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10 Ways to Make Camping Easier for People Who Don’t Love It

Camping isn’t for everyone. Even if four of your five family members love it, you may have one who doesn’t want to be there. Some don’t like the outdoors in general. Your friend or family member may get sunburned really easily or may always get bitten by mosquitoes. Let’s take a look at how we can make camping more enjoyable for those who don’t like it and try to understand their perspective.

Things to Remember When Camping With People Who Don’t Enjoy It

First, let’s try to figure out why someone doesn’t like camping. Most of the time, people decide their likes or dislikes after trying something and having a good or bad experience. If this is the case, understanding what the experience was and working to avoid or correct it can be extremely helpful.

Secondly, recognize that “camping” can mean a wide variety of things. For example, tent camping is a lot different than RV camping with full hookups. Educating someone on the other types can help identify a way to keep everyone happy.

Finally, try to avoid some of traditional camping’s biggest challenges. We’ll review many of them below with ways to remedy them. They include bugs, campfire smoke, poor sleeping conditions, dirty clothes, being in the dark woods, being bored, and a fear of wildlife.

Pro Tip: We compared the pros and cons of camping in groups. Find out how to best approach a group camping trip.

Young serene woman with mug sitting on ground and relaxing while her friends having fun on background
Camping isn’t for everyone, but there are plenty of ways to make it more enjoyable!

11 Ways to Make Camping Easier for People Who Don’t Like It

So what are some ways to help people who may not enjoy camping? How can you create an environment that’s fun for everyone or at least easier for people who might not want to be there? Let’s look at eleven suggestions to make the most of your weekend.

1. Find Their Camping Style

Some people may think camping means pitching a tent and staying in the woods. But some may not enjoy sleeping on the ground. So find the style of camping that works best for your reluctant guest.

Glamping or RVing may be a better option for them. Many companies rent beautiful yurts, fully furnished Airstreams, and luxurious cabins.

These options may sound nice for those who might not enjoy primitive camping because each has more amenities. Plus, you don’t have to buy camping gear. 

Glamping tent set up at a campsite.
Try glamping for a more luxurious camping experience.

2. Bring Your Bug Arsenal

Bug bites suck, even for the camping-lovers among us.

  1. Get a Good Screen Tent: But not one of those that takes forever to set up and take down. Get a quick-set tent, like the Clam. Trust us, you’ll love the simplicity and your guest will love being bug-free.
  2. Bring Picardin Bug Repellent: It’s better than Deet and way less toxic. We’ve also found that the lotion can be more pleasant than the spray version, but both work great.
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3. Bring a Good Bed

No one likes getting bad sleep.
If tent camping:

  1. Bring a camping cot or air attress so you don’t have to sleep on the ground.
  2. Get a camping mat or insulated sleeping pad to improve padding and warmth.
  3. Get a black-out tent to prevent early morning light from disrupting their slumber.
  4. If it’s hot outside, check out tent air-conditioners. We know its sounds crazy, but they work!

If you’re RV camping,

  1. Get your guest a memory foam mattress pad. Your guest bed that folds out of the dinette or sleeper sofa isn’t going to leave the best impression.
  2. Consider a heated blanket to take any chill off. These can also work outside with the help of an extension cord.

4. Bring Creature Comforts

Bring whatever brings joy and comfort to someone who doesn’t like camping. Maybe having a tablet with a downloaded movie can help. Give your family members or friends space to pack some extras to have a more enjoyable experience. And don’t forget that coffee maker for the mornings.

Pro Tip: It’s okay to bring a few creature comforts on your camping trip, but don’t overpack! Avoid packing these 7 Things You Honestly Should NOT Bring Camping.

Happy family dancing in front of RV.
RV camping allows you to pack more creature comforts on your camping trip.

5. Stay in a Campground with Amenities & Cell Service

Especially if someone has never camped before, stay in a campground with amenities and cell service. That way, you can have flush toilets and showers instead of going into the woods. If the kids get bored, they can go up to the activity center.

If complete disconnection while camping is too overwhelming, you’ve got normal activity fall-backs like watching a TV show or listening to music. This makes camping easier for those who aren’t thrilled to be in the great outdoors.

6. Make Good Meals

Good food can make or break a trip.

