Whole Life Benefits of Camping: Health for Your Body Mind & Soul

Depending on your perspective, you might say humans have been camping since they crawled out of the proverbial sludge and took their first breath. If you ask the scholars, they will tell you that it’s only been called camping for the last 200 years or so. Either way you look at it, outdoor living has been an integral part of our history for a good long while.

It doesn’t look like things will be slowing down anytime soon either.

With the increasing frequency and severity of global events like the Covid-19 pandemic, camping is proving to be an appealing respite option for reasons other than simple recreation.

This purpose of this article is to illustrate why camping is so much more than just a place to hide from the tests and trials of the modern age. Join InsiderOutside.com as we take an intimate look at the sacred magic of camping. And discover what keeps it relevant, refreshing and forever inviting you back into Mother Natures’ arms.

 

Custom Campsite Setup - Glamping

Camping Is Customizable

Like most people, my first overnight trip was in a tentMany years and hundreds of outings later, I finally bought myself a caravan, otherwise known as a travel trailer. You might laugh, but the biggest reason was to keep track of all my camping gear

Truth is though, I love sleeping in my tent. I actually use it a lot more often than the trailer. It’s lightweight and portable. I can carry it on the back of my quad or motor-bike and it’s just so quick and easy to set up.

There is no right or wrong way to camp. There are no hard and fast rules you have to follow or guidelines that determine what is and what isn’t camping. Even the actual definition is still up for debate after all these years. But that’s part of the allure of camping.

You get to customize it, make it your own. You can orchestrate every detail limited only by your imagination.

My sister and her husband are what you would call seasoned campers. They have been elevating their camping game for years. I’d even say her children are expert campers by now. Her husband often works away from home and in the warmer months she and the kids will sometimes tag along.

On these extended outings they take the travel trailer, the ATV’s, the rifles, the kids inflatable toys, the canoe, the generator, to run the refrigerator, freezer, the tv, video games, lights, stereo and of course the forced-air furnace and air-conditioner.

They bring pretty much everything that you would want if you were at home, including a kitchen sink, which pretty much describes Glamping” in a nutshell.

What is Glamping, you might be asking…

Googles’ dictionary defines it as: a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping. It is a way of enjoying nature and the great outdoors without giving up any of lifes’ creature comforts. There are no specifics here so Glamping is still open to your interpretation. 

Your choices for accommodation with camping are pretty much endless. If you want to push luxury to the limit, you should opt to stay in a cabin with running water, heat and hydro.

If you are looking for something more rustic and exposed, get yourself a hammock, sleeping bag and a waterproof tarp. You might even try cutting some branches and assembling your own Lean-To or Tepee.

For longer-term campers or back country campers, building your own camp at your favorite spot is a great idea. Once it is there you can use it time and again. A tree tent hung above the ground can provide you with extra protection from wildlife.

 

Young Couple Browsing on Laptop Laying in Tent

Camping Is Accessible

At one time going camping rendered virtually all of your electronic devices inoperable. So, you just left them at home. These days you can choose to stay connected the whole time you’re away. There are plenty of places you can go, within cell range.

Set up your wifi hot-spot with your phone and you can easily keep up with any necessary work tasks. Or if that doesn’t work for you, why not just go to work from your campsite?

If you need to get up early, you can ask Siri or Alexa to start your coffee for you before you even crawl out of bed. These gals are great! They can turn on the lights for you or play your favorite tunes to get you going.

Technology has actually made camping a lot safer than in the past. Knowing you can quickly reach help makes it more inclusive of people with disabilities or other special needs.

Keep in mind that cellular coverage only goes so far.

If you plan to do any back country camping you’ll need to look at getting a GPS (Global Positioning System). GPS systems use orbiting satellites rather than radio towers. These have much wider coverage.

These are a great option for solo campers. If you are going out by yourself, you simply set the unit up to go off at regular intervals. If something happens to you and you can’t reset it, a distress signal will begin to broadcast to notify First-Responders.

Just remember to register your device with the appropriate authorities in your country before you go.

Despite its’ universal appeal, some age groups are leveraging the benefits of camping more than others. One study indicates that Millennials account for up to 56% of today’s campers.

