I don't want to go camping, and I'm pretty sure everyone here has camping listed as mandatory, so now the statistics are really against me. Don't get me wrong, I love nature and really like exploring the woods and watching water do watery things, and feeding raccoons...
Side story: when I was in grad school, I went camping with this guy James and his wife, and the raccoons came sniffing around, and I wanted to feed them but James insisted that this was some sort of camping faux pas, and he argued that by feeding them I was encouraging them to come back and trust humans. I argued that the only reason I went camping was to hang out with cool animals and that their presence indicated that they'd already been fed and had grown accustomed to humans so it's not as if I was going to single-handedly ruin them. After much debate, I decided that James was a cruel animal-hating bastard and I fed the raccoons anyway. So now James hates me but raccoons love me. For the record, James was also infuriated that I employed slant-rhyme in my improv poetry around the campfire. He also accused me of stealing his Led Zeppelin CD. I'm not a fan of James.
I could go for renting a cabin that's conveniently located near camping, and walk around in the forest as if I was camping, and feed the raccoons who don't really care if I'm camping as long as I'm willing to share my s'mores and/or pre-packaged Little Debbie Blueberry Mini-Muffins with them.
But actual camping... Firstly, I don't smell very good after a day or two without a shower even when I'm at home, let alone after carrying 200 pounds of backpack around for miles in the forest and setting up enormous townhome style tents and wheezing afterward into an air mattress, then digging a pit and gathering twigs and brush and trying to start a fire with that little circle of tedious rocks around it that's supposed to prevent forest fires, all the while dousing myself with Deepwoods Off and Avon Skin-So-Soft in an attempt to deter the 14,000 mosquitoes that seem to have taken up camping long before me and have clearly been fed before since they're utterly at home with seeking out humans for food.
(There are 2 questions on this site about "if you could kill all the mosquitoes in the world instantly, would you?" and a 3rd question about "in a certain light, wouldn't nuclear war be exciting?" I initially answered no to all three, but now I'm a little excited at the combination...)
And as for the enormous townhome style tents, that's just how I roll. If I'm going to be grubby and stinky and itchy, the last thing I want to do is cram myself into a tiny confined space afterward. So I'm thinking a pavilion, with an open bar and giant speakers to play music and some bug-zapper lights for disco balls. Jello shots for the raccoons and deer and squirrels and the occasional bobcat who is no doubt also glad to finally find a mosquito-free zone.
So yeah, maybe hold off on the camping reservations.
I do enjoy walks in the woods, but I refer to them as walks or adventures instead of hikes because hiking sounds dangerously close to camping.
I like the idea of curling up in a tent and snuggling up with someone warm, but not when I'm all grubby and covered in the aforementioned anti-mosuito products. I'd much rather buy a tent and set it up in my living room, then curl up with someone warm and cozy, unzip the tent and watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart while eating a bag of Twizzlers and knowing that the microwave is much better at preventing forest fires than any tedious rock-circles.
Anyway, this is probably 160 characters so the site should be willing to accept my profile now :)