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Camping tips: the seven most annoying types of camper

November 17, 2010
by Laura Canning | guides

Ah, other campers - can’t they be great? Sorry, we mean 'annoying'. For all the happy campers and friends for life we meet, there's always going to be the odd drunk who falls into your tent at 4am or parent who lets their kids screech all around the campsite at first light - sometimes camping can be somewhat trying on the patience to say the least. Here’s our round-up of some of the more annoying types you’re likely to meet.

1. The equipment bore

We all know the type. They have the very latest tent, sleeping bag, stove or campervan, which is fine, but then they have to tell you alllll about it. This can be kind of interesting for the first few minutes in a covetous sort of way, but it’s when they get their new rucksack out and start showing you the flashy toggles on it that your eyes will start glazing over.

Solution : Never try to outdo the equipment bore, as they won’t let you speak. Even trying to say in solidarity that your auntie has the same type of rucksack will get you ruthlessly spoken over. Instead, pick someone who looks like a similar type and introduce them. They’ll be discussing miles to the gallon for the rest of the day.

2. Mr Macho

Similar to the equipment bore above, Mr Macho will take great pride in his camping equipment and pitching skills. Not because he’ll have anything special – although he will – but because it will be a point of pride with him to get his tent up in 43.6 seconds and then smirk pityingly at anyone who’s struggling with theirs. He’ll also be up before the crack of dawn for a ten-mile bracing hill walk, which he’ll then tell you about in great detail over lunch. He may even show you his blisters.

Solution : Admire his tent/caravan and say you saw that exact model in the latest issue of the Cath Kidston brochure.

Camping bores: the BlackBerry bore

3. The BlackBerry bore

We get it. You’re very important and even when camping you have to stay in touch with your office. This means you’re on your mobile at all hours, shouting into it about how the TransX414 report needs to go today , or else. Now there’s nothing wrong with being in touch while under canvas – how else are you going to check for the next campsite to visit? – but people who bring work on the road, and insist you know about it, are very annoying.

Solution : Yawning loudly or sending the kids over for a loud game of chase during the latest call might help, but a big dose of pity is much nicer and will make you feel better. Feel sorry for the poor sod, unable to switch off even when camping, and so insecure that he has to let everyone know what a big businessman he is. But if he starts a conference call at 6am, send the dog over to play with him.

4. Wholesome groups playing wholesome games

Yes, yes, we know, we’re a curmudgeonly cynical bunch here at But when you come away to, ahem, relax with your other half for the weekend, especially if you pick an adults-only site for just that purpose, it can be a smidgeon off-putting to find that all your fellow campers are a big group in woollen socks and sandals, also wearing matching (bright) T-shirts and matching (very bright) smiles, up first thing in the morning Kum Ba Yahing and rhythmic clapping all over the place. And if you complain you just get that pitying look reserved for the especially godless.

Solution : Sadly there’s little you can do here. They’re only being wholesome and trying to have a good time, after all. Determinedly do your own thing, even if that means spending all evening in the local pub, and do some Kum Ba Yahing of your own when you stagger back to your berth. They’ll pray for you at least.

5. The eco-warrior

Don’t get us wrong - we’re all for green camping here at But at some point you’ll likely run across the type of camper for whom camping ethically is a competition, much like the type of backpacker who proclaims (s)he ‘did’ most of Thailand in a month on ten baht. For this type, camping isn’t camping unless you’re doing it halfway up a mountain in a Tibetan-weaved hemp tent with no electricity, and burying your own poo as well. And telling everyone about it as well.

Solution : Agree. Nod solemnly and say yes, this is the only type of camping, but you’re far too much of a philistine to do it. Then book into a luxury yurt with wood burner and all sorts of mod cons, far far away.

6. Your other half

He (or she) farts, snores, turns over in your supposedly cosy double sleeping bag and wakes you can’t be denied that camping, with its close proximity to whoever you’re sharing your tent or caravan with, can be a bit of a challenge in the remaining-loved-up stakes. What should be a cosy week away for two leads to you wanting to stab him with the toasting fork while he airily proclaims that normal etiquette rules don’t apply under canvas.

Solution : Go camping with friends instead. They may fart and snore too, but you shouldn’t feel as murderous about it.

7. The lonesome camper

We are not saying anything about the joys of holidaying alone at times (see: Your other half, above), as we at have often taken to the road alone with our rucksack, and jolly good fun it has been too. But there’s a fine line between ‘I’ll easily make friends at the campsite’ and ‘Ooh, these people next to me are my new BFFs’. Strike up a conversation by all means, but be aware of social cues - people backing away, sudden ‘appointments’ to be kept off site, or a bad case of the skits. For the entire week.

Solution : Be kind first and foremost to lonely souls; it’s the way (awww). But if you’re really getting tortured by a neighbour who’s clearly modelled their social skills on Mr Bean, give them the slip where possible by inventing a busy schedule of fishing/hiking/sailing. Or send them in the direction of the wholesome group or equipment bore.

We’re not claiming to be paragons of virtue here (well, not much), as I’m sure I’ve been at least one of these campers at least once. So share your tales of shame and annoyance below and make us all feel better.