Many of them are participating in what is known as work-segmenting. Rather than running on your typical 7 day week, you split it up. Work a few days, take a break, then back at it. This is a great way to keep things interesting, if your position permits it of course.

The same study also says that Millennials tend to camp for a longer duration when they go. On average of 3-4 nights per outing. It seems they are spending more time recreating in general than those previous.

But Millenials are not the only ones choosing camping for leisure. According to the North American Camping Report, there are 75 million American households that have at least one active camper.

That number has been steadily rising by roughly 1 million new participants per year since 2014. This is great news for our overburdened healthcare system.

This is also great news for our pets.

It is becoming increasingly popular to take your critters camping with you. You can now get proper travel gear for your scaly, feathered or furry friends and take them on vacation with you.

You will want to call ahead and clear the pet thing in advance to avoid disappointment. Especially if you are going to be trying a different campground each time you go.

 

Setting Up An Easy Tarp Shelter

Camping Is Affordable

Going camping doesn’t have to be a big, complex operation. There is no need to have a bunch of fancy gear and you definitely don’t need to travel to some exotic destination to enjoy it. Camping is one of the most affordable options for recreation. Especially when compared to your typical vacation.

If you do your homework and plan ahead you can keep a close eye on expenses.

Most campers don’t go very far at all anyway. The majority stay within 100 miles of their home. It is not that you can’t venture farther, but you really don’t have to. You could simply pitch a tent in your own backyard to start reaping all the benefits of camping.

If you don’t have a tent, you can get away with some rope and a tarp. Throw down some comfy blankets but make sure to put something under you for the dew to keep you dry. 

There are many free places you can go to camp that are not yet commercialized. Even if you choose a pay site, your overnight fees are usually quite reasonable. If there is a good source of firewood nearby, you can do all your cooking and heating for next to nothing.

As a rule of thumb for cost with camping, the more simple you keep things the the easier it is on the budget. If you decide to go camping, you won’t be paying for hotel rooms, room service or expensive plane tickets. There are no exchange-rate fees or duties to pay and definitely no over-priced souvenirs to bring back.

The cost of food for camping is another huge plus. You could easily spend as much going to a restaurant as you would on meals for a 3-5 day camping trip.

Tipping is certainly optional while camping! 

If you can commit to the long haul, and you have the gear, you could use camping to get rid of your rent or mortgage payment. Many campsites allow you to stay indefinitely and offer daily, weekly and monthly rental rates. If you intend to stay longer you can always negotiate a better rate.

This can be a great option for self-employed individuals, retirees or even if your job allows you to work remotely. With camping, you decide when and where your money goes so you can maximize the return on your investment.

 

Painted Turtles at Waters' Edge

Camping Is Sustainable

If you want your favorite campground to be around for years to come, you are going to want to learn how to camp in a sustainable way. The fact is, it is possible to enjoy a week of camping without leaving a lasting negative impression on the landscape.

To do this takes practice and it takes an investment of time. You are going to need an understanding “of” and an appreciation “for“ the ecology in the area where you intend to camp. This will change depending where you go.

Don’t panic, you don’t need a degree in ecology or botany to figure it out. Odds are you are already doing a lot of things right but everyone could use a few hacks when it comes to sustainable outdoor practices.

Case in point.

One of the places I have been camping for the past 2 decades, happens to be a hatching ground for painted turtles. In mid May you can watch as hundreds of pregnant females make the exhausting climb up the steep, sandy shore to lay their eggs.

Each mother turtle will dig out a nest and deposit a handful of eggs. They will then cover the clutches with new warm surface sand and make the arduous journey back to the water.

This process takes several hours to complete and exhaustion and dehydration are a very real concern. The mother turtles will also be vulnerable to predators until they leave shore again.

To the untrained eye only hours later, the area looks safe for use. If you look closer though you can see little circular fan marks all about. It looks like tiny brooms have swept the entire area.

But there are roughly 1000-2000 eggs, only a few inches below the surface. They will be completely vulnerable for the next several weeks. It’s safe to say you wouldn’t want to be driving through there or you would be taking a lot of tiny lives into your hands.

