When Camping Trips Go Bad

Camping Faves WeekWe’ve all been there.  No matter how much you prepare, sometimes camping trips go bad.  We’ve all had to set up a tent in the rain, forgotten a vital piece of camping equipment  and dealt with other campers who lack basic camping etiquette.

But hopefully, your camping trip wasn’t a complete bust and you were able to look back on that trip with fondness and laugh. That’s exactly what we are doing today…looking back and laughing.

I think it’s worth noting that I asked my outdoor blogging friends for their favorite camping memories.  What they sent me were camping misses, yet these are the stories of camping trips that they will never forget.  These stories will be told for years to come, around many campfires.

When Camping Trips Go Bad

Holy Melted Sleeping Bag BatmanWhen Camping Goes Bag

Shared by Shawna from Nature for Kids

You know those adventures where you come home saying, “Well at least we learned something.”  They are not quite epic or amazing but still memorable.  Well, we had one of those trips recently…Read More.

The Making of an Outdoor Sister

Shared by Lindsey from Outside MomWhen Camping Trips Go Bad

My sister is one of my favorite camping companions.  Every summer of our college career we would spend a few weeks kayaking with my Uncle in the Pacific Northwest.  Boy do we have stories…my favorite being the time she heard something in the night that caused her to scream bloody murder and me to end up burrowing under my Uncle’s tent…Read More.

Camping With Toddlers: Don’t Forget the Pack ‘N Play

Shared by Tiffany from A Little CampyWhen Camping Goes Wrong

With kids, nothing goes as planned.  When our youngest child was barely a year old, we went on a camping trip that will forever be burned into our memories.  Our camping trip was perfect.  We were totally prepared.  Well, maybe not…Read More.

Have you had any camping misses?  We would love to hear about them (that way we won’t feel so alone).

I’ll see ya by the campfire.



The Contest- CLOSED


We love, love, love our Coleman Screened Canopy.  So, I am very excited about giving you a chance to win a Coleman Screened Canopy of your very own.  See my review here.

Coleman Screened Canopy

Having Coleman participating in our Camping Faves & Raves Week is just incredible.  As you know, Coleman has been a leader in camping for years.  They’ve been there for our first camping trips, our amazing camping adventures and even our epic camping fails, like the ones mentioned today.  Their camping gear has kept us warm, dry and fed.  Thanks, Coleman!

Coleman is providing the Coleman Screened Canopy for our giveaway.  Opinions are all mine.

We would love to hear about your mild camping misses, mishaps or just funny camping stories in the comments below.  Or tell us your favorite Coleman product.

To submit your stories about camping misses for a sequel to this post, please send it to me through my contact page.

The Details- Sorry this contest is closed.

The contest is open to U.S. residents, 18 years old and older.  Contest ends at midnight Sunday, Sept 16th.  The winner  will be announced Monday, September 17th on this blog post. The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize, otherwise another winner will be drawn. See the complete rules in the Rafflecopter widget.

Current Contests

Enter to win a Geigerrig Hydration Pack here. CLOSED

Enter to win a OzTent Goanna Camping Chair here. CLOSED

Enter to win an ENO DoubleNest hammock here. CLOSED

Enter the Contest Below– It’s Easy!

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Tiffany loves tent camping and knows how to bait a hook.

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  1. LOVE Coleman products!! Couldn’t camp without them! One of my favorites is the Coleman Camp Oven – fantastic!

  2. Our worst camping trip moment happened just this summer! First the back story- for two months before the trip, we’d had a hornet problem. I’d been packing my car back from the area. Then we went on our trip. The first night we’re parked at the campsite and I notice a hornet. No big deal…we’re camping, right? Then a few minutes go by and we have a SWARM of them. They were flying back up under the car and were going after us as we tried to unload the car. I quickly put my son in the car (he’s six) and we decided to run to the nearest town to try to figure out what to do. We luckily found an automatic car wash and used the longest wash to knock the nest out.

    The rest of the trip was great! :)

  3. I love the Coleman RoadTrip grill. It’s amazing. We have always been Weber grill and charcoal fans but our first trip out in Casita, the Roadtrip made the BEST burgers ever. Putting the water in the foiled pan made them so moist. I have even started a collection of RoadTrip grill recipes on Pinterest so when we full-time I have plenty of ideas. You can read my blog post about the grill on my blog.

