'Where do I put my stuff?' 5 reasons camping sounds great, but is actually a living hell.


Right now I am planning a camping holiday over Easter.

In my head, it’s going to be sunrises from the van, beachside dinners and exploring hidden nooks along the Australian east coast.

Then I watched Celeste Barber’s Instagram stories and had a sudden realisation: holy no, what am I doing?

Camping is an actual cluster****.

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Celeste and her family are currently four nights into a campervan trip around New Zealand.

It looks great.

Celeste's snaps from New Zealand. Image: Instagram.

But it also looks like bloody hard work.

"We've been in a campervan in New Zealand for four nights. Where am I supposed to put my s***?" said Celeste in a moment of frustration on Instagram.

"And these are just the jackets," she gestures to a pile in the corner.

"How do people go... let's get a campervan with our three maybe four kids and travel around Australia for 12 months? How do they do it?! Where do they put their s***? I'm freaking out!" she tells the camera.

"I am all for the scenic views, I love it here, but on the inside it's a clusterf***," she adds.

I have never felt something more in my soul.

Here was me last Easter:


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Four mornings of amazing sunrises ????☀️ my favourite thing about #vanlife @tomgranter

A post shared by  Gemma Bath (@gembath) on


Don't get me wrong, the sunrises were amazing. There was lots I loved about camping.

But there was also lots I really really didn't love - the stuff that happens in the background, behind the insta-worthy sunrises. Which is something I seem to have forgotten 12 months later as I plan a repeat trip (which I am now questioning, to be honest).

Here are just five of the things that spring to mind that sound great in theory, but are actually really overrated in reality.

1. Dinner.

"BBQ on the beach", you dream.

"Cooking up some sausages from the back of the van", you assume.



It all sucks.

It takes a gazillion hours to actually cook the food because of your camping-strength heat (it's abysmal), and the fact you have to sit on a bed or a picnic rug or lean on a wobbly trestle table to prepare salad or drinks or sides. You also most definitely end up spilling it all over where you plan on sleeping in the process, and don't get me started on if it's windy.

Then it gets dark, and you have to try and wash up in the dark.

There's no way you're getting rid of the food bits before you give up for the night, and then the next day you use the same plates and cutlery for your breakfast and they still have remnants of sausage or are at the very least... slimy.


My Insta-worthy camping dinner on the left, and the reality of washing up in the dark on the right. THE JOY.

2. Showering.

I like showers.

Not 20-minute water-wasting kind of showers. Just a daily, quick, freshen up, clean my body, wash my hair kind of shower. You know, normal showering behaviour...?

This is not a thing when you camp.

In fact, suddenly you are expected to go between two and four days in the wilderness using a wet-wipe or a wet washer to just... wipe your bits and freshen up your face.


I know people who don't shower for actual weeks while they camp, and others who think a surf is as good as a shower.


3. Sleeping.

Whether you're in a van, a campervan or a tent, the actual getting to bed process is a slog.

You have to make sure your thongs are nearby in case you need to venture into the darkness for a wee.

You also need to have a light source and toilet paper within reach, so you know where to fumble in the middle of the night before said wee.

It's tight and cramped, and you're almost always surrounded by just... stuff, whether it be your clothes, your cooking utensils or your steering wheel.

It's just never as glamorous as you think it's going to be.

The great part about waking up camping (left). The reality (right) aka, having to awkwardly get warm clothes on and find your toilet paper and thongs if you wake up and need to wee.

In the morning, there's the issue of morning breath, which in my case would always lead to an awkward hanging out the side of the van to spit out my toothpaste after brushing my teeth on my bed.


You also end up feeling a lil 'dewy' from sleeping under canvas or behind glass for the night, and that's definitely not glamorous.

4. Going to the toilet.

If you've got a van with a toilet, great.


If you've got a toilet block within walking distance, also great.

But if you have to squat behind your camping set-up, wow. You've really lived.

Nothing like feeling the brush of grass on your behind while having to be cautious of who or what might be about to accidentally happen upon you.

Also, let's not pretend you actually walk to the toilet block in the middle of the night. The result of which means every morning there's this awkward surveying of your campground to make sure you don't - in daylight hours - accidentally set up your breakfast spot WHERE YOU WEED.

Yes, that happened.

5.  The weather.

Rain is the actual enemy of camping.

Wet clothes, wet bedding, confined spaces - shall I continue?

I also hate card games, so that rules out the only indoor confined-spaces activity, unless you resort to using up your phone data to watch Netflix.¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It's just not great.

There is so much good, of course.

But camping is just so much hard work, is ridiculously weather-dependent, and just a little bit on the uncomfortable side 80 per cent of the time.

Can we all just hold hands and agree on that fact please?

What do you think? Do you love camping, or find it a bit overrated? Let us know in the comments below.

Image: Celeste Barber/Instagram.