The spot is popular with local campers and tourists alike and Gophers are also plentiful in the area. These cute but noisy little guys love the turtle eggs.

Nearby residents understand that there is a delicate turtle population at the site. Visitors don’t usually know anything about the turtles before coming. I say usually because every once in a while you meet someone who has obviously done their homework before coming and is familiar with the situation.

But otherwise it would be far too easy for someone to upset the balance and condemn the entire bunch of turtles without even realizing it. So the adjacent land owners have adopted the area. They visit the site regularly and do their best to educate visitors to the area.

They will also report any anomalies such as unusual water levels, to the ministry or to  Ducks Unlimited who looks after the dam on the lake. 

Still, careless campers and hungry predators have been an ongoing threat to the turtles.

The mother turtles will usually lay up to 3 batches of eggs each year, but some years the gophers will dig out every last one. At times the small bale of turtles down to less than a couple of dozen.

Fortunately, the plight of this particular group of turtles has become a widely known phenomenon. Over the years,  their numbers have recovered substantially.

Thankfully there seems to be an ongoing shift in mindset in general about the environment these days. More people are paying attention to situations like this one and starting to understand how to take basic steps to limit their impact on nature.

A great place to start is to stick to marked trails when you go exploring. Do not take your off road vehicles through marshy areas. Do not leave litter behind. Pack out whatever you pack in. Clean up after yourself. Food waste will attract wildlife.

Perform proper regular maintenance on any equipment or vehicles before you take them out. Spills and leaks can contaminate soil and water. And for heavens’ sake, chop something other than the living trees growing around your campsite!

Damaging the bark on on a tree leaves it open to potential infection or pests. If you’ve got some extra energy you can always split some extra firewood for the next person to use the site. You know, pay it forward.

Arm yourself instead with knowledge and share it with your friends, family and colleges and help preserve the beauty for everyone to enjoy.

If you are wondering how to take an even more sustainable approach, try studying these Leave No Trace principles.

 

Geocaching in the Forest

Camping Is Pleasurable

Going camping is a great way to break up the monotony that can creep into everyday life. The anticipation alone is enough to get your endorphins pumping. Some campers say that not going camping enough is what causes stress.

Researchers at the National Center for Biotechnology Information agree. They have proven that spending time in nature can actually make you feel better. The atmosphere can act like a soothing balm for your soul.

Camping provides a much needed change of scenery. It offers you the opportunity to gain a fresh perspective on your regular daily activities.

Something as simple as doing dishes, now becomes an exercise in ingenuity. Where are you going to get water for washing? How are you going to transport the water to your campsite? How can you heat the water so it actually cleans the dishes?

These are all questions that would be second nature to answer back at home.

When you are in camp, it’s not so straight forward. As a matter of fact, it’s probably the only time you’d ever wonder if you can teach your dog to fetch a pail of water.

Going camping gets you out of your comfort zone. By default we spend a lot of our time on things we already know how to do. But as they say, variety is the spice of life, so why not take advantage and switch things up and try a new activity, like kayaking or geocaching.

It’s also a great way to refresh some of your favorite activities like running or hiking so make sure to pack your trail runners and hiking boots.

Possibly the most pleasurable aspect of camping has got to be gathering around the campfire. Talking and laughing with your loved ones as the heat soaks into your bones and warms every fiber in your body is hard to beat.

Of course you don’t have to keep things quiet and reserved the whole time. Maybe a little loud music and a few drinks or a puff is more your style. At the more remote campsite sites, there’s no quiet time or last call. As long as you invite your neighbors you should be good to go.

You don’t have to drive home and your bed is steps away. No one is going to judge you for taking the time to nurture your inner child and playing like you normally don’t.

 

Couple Cuddling in Tent

Camping Is Social

Every aspect of camping can be leveraged to enhance your connection with friends, family, nature and even yourself. Whether you are camping in a group or on your own, it is wise to tap into the relational benefits of camping.

From the zip together sleeping bags and the tiny portable homes to the camp kitchen and washing facilities, going camping encourages you to embrace a community atmosphere.

The reduced pace of life that camping provides, creates a space for sincere, face to face conversation, free from interruptions and intrusions. It gives you a focused opportunity to interact with one another, yourself and your environment.

