If you’ve been camping before you’re not going to need any more reasons to head off into the great outdoors. If you’ve been on the fence for a while however, why not take the new year as an excuse to do something different. These 11 reasons to go camping in 2017 will make it an easy choice. From exercise to making new friends, cooking fun meals, and learning new skills, the great outdoors provides it all.
11 Reasons to Go Camping in 2017
It’s a Fun Way to Get Some Quality Exercise
One of the best reasons to go camping, hiking, and spend time outdoors is the exercise you’ll get. We all make excuses for not going to the gym often enough or getting out when we sit at a desk all day, but being outdoors means you’re on your feet most the day.
It’s great for kids too. Instead of being stuck in front of the TV or their phones, there are no excuses. They will end up making their own fun and games running around a campsite or exploring in the woods.
The long-term health risks to sitting down all day or working in a role that’s mostly inactive have been well publicized in recent years. All you need to do is set aside some time to go camping to counteract a lot of the risks, it’s worth it.
Tip – Considering getting involved with geocaching. This is a game where you locate treasures hidden outdoors, you sign the register and exchange a gift. I reviewed some apps here check them out and see if there is anything near you to find.
Reconnecting with Nature Can Be Wonderfully Profound
Being at one with nature isn’t just for the spiritually minded and doesn’t mean you need to spend time meditating around 100 year old trees. Just being outside and experiencing smells, sights, and allowing your senses to take in everything the outdoors has to offer can have a huge impact on your physical and mental health.
You’ll see animals, insects, plants, and experience touching and dealing with all kinds of different feels and textures. It’s so far removed from city life you’ll feel alive like never before. It’s no surprise it fast becomes a hobby and people keep going back.
Getting off the Grid Is Much-Needed Mental Detox
We’re surrounded by electronic devices all day and it takes being away from them to really appreciate the calm. You probably think you can’t live without your phone, but I can tell you that a short break from it will do you the world of good (most people know this if they’re honest).
Act anyone who have been on a camping or hiking break and didn’t have their phone or phone signal and they’ll tell you the same thing – it feels liberating. Not being able to check your emails, messages, browse the net, don’t worry it’ll all still be there when you get back.
It’s Great for Family Time
There are few activities that really bring a family together more than camping can. Even living under the same roof it’s hard for families to find quality time. Put yourself in the outdoors away from the TV, out of cell phone coverage, away from other distractions, and the forgotten art of talking and working together quickly comes back.
Just putting up the tent can cause fits of laughter, and cooking as a family over the stove or fire is always fun. At night you can all play a board game or some cards and sit around having fun.
You Get to Eat Tasty Food and Have Fun Cooking
Everyone loves camping food and barbecues. Whether you have a small camping stove, a grill, or will use an open fire, cooking is part of the fun of camping for all the family.
I have some awesome foil pack recipes if you want to cook over a fire. As well as safety guidelines for kids and details on all the utensils, pots and pans you need. Roasted marshmallows anyone?
It’s a good idea to know how to start a fire without matches in case of an emergency.
It Costs Less Than a Holiday (and Is More Fun)
Maybe I am bias with the ‘more fun’ part, but camping is definitely less expensive than going away for a vacation. You have all the relaxation time you need, new experiences to see and do, and plenty of fun as you would from a vacation while camping.
There are some items of gear the first time you go camping but you can build up a lot of your gear over time and you don’t have to spend a lot of cash. Campgrounds aren’t expensive either, you can expect to pay around $30-$50 a night for most campsites.
You’ll Meet New People and Make Friends
A number that might surprise you – more than 40 million people went camping across the US in 2016. If you’re camping at a campsite you will meet loads of like-minded people from all walks of life, ages, and interests.
Outdoors folk are typically pretty enthusiastic about their passion too. You can pick up all the tips and information you need by chatting with other campers. There are loads of clubs and groups that arrange camping trips too if you want to join a group.
You Can Catch up on Relaxation and Reduce Stress Levels
Being in the outdoors and surrounded by nature has been proven to reduce stress and depression. No medication, appointments in the shrink’s chair, just clean, fresh air, and a walk in the great outdoors. Sounds too good to be true, it’s not – try it.
There are a few things you should do to minimize any chance of stress while camping too of course. Plan well ahead so you know where you’re going and what you’ll be doing. Make sure you have all the supplies you need and treat it like a fun vacation.
You Can Stargaze
There is something magical about stargazing and wondering what’s going on up there in outer space and beyond. You won’t appreciate this until you are away from the city but all the pollution and artificial lighting in cities make it hard to see stars clearly.
When you’re outdoors and there is just moonlight to help you see your way the stars shine much brighter. You can make out constellations and if you’re lucky you might see a shooting star.
You’ll Learn Valuable Outdoors Skills
I’m not suggesting you’re going to need to fall back on survival skills to survive one day, but knowing basic outdoors skills are useful. Even basic camping skills like pitching a tent, starting a fire, and fishing are useful skills you can teach your kids.
Things like knowing how to purify water, navigate with a map and compass, and make some shelter out of foliage are all pretty handy, and fun. You’ll pick up more tips and tricks as you go camping more, a lot of it comes intuitively.
It’s a Pet-Friendly Vacation
With around 70-80 million dogs in the US and most dog owners being crazy about their pets, being able to take your beloved pets with you camping swings the decision for some people.
If you’re staying on a campsite check their rules regarding dogs before you go. Most welcome dogs however and you will be able interact with other owners. It’s endless exercise and fun new smells to explore for dogs too, expect a tired dog at the end of each day.
There you go, 11 reasons why camping should be on your agenda next year. If you’ve made a promise to yourself to get more exercise, you can do that while hiking. If you want an inexpensive break, problem solved. Want to socialize more and do something different – go camping.
There are so many positives and no real downsides (ok, I know it’s not for everyone and that’s fine). But if you’ve never been camping you can’t say you won’t like it. So, check out your local camping spots, places you can pitch a tent, camping communities, and get packing that backpack.
For further reading check these 9 Cool Camping Activities you can do while camping.