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Stop inviting me to ruin your camping trip

From 1988 to 1992, I attended Girl Scout camp at Tomahawk Ranch in Bailey. It was awesome. We made tie-dye T-shirts, ate burnt s'mores and hunted for Snipes (a fictionalized skunk-rat that was rumored to live in the woods and could only be captured in pillow cases by Girl Scouts). The camping part, however, sucked. What appeal sleeping in a smelly, uncomfortable tent has for people, I will never understand.

There is no part of the actual act of camping that I understand as being fun and pleasurable. I didn't get it when I was eight, and I don't get it now. I also take way too many dumps in a day to be a person okay with not having a toilet available. (And no, an outhouse doesn't count, because Girl Scout camp also taught me that there is a man who lives at the bottom of those toilet holes waiting to snatch your bum with his hook for a hand.) 

Car camping was also a favorite pasttime of my parents, and I spent countless nights in a VW bus at KOA campgrounds in scary towns along the West Coast, praying some random fool wouldn't break into our janky car. One particularly memorable evening, after a hearty meal of Kentucky Fried Chicken, my parents put us to bed in the van and set up camp in a tent outside the vehicle. Apparently, Mom and Dad forgot that if you locked the sliding door of our old bus from the outside, you couldn't open it from the inside. 

When I awoke in the middle if the night with those screaming "why in the hell did you eat two drumsticks and that gnarly cole slaw" pains in my stomach, I couldn't get out of the van and proceeded to projectile-vomit all over my sleeping siblings. A few more incidences of having to go camping with friends in high school followed, but for the most part, I have avoided camping for the last decade. Because camping sucks. 

Recently, one of my bandmates suggested I go with him and his dudes on an epic camping trip to the Sand Dunes. I politely and quickly declined with no reasoning whatsoever, and he looked puzzled. Bandmate number two interjected with  "Dude, don't ask her. She's not gonna go camping with us. I've tried." Bandmate number two was absolutely right, as she had asked me many times before to join her on some rad trips and I fussily declined. 

My philosophy is, instead of me pretending I like being in the woods or whatever, hiking and getting dirty and all of that shit, everyone else should go camping without me. Then they can come back and tell me how awesome it was while I was at home working out at the gym, washing my hair in an actual shower and eating things that come from the refrigerator. Everybody wins. 

I know, it's Colorado. And it's beautiful here, and the weather is often too perfect not to be outside, enjoying the sweet smells of nature and the warmth of the sun. But until camping entails a hotel room with cable, a real bed, a mall and a Chili's Grill & Bar, I'm probably not going to join you on your trip. Because camping is gross, and it smells, and it's uncomfortable and I hate it.  
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