Camping has a way of removing the hindrances that otherwise might keep you feeling segregated. Factors such as occupation and social status rarely find their way into the campsite.

It is important for you to understand that just because you see people everyday does not mean you are getting the proper kind of socialization you really need.

Whether you are secure enough to admit it or not, you need love. Acceptance. Companionship and competition. At times you need counsel and comfort, even correction.

You need it all, despite your understanding of it. Going camping puts you in close quarters with your camp-mates allowing for a more intimate exchange which is why you went camping in the first place, isn’t it?

The campfire has long been the setting for this exchange. The knowledge and tradition of many generations has been passed on under that sacred orange glow.

Today, we continue to gather. We sit with our friends and relatives in symbolic circles of trust and share our deepest secrets and desires. The words spoken at these times are powerful and seem somehow sanctified.

These fire-lit moments add the color and texture to your memories.

Camping has always been the backdrop of life-long relationships. As it turns out, camping has also been proven to rekindle your sex-life.

According to a survey of 500 couples in the United Kingdom, 37% said the frequency of their lovemaking doubled during their last camping trip. They also said the romantic trend continued long after the trip and trickled over into other areas of their lives.

So yeah, camping is spicy!!

 

Young Woman Meditating Lakeside

Camping Is Personal

Life is busy. There always seems to be more to do than time to do it in. It is way too easy to keep yourself occupied with any number of tasks demanding your attention and overlook your personal well-being. Camping provides the answer to your bodies’ natural craving for a calm atmosphere.

Taking the time to go camping will reduce the strain on your psyche.

In addition to bolstering your external relationships, when done as a solo activity, camping can transform your mindfulness practices. Intentional solitude is a key piece of getting to know yourself better and works as an emotional reset when life gets you down.

Use the time to reflect. Do not brush your self-care needs aside, it is not sustainable. By quieting the mind and listening for your internal voice of truth, you can learn to make choices that better align with what you actually want.

Going camping alone, means you only have yourself to depend on. This can boost your self-confidence and empower you to tackle challenges in other areas of your life. You come away with a better sense of control.

You can also use  it to gain a clearer picture of what you do and don’t want. 

Like the historian who can easily identify a reprint or counterfeit copy of the Mona Lisa because she has spent so much time with the original, you too can learn to recognize your authentic self by spending time alone. Turn off all the other voices and tune in to your truth.

If you are looking to use camping as a proactive approach to your personal-growth pursuit, then you might want to try heading for a high energy destination. Old growth forest areas are a particularly powerful source and can be an ideal spot to do some forest bathing.

 

Towing Travel Trailer Out Of City

Camping Is Essential

According to psychologists, immersing yourself in green space is a great way to enhance your mood. The sentiment is simple but very effective, put some distance between you and the concrete jungle for a night or two. 

No extra effort required, they say just getting away is enough to get yourself back into the happy flow.

We recommend that as soon as you get there you take off your shoes and socks and give Earthing a try. It will re-balance your bodies’ electrical field while you wiggle your toes in the sand or soft grass. It doesn’t take a genius to explain why this works if you ask us.

We all know somewhere inside of each of us is a need for a firm connection to the earth, something tactile and tangible. It is especially good for those who often tend to have their head in the clouds.

Going camping means saying good-bye to the endless list of chores and duties that eat away at your time at home. There’s no groceries to buy or laundry to fold and the cleaning is at your leisure of course. As a matter of fact camping might be the only time you don’t care if you happen to track a little dirt inside.

You could use camping as a much needed digital detox.

Taking time to power down and disconnect could be one of the healthiest choices you make. Trading in your laptop and smartphone for your sketch pad or a good book can provide temporary relief from stressful triggers. And it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than hiring a therapist.

Psychology has been taking a look at exactly how all of this time with the electronic devices is really affecting us and it’s not looking so good.

For starters, too much time spent with technology has been linked to increased anxiety levels, poor sleep and even neurological problems.

Research shows that habitual involvement with cellular devices can negatively affect our ability to think clearly, remember information accurately, regulate emotion efficiently and remain focused on our tasks.

