Why Camping is Good for Your Mental Health

Why Camping is Good for Your Mental Health

Ever gone on a camping trip and felt like it was exactly what you needed?

Your camping experience for the weekend has been to create memories with your friends and family, explore and experience new things, and do fun activities together.

The best thing? All of this against the gorgeous backdrop of beautiful parks, campgrounds, and a campfire. 

If you're feeling fantastic, refreshed, and revitalized after your camping getaway and almost wish you could stay for longer, there's a reason for that. 

In fact, there are quite a few (we'll visit them in a second)

Many of us over the past couple of years amidst the global pandemic have had to adjust to a new normal where spending days inside the house with little opportunity or time to venture outside for fun or services has become woven into the fabric of our lives. 

Of course, as you've probably already guessed, this isn't the best for mental or physical health. 

Now that the world has begun opening up in recent times, so has the opportunity to go out and escape for a camping trip to visit the great outdoors. 

Let's have a look at why this could potentially be one of the best things you can do for your mental health. We've included some handy tips as well. 

Because let's face it, after all that's happened, you deserve a holiday. 

Detox from the Digital World

It's no secret that its almost next to impossible to disconnect ourselves from technology in our daily lives. 

Whether some of us are working on a screen all day, watching tv, or using our telephone, technology (and namely screens) has firmly established itself as a fundamental object in our lives.

This is especially true if you are somebody who works from home or in an office. You sit at a screen for 8 hours a day, then you might watch TV or scroll through social media on your phone. 

 people camping in desert next to palm trees

When do you get the time to actually disconnect from a device? 

This is where camping comes in.

When you go on a camping trip, you don't have the same inclinations and commitments to devices such as your laptop and phone. Campsites aren't exactly full of campers all on their laptops sitting in their tents. You can do that at home!

Most campsites are surrounded by an absolute wealth of natural stimuli and activities that are very effective at distracting you from your phone. Also, usually, the reception will be less than impressive and you have so many other things to do.

So don't pay attention to your screen. You've got bigger fish to fry, like cutting firewood.  

Lastly, the benefits of disconnecting from screens and technology for a while are well documented, and there are a lot of them! 

Being in Nature is Fantastic for Your Brain

As humans, we sometimes forget that we are inextricably connected with the ebb and flow of the natural world. At the end of the day, we are organisms and reconnecting with the natural environment will only serve to benefit and protect our minds.

Ok picture this, it's time to camp. We've taken the car and it's our first day at the campsite. In what ways can many campgrounds benefit our minds?

Well, for starters, you might have heard of the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, which literally translates to Forest Bathing. This is based on the philosophy that spending time in the forest has drastic benefits on physical and mental health.

In fact, it was introduced as a government scheme in Japan to get more individuals out of urban environments and back into nature to improve their overall sense of wellbeing. How cool is that?

Studies have that the positive effects of spending time in nature are numerous. They include benefits such as reducing depression, anxiety, and stress and improving your mood. Not a bad resume right? 

But wait, don't leave your campsite, there's more.

Research has also shown that your body will enjoy lowered blood pressure and cortisol (the hormones that cause stress), decreased irritability, increased endorphin levels and dopamine productions, and better quality of sleep.

That's a pretty good reason to sit around a picnic table, pitch up a tent and check out the local state parks.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and take a forest bath.

Creativity, Challenge, and Adventure 

If there's anything that camping is great at, it's forcing you to do things that are normally not part of your everyday routine. 

Now, being comfortable and having the resources to ensure you'll be comfortable are important (especially when you're trying to sleep). But trying new things and pushing yourself to take adventures is part of what makes camping so special. 

Camping allows you to be creative, precisely because you have the freedom to do whatever you like. 

couple drinking tea next to campfire

You can wake up and chase the adventures that you are seeking without any limitations or reservations. With no alarm clock waking you up for work in the morning, dishes to wash or kids to pick up from.

Want to try fishing or building a fire for the first time? Go for it, you have all day. 

Want to sleep on the search for star constellations while listening to music, relaxing as you go to sleep? Join me and be my guest.

When you're living in the hustle and bustle of your daily life, it's sometimes much harder to live and exist in the present. You might be thinking about something you've done in the past or the next promotion you're going for down the line. 

In nature, it's much easier to live in the present and take every moment, day and experience as it comes. It's a perfect way to refresh your mind and get yourself in a healthy state of being. 

Exercise 

If you're not already aware, exercise and staying active in general are damn good for your mental health. There are countless studies out there detailing how exercise can refresh your mind. 

Now, let's mix that with camping out in a campground, and we have quite a dynamic duo on our hands.  

You see, the good thing about camping is that because you're amongst the great outdoors and surrounded by the wonders of amazing locations outdoors as far as the eyes can see, you're generally going to move around and be more active within mother nature's domain. 

Some of the most iconic activities that you can do while camping can indeed be quite intensive and a workout within themselves. 

Let's take hiking through trails, abseiling, rock climbing, and bushwalking as just a few examples. They're not exactly a walk in the park, are they? (ok two of them are, but you get me)

Exercise and camping are some of the best free, natural antidepressants that we have access to as human beings, so getting out and active while camping with friends and family will only do wonders to make you feel better. 

So pack that camping gear (remember the antiseptic wipes) and get your lodging over to that campground, and keep yourself busy with recreation during the day, while you spend the night in a great place around the fire pits telling stories and sharing laughs.

man watching landscape next to tent

Heal your Mind

There's nothing more beautiful in the history of this world than the gift of nature that we're fortunate enough to be a part of. Why else do visitors, adults and children alike take photos, go to events and sit around picnic tables on campgrounds worldwide?

Ok, there's a bit more to that, but you get me.

If you're feeling a bit stressed with your daily life and feel like you need a break, perhaps think about getting some friends or family together, packing some camping equipment, and taking a break into your nearest national park, reservation, or campground. 

Just remember, sometimes these come on a first-served basis. Like anything camping, just be prepared.

Bring yourself back to a campsite in a cabin or tent, camp at one of the state parks with added amenities near your place, and do stuff that you'll enjoy. Heal yourself and take a refresher.

Go Camping!

Going out to camp and all the other activities that come with it will give you experiences and moments that will help you learn, grow and enrich your life. 

Get out there and explore, hike some trails, put the tent stakes down and pitch up a tent. Who knows, you might be feeling on top of the world in no time. Let's enjoy camping!