The sun is shining, the weather is warm, and that means it’s time to pull the RV out of storage, find the tent, and plan some camping trips. That said, if you don’t usually spend time camping and are considering doing so this camping season, you may be wondering if it’s actually worth all the effort.
Do the benefits of camping actually outweigh the work you have to put in to go on a camping trip? Our answer? They absolutely do!
Benefits of Camping
Why do people go camping? Well, to be honest, there are numerous reasons to grab your tent or RV and head to the nearest campground, and there isn’t any one right answer to this question.
For some, the camping experience offers a way to reconnect with nature or bring their family closer together. For others, it’s an affordable way to travel the country and see everything they’d like to see without completely draining their bank account.
Of course, it’s lots of fun too! Why is camping fun? The awesome opportunities it provides for outdoor activity.
Some people enjoy camping by bodies of water for swimming, fishing, boating, and kayaking. Others camp in the deep woods in order to spend their time hiking or geocaching. No matter where or how you camp, it’s always fun to gather by a campfire at the end of the day, sing songs, tell stories, roast marshmallows, and just hang out.
Yes, there are many benefits of camping, and most of these are talked about often—or are at least pretty apparent. That said, some of the things we don’t often hear about are the health benefits of camping.
Health Benefits of Camping
That’s right, some of the best camping benefits are the amazing things the camping experience can do for your health. Why is camping good for you? Because it gets you outdoors!
Below we’ve listed some of the health benefits offered by camping:
- More time in the sun means extra vitamin D intake. This is good for a variety of reasons, but especially because it helps with calcium absorption, and because it boosts the immune system.
- Camping provides more exercise opportunities for those who choose activities such as hiking and kayaking.
- Fresh air is good for the lungs.
- Time spent in nature is good for one’s mental health.
- Unplugging, getting away from artificial light, and reconnecting with nature all result in improved sleep—something that has many health benefits of its own.
So the next time someone asks, “Why go camping?” You can let them know it’s good for your mind and body. It leaves you with a stronger immune system and feeling more grounded and ready to face the world when you return.
Is Camping Good for Anxiety?
As mentioned above, camping is good for mental health. There have been numerous studies on the effect that time in nature can have on one’s mental health, and time after time, it’s proven that the great outdoors is some of the best medicine there is.
Additionally, time spent doing things you enjoy with people you can truly connect with can be an excellent way to relieve stress. Therefore, camping in nature is particularly good for those with anxiety, one of the more interesting and unusual camping facts out there.
Why is Camping Good for Mental Health?
Wondering why exactly camping is good for both calming anxiety and helping to heal other mental health issues? There are a number of things that come into play:
- Nature is soothing. Spending time in the greenery, surrounded by the peaceful sounds of a babbling brook and singing birds encourages both mental and physical relaxation. Meditating in this environment can be especially beneficial, but even just sitting or walking through nature can have calming effects.
- The outdoors can be challenging. Hiking through the woods presents challenges you wouldn’t encounter during a typical walk through the city. These challenges force the hiker to use problem solving skills, exercising their brain and giving them a sense of accomplishment.
- In addition to the aforementioned reduced calcium absorption and weaker immune system, vitamin D deficiencies have also been linked to depression. Therefore, it only stands to reason that spending time in the sunshine would help those who suffer from depression by upping their vitamin D intake.
- As mentioned before, camping can help a person get a good night’s sleep. In our world of “go, go, go,” the power of sleep is underestimated. Chronic sleep deprivation is not uncommon, and it can lead to some serious mental health issues. If getting away from it all is what it takes to get caught up on your rest, we’d say that’s what you should be doing.
- Exercise is great for a lot of reasons, and they aren’t all physical. It also helps keep you alert and improves your moods. Hiking, rock climbing, and other camping activities are great for mental health for this reason as well.
- Time spent connecting with others is also good for mental health. We all know that camping tends to mean spending time with family, friends, and even the people staying at the neighboring campsite. This type of social interaction is a wonderful thing.
There you have it: the number one answer to the question, “Why go camp?” Camping is good for your physical and mental health. Why not head to one of our favorite campgrounds and experience these benefits for yourself?