Staring at those glowing screens for hours on end isn’t doing your eyesight any favors either. Scientists are speaking out, as the number of cases of Myopia or nearsightedness has skyrocketed in recent years. Far too many of them are children.

Add to that an increased exposure to cell-damaging Electro-Magnetic Forces (EMF) from all the transmitting and receiving gadgets we are surrounded by on a daily basis and you’ve got yourself a dangerous radiation cocktail. Don’t even get us started on the most recent 5G debauckle!

Seems like a lot right?

The truth is all of this can be effectively mitigated with a little balance and getting out camping will definitely help even out the scales.

 

Leaves Producing Clean Oxygen to Breathe

Camping Is Elemental

Research says that the concentrations of irritants are up to 5 times higher indoors than outdoors. And humans are now spending up to 90% of their time inside a vehicle or a building.

If you aren’t going camping for the fresh air, you’re missing out on a major health benefit that comes with it free of charge. You won’t find a better way to purge toxins and respiratory pollutants from your environment than spending a week where fresh air is actually made.

Oxygen is a key element in both the production of serotonin, affecting growth and the reduction of oxidative stress. Medical professionals believe serotonin is key to fighting the onset of a number of personality disorders.

Allergens such as dust, mold and off-gasses from things like volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) are continuously being filtered all around you when you are out there.

The clean-living that camping provides helps your body deal with heavy metals and free radicals.

Sunlight feels amazing on your skin. There are dangers with too much unprotected exposure but, did you know your skin actually needs the bright light from the sun?

It uses the ultraviolet light from the suns’ rays to make vitamin D which in turn affects your bodies’ ability to absorb calcium and phosphorus. A lack of these essential compounds means you’re at increased risk of osteopenia (low bone mass) and even osteoporosis.

Getting your body moving will also help with digestion and keep you regular.

All of these lovely benefits work together to ensure a higher quality of life and extend your lifespan and overall. Camping is like a booster shot for your immune system.

 

Man Very Stressed Head In Hands

Camping Is Emotional

Emotional disorders can be triggered by prolonged stress. Even major life changes can have a crippling effect on you if you fail to give yourself the proper emotional care. It is a good thing you are headed out camping!

According to researchers at the National Institute of Health in Maryland, USA, anxiety and depression are having a significant social and economic impact worldwide.

But don’t worry, you can just ignore it and it will go away right?

Not exactly.

It seems that we’ve been using the “head in the sand” approach for some time now and it hasn’t really been working out too well for us.

If you grew up the way I did, you likely didn’t talk about your feelings. You may not even know you have feelings, but the fact of the matter is you do. And how you choose to address them is a major factor impacting your quality of life.

Contrary to popular belief, taking the time to reset emotionally is not a sign of weakness, it actually indicates a high level of self-awareness and inner strength.

Life isn’t always rosy, but don’t be fooled by how you feel. The difficult times you face are not meant to steer you away from your desires. Overcoming the opposition you face is what builds the character needed to achieve your goal and sustain it.

Each of us has the ability to choose a new perspective when we encounter setbacks. In many instances a new point of view is all you need to start picking up positive momentum again.

If nothing else, camping offers you precisely that.

 

Unloading Gear For Backcountry Camping Trip

Camping Is Physical

Laughing and smiling burns calories right? Health experts at the Heart Foundation say it’s a thing.

Research professor, Dr. Buchowski from Vanderbilt University Medical Center agrees. Although he admits the study was originally somewhat trivial in nature, his article concerning laughters’ physical effects seems to have struck a chord with the public.

And it is no wonder why.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost 40% of the adult population is overweight. Nearly 20% of children are battling obesity and by 2030 more than 54% of American’s will be diabetic.

So what’s the problem?

I’m not sure about you, but it’s usually the thought of exercise that psyches me out. Fortunately I understand the physiological need for it, so I have come up with a work around. Maybe you have heard of it?

It’s called camping and the physical benefits are conveniently woven right in.

The thinking here is the better it feels, the more likely you are to do it. You really need to understand that just getting out in the bush means you’ll be burning an extra 500 calories a day on average compared to staying home.

