Why We Camp

Do you want to hear a secret about campers?

We’re not so different from non-campers.

But there are a few big differences that will tell you why we camp.

Honey the Golden Retriever stands in a tent.

I camp because my people keep taking me.
I’m perfectly happy snoozing on the couch.

It Ain’t The Bugs

I loved reading the comments when I confessed that we added a little touch of luxury to our recent camping experience.

It seems that camping is a polarizing activity. Either you get it or you don’t.

Since I grew up as one of you folks who thinks “roughing it” is staying in a Holiday Inn, I thought I’d try to explain why we campers love it so much.

Sunset at Janes Island State Park.

You don’t get views like this from the Holiday Inn.

No, it ain’t the bugs. We hate them too. In fact, I’m very attractive to mosquitos and get a severe reaction to no-see-um bites.

And we don’t like dirt any more than non-campers.

Nope, it isn’t fun to cut vegetables with the wind blowing hair into your face.

And even with as much padding as I carry, there’s no discomfort like the feeling of a hipbone against the hard, hard ground. (I don’t know how you skinny folks do it at all.)

So why do we camp?

Honey the golden retriever wades in the marsh.

I almost look like one of those golden retrievers in a hunting magazine.

The Good Stuff

Camping gets us access to the good stuff.

Magnificent sunsets right outside the tent flap. Bird calls over breakfast. Empty beaches.

Honey the golden retriever carries her toy on the beach.

On this empty beach, I don’t have to share my favorite toy with anyone.

Yes, you can get some of those things glamping. Or if you have a helicopter to take you to your private island.

But if you aren’t rich, camping gives you access to tremendous beauty without spending lots of money.

And some of the inconveniences non-campers worry about? They don’t exist.

More Comfy Than You Think

This morning I took a hot shower in a bathroom that looked nicer than the one in my house I just sold.

Yep, it had tile floors, a strong shower spray, and plenty of hooks and shelves for my clothes, towel, and shampoo.

We’re staying in Janes Island State Park in Crisfield, Maryland. And they know how to take care of their campers.

Sure, I had to walk to the bathhouse this morning—past bunnies, singing birds, and a tiny frog. So you could enjoy nature on your way to the bathroom.

Or pretend you live in a really, really, big house.

All About Dogs

But this is a dog blog. And I have to tell you that the best reason to camp is for dogs.

For about $30 a night, I get to sleep in a place that doesn’t tell me I have to add a $50 per night fee because I brought my dog.

Oh, and only if she’s under 25 pounds. Because dogs over 25 pounds aren’t allowed at all.

Honey gets to doze outside, which she loves. She’s gotten to meet other dogs and puppies in the camp grounds. And she’s allowed in the rental kayaks and canoes.

After all, what can a dog hurt in a plastic canoe? You just rinse it out when you’re done.

Honey the golden retriever with Pam in canoe.

No wonder no one is on this beach. You can only get there by boat.

And yesterday, she got to roam a pristine beach, off-leash for as long as she wanted to.

Does Camping Sound So Bad

So non-campers. Maybe camping isn’t your thing. That’s ok.

But do you understand better why we love it so much?

Honey the golden retriever an Pam on the beach.

Okay, she’s crazy about the camping stuff. But she does take me to the coolest places.

Or are you curious enough to at least try the full-service cabins with air conditioning and fireplaces?

Because this place is too beautiful not to share.

Win a Kurgo Surf ‘N Turf Life Jacket

Doesn’t Honey look cute in her Kurgo Surf ‘N Turf life jacket?

Honey the golden retriever getting her life jacket on.

If I promise not to jump out of the kayak, can I ride naked?

Even more importantly, she’s safe.

If you’re going to the beach, swimming in a local stream, or visiting your aunt with the pool, your pup needs a life jacket too.

Click the picture of Honey and enter using the giveaway tool at the bottom of the page.

Your Turn: Does the idea of sharing fun activities with your dog get you more interested in a place? Or do you have everything you need and love the most right at home?

 

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Comments

  1. I gave up camping years ago after a long 4th of July weekend in Old Forge where I got eaten alive by black flies. The fact that it rained all weekend didn’t help. Even the beauty of the place couldn’t erase that memory. I understand why people do it, I’m just not one of you…

    • OMD, the Adirondacks are the worst. Actually, the rain is one of the few things that holds black flies off.

      If it didn’t for you, I entirely understand why camping is off the table.

  2. Yep, I love camping for all those reasons.

    • It must be in the blood. I’m covered in no-see-um bites and itching like a fiend and I still can’t imagine giving it up. :)

  3. We love camping, and “glamping”, for all the reasons you list above! There is nothing like having the rain fly off the tent and falling asleep counting the millions of stars in the sky…or waking up to all kinds of tweets, trills and caws of the birds. Sure, the bugs suck and I am allergic, like you, to mosquito and no-see-um bites but that is what “camp cologne” (Deep Woods Off) is for!
    Gina

    • You said it all!

