Avid campers will know what I’m talking about here, but you newbie folks are probably wondering what the heck I’m talking about.
An overnight camping trip – in my honest opinion – is a complete waste of time and I’ll explain why in just a sec.
Before you head off on your camping trip to your local campsite for JUST one night, be sure to keep reading so you know what to expect.
You Spend More Time Setting Up/Packing Than Relaxing
Face it…you probably finish work at 5 p.m on a Friday, rush around for 2-3 hours packing everything up then head off on your journey.
You get to the campsite – and depending on if it’s summer or night – it’s likely to be dark.
It takes another hour to set everything up, get the fire cranking, sort the kids out and then finally relax.
You relax for a couple of hours and then it’s bedtime.
The next day you have to be out by a certain time (if you’re in a public campsite of course), so you only have a couple of hours to relax in the morning before packing up again.
There’s Not Much Value Gained
Of course this is by no means what every overnight camping trip is like, but it is certainly what many camp goers do and it baffles me because they don’t get much VALUE out of it.
A camping trip is about gaining value–whether that be relaxing as much as possible, exploring the wild or even just spending time with friends and family.
If you’re not getting much value out of it, you may as well stay home.
The Stress isn’t Worth the Reward
Again…it takes too much time to pack and set everything up.
So when it’s time to enjoy the freedom you when out there for, it doesn’t stick around for long.
You stress out for half a day then relax for a few hours, or even explore if that’s what you’re more interested in doing.
Whatever your favorite camping activity is, there is certainly not enough time to REALLY enjoy whatever you’re doing when it’s only one night.
How to Make the Most Out of an Overnight Trip:
Go In the Morning
If you want to tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about, that is completely fine since we all have our own opinion.
So if you still want to go on an overnight trip, you’ll want to go in the morning so you can get everything unpacked and setup by the afternoon.
That way you’ll have the second half of the day to do your favorite activities.
Go Wilderness Camping (Stay Away From Public Campsites)
You should also go wilderness camping since there’s no one to tell you to leave.
In a public campsite you usually have to be out by a specified time, and mostly before the afternoon!
However, when you’re in the wilderness you can leave whenever the hell you want.
You can then stay until dark, AND it’s completely free!
The Minimalist Route
Try taking the bare minimum – you’ll be amazed at how much more organized you’ll be.
It’s easier/faster to unpack and set everything up as there’s less items to get in the way.
The reason I say try is because when we camp we often throw what we THINK we’re going to need in the car without a care in the world.
That’s because weight isn’t an issue, and it’s what we’re use to anyway.
Taking only what you need is a difficult task and takes practice to master, but when you eventually find your rhythm it’ll become second nature.
What I Really Think About Overnight Camping Trips
Although you may or may not agree with me, I still rest my case.
There is simply not much to gain in an overnight trip and the reason why I avoid them as much as possible.
I go for 2 nights, MINIMUM…or I don’t go at all. It’s as simple as that.
I’d like to know what you think about this topic.
Do you think there’s enough time to do activities and relax before going home? Because I’d love to hear your thoughts. Enter them in the comments below!
6 thoughts on “Why Overnight Camping Trips Are a Total Waste of Time”
I totally agree with you, two night minimum. If you don’t want to relax just for a few hours a two night stay is required. It is great if you can find the time to go for a few days, you will be amazed at how much more you are relaxed from being in the outdoors. The time you spend with family and friends are priceless, if you are all out camping it is the cherry on top.
Absolutely agree with you Irene. I’ve said why an overnight trip is a waste of time in this article, but it’s up to the individual to do what they want with the information provided.
I agree one night camping trips aren’t long enough. Everything always seems to be rushed and not as enjoyable.
I couldn’t agree more.
I do agree with you that it should be at least 2 nights but in cases where that is not possible, we can still make full use of a 1 night camping. I don’t think that’s a total waste of time.
Reason being that we can make use of all those activities such as preparing, packing, setting up, unpacking etc as bonding time with our kids too.
Like I said, it can still work if you pack everything up early and embark on your journey at the earliest time possible, otherwise you’re just creating more unnecessary stress for yourself.
If you be smart about it you can make it work for you, but for the majority of overnight trips, I’ve seen people stress MORE than they relax.