Pretty great right?  And you can turn up the intensity from there. The average hiker burns 120-300 calories an hour. Mountain bikers 300-500, even fly fishing more than doubles your calorie usage.

From packing to unpacking and everything in between, camping is a calorie crushing cardio crusade. Do yourself a solid and don’t look at it like exercise. Instead take the opportunity to practice that conscious choosing of perspective we touched on earlier.

If something begins to feel like a chore, pause for a moment and take a step back. Try to re-frame the task mentally. If necessary you can re-brand the activity. Use more appealing terminology. It is admittedly a bit of a life hack, but the point is to find your internal source of inspiration, grab a hold of it, and use the momentum to push through.

Don’t get discouraged.

Changing your perspective is a process. Take things one step at a time and celebrate your victories no matter how small.

Maybe you’re farther along in your health journey and you don’t need any clever mental gymnastics to get it done. Maybe all you are looking for is a way to kick your normal routine up a notch. For you elite, super-fit campers out there, you might want to double down next time you go.

Consider mixing your regular workout in with your camping trip. This will add a unique and exciting layer to your fitness routine and may even become your go to.

 

Couple cooking a Meal Over the Fire

Camping Is Delectable

In his book, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, British Primatologist, Richard Wrangham, argued that cooking is what actually enabled humans to evolve.

Once we learned how to use fire to stay warm, make better tools and most importantly prepare food everything began to change for us. We could make stronger weapons for safety against bears and other large predators and no longer had to spend all of our time hunting and gathering.

There are some skeptics of his theory but what has never come into question is how much better everything tastes when it’s roasted over the fire.

Personally I support Richards theory. When you take that tiny little testing piece from your steak, I swear my whole body tates that buttery, salty, chewy, juicy…

Mmmm.. Nom, Nom Nom.

Great food and camping, the two are virtually inseparable. Many campsites even come with a grill or barbecue or at least a fire ring to cook on so you don’t need to worry about that. You get to prepare every detail with your own two hands.

Creating your own delectable camping meals is a fun and freeing experience particularly when you have done the hunting and gathering yourself. Keep in mind, seasonal changes can affect what is available or ripe at certain times so choose your camping destination accordingly.

If you do decide to pick things like wild mushrooms and berries, a foraging handbook is always a good investment and will keep you from eating something you shouldn’t.

Most campers will shop specifically for their camping trip and pack most of their food in with them. If you are planning on fishing, you won’t need to bring as much of the harder to keep proteins. You will already be getting your healthy fats.

As far as produce, there are loads of organic and natural options to choose from.

You could raid the garden before you go so nothing goes to waste. Long-term campers will often plant one if there is a good supply of fresh water nearby.

Another pro hack for camping food is to keep an eye out for roadside produce stands put up by local growers.

By the time you get to camp with all of your delicious goodies, your tummy should be starting to rumble. All the extra activity will have you inspired and craving some of that high quality, soul-nourishing cuisine.

This is the time to break out all the exotic spices and try those new flavor combinations you favorited on facebook.

You might want to think about cutting yourself some slack with the diet regimen and take a cheat day or two at this point. You know those burgers will taste better sauteed in beer. Don’t forget the mushrooms and onions.

The sugar in the ale will help them to caramelize.

Clean-up duty while you are camping is about the easiest chore ever. Especially with your dog around. Whatever you don’t finish can be taken care of with a flick of the wrist and your furry pal will be all over it.

Doing dishes could be as easy as bagging or burning, depending whether you choose paper or plastic for dining. Keep in mind reusable camping cookware has come a very long way and is always a more eco-friendly option.

 

a Woman Sleeping Outdoors in Sleeping Bag

Camping Is Restful

Your sleep is one of the most influential factors in determining the quality of your waking life.

You might think that pouring a gallon of coffee down the hatch or taking a swig from an energy drink is all you need to get you going. But sooner or later, poor sleep quality catches up with you bringing with it a long list of complications.

Our need for sleep is so imperative that authorities have begun cracking down on drivers who are too tired behind the wheel. The impairments caused by an acute lack of sleep are similar to those of alcohol intoxication.

And the long-term effects of poor sleep are scary to say the least.