    But most of all we start full time RV’ing in our tiny Casita next year and I really really need a screen room especially since we have no awning. Been looking for something that sets up QUICK…I’d love to win one…oh please, oh please :O)

  4. Love my RoadTrip Grill! make everything on it, and have alot of accessories for it….

    Just this Summer, I thought our Camping Vacation was about to turn for the worse when we forgot to put the stabilizer on, yeah it was sitting on the truck bumper, it took about a 30 mile ride, until it fell off. Then we were stopped by state patrol on
    I-90 heading East in Washington State, so close to a ticket but he let us go, my husband was driving a little fast to be pulling a camper. Then at our Site we could not get our camper level, had to jack it up with a car jack……Fortunately the trip turned out great but I was sure wondering in the beginning if those were signs…

  5. Melanie Knoepke says:

    The melted sleeping bag reminded me of on of my husband’s camping stories. He and his best friend went atving and were going to camp that night, but they were completely unprepared. They tried to start their grill, but didn’t have lighter fluid. They thought it would work to us gas. The grill started but so did the trail of fumes leading back to the gas can. My husband burned up his sweatshirt and blanket trying to put out the fire before it reached their nearby atvs. Lesson learned – Don’t let two 24 year old bachelors plan a camping trip by themselves.

  6. My worst experience camping was this past trip when I had a minor case of food poisoning. I had to ”hang out” in the restroom frequently and occupy one of two stalls available for hours on end. Friends kept coming to check on me while neighbors would comment as I’d scurry back each time, ”There she goes again.” It was quite embarrassing. Fortunately we were camping at a place restrooms though!

    • Having food poisoning is awful. Having food poisoning with a group of strangers marking your every move– the worst. But you are right, at least you were near a restroom.

  7. christopher sorel says:

    love my 25 years old single burner that run on white gas or unleaded. I keep a hose with it incase I forget gas for it. Pull it from the Jeep on more than one time

  8. Dianne Edwards says:

    I guess we have been very, very lucky in the 30+ years we have been tent camping. We have had a few noisy neighbors, and one incident where a bunch of Russian tourists got drunk and set fire to the restrooms, but the cops took care of them very quickly. Other than a hungry raccoon that chewed a hole in our tent, we have had no horror stories!!!

    • Dianne- that sentence in itself is over-the-top– “bunch of Russian tourists got drunk and set fire to the restrooms”. I have to say, that tops all my bad camping trip stories! ;)

  9. I had checklists and bins filled with items for every emergency on the road or at the campsite. It was fabulous until we pulled out the fuel and then realized I forgot the Coleman stove on the front step at home! It was rather amusing and did some improvising to cook the meals I planned!

  10. My younger son, who was 3, threw the hood of my older son’s coat into the fire. That was a crying shame. LOL

  11. So a camping story that is funny..NOW..but was not when it happened. While in college, My hubby (then boyfirend) and I ook his little brother camping and hiking along the appalachian trail for Spring Break (yeah we were those kind of kids..no wild parties at the beach for Spring break..just a quiet little campsite!!!) Along the trail, we kept finding black bear sign everywhere..a track here or there..scat…torn apart rotten logs…so black bear was on the brain. As we were peacefully falling asleep one night, the little brother (12 years old at the time) and I stayed up a little later talking and finally tried to settle down and get some rest when we hear the hubby growling and grunting lost in a bad dream. I nudged at him to try and wake him up and he came up swinging our huge mag lite flashlight in a half dream state..he was dreaming that we were being attacked by bears and he was determined to fight back…I survived the fight with just an oblong mag lite shaped black eye! Think we might have scarred his little brother that night…we all laugh about it now.

  12. how’s about the time we fought and fought and fought about the stupid camp stove that didn’t work until one of us (ahem) discovered that the other had it upside down???

  13. Mine isn’t camping but is definitely travel and tent related! When traveling with my dogs, I combine a Kelty sun shade with an exercise pen where they can hang out. But the youngest has learned that if you go under the shade tent’s floor, you don’t have to stay inside the contraption! Time for a four sides canopy that stakes down!

  14. I found out the hard way that I am allergic to black fly bites – yikes ended up in the ER – now I have to carry stuff with me in case I get bit

  15. *Knock on wood* we haven’t had any camping mishaps occur, yet. I definitely know there is one or two down the road for sure. How could there not be with all the camping we do.

    Our favorite coleman camp piece is our coleman stove. It is always reliable and easy to use.

