Camping is an enjoyable activity that you can do with family, a few close friends or a bigger crowd, depending on your preference. Some companies even choose camping as their team-building activity, and for a good reason
The great thing about camping is you can do it anytime, whether it’s an overnight trip to the camping grounds or a whole weekend with your family.
The fun you get from it is a good enough reason to go camping every once in a while, but did you know you also get some health benefits from the activity?
Inhaling Fresh Air
Camping exposes you to trees, and the wonders of nature and all those greens around you are great producers of high-quality oxygen. As you take a deep breath, you instantly feel happier and lighter because of the quality of the air you breathe. You know when they say adding plants in your office makes you feel healthier? Imagine that compounded a thousand times when you’re actually surrounded by trees. Forget the polluted air you breathe in when you’re in the city or the rancid smells you’ve gotten used to. At the campsite, you’re breathing nothing but healthy air.
Strengthening Socialisation Bonds
Camping is fun when you do it with your close friends. You can share stories huddled together around the campfire at night, roasting smores or sharing the activities you did that day. It’s a good time to unwind and catch up, to repair broken bonds, and to grow closer to the people important to you. While out camping, there’s no distraction, no constant Facebook updates to check. Sure, you can still take your phone — and you should, for emergencies — but you don’t have to be on it all day. In this busy age, people are practically inseparable from their phones, checking their emails and Instagram feeds often. This results in an unhealthy sleeping pattern and obsession with superficial things. You forget about all these for a few days and just have fun in simple terms. It really helps you get a better perspective of things, and you come back to your weekday routine a happier individual.
When you go camping, you don’t go there to sleep all day. It forces you out of your sedentary lifestyle, and the rewards are immediate. From the moment you reach your destination, you may need to walk a trail to find a spot to set up your tent. And then there’s the actual setting up of the tent and starting the campfire. After that, you will need to look for food and prepare it.
In between those activities, you may go exploring or try some fun activities with your camping buddies. You burn calories without even realising it! And when you don’t think about what you’re doing as a chore, you will enjoy sweating it out. The physical activity boosting your metabolism is just an added bonus.
Taking in Sunshine
When you’re surrounded by nature, you get plenty of time under the sun. As you wake up for an early start, you get the first few rays and soak up all that vitamin D your body needs for a healthier glow. This also increases your body’s absorption of nutrients, such as vitamin E and calcium. That activity you planned just to switch up your routine and try something fun can actually give you stronger bones and teeth.
Getting Restful Sleep
Camping gives you plenty of restful sleep that also fixes your body’s circadian rhythm, thanks to the natural light sources around you. You may be used to incandescent light and other artificial light sources, which contribute to insomnia and poor sleep quality. While camping, nature’s yellow light triggers the production of melatonin at night, so you feel sleepy naturally. Plus, with all the physical activity you’ve been doing, sleep comes easy for your tired body.
Reducing Stress Levels
Not only are you away from work and other causes of stress, but you’re also in a place where you can marvel at nature’s wonders. This gives you an opportunity to take each breath in and just relax. Look at the strange plants and flowers around you, or cool your feet in a nearby stream or pond. Too much use of your mobile devices can also cause additional stress. Taking a break from them and connecting with the people around you will give you plenty of opportunities to talk about things that are bothering you. As you reconnect with your loved ones, your body produces more serotonin, a happy hormone. These simple joys do wonders for the body that’s always racing against time because of strict deadlines. It recharges your body and helps you come back to the workplace ready to tackle big projects.
Forget about fast food and impulsive snacking. When you’re out camping, you have to work with what nature has to offer — unless you packed all those chips, and you really shouldn’t. Look at what’s available around you. You can go fishing or prepare a simple barbecue. You can grill some meat, hot dogs, or burgers. You can roast some potatoes and tomatoes. If you’re lucky, the camping grounds could have some herbs growing. You get the freshest ingredients and create the best tastes in your food minus the chemicals used to process them when you buy them from your favourite fast food establishment. Chemicals and toxins accumulate in the body and make you feel sluggish. Take a break from all that with an invigorating meal that you made yourself.
Being surrounded by nature improves one’s mood almost immediately. This is thanks to several factors at play: you absorb essential nutrients, eat better food, inhale plenty of oxygen, and feel relaxed in your surroundings. The mind’s natural sense of wonder is triggered by being in a place with so many things that cause delight. Discovering plant species you are not familiar with, for instance, can keep you occupied and feeling good about the trip for a few hours. When you’re busy with physical activities, your body also releases hormones that fight off the feeling of depression, making camping an experience that you should regularly do.
