I’m sitting 5,400 feet high in the Sierra Nevada mountains at the edge of a glassy lake that’s rimmed with fluffy pines pointing emphatically at the sky. I’m keenly aware that I’m supposed to feel blissish and perspectivey. But my legs brandish 13 bug bites of various dimensions and shades, there is dirt in my nostrils, and I’m dreading another torturous night on a foam pad punctuated by the random swish-swish of my son flopping around in his nylon sleeping bag.
I loathe camping, and I’m sorry about that. I really am. I’m comfy admitting that I hate other things I’m supposed to like: Green drinks. Michael Moore. Black Mirror. When you say you detest camping, though, people look at you like you’re broken, like you’re missing a crucial piece (the way your tent always is).
But I’m tired of being ashamed of my repugnance for roughing it. For the soggy whole-world-wetness of mornings in a tent. For the swarm of spastic mosquitoes around a fluorescent light in a camp shower at night. For the inevitable stench of raw sewage seeping from a septic tank when you were promised lungs full of alpine oxygen.