There’s a stereotype out there that I want to set straight. Girls have had a reputation for being poor camping companions for quite some time. You know the laundry list of complaints: their hair will get greasy; bug bites are unattractive; bugs are gross; camping food is fattening; the ground does not compare to a pillow top; peeing behind a bush is gross; blah, blah, blah. I’m sorry, but as a woman who thinks camping is pretty bad ass and has no problem being greasy for a few days at a time or peeing pretty much anywhere, I need to point out that there are plenty of men who are far more high maintenance in the woods and far less likely to voluntarily go camping than women. For those outdoorsy women who happened to fall for a city-dwelling anti-woods man, here are some fresh ideas to try on your boyfriend to help convince him to trade out his work khakis for a pair of cargo pants and some nice hiking boots for the weekend.
Camping can be romantic.
Yes, it can. And yes, men like romance too. There will be a fire and no one around for miles but the two of you under a sky full of stars. Be sure to pack some warm blankets and a nice bottle (or two) of wine. He may complain the whole hike in and while setting up, but the beauty of nature at sunset and the vast universe on display twinkling above your heads into the late hours of night will shut him up. Guaranteed.
Stoke a friendly competition.
It’s old fashioned, but men still don’t like admitting that their girlfriend could survive longer than them in the wild. Put out a friendly challenge to see who can put the tent together faster, who can come up with the better camping recipe, or who can pack lighter without forgetting something vital. Besides, competition can be sexy.
Stroke his ego.
What man honestly doesn’t love it when his girlfriend tells how smart, sexy, resourceful, and strong he is? Camping provides numerous opportunities to stroke your guys’ ego and make him realize how fun it is to make (or help you make) a fire to keep you two warm and cook a meal over. If he truly stinks at the whole camping bit, you can still make sure he knows wonderful he is at keeping you warm at night – an essential survival tool. Er – but maybe don’t call him a ‘tool’.
Even the most miserable experiences can become funny stories and eventually fond memories in hindsight. Maybe it rained on you the whole time, you got soot in your eye from the fire, or a woodland creature got too close for comfort while you were peeing behind a bush. Whatever the bad experience of the moment is, if caught on camera , it will inevitably provide stories and memories forever. Plus, if your boyfriend surprises himself and has a great time, you have pictures to remind him of all the fun, which you can bust out the next time you start feeling the camping urge.
Camping is not for everyone, but it does have elements that everyone can enjoy. Your challenge is to identify those elements as they relate to your boyfriend, so he can experience the fun of camping alongside you. Focus on the experience as it unfolds and just let it be what it is. Camping is the perfect time to breath new life into a relationship and remember that when the rest of the world is doing its own thing, the two of you can still have a great time alone in the middle of nowhere.