The Father’s Guide To Camping
You’re the leader of the family for some reason
The first thing to do is plan your camping trip. This won’t take much time, as you don’t have the patience for planning. Fortunately, you won’t need it. Like all fathers, you’re naturally adept at figuring things out as you go along without asking for help or admitting failure.
Really, how hard could it be? TV dads take their families camping all the time. There’s a tent, a campfire, and kids eating marshmallows. There might be some owls hooting off-camera, but you can tell from the way the TV families are dressed there’s never any cold, rain, or wind. You might slap your arm when you hear a mosquito sound-effect, but that’s the worst of it.
You’ll need some equipment, but resist the urge to consult an expert. Be sure to use a store that doesn’t specialize in camping equipment. A department store, supermarket, or sports outlet will do, as long as they only have one aisle of camping gear from 1985.
Pack everything in your car, but keep it in its original packaging. There’s no need to test it first. I mean, what are you, a mom?
On the day of departure, force everyone to rise painfully early in the morning, which will be necessary when you get lost for hours without cell service, a map, or the humility to ask for directions.
Pro Tip: Choose a tune to whistle loud enough to drown out your family’s grumbling about your getting lost. They’ll stop complaining about the extra driving, and will start complaining about your whistling.
When you get to the campsite, act as if it’s exactly what you expected, even if it’s frighteningly unfamiliar.
It is acceptable to curse while setting-up the tent, especially if anyone suggests you read the instructions. Jam the tent poles in different directions until you break one of them, and rupture the tent fabric. Nod as if you meant to do it.
Don’t worry too much about the damage you’ve caused, as dads can repair anything with the objects at hand, as long as it’s a temporary fix that will fail at the worst possible time. Knot a T-shirt around the broken pole, and display your ingenious handiwork.