What Are The Health Benefits Of Camping?

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Jay Elliott

Chief Camping Officer

Physical benefits of camping

Camping is an activity that takes you away from your usual routine. It gives you opportunities to exercise and immerse yourself in nature. 

Fresh air

Camping exposes you to fresh air free from pollution. Being in the city can mean that you are cooped up inside for hours with no fresh air. Remember that our body needs a constant supply of oxygen to work properly.

Improve your mental health

Camping improves your mental health. Scientific research has proved that camping activities are beneficial for mental well-being. It allows you to experience accomplishment, self-reliance, and exercise your body.

Lengthens your lifespan

The University of East Anglia in England published a study that focused on people who spent their time outdoors. It showed that exposure to nature has many long-term health benefits, it reduces the risk of the following diseases:

  1. Type-2 diabetes
  2. Cardiovascular disease
  3. High blood pressure
  4. Premature death

Spending time in nature also improves your sleep quality and lowers your stress levels. Going on a camping trip for a weekend is already beneficial to your health. If you expose yourself regularly to nature it doesn’t just improve your health. In the long run, it also lengthens your lifespan.

Strengthens your muscles, bones and joints

Your muscles, bones, and joints are important for body movement. They need to be exercised daily, at least 30 minutes per day. Routine physical exercise is important as it strengthens your muscles and bones which leads to better balance, flexibility, and coordination.

This happens organically when camping due to fun camping activities that require body movement such as:

  1. Hiking
  2. Biking
  3. Mountain climbing
  4. Swimming (if near a river, lake, or beach)
  5. Jogging

Improve your sleep

Many of us live in urban locations where we are exposed all day to artificial light from our computers, phones, other appliances, and electrical lights. These things:

  1. Limits our melatonin (the chemical that helps with sleep) production. 
  2. Disrupts our body’s natural circadian rhythm

People in modern environments have body clocks that are delayed by as much as two hours. However, researcher Kenneth Wright found that spending a week in nature recalibrates the body’s circadian rhythm to its natural time.

If you find yourself sleeping later than usual, give yourself a break and try spending a few nights on a camping trip. See how sleeping under the stars will help your body’s internal clock get back on track.

What are the social benefits of camping?

Camping trips are avenues for you to mingle and interact with other people.

Whether you’re with your friends or with your family, the camping experience allows you and your companions the experience of learning new things, understanding nature, and building your relationships.

Make new friends 

Camping is a highly social activity that lets you interact with people outside your family or friend group.

Being at a campsite means that there will be other campers aside from your own group. You can make new friends with others by sharing food or inviting them to your activities, or even just talking with them. 

Build relationships

The relationships in this modern world are often highly digital with no face-to-face communication.

Sometimes, family members do not have the time to talk because they are tired from the pressures of work and school. On a camping trip, you are far away from distractions. Make use of the time and bond with your family or friends. 

Why is camping the best?

Camping can be an overwhelming activity at first glance. After all, you are leaving the comfort of your home to live for a few days in a tent that offers flimsy protection against the elements.

Thinking about all the stuff you have to pack and the activities to plan may put you off camping before you even started. But why is camping still one of the best activities for people of all ages?

Opportunity to explore

Camping provides opportunities for exploration. Younger children can discover the wonders of nature and exercise their imagination by inventing games using nature.

This is also an opportunity for kids to learn how to take care of nature. Older campers can disconnect from the pressures of modern life and reconnect to nature through camping.

Spend time with family and friends

On a camping trip, you can spend time with your family and friends, which is something that is hard to do when life is often filled with work and school obligations that take away the fun of bonding. But when you go camping you can build teamwork through:

  1. Sharing jobs – cooking, cleaning, tent pitching, etc.
  2. Doing activities – hiking, biking, mountain climbing, playing card games
  3. Exchanging talk around the campfire – share life stories and experiences

Camping builds your relationships with your fellow campers because the whole experience lets you work together regardless of age and experience.

Improve your skills

Don’t know how to pitch a tent? Having trouble with cooking? Hiking too tiring for you? 

No worries. Go on a camping trip and you can exercise and improve these skills. You can even  learn new skills, like how to:

  1. Find the perfect place to pitch a tent
  2. Make do with what is available
  3. Build a fire
  4. Catch a fish
  5. Cook on your own
  6. Polish your knife cutting skills

Camping offers a lot of opportunities for you to learn to be mindful and be self-sufficient. It pushes you out of your comfort zone to try and learn new things. This contributes to a sense of achievement resulting in higher self-esteem.

Appreciate nature

Most urban houses do not allow for a lot of green spaces and cities do not always have parks intended to be green spaces. Most people have to go to the countryside or go on camping trips in order to be in nature.

When you aren’t exposed to nature often, you come to have an appreciation for it. Camping teaches people, especially kids, to take care of nature. It helps them:

  1. Gain an understanding of its importance to one’s health
  2. Learn of nature’s contribution to the cycle of life
  3. Exercise their appreciation of nature through environmentally safe methods