Multiple people go on camping trips because they want to get out of the city, forget about all the problems or they are just looking for an adventure. Whether you like hiking, biking, swimming or any other outdoor activity, camping is the perfect way to focus mainly on your hobby for a few days without any external distractions. You can try different camping types, such as backpacking, winter camping, canoe camping, wild camping and many more.
Camping is good for families, groups of friends or just individuals who want to spend some quality time alone. You may not realize, but camping is much more than just a trip outside the city, it can help you live a longer and healthier life. So, what are these benefits?
1. Camping Is Good for Your Mental Health
Nowadays people are living stressful lives because of the tight work schedules or many exams at university and school. Stress can cause some terrible problems such as depression or mental health issues. However, being in nature can help to improve your health, especially if you live in a city. Research done by the University of Michigan shows that just a couple of minutes walking or being in nature reduces depression symptoms which is very common among the people living in big cities. (1)
Similar study by Stanford University found that being outdoors helps to reduce obsessive and negative thinking that can result in mental health problems. (2)
2. Camping Can Help You Sleep Better
Nowadays, multiple people have sleeping problems, or they do not sleep enough hours because of work, studies, personal issues or any other reasons. It is entirely reasonable to go to sleep at a very late hour and wake up early with an alarm. Most people in the mornings are feeling tired and without energy, however, there is a way how you can improve the quality of your sleep.
According to a study done on 2013 by the University of Colorado Boulder, the more time you spend in nature, the more you follow sun’s schedule, the more you wake up and go to sleep at a proper time (3). People who participated in the research were examined for one week, and results showed that camping and sleeping outdoors helped to reset the circadian rhythms and also made the campers less tired and dizzy.
3. Camping Is Good for Your Physical Health
From home to the office, from the office to home, that is how most of the people routine looks like. Individuals living in the city forget how important is to maintain our physical health and move our muscles at least a couple of times a week.
Going on camping itself already requires some extra movements, even if you arrived by car, you would have to build a tent by yourself, also you will have to walk and find a spot where you will build that tent and what about swimming, lightning fire and just walking around the area? All of this will make you move more than you do back in the city and it results and better physical health.
4. Camping Helps to Rest from Electronic Devices
Every day we are surrounded by computers, TV, and phones. We all know how addictive these devices can be and that it is not good for both our mental and physical health. Going on camping will help you to put aside your phone and computer for at least couple of days, because, well where are you going to charge your electronic device and most probably there will be no signal.
Some researches show that regularly checking your phone can be a sign of mental illness and if you use your phone permanent it can result in emotional instability (4). One of the best camping tips is to leave your phone at home or keep it in the car, so it is going to be safe and will not bother you.
5. Camping Can Increase Your Vitamin D Levels
While camping we get a quite good dose of vitamin D from the sun. Usually, we take a pill of vitamin D or whatever vitamin we want. However, it is not the same as getting it straight from the natural source. According to the Cleveland Clinics researches, vitamin D helps prevent many diseases such as diabetes, breast cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, prostate cancer and many more (5).
Since it has so many benefits, it can be another reason to pack everything up and go camp every free weekend!
6. Camping Can Improve Your Memory
Having problems with your memory? The University of Michigan research shows that walking in nature, in any season provides some excellent benefits. Students took two different routes, through the city and nature. Students who took a journey through nature improved their short-term memory by 20% (6).
They said that interacting with nature has similar effects as meditation, and it doesn’t matter if you walk on a sunny day on summer or if you take a walk on January when it snows. Here are some camping tips for you: if you decided to go on camping, spend some time on exploring the area, walk around the forest, mountains or fields. It is better than sunbathing or eating.
7. Camping Can Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a natural process that usually appears when we have a viral infection or sprained leg. Inflammation also can be caused by unhealthy living and a poor diet. Also, inflammation can be associated with diseases such as diabetes or cancer. The PubMed published one study where scientists checked healthy students who spend some time outdoors against those who spend time in nature. The results showed that students who spend time camping, hiking in nature showed reduced pro-inflammatory levels and oxidative stress (7).
So, if you are likely to get sick with the flu or viral infection, go camping at least couple of times a month, and you will see maybe the flu will not attack you so quickly next time.
As you see camping can be both fun and healthy. There are many different types of camping and many different places where you can do it.
The best time for camping is summer because it’s warm and you do not need any individual tents or clothing. During the summer you can also enjoy swimming, sunbathing, berry picking and other activities. If you decided to reduce your stress and try camping in the near future, here are some basic camping tips: plan your meals carefully, remember that you might eat even twice more than you eat back in the city, take several pairs of socks, t-shirts, sweaters, and pants, because you might get wet or dirty and finally, take several flashlights and batteries, because you never know when one of them can die. Try camping and feel its benefits both mental and physical.