I often wonder what it’s like to camp in Arizona. Do people go out into the middle of the Sonora desert, pitch a tent, then get eaten by rattlesnakes? Or die of heatstroke? Or freeze? The ground looks extra hard in Arizona; it sounds terrible.
Scientific Fact: The Pacific Northwest is full of avid campers. Dome tent campers. Pup tent campers. Bell tent campers. GFC Platform campers. Ozark Trail 8-Person Instant Hexagon Tent model # 6121 campers. (There’s plenty of space for product placement, give us a call to see your brand here, we’re running a spring special).
But let’s delineate between camping and what you think also counts as camping but you’re dead wrong.
Scientific Fact: Merriam Webster defines camping as sleeping in a tent. If you’re not sleeping under some enclosed fabric structure, a.k.a. you’re in a hammock lying on the ground, you’re simply at a Widespread Panic concert, or possibly Phish, but I think they broke up.
Similarly, if you’re in an RV, travel trailer, Winnebago, motorhome, fifth wheel, or God forbid one of those Mercedes Benz Sprinter or Weekender vans, you’re not camping. You’re vacationing.
The same rules apply to the biggest poser of all camping, “car camping.” Don’t walk around bragging about how you and your non-uptight family spontaneously went to “Moab” to go “car camping” again. The whole neighborhood is sick of it, okay? And you’re not even using the proper, globally accepted, international understanding of car camping. For global purposes, car camping is literally what happens when you sleep in your car, anywhere, rather than your narrowly defined “going to a place where you can drive your car right up to the campsite and park next to the provided bench and fire pit, then pitch your tent and pile up all your other gear.”
Think of it like this: When you wake up at the curb of Swizzle Rum Bar & Drinkery off Florida State Road A1A or, internationally, on Rue de Rivoli after a rough night at the Louvre, you’re car camping, which is fine because you shouldn’t be driving after going to those places. But you should know you can still technically get a ticket (or arrested) based on the municipal code of most…municipalities and how they look poorly upon drunk people in vehicles as they should.
Where are we? The point is car camping doesn’t count.
We realize you are now terribly confused. This is normal with the realization you are a complete and utter phony. We’ll set you straight.
- Hang out exclusively in ridge tents dome tents, geodisk tents, tunnel tents, inflatable tents…even at work, it’s weird
- Shop exclusively at REI and hope they’re seen doing so (they’re never seen)
- Insist on bringing along their boyfriends, girlfriends, dog friends, husbands, wives, kids, in-laws…despite your insistence there’s not enough room or you simply hate those people
- Cook with camp stoves, raw fire, cast-iron Dutch ovens, Chef Master® 3-piece Portable Single Burner Butane Ranges (click here for a limited time offer of two ranges for $36.99)
- Make shrimp foil boils, chicken tzatziki skewers, campfire nachos, campfire popcorn, campfire pizza, campfire coffee, campfire griddle cakes (starting to see a trend here), something called banana boats (maybe it has something to do with bullet 6) and of course napalm-like marshmallows
- Put all their cookware right back in the garage upon returning home, and it just sits there and kind of rots because all they did was wash it in a salmonella-filled creek with some Dawn but the grease is still there, and maybe a few bits of potatoes, the perfect recipe for black mold, how gross
- Don’t mind pooping in the woods
- Incessantly smoke weed as this is the only thing that makes camping bearable
- Have loose sex with whoever else is at the campground or within six square miles because all campers are kinky sex swingers (Scientific Fact)
- Are always covered with about 1/16th of an inch of dirt, further evidenced by the trail the drip of sweat from last night’s insect-filled forage for firewood carved down the center of their dirty forehead so they look like a skunk with a misplaced stripe
- Have weird little rituals in the woods involving chakras
- Secondary to the above, believe in woodland “faeiries”
- Drink water, beer, soda, mountain margaritas, wine, bloody muddy marys (real name), cinnamon hot buttered rum and various DIY premixed cocktails to the point we think we should tell them they have a problem
- Bathe in creeks, lakes, ponds, portable shower tents, and if really wealthy solar showers, oftentimes cavorting around nakedly in large groups as they do so, much to the delight of any nearby, isolated and extremely lonely Park Rangers – all in preparation for more campground sex
- Are mostly insane
- Never invite us back for some reason, possibly because we complain, and we’re scared of the spooky noises nature makes at night.
Based on your experience, if all of these points don’t apply to you, we hate to break it to you, but we want to go out with somebody else. It’s not you. It’s us. We’re just not in a good place right now, and… ah, we mean, you’re not an actual camper. We don’t know what the hell you are, maybe a hiker, or an addict, or delusional, but you’re no camper.
Welcome to summer.