Editor’s Note: The following essay was originally featured on THE ROCK FIGHT podcast and is available to listen to in the player below.
Today I’m picking a fight with…camping. Because beds rule.
Here are my all time top 10 favorite places to sleep.
Best places to sleep:
My own bed
In a hammock in the woods or in my backyard
My couch with the white noise from a football or baseball game knocking me out
Mattress in back of van, with the windows down and doors wide open.
Any hotel bed
Carpeted floor in my family room pillow optional
Reclined driver seat of my car
On the ground in a tent
You know I probably could have listed a few more before getting to the tent option but I try to keep these things short around here because I want to be considerate of your time.
Look, I like camping. I really do. But I like it the most when it’s a supporting element or crucial component to another activity and not the main activity itself.
If there was a best supporting adventure element category at the Oscars camping wins every time. But if camping were nominated for the overall Best Adventure Element category, I’d be mounting a counter campaign so fierce it would make Andrea Riseborough blush.
I own a shit ton of camping gear. My family and I go car and backcountry camping every year. I have wonderful memories from many camping trips. I’ve already started planning several close to home overnighters for this year.
But the times when camping straight up rules are when it’s related to other things that I’m doing. If I’m out with pals or my family and we’re on a river trip, a backpacking trip, a mountain biking trip and we’re off the grid or even off the road at a trailhead…camping takes everything up a skosh. It’s the glue that holds the whole thing together, the difference between a short outing and a committed adventure.
But what is glue without the things to stick together? A big mess.
You’d think that choosing a bed over the ground wouldn’t be that hot of a take. But don’t forget that there are loads of people out there who pack up their camping gear, drive to a campground and just chill out at their campsite, sleep in a tent for a night or 3, run a generator and watch netflix on a tv they brought, get a little drunk and rowdy and then pack up and drive home. And this isn’t like on a cross country trip. There are those who do it just a few miles away from their own house…their own house, you know, where their bed is!
To me? That’s insanity. Because my bed is the undefeated champion of places where I like to sleep.
And It’s also not really that much of a hot take to say that if you give me the option of going out for a big day and then have an inconvenient drive that leads to me getting either to my own bed or a hotel OR we can just hang out sleep in a tent, I’ll take the drive.
So to the pure campers, what the hell are you doing clogging up a campground with a garage full of stuff…just to camp?!
We pick fights around here and you know, I’m not picking a fight with the people who do that…because it’s the crazy ones that always win.
So, hey, buddy, you enjoy that campsite party! I’ll just be over here warm & cozy in my own sweet sweet bed.