You know you’ve got the camping bug – you love that smell of bonfire smoke on your clothes, bathing in a stream, that feeling of rolling out of bed into the crisp morning air…
But is there really such thing as being TOO in love with camping?
We’ll go out on a limb and say no, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a little obsessive – sometimes to the chagrin of your friends and loved ones. If you’ve ever been made fun of, dealt with the complaints, heard snarky little comments about being a forest dweller or a mountain man – this list is for you.
Here are ten signs you might like camping just a little too much:
1. Your tent and sleeping bag are always in the car
Even if you don’t have a camping trip planned, you’re ready for one! With the gear in working order and ready to go, you’re probably the first to volunteer to sleep out in the yard if there are too many guests under one roof.
You’ve probably tried to convince your family that you didn’t need a hotel for vacation, or told someone that four walls and a roof are “purely a luxury.”
But despite all your attempts to convince others to enjoy your way of life (most of them probably unsuccessful), you know you never have to worry about finding a place to stay. You’ve got everything you need in a couple of convenient bundles – and you wouldn’t have it any other way.
2. Your retirement plan is a camping tour
Where some people squirrel away money so they can buy a boat or a cabin, and others plan to take pampered trips to iconic tourist destinations, you have no interest in anything of the sort. Your retirement plan consists of a map full of pins that don’t even fall anywhere close to a major city.
At best, there might be a few notable landmarks that are recognizable to others – but to the average person, your retirement agenda isn’t so much a “plan” as it is “getting lost in the woods.”
3. You’re a Camp Host living on a stipend
You’ve turned your love of the outdoors into a “job” – but not one that takes up too much of your time, or requires you to go inside. You aren’t worried about making the big bucks, because when you’re camping, there aren’t stores or Amazon or anywhere else to throw away your money. All you need are the essentials.
If you’ve gone as far as making a campground both your preferred place to work AND spend your free time, it’s pretty safe to say that you’ve got a healthy obsession with the lifestyle.
4. Your current home is a camping rig – and you don’t pay property tax
Whether it’s a camper, a pop-up, or a tent, if you’re full-time living space is mobile – and it’s completely by choice – you might be just a little camping-crazed.
Maybe you’re bouncing from campground to campground, or you’ve got some other low-cost scenario worked out, but one way or another, you’ve managed to find a way to live without renting or owning a place – and more importantly, without paying the property taxes that come with permanence. To some people, this might sound insane, but for you, it’s just right!
5. You only subscribe to camping publications
One good way to determine what people are hooked on is to look at what they read, study, follow on social media, etc. If your whole inbox, Facebook feed, and mailbox are overflowing with outdoorsy magazines, camping supply offers, destination information, hiking trail maps, and the like – it’s pretty clear how you spend your time and energy.
If you notice that this is the only kind of mail you receive, and you still get excited to check it out every time – you’re more than a little camping-obsessed…
6. Your grocery list only includes camping-friendly food
Even if you have no plans to head out into the wilderness, you still buy the foods you could take with you – just in case. This means your cupboards aren’t full of perishables and food for the oven but instead stocked with canned goods, trail mix, or at least foods that store well in a cooler and be easily cooked with minimal equipment.
You never know when you might have to pack for a last-minute excursion – and who wants to make an extra trip to the store when you’ve got exploring to do? If you shop like this, you know you can head out at a moment’s notice – and you also know that you’re way too excited about camping!
7. Your dream vehicle is a camper van
Either you’ve got one and you love it, or you’re working toward one. For anyone camping-obsessed, a camper van is an ultimate vehicle. It’s got storage for all of your supplies, a motor, and wheels to take you across the country, and best of all, it’s also your shelter!
Where other people might be drooling over Ferraris or waiting until they can afford their dream truck, you’re not worried about horsepower or top speed – you want storage space and an expanding roof. You don’t want a turbocharger; you want a sink in your vehicle!
8. You eat camp-style meals – even when you’re at home
You’re just used to dehydrated meals, food cooked over an open flame or spooned out of a can, or eating gooey goodness from a coal-cooked bundle of tinfoil – and there’s nothing wrong with that! It is, however, a pretty strong sign that you’d rather be camping – if you’re foregoing the oven, the microwave, and all those other amenities, it’s no wonder people think you’re a little out of the ordinary.
9. Your camp stove is always set up outside – and it’s the only stove you have
This is an even further extreme than the item above… Not only are you hooked on eating camping-like meals, but you also go as far as only preparing your meals how you would when camping, even in the comfort of your own home. Hey, some of us just like to cook outside… for every meal… every day. Don’t let the sideways glances dissuade you. You’re not alone, just a little odd.
10. You sleep on the ground and call it “training”
By now, you’re so used to sleeping on the hard ground – navigating sloping and uneven terrain, avoiding tree roots and rocks – you’d just as soon sleep on your own floor than in one of those cushy, way too soft “beds” that everyone seems preoccupied with. You tell everyone that you’re “training” your body for the next rugged adventure, but they know the truth…
You just can’t sleep unless you feel close to the earth.
It takes a unique breed to forsake all the comforts most people take for granted, trek off into the woods and set up shop just for the serene and simple pleasures that camping brings.
If this list hits home for you, congratulations – you’re one of the odd ones: a little too obsessed with camping, but just the right amount of in love with the great outdoors.