Can’t remember the last time you packed up, hit the road and went camping? Here are 20 signs you’re not camping enough.
Disclaimer: this post isn’t for everyone. It’s for those of you who are so busy with life that you don’t even know you’re in the middle of a dry spell. Of course, the fact you’re reading this is great start. The first step to camping more is to realize you’re not camping enough.
If you fall into the camp of people not camping enough; you’re not alone. Results from KOA’s 2018 North American Camping Report indicate that 39 percent of campers plan to camp more often this year. The number of campers who camp more than three times per year has also grown by 64 percent since 2014. A possible reason for this? More Americans now own RVs; the study found that RVers spent the most nights camping in 2017 (followed by tent campers and cabin campers).
Whatever your preferred style of camping, here are 20 signs you need to get out more.
1. You can remember how to get to your favorite campground. (Need a refresher? Find directions on our website or pick a new favorite.)
2. When you finally get around to camping again, you forget what you need and don’t pack enough stuff. (Here are some tips, including the most important: make a list, for stress-free packing.)
3. Your air mattress has permanent creases from being folded up so long.
4. Your tent has dry rotted. (To prevent this, here’s how to clean and maintain your tent.)
5. Your laundry room no longer smells like a campfire. (While we’d never complain about our signature smoky scent, here’s a helpful piece on how to remove campfire odors from clothing.)
6. The petrified bird poop on your awning is from birds that are now on the endangered species list.
7. Your strike anywhere matches have expired. (When stored properly, matches can last for decades, so hopefully, you don’t have this problem! And since strike anywhere matches are hard to come by these days, here’s a fun hack on how to make DIY strike anywhere matches from regular matches.)
8. You realize your favorite campsite is now shaded by trees that were just waist-high the last time you saw them.
9. Your tent contains sand from a country that no longer exists. (This sign was submitted by a 30-year-old German camper who camped in the former Yugoslavia).
10. Instead of having a bag of 50 soft marshmallows, you now have one big block of stale stickiness. (Don’t throw it away! Here’s an article with ideas for how to use up that leftover, hard-as-rock Jet-Puffed goodness.)
11. The Hershey’s bars in your cupboard are now a chalky gray color. You couldn’t give them away if you tried. (Note: expired chocolate is still edible; it just probably won’t pass a raw taste test so it’s best to use it in baking.)
12. If you tried to donate your camping gear to the Smithsonian, they’d welcome your collection with open arms. (RIP Museum of Family Camping. Until 2012 there was a museum in New Hampshire dedicated to showing what the early days of American recreational camping looked like.)
13. Your sleeping bags, that were once stored in the garage, are now stashed in the back of a basement closet.
14. You can’t remember the last time you checked your loved one for ticks before bed. (In case you forgot what to look for, the CDC’s tick guide has you covered.)
15. You think the longest you can go without a hot shower is 24 hours.
16. Your neighbors have inquired about the RV parked in your driveway, asking if you’d consider selling it to them since you clearly never use it. (Why not rent it out on Outdoorsy while you’re not using it?)
17. Your credit card company notifies you when they see a charge at a campground because they don’t recognize it.
18. You’re still working on the same can of OFF! you bought last summer. (Continue down memory lane with these other classic camping brands you’ll probably remember from childhood.)
19. The last time you took a family photo around the campfire, you had wait until the film was developed to see how it turned out.
20. The last time you filled up your motorhome’s fuel tank, it only cost $15, which you paid with a personal check. (While we can’t point you toward a gas station with two-digit gas prices, we can help you weigh diesel and gas pros and cons.)
Katie Jackson is a writer and media specialist based in Montana’s Big Sky Country. Living and working everywhere from New York to Nicaragua, Katie is no stranger to adventure. When she’s not traveling the world (or writing about it!) she’s busy chasing after a Leonberger named Zeus. Follow Katie’s travels on Instagram @katietalkstravel.