How to Camp If You Hate Camping

camping can be tiring, but when you look at this amazing view from my campground onto the mountains you understand why camping is amazing

Full disclaimer: I love camping, but I didn’t always. Sadly, I didn’t even realize that I could be remotely outdoorsy until I left Washington, DC for Washington State. I now love hiking and camping – it’s hard not to if you live somewhere as beautiful as the Pacific Northwest!

I only agreed to try camping for the first time in 2015 after my boyfriend begged me to check out North Cascades National Park with him. As a former city girl, I had no idea how I would manage without a shower or flush toilet.

I did my best to prepare for my trip by packing a hammock, tons of books, and wine to get me through the weekend. I did the same on our next three camping trips before it dawned on me that I actually like camping *cue identity crisis*.

The following things helped make camping more tolerable, even for a city girl like me:

Get Comfy

Pack an air mattress and your favorite sheets. Invest in some comfortable camping furniture or a portable hammock. Don’t buy a tent that’s too small for your group. Check out some glamping hacks (these are some of my faves). If you’re doing something you don’t enjoy, the last thing you want to be is uncomfortable. Don’t worry about overpacking or looking like a wuss. Skimping on creature comforts can ruin any camping trip.

Campfire Cooking

Before I realized I actually enjoy the outdoors, there was only one thing I enjoyed about camping – the food, of course! S’mores are a camping favorite but there are tons of other fun campfire recipes. If you drink, bring plenty of beer, liquor, wine, or whatever your drink of choice is! Even if you hate camping, drinking and eating around a campfire under the stars is pure bliss.

Use Camping to Practice Mindfulness

Camping somewhere without cell reception used to be my idea of hell.  I now cherish the time spent away from screens. Camping can be the perfect time to decompress and reconnect with yourself. I always bring my yoga mat and download guided meditations when I camp. There’s no better backdrop than the forest for meditating or practicing yoga. Don’t forget your journal either! There’s a something incredibly relaxing about journaling outdoors.

Bring Reading Materials

I always load my Kindle Paperwhite with plenty of books to get me through the weekend. Usually, I bring a paperback or two as a back-up, since e-readers can die or get damaged. If camping isn’t your forte, it can be a great time to catch up on reading with limited distractions.

 Beauty Hacks

You are not going to look cute when camping. The sooner you accept that, the better!  There are, however, ways to make it less apparent you haven’t showered in days.

For starters, I always pack a hat. My hair starts to look oily if I don’t wash it everyday and a hat is the best way to disguise this. During my backpacking days, I wouldn’t go anywhere without travel-size dry shampoo. It’s a godsend when you can’t shower daily. I also always bring tea tree oil wipes to use on my face and body!

Plan Things to Do

Do some research on the surrounding area to see if there’s anything nearby that interests you. This could include things like hiking trails, restaurants, zip lining, scenic drives, and viewpoints. If you have your own gear like paddle boards, kayaks, or bikes, be sure to bring them with you! Board games or card games can also help the time pass quickly.

Do you hate camping? What are your favorite hacks? I’m always looking for new ideas!


Pin this for later:

Read More:

Camping in North Cascades National Park

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    June 21, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    I haven’t been camping in years but i would like to go. My boyfriend lives in Asheville which is in the mountains and it’s absolutely gorgeous. I asked him if we could go and when he said yes i said I’m going to need an ait mattress, haha. I pinned this post and I’m a new follower. Nice to meet ya!

    • Reply
      June 22, 2017 at 6:11 pm

      Hi Leslie! Thanks so much for stopping by, I’m so happy to have you as a new follower 🙂 I grew up in NC and love going to Asheville and Boone! I saw some really cool glamping spots near Asheville on Airbnb, if you’d rather not rough it 🙂

  • Reply
    July 11, 2017 at 4:38 am

    I too used to hate camping but now more and more I enjoy it! It gets quite cold over here in the UK, but I now know to be prepared with lots of layers, and I love cooking on the camp fire with a glass of wine!
    Vicky x

  • Leave a Reply