The Not So Beautiful Side of Camping: 5 Funny Camping Stories

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Introduction to Funny Camping Stories

The great outdoors. The fresh air. Campfires and s’mores! There’s nothing like a little R&R in the woods to recharge your batteries after a busy week of work, right?

But for all the good times there are when camping, there are also some not so enjoyable moments that we just can’t avoid. From bear encounters to breaking out into hives, these funny camping stories will have you laughing until you cry…or at least until they make you feel better about your own camping disaster!

Funny Camping Stories
Funny Camping Stories

Why Do We Need Humor When We Are Camping or RV’ing?

There are many reasons why we need humor when we’re out in nature. When you have a good laugh, it does two things for your body and mind. Funny camping stories help with this.

First is that laughter releases endorphins into the body.  This is the same hormone that’s released when you’re exercising. Second, it can take your mind off of any worries or stresses in life and provide a refreshing break to get away from reality for a little while.

Here Are 5 Funny Camping Stories To Think About During Your Next Trip

Funny Camping Story 1: Hippos At Camp by Alya Akhmetgareeva

Hippos Funny Camping Story
Hippos Funny Camping Story

During our 2-month trip across Namibia, we had many amazing experiences and funny stories. One of our favorite stories happened in the wetlands of Northern Namibia. We had a very long day of driving and arrived at a campsite quite late long after the sunset. 

Exhausted and tired we quickly checked in and headed to what we thought was a camping area. We pitched our small 2-men tent and went to sleep. We woke up in the middle of the night from strange noises around our tent. 

It felt like there was somebody big and heavy walking around in the dark making soft roaring noises. We decided not to get out of the tent in case there were some dangerous wild animals outside. 

After some time everything calmed down and we fell asleep again. The next morning after waking up and making sure there were no more noises or movement outside the tent we got out to inspect the area. 

Our tent was pitched next to a river. We walked around and saw many big animal footprints around the tent leading to the river. We followed the footprints, checked in the river, and saw in deeper waters many hippos with only their heads sticking out. 

We realized that we were neighbors with a family of hippos residing in the area. We were very happy nobody got hurt. Hippos are very territorial animals and can get quite aggressive. 

We rushed to pack everything in the car and drove away. Later we found out that we pitched our tent in the wrong place, not at a designated campsite. The hippo encounter was one of the most exciting and at the same time scaring Namibiacamping experiences during our trip. 

Funny Camping Story 2: Nearly Frozen by Ashley Brown and Kelsey Weakly

man standing on top of mountain beside cairn stones
Funny Camping Story

My husband and I decided to complete the Tongariro Northern Circuit in New Zealand which is generally a 3-4 day adventure. Knowing we were in the off-season, we were prepared for colder weather and delays… or so we thought. 

On day one, we hiked from the Visitor Center to Mangatepopo Hut, which should’ve been a 4 hour hike. It took closer to 8 hours because of trail erosion and ice, and we arrived at the hut area to camp well past sunset. 

This trek already took a lot out of us (the cold and wind was worse than we imagined), so we couldn’t wait to get out our propane and jet boil to have some hot drinks and soup. 

My husband dug and dug through his pack until he was panicking… there was no propane to be found. He was adamant that he packed it, so our best guess is TSA removed them from our bags without notifying us! 

For dinner, we had ice cold water and crunched on some dry, ramen noodles. We nearly froze to death that night having to rotate which side we slept on since the ground beneath our tent was covered in ice. 

We were woken up the next morning by a park ranger who informed us that we’d have to turn back since a massive storm was coming and we’d just survived the front end of it.  

We took the quickest route to a main road and hitchhiked back to the visitor center where our car was parked. Oh, did I mention this was our honeymoon?   

Funny Camping Story 3: Sleeping Bag Accident By Ronja Talala

blue sleeping bag on mountain during daytime
Sleeping Bag Accident Funny Camping Story

I was on a camping trip in Lapland, Finland late summer 2020. The weather was already chilly and keeping yourself warm was essential! I did not do that. 

Did you know sleeping bags have a temperature rating? I did know about that, yet I didn’t check my own sleeping bags’ temperature recommendations before leaving home. And it turned out to be a summer sleeping bag with the comfort range was from 9°C up. 

Let me tell you, it wasn’t 10 degrees during the night. No, it was 0°C. My sleeping bag had a risk range/extreme range of under 0°C. The risk range stands for “survival-only rating for a standard adult woman”. 

So if it would have been chillier, my sleeping bag could have killed me, or well the cold weather would have. So let’s just say I was freezing a little when I woke up. I did buy a new sleeping bag after the first night, cause it was only getting colder every night. 

At the time I was not laughing at this, as I felt very stupid, but later on, we had a good laugh. So what did we learn from this mistake? Check the damn temperature rating before leaving home or freeze!

Funny Camping Story 4: Grazing by Dzangir Kolar

Funny Camping Story Grazing
Funny Camping Story Grazing

Back in 2004, I was traveling on the trans-Siberian railroad from Moscow to Beijing. On our way, we stopped few times. 

The longest and best stopover was in Mongolia. After the Nadaam festival, we decided to spend a few days in the countryside with a local family at Terelj park. 

We set our small tent there. Both of us had two backpacks and when we put all things inside there was not enough place for me. I am 6 feet 3 inches tall and I could squeeze in everything except my feet. 

It was summer and hot outside so I thought it won’t be a problem. But soon after I fell asleep it started raining and I had to accept fact that my feet will be washed during the whole night by rain. 

The next morning there was a strange noise coming from outside the tent. When I woke up I had to check what it was. I was quite surprised to discover a cow grazing on grass one foot away from my head. Even though these things I experienced were unusual and not too enjoyable, I can say now that these days were among my best trips. 

So if you have the option to travel while camping doesn’t miss out on that. 

Funny Camping Story 5: Jam In the Woods by Shireen Ahmed

On a road trip around the South Island of New Zealand, we camped in a great spot called Ruby Bay near Nelson. We chose our designated area and nearby was what looked like a few long-term residents with a huge gazebo/tent area set up between trees. As we walked past, the owner asked if we wanted any of the fresh Mussels he’d just caught that morning. 

We were delighted and then he asked if we could come see his disco ball in his tent/gazebo area (which was huge). I thought it was a joke but we found out that he had built this incredible clubhouse inside the tarpaulin with makeshift seats, tables and said disco ball.

Another long-term resident (they stay for up to 6 months a time) joined us while we had a few beers, swapped stories and marvelled at the place he’d built. He showed us the makeshift instruments that were dotted around the clubhouse and we ended up having a jam (I was using a bottle cap to tap a home-made tambourine).

I have videos of our jam and it still makes me laugh my head off every time I even think about it. Only when you travel / camp do you stumble upon these great experiences and have irreplaceable memories. 


Camping is awesome.  There are many reasons to love it, but if you’re like me and happen to have a bit of an accident or two on your trip. It’s nice not to take yourself too seriously because that can ruin the experience!

I hope these stories help make camping experiences for those who haven’t tried it yet more enjoyable. And I hope they give current RV’ers and campers alike something new to laugh about.

If you found any of these stories funny, feel free to share them on social media so we can all have a good time!

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc, or its affiliates.