Camping is a hugely popular hobby around the world, and particularly in America – it has been estimated that more than 40 million people take camping trips here each year. If you have been you will know that it is a unique and great fun experience. You may not have realised just how great it can be for your health!
Here are 15 fantastic reasons to dig out your tent and go camping as soon a possible! Your stressed out body will love you for it.
Our busy lifestyles frequently work against our natural circadian rhythm – or internal body clock. We often wake up when it is still dark, spend all day inside a building and then get home when the sun in setting. Our bodies follow a natural 24 hour cycle, which responds to light and darkness. It impacts energy levels from hour to hour, meaning that we can feel tired and sluggish without natural environmental cues from the sun. Camping is a wonderful opportunity to retune with the natural cycles of night and day.
Our microbiome is our personal population of over 100 trillion microorganisms which reside in our gut, mouth, skin and elsewhere on our bodies. Getting down and dirty with camping can be great to boost your microbiome, exposure to friendly bacteria can reduce inflammation and boost your immune system amongst other benefits. For more information on how mud is good for you have a peek here.
Camping gives you a chance to workout your whole body – including putting up the tent, chopping wood, hiking, swimming and much more. Get stuck in, have fun and get a workout to boot.
Camping offers a chance for stillness. Your to-do list will be far from your mind, you won’t be able to look at the wall that needs repainting, the garden that needs sweeping, your office is unattainable – so you will have to relax! If you pick a secluded spot you will enjoy a good slice of calm tranquility.
Long term exposure to artificial light has been linked to chronic disease. Camping gives you a break from this. You can enjoy natural sunlight, candles, campfires and moonlight! Sounds wonderful.
Camping is a shared experience and a chance to build traditions and rituals with your family and friends. It is fun to bond over potential mishaps, looking for a toilet, forgetting the kettle, finding firewood, skipping stones, story telling….the list is endless. You can usually even bring your pets along for the trip!
How often do we have a legitimate excuse to go off the grid! You will get a break from appliances and technology – no cell phone, no hairdryer, no TV, no microwave. It may sound like a challenge, but it can be an enormous relief to switch off and get back to basics.
Camping gives you the opportunity to visit and explore new areas, at a level you may miss if you were shut up in a hotel. Take the time to research must-see spots and investigate your surroundings.
Camping is a relatively inexpensive way to enjoy a vacation and see the world. Once you have your camping gear, tent and camping food you are good to go. You can bypass the tourist traps and enjoy the free bounty of nature instead.
Camping food is can be great fun! Metal pots with baked beans cooked over a fire, tasty melted marshmallows, fresh toast on a fork, ‘smores, hot potatoes and much more. You can enjoy messy, eat with your hand meals with no worries about dropping any on the carpet!
Star gazing is one of those romantic things you see in movies – and always mean to do, but never get the chance. When you are camping this is a fantastic way to pass the time. While you are away from city lights you can spot constellations, shooting stars and even the international space station more clearly, so grab a blanket and snuggle up under the stars with your loved ones.
Take a leaf out of Bear Gryll’s book and challenge your survival skills. You can teach your kids to put up a tent, build a fire, identify plants and insects (okay this one might not be t everyone’s taste!)
Camping is a perfect chance to meditate. You can clear and refresh your mind giving your creativity a boost and letting you return to work with a clean slate. Spend a few moments in quiet contemplation and reap the benefits. You can learn more about the connection between meditation and creativity here.
When you are camping you literally cannot escape nature – and what a blessing that is. Be sure to check the times of sunset/sunrise before you leave so you can enjoy the delightful show that nature puts on every day. Reconnect with the earth, breathe in the fresh air, discover the beauty of the world around us – it is a cliche, but taking time to smell the roses is something we should all do from time to time.
Buddhism teaches us that wisdom begins with simplicity. Camping is a chance to detach from the busyness of our fast paced lives. Slowing down, in an uncluttered space can bring us peace and a rare opportunity to look within and hear our true calling. You might come back a completely new person!
What are your favourite reasons for camping? I hope we have inspired you to dig out your tent! We would love to hear from you.
Copyright © 2002-2013. All rights reserved