The Joy of Inconvenience

Most of what is calling “camping” is absurd.

You pull up in a truck or RV to a neat little slot 15 feet from another on each side. You have water, electrical, an iron fire pit, a picnic table, and a concrete slab.

Within site there’s a bathroom with showers.

You unload piles and piles of equipment, all of which is identical to what you have at home in your kitchen and elsewhere, except smaller and less effective.

You buy and prep food for days, so you have have meals little different from home, except with some smoke flavor and eaten awkwardly out of paper or too-small dishes.

In other words, it’s a sloppy simulacrum of every day life, the only distinguishing feature being everything is needlessly inconvenient.

And kids love it.

They get excited about the magic of struggling to cook over a small stove in the rain, instead of the ease of doing it on a proper sized stove in the shelter of your kitchen.

I don’t know what is so thrilling about this, but as a kid I liked it too. These days, I like that my kids like it.

I do enjoy real camping – where there is some need to sleep in a tent and cook over a fire. Someplace you can’t drive but must hike. Someplace without amenities. That’s utilitarian, and that makes is great on some primal level.

Just choosing inconvenience for the sake of an inconvenient experience doesn’t do it for me, but it works wonders on kids.