Most of us understand that we need around 8 hours of it at some point every 24 hours. During this time, the never-ending pattern of sunrise and sunset repeats itself and determines how and more poignantly “when” we go about our daily routines.

This is and will probably always be largely true, but to exactly what degree has been steadily changing.

You need proper rest to be able to recharge fully, but the ever-increasing presence of artificial light and its sources have been working against you.

Unnatural light sources can prevent your body from keeping a healthy cadence.

Under normal conditions, when the light begins to fade at the end of the day, the Pineal Gland in your brain begins to produce a chemical calle Melatonin. This works to get your body ready for rest.

This simply doesn’t happen with any regularity for most people these days.

All too often our days are orchestrated by an endless series of beeps, tones, clicks and blinking lights white noise and light pollution are everywhere.

A couple days on the suns’ schedule can restart your Circadian Rhythm and give every cell in your body a hard reset. 

The best part is no alarm clock!

With better sleep you’ll enjoy reduced inflammation and pain, higher energy levels, improved focus. Getting the right amount of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep has been linked to improved weight control and even improved memory.

 

Hanging from a Cliff in a Portaledge Tent

Camping Is Experimental

If you are a hardcore camper pushing your physical limits in frigid, winter-like conditions, hanging from the side of a glacier in your portaledge, you know all too well that camping can be a delicate experiment at times.

Of course if you are a complete newbie (like we all were at one time), and you just pinched your finger in that vicious, metal zipper on your parents’ 1970’s trademark blue and orange canvas tent so badly that you need stitches, you now know that even learning to handle your camping equipment properly can be an exercise in the experimental.

I’m not admitting to anything, but let’s just say, I feel your pain!

But don’t let something as trivial as a little blood blister stand in the way of taking your outdoor adventures to the next level.

Adapt and move on.

That is precisely the point of camping, to stretch yourself and get out of your comfort zone. Allow the novelty of your unfamiliar surroundings to inspire you. You can embrace the mystery and uncertainty, that is where the magic is.

Thankfully no 2 camping trips are the same, so you don’t need to worry about that newness wearing off any time soon.

However if you do eventually find the luster beginning to fade, you will want to start adding in those extra layers we mentioned earlier. Start by setting an intention for the trip and identifying exactly what needs an upgrade and go from there.

If you are a Minimalist camper for example, try to get by with bringing less and less gear each time. Set the intention as becoming more and more self-sufficient.

Or maybe you are an aspiring Chef, you could try doing your cooking over an open flame. It takes a little different approach getting used to the uneven heat, but it is pretty forgiving, so let your creative juices flow.

 

Even the Military Understands the Benefits Of Camping

Camping Is Foundational

The backdrop of camping has been used by various organizations over the past several decades as a way to tailor the environment. The idea is quite simple, but incredibly powerful. Getting out into nature can remove much of the noise and distraction and allow for a period of focused concentration.

Rehabilitation groups have had success with using wilderness retreats as a form of psychotherapy.

You can find outdoor wilderness centers like the Red Oak Recovery Center offering rehabilitation programs today because of visionaries like Kurt Hahn. Kurt founded one of the first of these types of programs called “Outward Bound” which was aimed at helping troubled adolescents.

Hahn was a German born educator who studied at Oxford, Heidelberg, Freiburg and Göttingen.

Mr. Hahn was of the opinion that learning by doing was a model useful not only for academics but also for maturity and character development.

Kurt and others who base their methods on his work believed “Wilderness Therapy” worked as well and possibly even better than other forms of therapy.

It’s okay if you aren’t one of the touchy-feely types, neither are the Canadian Rangers.

The United States Marine Corps isn’t too much about hugs, kisses and crying your problems away either, but they use camping as a foundational component in training their troops.

There are a myriad of others, not the least of which are religious and spiritual groups, mens’ and womens’ retreats, and of course health spas. There are even workshops you can take while camping.

 

Summary

Unlike most things in life these days, the benefits you get from going camping are among the most valuable you can find and yet they come free of charge.

The good news is you don’t have to be an expert the first time you go. All you need is a reason and a desire and that will get you most of the way. 

Just focus on making it your own. And enjoy.

 

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