Let me tell you a story a true story about me and camping at festivals.
I hate it.
I want to love it so much. But currently, I don’t.
However, the upside is that I think I am slowly starting to!
But essentially, right now, I hate it with one big exception: time outside with my husband. I LOVE that part. Which is why me and normal camping, like in the woods with nothing around but nature, get along really well.
But me and camping at music festivals, so far, not a thing.
So here’s what I love:
- My husband
- The music
- The music festival itself
- Time with my husband
- Time in a tent with my husband
- Being at a music festival with my husband
- Sleeping outdoors with my husband
- Being relaxed
- The other people that are lovely
Here’s what I don’t love:
- The port-o-potties. Just…no.
- The needing to pee every few minutes because I’m tiny with a tiny bladder and facing the port-o-potty is the worst (I’m not kidding, I normally pee at least three times in the middle of the night. At a camping festival, this makes me cry.)
- The lack of sleep
- The dehydration
- The dirtiness
- The bugs (Okay, I love the little guys, I just don’t want them crawling on my face at 3AM)
- The other people that are assholes
At our last festival, DirtyBird East, the camping was part of the most fun. We had just purchased a new tent with a top flap that opened up completely to see the stars. It was SUPER cool. And, we were next to a port-o-potty, so even though it was still disgusting, at least I could pee in peace whenever I wanted without having to walk a mile. And it was an AMAZING weekend with my husband.
Well, let me back up: it was amazing mostly when I wasn’t being a huge, raging bitch. My dear, sweet husband claims I am never that, but I know that I am. God love him, he thinks I’m perfect and adorable every minute of every day.
But I am a huge, raging bitch sometimes. Especially when it’s two AM, I’m tired, our obnoxious neighbors are shining their RV light directly into our tent, I have to pee, I’m cold, I’m dirty, and I just wanna sleep but can’t sleep through the after parties.
I know, I sound like a real fucking little shit. Because I really can be when I’m uncomfortable AF. Like, I love travel, and normally I’m pretty adaptable, but between the endless partying, not great food and heat, I can turn into Maleficent without the sweet Angelina Jolie undertones pretty fucking quick.
So, for our next music festival, which we recently decided is going to be Okeechobee, we’ve decided to spend some serious funds on making me more comfortable so that I can go enjoy the experience and not make my husband want to murder me. He claims he never wants to murder me and that he just wants to protect me when I am feeling bad and overwrought, but I’m going to speak for him here and say that I am inherently murder-able when I’m uncomfy.
Some things we’ve already done to enhance our next festival include the following: we bought a little camping toilet, we bought a pop-up shower, we are buying a stove to eat more nutritious food, we’re buying a better air mattress, and we’re going to remind Anjali that earplugs and eye masks exist.
It got me thinking though: while camping is supposed to be a really fun, romantic experience for couples, sometimes it can be downright hard when one of you is a little more rugged and the other of you is a little more…let’s say…bitchy AF.
So I wanted to put together a quick guide on making camping – any kind of camping – fun for all you couples out there that may not exactly see eye-to-eye on the subject.
1. Be understanding.
My husband is honestly a fucking saint. He loves me and thinks I’m perfect every minute of every day, even when I’m crying over being bloated and not fitting into my rave outfit or whining about my need to pee with no real bathroom every three minutes or just generally keeping him awake all night because I’m too high-strung to fall asleep. I’d like to say I’m just as understanding of his needs while we’re camping, but the truth is, I’m probably not because I’m too focused on my own discomfort. I’m a great wife in a lot of other ways, but for camping, it just so happens that my needs are a little more severe than his.
Hey, it’s marriage. It sometimes happens. The important thing is to understand that your significant other (probably) isn’t INTENTIONALLY trying to be an asshole. They are most likely just doing their best, so cut them some slack and help them get comfy. If you need tips, feel free to call my husband at 1-800-I’m-The-Best-Husband-Ever.
2. Find activities you both love.
The thing about a music festival with my husband is that we both love the music. A lot of times, at these types of festivals, there are also other really cool events that we can both get down with. Arts & crafts, workshops, and athletic events.
Doing these types of activities during the day makes me feel less miserable overall. Because despite my misery, it’s all about the fun and the experience! So find some activities you both love and will be happy doing.
3. Lay around.
Camping – any kind of camping, really, but especially at music festivals – should involve pacing. There will be lots of outdoor things to do and at festivals there will be a lot to see. But relaxation is key. Don’t let FOMO make you run yourself ragged. Especially if you hate camping like I do (so far), getting some rest in is key!
4. Learn to enjoy the simple things.
While you are camping, even if it all seems to suck, it doesn’t ALL suck. Even for me – a prissy asshole who can’t hang with the port-o-potties and dirtiness, there are still things to be admired.
For example, early morning sunrises with my husband before other people are really awake. The long walk to get some coffee from the open food trucks. The lack of electronics. The real connection time with other humans. The fact that when there’s no music on, sometimes there’s not much to do but have more sex. All these things make me realize I can learn to love camping in general because there’s already so much I love!
If one or both of you hates camping, spend a little time learning to appreciate the simple things. You’ll be glad you did.
At the end of the day, what does all the bullshit matter? It doesn’t, because camping as a couple means you are camping with your best friend, love, and favorite person in the universe.
You’re going to have moments when you are totally fed up with the experience (I did), but in those moments, the saving grace was my husband. No matter what, having a new experience with him is worth it. ESPECIALLY when he’s so sweet and perfect.
So when camping is really sucking and it’s uncomfy and sweaty and dirty, just remember that you’re still lucky AF to be getting to do it with someone you love.
No matter how grumpy I got, or how hungry, or how moody, or how dirty, my husband was still perfectly patient. And I still wasn’t grumpy or hungry or moody or dirty (that doesn’t make sense) at HIM. I was still loving every moment together – while living in the moment in fact.
So go ahead and complain about camping. Then get the fuck over it and LITMO with the love of your life!