Written by Noel Beck
Oh, The Great Outdoors! I’ve done it since I was only knee high, and I have so many fond memories of my family camping trips. Going out into the woods with big groups of my parent’s friends and other family members. Running around and playing while the adults set up the campsite. Waking up early and going on hikes and then falling asleep in front of the fire while holding a s’more stick. Now that I’m an adult, I don’t get to go camping as often as I’d like, but I look forward to building my own adventures at least once each summer. Being a self-sufficient mountain woman with her dog is just how I roll.
Personally, I have never been a fan of the fancy camping or “glamping”, but I can see where it at least allows those of us that aren’t really full blown nature fans to at least go into the outdoors. My older sister and her family prefer a cabin or an RV for their camping adventures, whereas I have no problem pitching a tent and being one with nature. But no matter what your preference may be, everyone should at least try to find the fun in getting away from the city and exploring nature.
Since June is National Camping Month, we decided to give you five reasons why camping can bring you happiness:
Packing everything up and getting it hauled up to your campsite can be a pain, but once you reach your new nature home, there tends to be a sigh of relief. You can set up your tent at a leisurely pace (weather permitting) and just take it easy in getting things set up. If you have kids, watching them get excited about nature is a joy in itself. When it’s time for dinner, cooking over a fire can be a way of slowing down in itself. You talk and share stories while waiting for the food to cook. And finally after a full day, you can hit the hay in a peaceful quiet that you won’t always hear from inside your home.
This is by far the best thing about camping. It’s THE reason to go camping – even if you go alone or with your dog. Quality time can come in many forms: hiking, fishing, campfires, s’mores, throwing rocks in the water, etc. If you have small children you can collect rocks, pine cones, shells, or whatever else you find in your travels. It’s a sliver of time where you can truly connect with family, friends, and remember yourself.
At first glance, camping doesn’t seem creative. But nothing could be further from the truth. The second you start planning your trip the creativity begins. It forces you to think about how you’re going to accomplish normal everyday tasks, like cooking. And it doesn’t end until the moment you leave (when you have to get creative about how you’re going to repack everything – including your newly found, nature-y loot). Journaling, painting, even singing and playing guitar around the campfire allows the creative sparks to fly.
Appreciation in the Little Things
It should go without saying that roughing it in the woods for a few days puts things in perspective. While sleeping under the stars is enjoyable, there is nothing like returning home to your comfy bed. Ditto for basic daily amenities – like showers and electricity. A camping trip is an opportunity to observe the small details of life and those around you.
It’s only natural to pick up extra activities when visiting the great outdoors. Walking, hiking, and biking along with canoeing, kayaking, and swimming, camping encourages all sorts of healthy activities. Often these activities have a way of following you home and leading into other forms of self care. You may find new healthy habits popping up, whether it’s finding a new local hiking trail or scheduling a massage.
Camping comes with a handful of challenges (how to perfectly toast a marshmallow) but it’s also the perfect opportunity to enjoy your friends, family, and everything nature has to offer. And THAT can bring you happiness.