The Ordeals of Camping in Europe

by - 9:52 AM

In the short 17 years of my life, I've camped on three continents: North America, Australia (or Oceania if that's what makes you happy) and ofcourse my own continent, Europe.
Of all three, Europe is the one that has caused me the most trouble. Yes, I am bored with my own continent, but that's not the reason why camping here puts me through so much trouble. So I present you: Envy's list of awful things on European campgrounds.

The Wild Animals

I was eight when I camped in the US. We were on a campground near the Grand Canyon and at night I could hear the coyotes howl. They howled loud, it sounded as if they had surrounded our tent.
I was sixteen when I camped in the Australian Outback. I woke up at night to hear something creep between our swags. The Chinese next to me woke up and began talking to his fiancee in rapid Kantonese. The only word I understood was 'Dingo!'
But the thing is: you expect these things when you go camping there. You know about the coyotes and dingoes. But in Europe, the most dangerous animal you can encounter is the campgroundowner's cat. Or at least, that's what it feels like (especially the Dutch tend to forget that the wolf has made its comeback in the Netherlands, or that bears are still living in the Pyrenees).
You don't expect 'dangerous' wild animals that might bite you, not in the safe heaven called Europe. So what happens if your tent almost gets washed away in a storm and you wake up to the sounds of a fox trying to enter your tent? You scream, fall of your air mattress and shake the entire tent until the fox leaves. That's how we handle unexpected encounters the Envy-style.

The Sanitary Buildings

I'll never forget that my tour guide in the Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia, told me to check underneath the toilet seat for redbacks if I had to go to the toilet.
No such things in Europe. Cobwebs: yes. Dangerous spiders: no. Snails: everywhere. Sometimes there were snails on the bathroom walls. At least they're not dangerous, only gross. But as disgusting as that is, it's not the big problem with European sanitary buildings on campgrounds. 
Then what ís the problem? They're dirty. More often than not the toilet hasn't been flushed. Don't even ask when it was cleaned for the last time, just don't. And in the really bad cases, people crap literally on the toilet seat and just leave it there. It's so disgusting.
Yes, I've seen this in Australia and the US too, but not half as often as in Europe.
And to increase the fun of going to the toilet, the French have invented those toilets which aren't much more than a hole in the ground. Missed the hole? No problem, there's a garden hose to wash it away- if you're lucky. Otherwise: run and don't look back.


The Language Barriers

With Dutch language education at a miserably low level, camping in Europe isn't as easy as it sounds. In Australia and the US English is enough, you're good to go wherever you want. But Europe is a patchwork of languages. Going to France? Make sure you speak French. Going to Germany? Better learn some German.
But the worst of it is not being able to communicate with your neigbors. Asking them to be quiet will have to be done in their language. English isn't an option, unless you start dropping F-bombs, which will only make things worse.

The Pink Toilet Paper

Sometimes you're at a campground that doesn't provide toilet paper and you'll have to get your own. Which isn't a problem. Just get the cheapest toilet paper available from the supermarket. And then you see that the cheapest toilet paper is pink.

 Going to the toilet just got at least a hundred times worse. Walking to the sanitary building with toilet paper under your arm is like screaming: 'Look at me, I'm a big girl, I'm going to pee and poop all by myself already!'
The same thing with pink toilet paper is like screaming: 'Look at me, I'm going to have a Disney Princess Tea Party on the crapper!'
I can stand the noisy neigbors, I will survive the animals and dirty sanitary building. But PINK toilet paper? That's it, Europe, you've crossed a line. I'm out.

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10 Fellow Ramblers

  1. Have you heard of "glamping"? I think it may be more your style after reading these experiences! Very fun post, btw, I have never been camping but it has always been one of my dreams to do so :)

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    1. Yeah, I've heard of it. But I have to admit that despite this post, I love old school camping way too much to give it up. There's nothing more beautiful than falling asleep while looking at the stars. You should definitely go camping once. After you get used to it, it's really fun.
      I'm glad you liked the post. I felt so depressed before I went on vacation, I just needed to write something that could be considered fun. I'm glad I succeeded at that :)

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  2. Hey, thanks for visiting my blog! The last part of this post had me laughing--pink toilet paper XD

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    1. You're welcome.
      What can I say? There really is pink toilet paper. And because my parents bought a little too much, we had to use it at home too for another three weeks :P

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  3. hahahahaha seriously??? is camping that bad in europe?? plzzzz tell me its not true :( cuz i would loveeeeee to go out on a camping trip one day provided i am able to earn and save enough money :)

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    1. I've been slightly exaggerating in this post :P Some things really are that bad, like the sanitary building, but it differs from campground to campground. My parents aren't that picky, so we usually end up on campgrounds in the middle of nowhere with terrible facilities.
      Believe me, it's not as bad as it seemed after you read it, but it's all up to you: it's your decision when you choose a campground and you can always make sure that it's not a horror campground like the ones I've visited in the past ;)

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  4. Hahahaha XD XD
    I like Envy style of dealing with a fox XD
    Oh how I wish I blogged back when you posted this :D
    Brilliant :D

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    1. Thank you, thank you :)
      The Envy style of dealing with a fox turned out the be rather painful (bruises the next morning) but at least the fox went away XD
      You didn't miss much, you know. I hardly ever posted stuff like this in 2013, it was mostly me whining about missing my friends :/ But this one was the post that made me rethink my whole goal in blogging and started the series of better posts :)

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    2. I read this post all over again (for blogscar) and it is still as funny as it was the first time around :P
      Well I'm sure those posts were interesting too..and we all whine every now and then :)

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    3. It's good to hear you still like the post :)
      All my older posts were mainly life updates. I read a few of them for Blogscar and some of them were very funny, mostly because of the crazy thing my friends did :P

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