“Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity to the human spirit.”
They say that if you want to see the world in a bigger picture, spend more time with the natural world.
Camping is indeed fun. But did you know that it also brings plenty of rejuvenating benefits to your health? The list is long, but here are eight of its primary advantages:
1. Access to Fresher Air
When was the last time you actually breathed and felt the natural fresh air? Nowadays, urban developments decrease people’s access to fresh air because of the buildings, factories, and other establishments that are being prioritized rather than planting more trees.
We all know that trees produce oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. When you spend more time near a lot of trees, you take in more oxygen. Through this, your body will function with less strain, and you will have better digestion, improved blood pressure, and stronger immunity.
Plus, isn’t it relaxing when you inhale and feel that fresh breath of air? When you spend more time camping, you’ll get additional health benefits from the fresher oxygen, and less exposure to pollutants.
2. Less Stress, Better Mood
One of the most significant benefits of camping is reduced stress levels by removing common causes like work and peer pressure.
The calming effect of the wind, the birds chirping like music to your ears, and the warmth of the sun can truly rejuvenate not just your body, but also your mind and spirit.
If you’re feeling stress and pressure lately, go on a camping trip to recharge.
3. New Challenges
No two camping trips are exactly the same. You may have all the skills you need for camping, but your previous trip won’t be exactly the same as your next trip. There are always unique challenges that you might face along the way.
But usually, the most common ones are unexpected weather, setting up a camp, getting lost, bugs sting, and injuries. Here, it’s very important to observe these safe and healthy tips on the road:
- Check the weather forecast first. It’s best to reschedule your camping trip for safety precautions if the weather is too hot or cold, or if it’s going to be rainy.
- Always bring a first aid kit with you in case of injuries or accidents. It’s also helpful to learn a few first-aid procedures because you’ll never know when they might come in handy.
- Wear proper clothing such as hats, hiking boots, comfortable rubber shoes, and gloves.
- Bring the necessary tools and gears such as rope, compass, map, swiss knife, flashlight, extra batteries, cell phone/satellite phone, bug spray, sunscreen, and tent (if necessary).
- Get familiarized with the place. If you’re a beginner, it’s best recommended to bring someone with you that has better experience in camping, or someone who knows the area better to avoid getting lost.
- Take healthy snacks with you. S’mores and trail mixes are excellent camping snacks. Well, if you’re at the camping area already. But on the road, get energy-boosting meals first so you’ll have the power you need for the rest of the day. Also, it’s better to food or beverages that might cause tummy troubles and ruin your camping day.
- Stay hydrated. Don’t forget to drink lots of water. Since you’re camping, your body exerts more physical effort, so you’ll lose a lot of body water through sweating. Always stay hydrated by bringing sufficient water with you.
New activities and challenges will bring healthy, stimulating effects to your overall health.
4. Improved Memory & Cognitive Function
Do you often see older people just sitting in their favorite chair on the balcony, admiring the view of the sunset? They look so peaceful and relaxed, right? It makes you wonder what they are thinking, and how they were able to spend hours just looking at the view.
This is because doctors generally advise older people to spend more time outside, to avoid a less sedentary lifestyle.
Embrace the experience while you’re still young. When you camp, your body releases higher levels of serotonin (a naturally produced neurotransmitter that handles your appetite, mood, and sleep-wake cycle), which also helps improve your memory, learning, and focus. These cognitive functions are highly essential as you age.
5. Better Relationships
Camping alone is fun and offers a lot of benefits. But camping with your family or friends creates a healthier and stronger bond. Furthermore, socializing lowers the risk of dementia and promotes stronger mental health.
If you’re planning to have a camping trip, invite your family or some friends to come with you. Encourage them to bring some foods and gears as well for a more fun camping experience.
6. Better Sleep
On usual days, especially when working, you’re frequently exposed to artificial lights such as the yellow lights from bulbs and blue lights from electronic devices. These two can suppress your melatonin levels, which can affect your hormones that are connected to natural sleep and wake cycles.
Camping and connecting to nature will expose you to the melatonin-friendly lights of the sun, therefore helping your hormones to be more aligned and not mess up your circadian rhythm.
7. Vitamin D Boost
Some people are too scared to go outside, especially in summer because they think the sun will make their skin darker or dryer. But this is not entirely true. Spending more time outside will allow your body to absorb more sunlight, which can give you a healthy and natural glowing skin.
Your body absorbs calcium and phosphorus through the vitamin D of the sunlight, and these two minerals are highly essential for healthy teeth and bones. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!
8. Serenity and Quiet
Camping is also one way to meditate, but in a more active way. Meditation helps in various medical conditions and is greatly beneficial for people who are suffering from depression and fatigue.
If you want to fully maximize the meditation effect of camping without the outside distractions, turn off your cellphone or other gadgets, unless needed for emergency and navigation purposes. Making this habit can also improve your overall health and help increase your lifespan.
A walk in the woods, walks the soul back home. Embrace the healing power of nature by allowing yourself to connect more to the outside world. Have a safe and happy camping!