If you’re afraid of camping, that’s okay. I understand.
I’ve been bicycle touring around the world since 2001 and I’ve now spent several years of my life camping in a tent. But even after all these years, I still get a little nervous about camping sometimes.
If you’ve never camped before (or have done very little camping), I understand how sleeping outside under the stars, with the thought of wild animals roaming around in the dark outside your tent might be a little frightening. I also understand how it’s not much fun to camp when you haven’t had a shower all day (or in several days).
But I also know that camping, like so many things in life, becomes easier the more you do it.
For me, it is always the first two or three nights of camping that are the hardest. You toss and turn all night, you are fearful of every little leaf blowing outside your tent (fearing it might a wild animal approaching), and you struggle to stay warm.
But just like the first 2-3 days of any bicycle tour are usually the most difficult, your first 2-3 nights of camping are bound to be your worst as well. If you can get past the first 2-3 days, however, you will likely settle in, develop a routine that works for you, and actually begin to enjoy yourself when camping in the wild.
If you haven’t done so already, be sure to watch this 1+ hour video I recorded in 2010 where I discuss at great length the three major hurdles any bicycle tourist needs to overcome when conducting a long-distance bicycle tour.
While I don’t spend much time talking about camping in the video, the same principles can be applied. The first 2-3 days of camping in the wild are going to be the roughest. Then, somewhere around the 1-2 week mark, you should begin to feel completely at home when camping under the stars. Once you hit that mark, you should be able to go for months on end while camping in a tent at night, sleeping under the stars and sharing your campsite with a few wild animals.
Camping is a whole lot of fun and it can be terribly rewarding. Some of the best moments I’ve ever had during my travels took place simply because I was willing to camp.
If you are afraid of camping, don’t be! Get out there and do it. Break past that 2-3 night hurdle… and then jump the 1-2 week hurdle as well. I promise you – the more you camp, the easier it will become and the more you will begin to enjoy it!
So, what about you?
- Are you afraid of camping? If so, why?
- What has been your best (or worst) night of camping?
- And what tips or pieces of advice do you have for others who are afraid of camping in the wild?
Leave a comment below and add your thoughts to the conversation.