It’s no secret that camping gets a bad rep. A fair amount of that comes from how camping is portrayed in the media we consume on a day to day basis. Think about how many sitcoms or movies you’ve seen where a group of people go out camping only to be miserable the whole time. In a lot of depictions, the activity is portrayed as boring, dangerous, and not worth the investment of time or energy. However, when you really take the time to plan your trips out carefully, you’ll find that a lot of what’s shown in popular media is false.
Myth 1 – Camping is not a good couple’s activity
You see this one in a lot of sitcoms (King of Queens, Parks and Rec, to name a few). Typically, things go wrong that put the couple at odds and/or kill any romantic mood. However, in reality, camping can be a great activity for couples to enjoy together. As long as you’re prepared and take the necessary precautions, you can enjoy cuddling up by the fire together or gazing up at the stars in the night sky. You can even cook together and enjoy a nice picnic with a view you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.
Myth 2 – Animals are everywhere
This is another trope you see in a lot of comedy films and shows that involve camping. Usually a bear will parade around the campsite, get into the food, and terrorize the campers; this is the whole premise of Yogi Bear. Other examples include raccoons and cougars being pesky or disruptive. While this is certainly possible depending on where you go camping, larger animal attacks are not as common as the movies make them out to be. If you go camping where you know there’s the potential of running into larger animals, ensuring that you don’t leave food out and have somewhere secure to retreat if animals do show up will minimize any risks. For more advice regarding animals (wild cats in particular), you can also check out our article, “How to Identify Cougar, Lynx, & Bobcat Tracks.”
Myth 3 – You’ll be completely isolated and disconnected from the rest of the world
Another popular myth spread by the movies and shows is that camping means being completely separated from the world. Horror movies in particular like to use this trope to create conflict and suspense. While some campsites are remote and lack service/wifi, there are others that provide wifi to patrons. There’s also the fact that a lot of cellphone carriers and networks are continuing to expand their coverage, leaving fewer “dead zones,” where there’s no connectivity. Finally, there’s the fact that you don’t have to travel somewhere far and isolated to camp. There are plenty of camp sites and areas near cities that allow you to stay connected should any issues arise or if you need the internet to keep yourself entertained while you’re laying in your tent.
Myth 4 – Sleeping outdoors is impossible
Chances are if you’ve seen camping in a movie or tv show, you’ve watched someone struggle to fall asleep in an uncomfortable tent while being serenaded by the nocturnal wildlife. That brings us to the next myth, that sleeping outdoors is incredibly difficult. While that might be the case for some people at first, sleeping outdoors when camping can be easier and better than sleeping at home. Being outdoors and not as exposed to artificial light can actually make it easier to sleep. The right equipment and set up can make any tent or sleeping bag comfortable enough for you to get some shut eye. For any advice on how to make camping more comfortable and sleeping easier, check out some of our other articles.
Myth 5 – Camping is boring
The final myth is that camping is a boring activity that no one ever has fun doing. That simply isn’t true. The fun you can have while camping is limited by your imagination and the people who come with you. Admittedly, you might be limited by what you can carry in your car/bags. However, you’ll find that when you go camping, you will have access to natural landscapes you wouldn’t be able to enjoy otherwise. Explore them. Take the sights in. Climb trees or rocks with your friends. Above all, go into it with an open mind and you’ll be surprised how much you might actually enjoy it.