Just because you might not have all of the cooking gadgets and utensils you’re used to, don’t skimp on meals. Plan ahead and pack what’s necessary to prepare favorite foods. You can have a special bonding time over a good meal.

So make the most of the opportunity. If everyone is happy around the table, it’s a more enjoyable camping experience. Don’t force your guests to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all weekend. Sometimes, those who don’t like camping love roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.

Here are some good camping meals we recommend preparing for your guests.

7. Have Plenty of Light In Your Campsite

We know many people who don’t like being in the dark. Whether the fear is just not being able to see, tripping on something, or an overactive imagination that envisions lurking wildlife, light is a simple remedy. This means:

  1. Motion-activated lights – Alleviate the need to find a lantern or flashlight each time you move around. Additionally, these will turn on automatically if any person or creature wanders into the campsite.
  2. Plenty of camping lanterns – place near any trip hazards
  3. Flashlights with full batteries – for walking between tents, RVs, or the bathhouse
  4. String lights – provide great ambient light and a calming atmosphere

8. Provide a Smoke-Free Campfire

Some people HATE campfire smoke. In fact, some people are allergic to it!

Fortunately, smoke-free propane fire pits are common and provide the same ambiance and warmth without the smoke. They even work in most fire-bans due to no sparks or hot coals.

9. Plan Activities They Will Enjoy

It’s important to plan activities everyone enjoys. But, if you have a nay-sayer in your group, you should especially consider their feelings and interests.

Chances are this person won’t want to go hiking, fishing, or most other strenuous outdoor activities. Instead, maybe plan a trip to tour the local downtown area, visit a museum, or a day at the pool.

You can also encourage them to bring some activities to do on-site. For example, you can play their favorite card or board games, or take some quiet time to read a good book.

Mortons on the Move and friends enjoying a meal in nature while camping.
For people who don’t love camping, it can be stressful. Make sure to factor in time to relax and enjoy nature.

10. Don’t Camp Longer Than They Want

Finally, one of the best recommendations to help people who don’t enjoy camping is to know when to leave. If you sense that your best friend is miserable, head back home a day earlier than expected.

Or maybe the weekend is going great, and everyone is having a good time. But don’t assume that everyone wants to stay an extra night. Communicating expectations is important before and during the trip. Keep the good vibes rolling into the next weekend camping trip by leaving when planned.

What To Do Camping (18 Fun Ideas) - Camping for Beginners Series

Will Camping Ever Be More Enjoyable?

If someone you love doesn’t enjoy camping, don’t give up hope. With all of the new technologies and gadgets to make camping easier and more convenient, they may enjoy it more than they expect. Hopefully, these tips will help make your next camping trip less stressful and more fun.

And if you’re one of the people in your family who loves the campfire smoke, buzzing bees, and wind blowing through your hair, consider these suggestions as you plan your next weekend adventure. Not everyone may feel the same way you do. So help make the experience as enjoyable as possible. 

Are there any other tips you’ve learned during your experiences? Tell us in the comments!

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About Cait Morton

Co-Founder, Logistics Queen, Business & Content Manager, and Animal Lover

An Upper Peninsula of Michigan native (aka a Yooper), Caitlin is the organization, big-picture, and content strategy queen of our operation. She keeps everything orderly and on track.

With a background in Business Management, she supports and helps channel Tom’s technical prowess into the helpful content our readers and viewers expect. That’s not to say you won’t find her turning wrenches and talking shop – RV life is a team effort. She keeps the business and the blog moving forward with a variety of topics and resources for our audience.

Believe it or not, she is rather camera shy, though she co-hosts the Mortons’ personal videos and The RVers TV show.

Caitlin’s passion lies in outdoor recreation and with animals. Some of her favorite things to do are hiking, biking, and getting out on the water via kayak, SUP, or boat.

She also loves the RV life due to the fact that you can bring your pets along. Sharing information about safely recreating outdoors with your whole family – pets included! – is very important to her. Because of this, Caitlin spearheaded the launch of HypePets in 2023.

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Richard Rubicam

Sunday 1st of May 2022

For many years we primitive camped in a canvas shelter with lodgepoles, cooked over a campfire started with flint & steel, etc. So when we got a motorhome, we figured we could not call it camping anymore.