Gaining New Skills
You may not have known how to pitch a tent or how to cook a simple meal before you went camping, but rest assured, you will have learned the basics of these skills before the trip is over. That’s the beauty of camping. You have to rely on your own abilities to have a memorable trip. You can pack light, with just a portable generator to keep essential gadgets charged, and let nature provide everything else you need. You can set up your own tent, no matter how complicated it is, and get a campfire started from scratch. Some people with scout training don’t even need a lighter for the fire.
Camping is a great way to share skills with other people in the group, and in return learn new skills from them. Everyone comes out gaining something new in the experience.
Ever felt like you can’t focus on one thing? This is because your mind is stressed. You have so many tasks that need to be done, and while you’re working on one of them, your body is already stressing about not finishing the others. It’s good to take a break from this busy lifestyle and let your brain feel at ease. When you’re out camping, you don’t have to worry about what you will do next.
Just take things as they come. Live in the moment. Allow fifteen minutes at the end of the day to check your phones and be updated on what you missed for the day, then charge them through your portable generator for next day’s use. Don’t live through your phone. Your brain will thank you for the time-out.
Improving Your Mood
Doing something new is a good mood booster. This is why people like travelling and meeting new people. When you’re doing something you’ve never done before, or something you don’t get to do often, your body is more relaxed and taking at the moment as a way to unwind. You’re not worrying about pleasing people while out camping. You’re not worrying about strict schedules. You’re not stressed that you won’t get enough sleep. As a result, your mood is up, and you have the energy to do everything you want to do while on the trip. At the end of a fulfilling camping trip, you return to your daily routine still with that improved mood for a while. This also shows on your face, as you smile often and feel more receptive to positive change.
Feeling like you’re in a rut? Many people want to get away when they feel like they’re not productive at work. Camping is one right way to do that without spending a lot of money. Nature itself is inspiring, and it can undoubtedly spark your creativity. When you’re working on a project and running out of ideas, a quick turn to nature can open up your mind to views you haven’t considered before. And because you’re breathing in the right amount of oxygen and feeling more relaxed, your creative juices can flow easier. Think of it as your retreat, but instead of locking yourself inside your room avoiding human contact, you’re turning to nature for some help.
Recharging Your Personal Battery
Camping is an excellent way to fight the feeling of burnout. When you’re burning out, you feel like you can’t do anything anymore. You may want to quit your job or move to a new place. You may tell friends you don’t enjoy what you’re doing anymore. In some cases, the drastic and permanent change is really what you need. In some instances, however, you just need a little break to spark that interest again. Getting out of the clasps of your toxic work routine for a few days is an excellent way to recharge your personal batteries and re-ignite that love you used to have for your job.
This can also work for relationships if you go camping with your significant other. Having no one else to rely on will strengthen your bond, and you can sit down and spend quality time with them in the comforts of nature. How much more relaxing can a trip be?
Because you learn new skills while camping, you feel that sense of accomplishment every time you complete a task. It does not matter whether the job is complicated, such as fishing and preparing the fish for dinner. It could be as simple as getting fresh water from a good source or even peeling the potatoes for roasting. As you accomplish one task after another, you feel good about yourself.
You are also rewarded for your hard work almost immediately: you get a filling dinner or have a pitched tent to sleep in for the night — things you will not be able to enjoy if you didn’t work for them. Aside from self-confidence, you also develop teamwork and camaraderie while on a camping trip. It calls for the distribution of tasks so that everyone can contribute equally to the experience.
Improving Your Memory
Because you are less distracted and have an improved concentration, thanks to the reduced stress of being one with nature, you can improve your concentration and memory. It’s also easier to remember tasks when your mind is not too clouded with too many things going on. Taking in vitamins D and E also help with this, as you absorb minerals better. You have nature to thank for a more productive version of you when you return to work. It’s all thanks to that improved self-confidence and better mood resulting from your trip.
Camping may not seem like a glamorous activity, but that’s the beauty of it. You don’t focus on looking good all the time. You don’t need to please people while out camping. You can enjoy a good sweat and, at the end of the day, be rewarded by your own involvement in physical activities.
There’s also a good night’s sleep waiting for you in a tent you helped set up. You come out of the trip feeling refreshed and more connected with the people you love. Camping may not be about the comforts of a hotel stay or the fun of being out clubbing, but it’s an activity that benefits your health in several ways.