My latest release, HER KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR, starts off with the hero and heroine camping in a national park. Not only do I have a lot of experience with camping, I know the park it’s set in quite well. My father loved camping and our summer vacations were spent camping while I was growing up. We went to a lot of great places and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to see and do so many things. But here’s the thing… While camping has elements that make it romantic in a story, the reality for me is, I don’t like it. Pretty much loathe it. Since I left home, my vacations have been spent sleeping in a hotel. Therefore, I thought I’d share a list of five things I hate about camping. I could come up with a lot more than five, but we don’t have that kind of time!
1. Scary Animals
This is a picture of a bear in a tent, but there are more scary animals in the woods than just bears! Mountain lions, coyotes, moose, elk, etc. I have a bear and a buck do some damage in my story.
2. Creepy crawlies
Or in other words, BUGS. On one of our camping trips when I was about ten, the mayflies had just hatched and they were EVERYWHERE. I had nightmares about them that night and for years afterwards. Never mind nasties like scary spiders and blood-sucking ticks! And let’s not forget those annoying ants and mosquitoes. I’ll never forget that scene in Arachnophobia where the guy is sleeping in a tent and the spider… Well, enough said. Don’t want to think about that anymore.
3. No bathrooms
Some people don’t really care about this, but I’m not one of them. I hate outhouses, I hate going to the bathroom in the woods (see reasons 1 and 2). One year, we were camping in a tent trailer and my mom had a portable toilet set up in the middle of the room for us kids to use during the night. Not only was I a little freaked out by the lack of privacy, when I was desperate enough to use it, it fell apart and you-know-what went all over the place. EW!
4. It can get stupid cold!
I don’t tolerate cold very well, so this is a bit of an issue for me. Freezing my butt of while trying to sleep is not my idea of a good time. Sorry!
5. Cooking outside
I really should have been a princess. I don’t like cooking, I don’t like cleaning, I don’t like being uncomfortable. All these things go hand in hand with camping. So, having to cook outside on a campfire or camp stove. No thanks. I’m supposed to be on vacation, I don’t want to cook. And now I have to do it under more difficult circumstances? Outside? Where’s the closest restaurant?
Here’s the crazy part in all this. I love reading stories where the hero and heroine are in the wilderness whether it’s in the mountains or the rainforest or any other kind of wilderness. I enjoy writing them too and thanks to my father’s love of camping, I know plenty about the subject and the places you go to do it. Something about it seems so romantic, even though living it, for me, is far from it. Let me know what you think. How do you feel about camping? Yea or Nay and why?
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