  16. When my kids were still very young I took a trip with my sister & her baby. We decided it would be easier to split the ride into two days with the kids being so small & so much cheaper if we just camped at a state park instead of getting a motel room. We packed the car & with kids realized this took more stuff than either of us had planned but we got that trunk shut. Early evening we got to the camp ground & decided to take the stuff out of the trunk so we could set up the tent before taking the kids for a hike, as we opened the trunk I said what is that burning smell … it turns out that the trunk although it latched wasn’t truly shut & the light had been on the whole time one of the pillows had a huge burn in the middle of it! Yes that was exciting & Smelly! Still not sure how that didn’t burst into flames. We recovered from that shock took the kids for the promised hike, had supper, put them to bed, cleaned up the camp site & readied ourselves for some well earned sleep. As we both started to drift off into oblivion the noises started … animal voices then scratching on the tent … of course the raccoons had found us & having small children they had dropped plenty of gram crackers marshmallows & such, we had done our best to pick them all up but the smell had remained. Needless to say we got almost no sleep & it was a long car ride the next day but the kids had a lot of fun. We learned a lot on that trip . . . I am a camper, my sister not so much, the next time we took that trip we stayed at a motel.

  17. We just bought a Coleman Camp Stove. We LOVE it!!! We were going camping fopr the first time and we needed a camp stove. Super easy set up adn SO SO easy to use. LOVE IT!!!

  18. Just had a FAILED camping trip resulting in packing up and going home….at 3 AM. Grrr!!! Best news? We’ll keep on trying (and won’t wait years to do it!) #lifeexperiences

  19. Melissa Wenger says:

    One of our camping trips this year involved a thunderstorm, power outage, lightening strike, nearby motorcycle accident, sewer line blockage and back up, and a broken thumb. One day into camping and we were ready to give up. Fortunately things got better after that.

  20. Olivia Beal says:

    First camping trip with a kid, we remembered all the gear but showed up around 10pm at the site after working all day.. Figuring 1.5 yr son would sleep while we setup camp. Alas he didnt, and my hubby still refers to that trip as the one he thought we’d have to split over. (he’s kidding we’re fine.)

  21. I have been lucky. The only complaint I have was a trip to Columbus for a Hershey’s Track meet. We thought we had a shaded site but soon discovered our tent was set up in 100% sun. It was an extremely hot weekend for running and camping was almost unbearable. We found a local lake and spent most of our time in the water. Lesson learned: You can not always trust the campground map!

  22. I’ve thankfully not had any major mishaps – more like inconveniences. For example, this past summer my husband was bragging about easily filling up air mattresses with our car’s air compressor when he dropped the compressor and the air mattress attachment broke! At least we had our handheld Coleman battery operated device as back-up.

  23. My favorite Coleman item has to be my tent. It’s a big 8 person cabin that fits us 4 perfectly, allowing room for suitcases and other items. I also love my Coleman propane skillet. It helps make breakfast the easiest meal to cook for.

  24. We brought our 2 Great Danes with us. Normally they love everyone, but for some reason, on this particular trip they barked at everyone. Loudly. We were not very popular.

  25. My camping “mishaps” are just being stressed by chasing a toddler in general… and they are too recent for me to consider funny (yet)! ;)

    My favorite Coleman product right now is their ex-treme coolers that keep ice up to 5 days. Just got one this summer and they are AMAZING!! I love it.

  26. Our Coleman camping lanterns are our favorite

  27. The camp stove is my favorite!

  28. I’m so excited to find your website!

    Oh, yes, there is one camping trip that we will NEVER forget. It involved an old tent, unanticipated rain, the middle of the night, and mother nature creating a new rendition of A River Runs Through it… In the middle of our tent. Learning moment? Oh yes it was.

  29. crfty camper says:

    Where oh where to start , We have been threw 2 tornado’s , a lighting fire- on which I tripped on a guide line and fell flat on my face(they made me take a trip in an ambulance,I was fine)Forgot plates to eat on (love those frisbie’s scrubed and cleaned of coarse) A son who thought it would be a good idea to have a burping contest with someone in a different site (yes, they responded) Oh, yes having a tree fall on me when I was just settled in my hammock.What is camping without a LITTLE excitement and your coleman tent! CAMP ON!!!

    • crfty camper says:

      P.S. don’t forget to check the weather before you head out.We had 6 people and 2 dogs with some bedding stuffed into a oldsmobile.LOL

  30. We went camping for a “short” trip on our last camping trip. Figured “what the heck” not going to be here that long, won’t put all of the stakes out around the tent. Weeeeelllll.. That was a bad idea. Tightly staked tent = water rolling off tent in rainstorm. Loose tent = water running into seams and zippers. We came back a trip for the day, only to find about a gallon of water in the tent.

    Not going to make that mistake again. All tents will be stakes tightly from now on.

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