      One of my favorite things to do is walking around in the dark. That’s another reason the RVs make me a little nuts.

  4. LOL! Bug free sunrise at our A/C’d condo:

    http://cardiganshirecorgis.blogspot.com/2011/09/early-morning.html

    And I can hear the gulls crying and the waves crashing 😉

    Sorry, I could not resist being a smart ass! Those no-see-ums are awful, aren’t they?! I itch for quite literally 10 days afterwards, but taking benedryl does help. I’m one of those people who don’t get sleepy when I take it.

  5. I love camping!!! I don’t do it nearly as much as I used to!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

    • It’s true that it can take some work to get everything packed and meals prepped for a camping trip. I sometimes wonder how simple I could make things so I could take off without much fuss.

      And, of course, there’s always tenting in the back yard. :)

  6. I’ve been wanting to try hammock camping for a while now, I just need to go get a hammock! We have a tent, but i’d really like to get into the lightweight stuff and backpacking. :-) Plus a two person hammock means a dog can sleep with me!
    Anything to be outside, I just love it!

    • Those hammocks are so cool. And I bet they’re much more comfortable than sleeping on the ground.

      Unfortunately, I’m the cheapest person ever and couldn’t bring myself to pay for something no matter how cool it is.

      I made my old camping pads from some carpet foam I found in the trash. It took me two days of soaking in Nature’s Miracle to get rid of the cat pee smell, but it was a bargain.

      • Hahaha!
        I like to hunt at REI’s garage sale events. I’m hoping to find one this year. Since doing lots of backpack camping is on my list of new hobbies to start (like I really need any more hobbies LOL) I’d like to invest in a high quality one that I can shrink down really tiny to fit into a backpack.

        I bet carpet foam minus the stinkyness would be really comfy!

  7. Such lovely pictures! It looks like Honey had a great time on the beach. I can definitely understand why people camp, but I just can’t get into myself. I’m more than happy to go spend all day in a state/national park, eat my meals outside, and deal with the bugs–but I just want to go home at the end of the day to a real bed.

    • I suspect those sentiments are probably why nature-loving people buy RVs. After all, you do get a nice bed at the end of the day.

  8. We get it that some people love camping just like some people understand how Mom is happy to hang out with us and no people and some don’t get it. The other thing is Mom is a security nut, and she couldn’t sleep in a tent because she would not feel safe. She knows we would probably love it, but I don’t think she will ever give it a go.

  9. Haha you’re right! We *do* need a life jacket, and not just when we go to my aunt’s. Fozzie is a really good swimmer but Dahlia is still pretty nervous about it.

    Well as you know, we love camping. I’m not crazy about the bugs but there are more mosquitoes at my house than any of the places we’ve been lately! The toughest part for me is that I’m not a good sleeper and my back hurts under the best of circumstances, so I don’t sleep much when we camp. But the silence, the stars, the seclusion, and the unparalleled feeling of connection with my sweetie and my dogs definitely make it worthwhile.

    That is a beautiful beach–and Honey looks calm in that canoe!

    • If you can find a soft place to sleep, camping is idea.

      I finally settled into a foam pad with my sleeping bag on top and a blanket to cover me. But I find that even most tenters who car camp use air mattresses nowadays.

      Janes Island State Park is probably not a terrible drive for you. And it would give Florian the chance to play with his boat of the hour. :) It is really fun having a private beach.

  10. I love this post! And totally agree with you on the reasons why anyone would want to camp. There’s nothing like sleeping under the stars with no light or noise pollution. Thanks for the reminder. Now to figure out where to go camping! :) Have a swell weekend.

    • When we don’t have time to go far, we’ve been known to set up the tent in the back yard. Even a backyard in town becomes interesting after dark.

  11. Twenty years ago I would have still enjoyed camping. But I’ve gotten spoiled over the years. I like being able to escape the heat/humidity and the bugs. And so do my 3 hooligans.

  12. We started camping years ago because we wanted to be able to take our dog on vacations. But we had to give it up when we became a 4 dog household (most campgrounds allow 2 at the most). I loved being outdoors, but I also love the comforts of home. Our compromise to that was to get a good sized RV (we never tent camped, but did have a popup to start). I still miss it and maybe one day we’ll get back to it.

    • I hope you do manage to go camping again sometime. If you go remote enough, there aren’t even neighbors to stress out Mr. Luke.

  13. LOL – put me on blast did you? HA! That’s okay, I chuckled. I’ve tried camping – just not my thing. Your photos are beyond gorgeous and I would be there with you all doodle day. But once it’s time for me to go to bed, I’ve got to find me a hotel, motel, Holiday Inn….. Really enjoyed this post .

  14. Camping is great, but my bipeds will only go if there’s a shower block and bathroom on site – yet they expect me to manage with any patch of grass!

    • Lots of bipeds agree with yours on the bathroom thing.

      And I bet if more Americans knew that lots of European campgrounds also had pubs, they’d be willing to try camping themselves. :)