Back in the good ole days, camping was a thing that you did with your family when you were a kid. But it wasn’t something that you engaged in once you reached adulthood unless you become a parent yourself. Nowadays, families aren’t the only ones enjoying time in the great outdoors. According to the 2018 North American Camping Report by Kampgrounds of America, the rising popularity of camping today is mainly due to the increased number of Millenials and Gen Xers who are making it a regular part of their lives. In fact, 48% of the campers surveyed were camping without kids. Obviously, camping was a whole lot of fun when you were a kid. However, the big question is if that’s still true for the adults of today. What can you get for “roughing it”? Quite a lot, actually. But before we get into all that, let’s do a short review on health benefits of camping.
Types Of Camping
When you were a kid, there was only one way to camp – go hike in the woods a bit, set up a tent in the campgrounds, and stay for a day or more. Maybe do a bit of grilling. Most likely enjoy a few s’mores. That kind of thing. Nowadays, there are a lot of different types of camping which means you get to pick the one that suits you best. There’s adventure camping for the competitive outdoorsman where you race with others during the day, testing your endurance and strength, while camping with minimal equipment at night. There’s also backcountry camping which is perfect for the survivalist in us. It is another minimalist form of camping where you only bring the minimum amount of supplies you’ll need to survive camping in an unfamiliar location.
What’s Canoe Camping?
Canoe camping is when you combine camping and canoeing. Instead of backpacking your way through a forest, you’ll be paddling your way throughout the day and camping out at night with only enough supplies to last you until you get to your final destination. And then there’s the new crowd favorite – glamping. A combination of glamorous and camping, this is the type of camping where the great outdoors meets modern luxury. You can enjoy the beauty of nature while you still enjoying clean running water, a soft big bed, and maybe even air conditioning.
Social Benefits Of Camping
Whatever kind of camping you prefer, the benefits of being in the great outdoors are still the same. Obviously, there are physical benefits to spending time outdoors, but social benefits? Well, there are those too.
#1: Stronger relationships.
Time is precious. It always has been but it is even more so today. The hustle and bustle of city living along with all of its modern technologies (we’re talking about you, social media) is highly distracting. And it’s easy to lose focus on what matters most. Being in nature, away from all of that, will give you time to spend with your loved ones and really connect with them. The memories you make with them while camping will never be forgotten.
#2: Meet new people.
Unless you’re camping in a remote place, you’re probably going to be around other campers from time to time. And this is the perfect opportunity to learn to connect with people from all walks of life.
#3: Socialization does not end at the campsite.
Yes, you’ll definitely be practicing your social skills with others during your camping trip. But camping increases your likelihood of continuing to practice social skills after the trip. A study has shown that children are more likely to share their camping experiences with their peers in school.
Health Benefits of Camping:
Aside from getting good exercise while you’re wandering about in the wild, there are other health benefits that you can get from camping.
#1: Stress relief.
Camping offers you a way to relax and recharge, to watch the world go by and not worry about work, bills, chores, etc.
#2: Sharpens the mind.
Camping outdoors presents you with a different set of challenges you never typically face when living in the city. Exposure to new problems provides our brain with the ability to practice problem-solving skills.
#3: Resets your body clock.
Because your body is exposed to natural light cycles, your internal body clock shifts back to its natural pattern – waking up and sleeping at decent times.
#4: Increased vitamin D intake.
Most of us spend too much time indoors and less time in the sun. If timed right, catching those rays will mean getting more vitamin D which is good for bone health. Make sure to take vitamin K2 as well, vitamins K2 and D work in conjunction with each other to build stronger bones. Remember, it’s still important that you not spend too much time in direct sunlight, particularly between the hours of 9 am to 3 pm to avoid damaging your skin. Always wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses when getting your sun time.
#5: Better mental health.
Studies have shown that sun exposure (just the right amount, mind you) can help improve mood. This is because there is a link between vitamin D deficiency and those who suffer from depression. Increasing your time outdoors means decreasing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD. Plus, exercise produces serotonin which also makes you happy. So yay!
#6: Healthier food options.
While you can munch on chips and other junk foods you brought with you, you’re going to have to cook really nutritious meals to keep yourself going. Your body won’t be craving for pizza after a good hike to your campsite (and you won’t be able to order it as well); it’ll be looking for a nutritionally fulfilling meal that’s full of energy. To encourage yourself to eat healthier, forget about the chips and bring tasty alternatives like granola.
#7: Breathing fresh air.
High-quality oxygen is a premium. You simply can’t breath easy living in a crowded community. But in the great outdoors, your brain and body can enjoy the healthy air.
Despite the many benefits of camping, you should never forget about safety rules. always follow the stranger danger safety tips to make your experience as safe as possible.