If you’ve never had the joy of going on a camping trip, it’s high time you got yourself out of the city and into the great outdoors. Camping is a completely unique experience that is a must-do for everyone — even if you’re a city slicker and could never imagine yourself sleeping on the ground and cooking over a fire. Get over yourself! Once you’ve tried it, chances are you’ll be hooked for life.
If you’ve got a family, all the more reason to cram some gear into the back of the ol’ family wagon and head for the hills. For kids who have never slept under the stars or amongst the trees and wilderness, it’s a truly eye-opening experience, and it can really help to bring a family closer together without the distractions of modern-day life.
If you’re still not convinced that you absolutely must give it a try, here are four more reasons why you should go camping at least once in your life.
Escape from the stress of city life
These days there are all manner of detox diets, meditation courses and forced technology disconnects that promise a break from the stresses of modern-day life and a period of healing for your body. The thing is, none of these ever truly disconnect you from the issues that plague you in the city — they’re always just a few steps away.
Camping gets you out into nature, away from technology, phone signals, cars and work life, and forces you to immerse yourself in the wilderness. This ensures a true escape from hectic city life, and nothing can rival the meditation of strolling amongst quiet, towering pines or the technology detox of physically not being able to use your phone or surf the net on your computer. If you’re ever feeling overburdened or stressed out, camping is your answer.
You’ll discover all kinds of skills you never knew you had
Many people have a deep-seated fear of spending time in the outdoors because they simply can’t imagine themselves thriving in such an environment. How can a person who’s lived their whole life in the city ever survive in the wilderness? Well, you won’t know until you try. And you’ll probably be surprised to find that you have all kinds of outdoorsy skills you never knew you had.
And what better way to inspire respect and admiration in your kids than when they see you chopping up wood for the fire with a great manly axe, or catching and cooking dinner, or simply setting up camp for everyone?
You’ll develop a deep appreciation of nature
One of the great downfalls of modern society is that it creates a disconnect between us and nature. We see nature as being this separate, non-human thing — something that you can go for a walk in occasionally or that you can view from behind hardened glass or cages like in a zoo. This is one of the reasons why we find it hard to find the motivation to recycle, or walk to the store instead of driving, or donate funds to nature or wildlife charities. We simply see ourselves on a completely different level to the rest of the natural world.
Camping will help to dispel this misconception. Spend a night in the middle of nowhere, where you can’t get a cell phone signal and you’re no longer at the top of the food chain, and you’ll start to appreciate that we’re just animals as well, and nature deserves the respect you’ve never given it. You’ll develop a newfound love of the outdoors and find yourself more relaxed and at peace in the wilderness than you’ve ever been in the concrete jungle.
You get to cook things over a fire
There’s something deeply satisfying and perhaps a little primitive about cooking things over a fire. If you’ve never done it before, your first camping excursion is the time to do it. And we’re not just talking about a neat little barbecue or small permitted urban fire pit — we’re talking roaring flames barely kept in check by a ring of mismatched rocks. That’s a real fire!
You’ll have a whale of a time cooking your dinner over the flames (once they’ve burnt down to a suitable height, of course), and then the moment everyone has been waiting for — time to break out the marshmallows. Whether you’ve got friends or family sitting around your merry campfire, everyone will have a laugh working out the best way to toast a marshmallow precariously balanced on the end of a stick over the fire. If you have a bucket list, toasting marshmallows over an open campfire should be on it.
Ready to hit the road and embark upon your first camping adventure? Here are some tips on how to plan for enjoyable, healthy eating while enjoying the great outdoors.
Liivi is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and is training to become a doula. She inspires women to find peace and personal power by taking control of health and fertility naturally. Liivi‘s passion is ancestral nutrition and primal lifestyle design. She and her partner Will live between Toronto, Canada and Queenstown, New Zealand.