Why Is Camping Good for You – The Top 11 Reasons


camping health

I love hiking, camping, and the outdoors in general.  It always makes me feel good both during and afterward.  If you’ve ever been camping, you probably felt the same way.  It seems like camping is a healthy hobby to engage in.

But, why is camping good for you?

Here are some of the top reasons camping is good for you:

  1. It helps you disengage from the stresses of everyday life.
  2. It gives you a digital detox.
  3. You get more exercise.
  4. You get more fresh air.
  5. You have more time to think.
  6. You get more sunshine.
  7. You save money.

Less Stress When Camping

According to research done at Harvard University, spending time outdoors has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety.  Through brain scans, they actually found that spending time walking through a natural setting reduced brain activity in the areas of the prefrontal cortex that are responsible for negative emotions.

You’re probably thinking at this point that you can get this by walking outdoors through your town but unfortunately the studies proved that this just isn’t true.  In order to get these benefits, you have to take yourself to a natural setting.  Take a camping trip and you’ll reduce your levels of stress and anxiety.

Digital Detox

The American Psychological Association did a study that found a direct correlation between stress and digital technology users.  They basically found that the more people checked their social media accounts, used their computers, and watched their televisions, the more stressed and depressed they were.

Getting out into a state or national park with limited access to the Internet might seem like drudgery to some people but I guarantee it will make them feel better.  In fact, the more you dread being without your television or your social media accounts, the more likely it is that you actually need a digital detox.  Get out in the woods, in the mountains, or on the beach and come back feeling happier and less stressed out.

Exercise

Let’s face it, camping is hard work.  The simple acts of packing up all your gear and setting up your tent will help you burn extra calories.  Once you’re at the campsite, you’re more likely to use that kayak that’s been sitting in your garage all year. You’re also more likely to hike those trails you’ve been dreaming about hiking all winter long.  If dust is building up on your hiking shoes, it’s probably time to schedule a camping trip.

Camping is an active hobby that allows you to work out without having to lock yourself up in a sweat-filled fitness center.  You get to experience nature, see new parts of the country and get in a good workout without having to worry about anybody calling you to interrupt you.  Besides, there is nothing better than finishing up a good workout and then hanging out by a nice campfire with friends and family members.

camping fitness

Fresh Air

According to the EPA, indoor air pollutants are likely to be somewhere between two and five times higher than outdoors.  In fact, people with “sick building syndrome” may be exposed to homes that have 100 times more pollutants than the outdoors.  You can read more about indoor air quality at https://www.mana.md/indoor-air-vs-outdoor-air/

After reading this I immediately went out and bought an air purifier but there is a much simpler solution than buying a $200.00 air purifier.  This solution is, of course, to go outside.  Spending a weekend camping reduces your exposure to indoor air quality and gives your lungs a much-needed break.  Remember, our lungs filter everything we breath in each day.  Why not give yourself and your lungs a much-needed break by going camping?

Mental and Emotional Health

Researchers at Stanford University recently ran brain scans on two separate groups of people.  The first group was a group that walked through a natural area with grasslands and large trees.  The second group was a group that walked alongside the busiest street near Stanford.

The result of this study was that the first group’s brains had decreased levels of brain activity in the areas related to stress and anxiety.  The second group’s brains had increased activity in these same areas.  These areas of the brain are the same areas of the brain that are responsible for depression.

To summarize, research has proven that your camping trip will make you less anxious and will reduce the chances that you fall victim to depression.  If you’re already feeling depressed, a camping trip might be just the medicine you need to help you feel better.

Sunshine

When you’re camping, you can’t help but spend more time out in the sun.  While too much sun is bad for you and can cause cancer, too little sun is also bad for you.  In fact, research done by the World Health Organization has proven that more people suffer diseases from too little sunlight versus too much sunlight.

Not getting enough sunlight can lead to vitamin D deficiency and even cancer.  Not only this, but it can cause depression.

Here are some of the issues associated with not getting enough sunlight:

  • Cancer
  • Memory loss
  • Dementia
  • Schizophrenia
  • Heart disease
  • Clinical depression
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Obesity

As you can see, sunlight is important to your health.  Are you getting enough sunshine in your life?  If not, you might want to go camping.

Social

Camping can undoubtedly be a social activity.  When you’re around a campfire with your loved ones and your phones aren’t getting any reception, you can’t help but talk to the people in front of you.  Many camping activities are also social.  Going on group hikes, standing around the grill, canoeing, and setting up the campsite are all group activities that can increase the bond you have with your friends and family members.

If you’re wondering how long it’s been since you’ve seen your friends and family members, you may want to consider planning a camping trip with them.  If they are resistant to the idea, tell them it’s good for their health and send them to this blog post.

social camping

Solitude

While camping is a great social activity it is also a great activity for those who just need to get away for a little while.  Sometimes we just need to disconnect from everything and everyone so that we can have some time to think for ourselves.  There is nothing more peaceful than waking up alone with the sounds of nature surrounding you.

Spending quality time by yourself is especially helpful for introverts and empaths who physically, mentally, and emotionally get tired when they’re around people for too long.  If you’re feeling worn out and you think you need a break, why not schedule a weekend camping trip for yourself?

Sleep

Having a tough time sleeping lately?  Camping can help with this.  There are many ways in which camping can help to regulate a person’s sleeping habits.  The first is through disconnecting from our computer screens.  Blue light restricts the release of melatonin and prolongs are periods of wakefulness.  This is great when you need to work late at night from time to time but it’s terrible when you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep.

Camping also exposes you to more sunlight which can help to spike melatonin levels.  The increased levels of melatonin that are released after the sun goes down will help you to fall asleep quicker.

The increased activity levels that also come with camping will benefit your sleeping patterns as well.  You’ll go to bed earlier and you’ll stay in bed longer.

Being out in nature also shuts down some of the parts of the brain that cause stress and anxiety.  When you shut these areas down, you’ll spend less time lying in bed worrying about things and you’ll drift off to a nice peaceful sleep much sooner.

Time

Ever feel like you don’t have enough time?  I know I sure do.  Between going to work, working out, helping friends and family members, and doing the day-to-day household tasks I need to get done it seems like I don’t have time to do anything.

Going on a camping trip is like pushing the reset button on all of these things.  When you’re out in the woods you don’t have anything but time.  Time to think, time to engage in hobbies, time to focus on your own mental, physical, and emotional health.  While you’re out in the woods you won’t have to worry about the laundry that is sitting in your laundry room or the meeting you have scheduled at work next week.  Disconnecting from all of this for a few days will help refresh you and make all of these tasks easier to accomplish when you get back.

Money

Vacationing is a great way to get closer to friends and family and to improve both your mental and physical health.  Unfortunately, it isn’t always great for your bank account.  Paying for hotel rooms, dining out, and paying for leisure activities all add up quickly.

While camping can cost a lot of money, it doesn’t have to.  You can stay on BLM land for free and you can rent a campsite in a state park for as little as $15.00 a day.  Bring your own food and cook it by the campfire and you won’t have to spend any money on dining out.  Leisure activities won’t cost you anything either.  Once you’re in a state or national park you’ll have plenty of activities to see and do and they won’t cost you a thing.

At this point you’re probably asking, but what about camping gear?  Camping gear can be extremely expensive but again it doesn’t have to.  In fact, if you’re looking for budget camping gear, check out this post – https://www.carandtent.com/budget-car-camping-gear/.

 

Christopher Schopf

Christopher Schopf loves camping, hiking, canoeing, and basically anything that gets him outdoors.

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