Camping is the perfect opportunity to snuggle down and enjoy other’s people’s bug-itchy discomfort.
They say that you can’t take it with you and that applies to two things: death and camping. Camping is the chance to leave the everyday behind and embrace nature, so there are a few guidelines to follow if you want to make happy memories. But comedy series Camping (season 1 is exclusive to streaming service Showmax) goes completely off the trail and over the cliff by ignoring five top getaway tips…
CHOOSE YOUR COMPANY
Nobody wants to fall victim to a campfire serial killer, so don’t camp alone. That said, good company is as essential as good shoes for a happy experience. Companions will see you unwashed, damp and doing the walk of shame, ducking into the woods with a toilet roll, so they had better be nice people and not the kind of folk who’d creep up behind you with a poking branch to give you the tarantula terrors while you’re exposed and at your most vulnerable. In this comedy, prissy control freak Kathryn (Jennifer Garner) is running her husband’s birthday getaway. After even an hour of being yelled at by Kathryn, we’d be tempted to sneak off into the night – but not before smearing her tent with peanut butter and leaving her for the bears.
BRING GEAR, NOT BAGGAGE
Instead of a break from the daily grind, Kathryn’s guests bring issues that can’t be dealt with in just one weekend, like her sex-starved husband Walt (David Tennant). There’s also her timid sister Carleen (Ione Skye), Walt’s brother George (Brett Gelman) and his partner, Kathryn’s ex-bestie Nina-Joy (Janicza Bravo), and Walt’s newly single college pal Miguel (Arturo Del Puerto) and his new fling Jandice (Juliette Lewis) the random loon. Kathryn hasn’t even unpacked before she is unloading about her and Walt’s intimacy issues that stem from her surgeries (she’s so not into sex that she even refuses a delicious campfire roasted hotdog with a squeamish “ew”).
While you’re away from civilisation, it’s an opportunity to embrace becoming the skinny- dipping, day- drinking, fun mammal that you want to be! Scheduled group activities like fossil hunting in a minute-by-minute binder should only be brought out as a threat when people are bored and listless. Until then, everyone should be allowed to make their own fun. Jandice has the right idea and the entire group perks up when she bounds into the lake for a swim – despite the fact that Kathryn has a tightly scheduled day of bird watching planned. Kathryn can only stand on the shore shouting about sunscreen, the fact that she’s a lifeguard and warnings about the peril of brain- eating, lake- dwelling amoebas.
INSTAGRAM, NO MA’AM
Leaving nothing but footprints and taking nothing but photos is one of the pleasures of a camping trip. Photos are a way of framing golden memories, but posting photos of a private family outing on Instagram for likes? That’s a ball of anxiety you don’t need. Kathryn has an Insta about chronic pain and life as a working mom with 11 000 followers. “You have no idea what it’s like to be me! Do you even look at my Instagram? ‘Gratitude’ is my most frequently used hashtag,” she tells one poor listener.
STOP SCARING THE FISH
Finally, episode 3’s tense and unpleasant fishing trip is a wonderful lesson for one of camping’s most important guidelines: let the room breathe and enjoy the world in silence for your out-of-town stay. Campfire chats are wonderful but there is so much room for silence while you appreciate the great outdoors, so don’t be the annoying buzzing mosquito in your fellow camper’s ear. Shhhh.
Kathryn’s well-planned camping trip is about to be turned on its head.