One of my favorite beneficial treasured activities is camping. Camping, like most things in life, has its pros and cons. The pros, in my opinion, far outweigh the cons. Cons will be examined first, then the pros.
When thinking of camping the first thought of concern is the weather. I planned a future camping trip with friends. I checked the future weather forecast and it seemed ideal. But, sometimes the weather person gets it wrong. This was one of those times. After setting up our campsite we were greeted with a downpour so intense it brought back memories of the rainy monsoon season in Viet Nam. Bugs and insects can present another drawback. If you’re not prepared or anticipate the nuisance, you might be heading back home much sooner than you think. Depending on where you’re camping animals can be a major problem. I remember camping and being awakened by a skunk prowling through our campgrounds. I didn’t know if it was rabbit or just curious. Either way I didn’t want to investigate to find out.
Hygiene can present another problem. Especially if you’re camping where there isn’t a community shower or bathroom.Cleansing oneself and eliminating bodily waste can be a great challenge.
Those are some of the drawbacks to camping. Now, let’s examine the plethora of benefits derived from camping.
We all know that camping can be a relaxing escape from our daily grind. You can bathe in the forest, trade the sound of traffic for the songs of wind, water, bugs and birds, while creating memories with your friends and family. By the way, forest bathing is a simple concept. Take a short relaxed walk through the woods or a densely natured area, and wait for nature to do its thing. After some time alone, chances are you’ll feel recharged and ready to jump back into your normal activities. Camping is scientifically proven to reduce oxidative stress, as it encourages an active lifestyle and reduces your level of exposure to environmental pollutants, which are a key factor in the development of free radicals that cause oxidative cell damage. Being outside on a consistent basis and avoiding the city for a weekend helps your body to recover from stress symptoms while also reducing the level of inflammation throughout your system.
Camping has the power to shine extra perspective on your life and priorities by giving you space and time away from distractions. In the normal world, it’s easy to distract yourself from focusing on what’s most important to you, whether through work, electronics, or social events. Taking time away from your office, technology, your household responsibilities, and even social pressures can do wonders for helping you prioritize your life
Not only does camping help to lower your stress levels, it’ll also stimulate the production of serotonin, a chemical within your body that naturally makes you feel happier. Better yet, those feelings tend to continue for a while, even after you’ve gone home. Another benefit, serotonin is a precursor for producing melatonin. Melatonin is a chemical that helps us fall asleep. That’s why a lot of campers testify they have had the best night sleep when camping.
When you spend time near a lot of trees, you take in more oxygen. That feeling of happiness that you get when you take your first breath of air at the campground isn’t all in your head, but in the release of serotonin from the extra oxygen. Your body can function with less strain when there’s plenty of oxygen. That’s not the only benefit of fresh air. Research shows that some time outdoors can improve your blood pressure, improve digestion and give your immune system an extra boost. When you spend a few days outside, you get some serious health benefits from the extra oxygen and low levels of pollutants.
If you regularly campout, you’ll enjoy dozens of significant health benefits from: fresh air, socializing, improve moods, less stress, exercise, sunshine, and a good night’s sleep. Thus, the benefits do indeed outweigh the cons. If you’ve never camped, you should give it a try. Do not fall into the category of denying before trying. Be adventurous. Go for it!!