It’s a scene we re-enact year after year. Our family of five pays an annual visit to Can Tire to pick up the odds and ends we need to put in our vegetable patch. The kids get distracted by the Outdoor Living section and bombard me with all kinds of reasons that we might need to purchase collapsible ladybug chairs, butterfly nets, and bike decals, and my husband plants himself in front of the shelves packed high with tents and camping gear. I do my best to ignore them all, intent on finding some Long English seeds. Inevitably, my husband comes over and tells me that there is a really good deal on a six-man tent to which I reply, ‘We already have a tent.’ As per our tradition, he informs me that said tent is not waterproof and that we really need something better if we’re actually going to camp. He calls the kids over to have a look-see, they demand we buy it, and I insist we shop around first. The kids protest but my husband agrees. As planned, we never get around to it, and I am relieved knowing I have dodged a bullet for another year.
In case you hadn’t guessed, I hate camping. The bugs, the 4 am sunrises, waking up to discover you’ve been sleeping on a rodent carcass, the threat of falling prey to cougars, using communal showers, the sheer inconvenience of accessing any conveniences–it’s just not for me. And believe it or not, one can actually live a meaningful and fulfilling life complete with enjoyable summer seasons and lifelong memories without ever actually having to sleep on the ground. Here are some of my favourite ways to do it!
9 Things To Do When Camping Isn’t Your Thing
1/ Rent an RV
If it’s the thought of a thin layer of nylon separating you from the elements preventing you from enjoying the outdoors, why not visit those stunning summer vacation destinations in an RV?! Many sites offer rentals on RV’s that are fixed on location or you could even rent one from a local dealer or friend. An RV provides you with that traditional outdoorsy feel and even the opportunity for a campfire without the full exposure to the elements
If the magic of a summer holiday for you lays in long lazy days at the lake followed by a hot shower, cosy bed, and breakfast in the morning, a B and B will tick all the boxes. Find a community or hole-in-the-wall near your desired location and book in for a few nights.
Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy the great outdoors, but it’s also a great season to take a city break! Festivals, cultural activities, shopping, parks, and sight-seeing are in full swing during the precious summer months. Certainly, you will have your pick of accommodation and negate any chance of being attacked by a wild animal.
Running water, cooking facilities, beds, a refuge from the elements, and proximity to holiday destinations–a cabin can have it all! The best thing about cabins is that they tend to be situated in same locales as campsites so that you can enjoy all the same kinds experiences but with access to SO many more home comforts.
The Oxford dictionary describes ‘Glamping’ as ‘a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.’ If you have an aversion to the inconveniences of traditional camping but still find yourself craving an outdoor getaway, GLAM it up! Is camping really camping if you can unwind in the easy-going yet slightly exotic style of a yurt? Or if you spend the night in the rustic yet sturdy wooden walls of a Parks Canada oTentik?
Our household is so busy during the year that it leaves little time to enjoy the small pleasures that our home city and surrounding area have to offer. For that reason, every year I designate at least part of our holiday time to staycationing! We alternate between visiting swimming pools, making day trips to the lake, lounging around in the yard, and visiting parks. The best part of stay-cationing? Well, it’s a tie between not packing and being able to curl up in the comfort of my own bed at the end of a fun-filled day.
If you find yourself a lone wolf in your dislike for camping and your other family members just have to go, why not leave them to it?! Use the time to go somewhere you want to go and relish the solo time to do activities that are less suitable for families. Anyone for a glass of vino?
If summer vacations REALLY aren’t your thing, there’s no rule saying you have take one. Money and holiday time do not grow on trees, so best spend them doing something you really want to do. There’s something to be said for taking holidays during the off-season when destinations are often less busy and expensive or getting away during the dark, cold days of winter.
9/ Suck it up and Go Camping with the Family Once in a Blue Moon
Personally, I force myself to take this advice at least once every two years for one reason: while I may not find all the fixings of traditional camping particularly magical, my kids do! It is heart-warming to experience the rigmarole of setting of camp, cooking hotdogs over a fire, looking at the stars, and falling asleep to the sounds of nature with them. For this, I can miss a comfortable night or two of sleep, even if it does mean a few too many mosquito bites!
Happy Holidays to all my fellow anti-campers out there! Wishing you a comfy bed and all the amenities your heart desires!