If you ask five people who camp, “What do you enjoy about camping?” you would get five different answers, and each person would be correct. For over a century, camping has been an activity that many individuals, couples, families, and friends have flocked to, but somehow there is still a large population of people that don’t really understand why someone would choose to sleep outside when there are perfectly good houses with beds, toilets, and air conditioning. If you are one of those that does not understand the true beauty of camping, keep reading…
Most of you can relate to the joy and peace you get from sitting on the beach with the sun beating against your skin and hearing the music of waves washing up on the shore. (Sounds nice, doesn’t it)? If this is something you can relate to, you should consider camping or what we like to call forest bathing. Can you imagine being outside, away from the hustle and bustle of city life, where you can hear the wind wisp through the trees, the birds chirping, and even the periodic acorn or pine cone hitting the forest floor? Or, at night, looking up in the sky and not seeing just satellites and airplanes, but stars, planets, and an infinite amount of galaxies? Which star is your favorite? Most of us don’t consider this type of serenity because we live in urban and suburban areas where cars, sirens, and lights pollute the natural music and beauty created by nature. The city has plenty to offer us, but it struggles to connect us in an immersive way with solitude and serenity. If this sounds nice, you are one step closer to understanding why camping is so attractive.
Each day our lives are filled with screens…computers, telephones, tablets, televisions, GPS…and inherently, we feel compelled to respond to alerts from all of these devices within seconds of receiving notifications. Don’t get me wrong, I love my phone as much as the next person, and I can’t imagine my life without it, but do you ever wonder how you would feel if you weren’t tied to a device and didn’t have to respond? Nature has plenty to occupy you also. We always joke about how watching a campfire is so captivating because it was nature’s first TV. Sitting near by a burbling stream and enjoying the sounds of rushing water is very relaxing. If you need this type of break, then camping may be for you. Although most state parks have some degree of wi-fi and electricity, reception can be unpredictable, and the chance of you lugging a tv into the woods is slim. Not having immediate access to phones and televisions will give you the freedom to disconnect for as long as you like. You know the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” Remove yourself from the situation, and give yourself the opportunity to unplug. You’ll be surprised by what you discover about yourself.
Improve Mental/Physical Well-being
We all know the old saying, “Milk does a body good?” (which can be argued), but I’m here to tell you, camping does the mind, body, and spirit good. Camping requires a certain level of physical activity from setting up your campsite or even a day hike, which helps you to be a little more physically active than your normal Saturday filled with tv and dining. But did you also know that camping can help improve your mental well-being? Nature is a natural treatment for stress, anxiety, and depression. Being in nature allows you to relax, breathe in fresh air full of oxygen and absorb vitamin D from the sun. In addition, do you know that calming music you hear at the spa? It often contains the sounds of birds, wind, or even rain. Don’t you feel relaxed when you hear this? Well, take a camping trip, and you can hear those soothing sounds for free.
Take a break from all of the chores and stresses of everyday life (paying bills, picking the kids up, cleaning the house…) and get outside and camp. Don’t get me wrong, camping is still work, but what camping does is put you in a situation where you are the focus. It can also help with connecting with your loved one. Consider that you have to work with someone else for the essentials: food and shelter. You learn your strengths and weaknesses as well as how to work the most efficiently with your partner. When my husband and I started camping, we were struggling in our marriage. The day-to-day stresses of life were overwhelming, and we had a lot of stuff cluttering our time, space, and energy. Camping allowed us to take breaks we needed to grow together in a way that is immeasurable. Whether it is alone or with a friend, spouse, or colleague, go camping and make yourself the focal point. Trust me…camping can cause you to grow and create a shared experience that you will cherish forever.
Develop Life Skills
If you’re a fan of Walking Dead or Bird Box, you may think there’s a need to be prepared for a zombie apocalypse. Although we don’t think a zombie apocalypse will really happen, camping can help prepare you for real-life disasters. Has your electrical power ever gone out, or have you lost water or needed to stay warm or dry? Camp gear easily doubles as disaster preparedness gear and will allow you a little flexibility and know-how to help get you through a tough situation. Going on regular camping trips can help ease your way into disaster preparation by doing simple things like building a shelter/tent, making a fire, and cooking without electricity. If you are a camper, these disaster situations may still be challenging to get through, but you will be a little more prepared and a lot less stressed knowing that you can be comfortable in less-than-ideal scenarios.
So, do you get it now? Yes! Can you understand why someone would love camping? Of course! Are you geared up and ready? Of course, you aren’t! If you’re just now thinking about camping, you probably need a few pointers. Check out the next article for a few tips and tricks to get you started.