snores. I sleep great then. It is like having a white noise machine ;-)

But I do love early morning. When it is still cold out, sun rising, birds noisy. I love sitting by myself during that time. I also enjoy hiking early in the day :-)

I've often enjoyed a nap middle of the afternoon though :-D

Robb Watts
(rwatts) - M

Locale: Western PA
afternoon naps on 07/17/2014 10:32:02 MDT Print View

A few weeks ago, I had spent all morning traipsing around the treeless area of Dolly Sods North under a cloudless sky as it grew increasingly hotter and the wind died to nothing. Stopped around 11:30 in a darkly shaded area right next to a creek that had real live grass (looked just like the groomed grass in the local park) and somehow had a nice crosswind going. Pulled out the pad, leaned against a tree and ate lunch.
4 hours later, I woke up curled up to my snoring dog who was laying more on my pad than I was. Think you could get away with that at home? How can anyone not enjoy the woods?

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Learn to enjoy... on 07/17/2014 11:15:36 MDT Print View

I'm usually out there to hike and camping only meant I need not hurry to return to civilization with a daypack. That said, camping requires a lot of skills and I'm thinking now,that wildfire season has given way to flash flood season, of wood-burning stoves and the like.

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
Bart on 07/18/2014 12:00:07 MDT Print View

Bart Simpson - awesome!

I am a convert. Grew up in suburban DC and my father was not an outdoorsman (great father - but WWII, Korea, growing up in eastern NC with no AC - once he had a house with a/c and a bed he allowed as how he'd carried enough packs and paid his dues), nor were any of my friends families. Enjoyed being outdoors but had never camped and quite honestly saw little need to do so.

My son - however - likes hiking and backpacking. He has Aspergers and quite honestly has been a challenge to find active things to do that he likes. He is not a natural or even adequate athlete. But through Scouting he will go backpacking so I've encouraged it. Which means I've learned right along with him. And for a guy who once swore I could see no benefit to sleeping on the ground in the woods - well - I'm sold. I go on the trips now to support him, but admit it's equally due to the fact that I enjoy them as well.

So why the change? Part of the fear was ignorance - ignorance about the benefits but also ignorance of what to take and how to pack it and the skills to have confidence in the back country. I'm no expert but I've for sure come a long way (in part thanks to this site FWIW). Gaining confidence and experience makes a big difference.

I could wax about being close to nature, etc... and that is true to some extent. A breathtaking vista that can only be reached after hiking "x" miles is a reward for the work. But it is also just the simplification of focus in an otherwise static filled world/life. It's the pleasure of having your concerns condensed to getting where you are going safely, feeding yourself, sheltering yourself and otherwise enjoying not being consumed by the myriad issues that otherwise are a part of our day to day at work and at home.

I admit that being stinky takes some getting used to but like many things once you get past the first hurdle of just doing it - well - when everyone else is dirty and stinky as well it doesn't seem like such a big deal.

Nathan W
(werne1nm) - M

Locale: Michigan
Uganda on 07/20/2014 05:31:58 MDT Print View

My sister in laws boyfriend doesn't enjoy camping. I mean he enjoys it for what it means to us and how it's our escape. Loves the scenery and all but he grew up in the countryside of Uganda. Where making a fire was a chore not an escape. Where he walked two miles to school everyday and had to go collect water from a well. He now enjoys his graduate studies here in America and ok his free time he loves to stay indoors and watch movies!

So it's all about perspective!

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Uganda on 07/20/2014 08:02:07 MDT Print View

So it's all about perspective!

Indeed. I worked with a guy from Guilin, China. After half a lifetime with a bicycle as his primary means of transportation he couldn't even begin to understand the idea of cycling for pleasure.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Not sleeping well on 07/20/2014 09:38:59 MDT Print View

A question for those on this thread that backpack but admit to not sleeping well outside, or to not liking being trapped in a tent during long winter nights....have you tried a hammock? If not, why? I get some of the best sleep while backpacking and I cannot imagine retreating under a tent or tarp when I can hang out in a hammock and still enjoy the views and the company of others.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
why not a hammock? on 07/20/2014 10:50:00 MDT Print View

Because I refuse to bring along anything called a whoopie sling.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: why not a hammock? on 07/20/2014 11:13:23 MDT Print View

"Because I refuse to bring along anything called a whoopie sling."

Ha ha. Good one :)


I use straps and a carabiner..

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: why not a hammock? on 07/20/2014 11:41:23 MDT Print View

"Because I refuse to bring along anything called a whoopie sling."

Then bring an Amsteel internal gripping hammock suspension adjuster. FYI, Warbonnet and others offer strap suspensions. Hennessy uses *ropeā€¢.

Hammocks ARE the civilized way to sleep in the woods, opening all sorts of options for campsites and low impact too. Rocks, mud, roots, sloping ground, punctured air pads, bugs and creepy crawlies all become moot.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
People who don't enjoy a hammock. why not a hammock? on 07/21/2014 01:06:45 MDT Print View

why not a hammock -

many reasons for me.
motion sickness. I don't like the swing movement.

I don't like the cocoon feeling.

I like to use the tent to change clothes, have a drink bottle, hang my watch and headlamp from the tent loopholes.

I like to be near my shoes... in case I need to get out quickly.

When I wake up I am clumsy, and likely to fall out of the hammock.

I sleep with my backpack inside my tent, and I use it as an incline pillow.

How do you safely use a pee-bottle in a hammock?

when a person gets the high altitude farts in a hammock, there's no escape.

I typically camp above tree line. there are trees, they are suspiciously dwarfed at high elevation or abused by lightning that I cannot trust them, and they are far from each other.

I'm a squirrel magnet. It's one thing when they sneak around my tent, but it's really outside of my comfort range when they walk or jump on the hammock.

Lastly, I've only encountered a bear twice. One full sized adult was uneventful. The other time it was a hungry cub without a mom bear that charged me. Either way, I like to be in a tent so I can be mobile and reach out for bear spray or other defenses. I feel that the hammock would be limiting and constricting.

but hey, you enjoy the wilderness how you like it.

Edited by RogerDodger on 07/21/2014 01:55:38 MDT.

Bob Moulder
(bobmny10562) - M

Locale: Westchester County, NY
Re: People who don't enjoy a hammock. why not a hammock? on 07/21/2014 05:05:59 MDT Print View

In bug season I just have to use a tent; otherwise the mosquitoes just eat me alive!

The dog is in the tent with me, which doesn't work with a hammock.

I'm a toss-n-turn sleeper, giving equal time to back, side, and stomach sleeping, which also doesn't work.

If it's raining at cook time I can do that in the vestibule.

If it starts raining at night - as it did unexpectedly a couple of nights ago - I simply clip shut the vestibule door and am all set. I have all my gear inside, so I can also pack and get clothing sorted out before exiting the tent, leaving only the tent to strike and pack, which takes about 1.5 minutes, giving it a good shake and stuff.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: why not a hammock? on 07/21/2014 05:56:10 MDT Print View

> Hammocks ARE the civilized way to sleep in the woods,
Bit hard using a hammock with my wife at 3,000 m in the snow in bad weather...

Cheers