In-tents view­ing

Camp­ing is the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to snug­gle down and en­joy other’s peo­ple’s bug-itchy dis­com­fort.

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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…


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.


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.


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.


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.

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