What do you like most about camping? Here are the 10 things I love most about camping that I want to share with you as I look back on my own experiences.
Just thinking about going camping has a stress-relieving effect on me and boosts my mood. Camping means time outdoors, which never fails to make me happy, and the thought of even just a day or two in my tent, is enough to get me through the toughest of weeks.
When I’m camping the pace of life changes. It takes longer to make a simple cup of coffee, to wash up, to do most things really, which means I’m not thinking at a frantic pace like I am at home. It also means I am still enough to enjoy the little things, collecting pebbles to paint, building campfires and the simple joy of being able to gaze out at a beautiful landscape with no distractions or pressure to be productive.
Camping forces me to slow down a bit and somehow makes me better at being mindful and living in the here and now.
Whilst I relish simpler, slower living, the other big benefit that I’ve found is that going camping actually makes me appreciate my home way more.
After a long camping trip, in particular, the joy of no longer being at the mercy of the elements, of having hot water on tap and all the other various comforts of home, means I am much more appreciative of my humble abode which increases the sense of gratitude I have in my everyday life.
Deciding where to go next is always fun and I find this to be a stress reliever in itself. We have a Pinterest board packed full of campsites that we like the look of. This means we’ve already got a handy shortlist to refer to when we have a free weekend coming up.
Once we’ve decided on a possible location, we then do some research on the local area, and will often plan a loose itinerary allowing us to explore whilst we’re away. Always having something to look forward to, no matter how small is something I find hugely beneficial to my sense of wellbeing.
I love wriggling inside a sleeping bag and lying on my camp bed and looking up at the inside of my bell tent, or peering outside at the stars. There’s something about it that regresses me to childhood and is reminiscent of building dens and blanket forts. I like the greater connection with the outdoors I get when camping too; being so much more aware of the natural sounds and the smells that modern brick buildings shield us from. This partial sense of rewilding is something that does wonders for my wellbeing and never fails to make me feel calmer and happier.
I’ve never lost my desire to explore or my childish glee at discovering something interesting, hidden away or pretty. Camping gives us the chance to visit new places, and once pitched, we always wander off on foot for a look around; either to take photographs, find the nearest geocache site, or to find an area large enough to fly my Flexifoil kite. Exploring and finding joy in the natural world is something I’ll never grow out of. As adults, we can all benefit from rekindling an often long-lost sense of childish playfulness and wonder.
I am a nature freak but my day job requires me to be indoors, inside an office for 8 hours a day. This doesn’t sit well with someone who starts to wilt after a few hours indoors! Well before forest bathing was a thing in the western world and certainly before research confirmed the benefits of spending time in nature, like many others, I’ve known instinctively all my life that nature is good for me. I know that nature energises and centres me and camping is the best way I’ve found of getting a big prolonged dose of the outdoorsy good stuff.
The whole notion of a work/life balance is a bit of joke as far as I’m concerned, so when I camp, it’s a rare opportunity to spend quality time with people I like spending time with!
Campers, on the whole, are a friendly bunch. I take great pleasure in having random chats and I love the way strangers will just wander over and start nattering (possibly because of our choice in insanely patterned bell tents seem to act like a giant attention-grabbing beacon). We’ve not hesitated when we’ve seen campers arrive and struggle to pitch their tent with offers of hands-on help or even just a bit of advice and reassurance. There is a sense of community to be had when camping, that modern life rarely affords, and as sociable creatures, it’s good for the soul!
I think in a former life I must have been a hermit Luddite. Like many people, I often work long hours, am constantly connected and never seem to have enough hours in the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, but I do find that being busy is exacerbated by being constantly connected and it can be incredibly draining.
We very rarely camp with an EHU and are usually very happy to arrive at a campsite and find no mobile reception or WiFi, as it forces me to turn off and relax! Lack of phone connection makes me feel less guilty about relaxing with a book or simply gazing at the landscape and daydreaming whilst camping and I relish having rare time to reconnect with myself and not constantly obsessing with checking emails or writing witty Instagram captions.