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

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

You’ve made the perfect weekend plans for a quick getaway. You’ve secretly booked a cabin at the top of a mountain overlooking a luscious valley. You know your wife will love the sunrise with her cup of coffee. Your kids will love sleeping in the loft bunk beds.

You think everyone will have a great time. However, you realize that your daughter has terrible allergies in the spring, your son has a fear of heights, and your wife hates bugs. What have you gotten yourself into?

Have no fear. Even though the weekend may go differently than you had first imagined, you can still make camping easier for people who don’t like it.

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What Makes Camping Difficult for Some People to Enjoy?

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.

Not everyone likes outdoor recreation. They may rather curl up on the couch and read a book. Just because you might love camping doesn’t mean everyone you’re traveling with shares that sentiment.

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

Perhaps everyone in your family loves camping except your teenage daughter. She has allergies, doesn’t like bugs or sharing a tent with her younger brother. Or maybe your spouse would prefer to stay home for the weekend. How do you still have an enjoyable camping trip?

First, don’t force them to do an activity they don’t feel comfortable doing. This could be due to fear or just not liking it. If going kayaking down a river in Florida terrifies your spouse, let them hang back and enjoy some peace and quiet at the camper.

Second, include them in the decisions. Make sure to do things they want to do. If your son doesn’t want to go hiking but would enjoy going fishing instead, allow time for that activity. If you do most of the meal planning, ask your kids to help decide what food to pack.

Third, talk about expectations before you set out. Importantly, let them give their expectations. Communicate with your family and fellow campers so everyone is on the same page before arriving at the campsite.

Finally, when someone doesn’t like camping, check in on that person periodically. Show care and respect for how they feel about the experience. Make sure the person doesn’t feel left out but also doesn’t feel pressured to do anything they don’t want to do.

Family setting up camp site in the forest
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 Your 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 family.

Maybe you could rent an RV already set up at a campground because packing and transporting one is too stressful. Maybe rent a cabin at a campground instead of tent camping. Find your style so that you can make camping easier for family members or friends who may not like it.

2. Try Glamping or RVing

Similar to the above recommendation, glamping or RVing may be a better option for you. 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.

3. Bring a Good Bed

Bring a bed instead of sleeping on the ground if a sleeping bag makes your back hurt. You can find many options to get a good night’s sleep.

To help people who may not enjoy sleeping on the ground, a good bed may help alleviate the discomfort and fear. Try cots, air mattresses, or mats for more comfort and support.

Pro Tip: These 5 Best Camping Cots Will Actually Give You a Good Night’s Sleep and make camping comfortable.

4. Bring Creature Comforts

Allow everyone to bring at least one item they can’t live without. Maybe your child wants a special toy or blanket. And don’t forget that coffee maker for the mornings.

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.

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 makes it so you can pack more creature comforts on your camping trup.

5. Stay in a Campground with Amenities

Especially if you’ve never camped before, stay in a campground with amenities. 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 a friend needs a break, they can head out on a nearby trail. Amenities can make or break a camping trip and help make camping easier for someone who doesn’t like it.

6. Make Good Meals

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 family to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all weekend. Sometimes, those who don’t like camping love roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. Good food can make or break a trip.

7. Plan Activities You Enjoy

It’s important to plan activities everyone enjoys. If you’re an avid outdoorsman, you’ll likely have fun no matter what you do. Consider the feelings and interests of the rest of your party. If someone has weak knees, don’t plan a hiking adventure.

Or if someone gets sunburned easily, plan activities done in the shade. Make sure everyone has a say in the activities, too. It will be a much more enjoyable camping trip if everyone does something fun.

8. Take Time to Reflect in Nature

Sometimes camping trips should provide time to relax and not be too busy with activities. Camping can be stressful, especially with the whole family. If you don’t want to go kayaking or hiking, that’s totally fine.

You might have a friend or family member who works 70 hours a week and just wants to sit by a campfire for two days. Enjoy being disconnected. Breathe in the fresh air. Don’t ruin the trip for others by trying to go, go, go.

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.

9. Come Prepared

Being unprepared is one of the worst things you can do when heading out for a camping adventure. For people who don’t like camping already, not having sunscreen or bug spray will make the experience even worse.

Packing the wrong types of clothes can also ruin the weekend. Planning to make certain meals and not having the proper cooking utensils will annoy everyone. Come prepared so that camping is easier for people who don’t like it. 

Pro Tip: Did you forget to pack your can opener? Use our Camping Hack: How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener.

10. Bring Things to Do That You Enjoy

You may plan to participate in the activities the campground provides, like playing a game of pickleball or going swimming. Or you may have things in the area such as kayaking or hiking. But you should also pack your own things to play with.

Maybe you want a ball and glove or a card game. You could also bring a new bestselling mystery novel or a box of Matchbox cars that will fill the hours with smiles. Don’t forget to pack some activities.

Group of young campers playing games in the forest by tent
Bring plenty of games to play and keep your co-campers entertained while camping.

11. Don’t Camp Longer Than You 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.

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Will Camping Ever Be More Enjoyable?

If you don’t enjoy camping, you’re not alone. But with all of the new technologies and gadgets to make camping easier and more convenient, you may enjoy it more than you used to. It’s getting more enjoyable for folks who dislike the outdoor experience. 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 Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

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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.