With another long weekend on the horizon I got talking to a young woman about ways to spend the break. She said she might go camping. We spent the next few minutes enthusing about the benefits of camping. Here are five of the ways campingis good for you.
Being away from technology Computers, the internet, mobile phones and other gadgets are useful but they can cause stress and pressure too. It is great to have a few days away from them. Some camping spots don't have mobile coverage.
Being out in Nature can make it easier to make the decision to switch the mobile off even if there is coverage. Facebook will still be there after the weekend. Having a break from technology allows time and energy to concentrate on other things. It is easier to talk to other people face to face without the interruptions of technology.
Getting back to basics Being out in a natural setting helps one get back in touch with the essentials of life. What do we really need? What can't we live without? We need food, water and shelter. This sounds like the basic level of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, doesn't it?
Most people also like some company but there are those who value solitude to get back in touch with themselves or make life altering decisions.
When it is not fire ban season, one of the joys of camping is having a campfire. Baking potatoes in the coals or toasting marshmallows are simple activities which are fun. They can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Children will remember these times years later and some real bonding can occur.
Sunrises, sunsets and the stars I am not a morning person but I will be up at dawn when I go camping. I love to watch the sunrise and listen to the birds singing as they wake up. I also enjoy the photo opportunities.
Sunsets are marvellous out in the country. I love looking at trees, especially dead ones silhouetted against a sky of yellow, orange or pink.
Have you watched the moon rise over the ocean at a beach side camping site? Pretty amazing isn't it?
Moon rising over the sea. Image by Marie Vonow
The stars are brighter away from the lights of the city. When one is camping one actually takes time to enjoy looking at the stars. One of the great things about camping is that one slows down and lives in the moment. Without consciously doing it you find yourself taking slow deep breaths of fresh air.
People are friendly Other campers are usually friendly and helpful. I have met some really nice people while camping. There is no shortage of things to talk about. Topics may include recommendations for other pleasant camping spots, sights not to be missed, fauna seen and where to catch the biggest fish. Sometimes people will give away fish if they have caught more than they need.
You appreciate home when your camping trip is over Camping and getting back to Nature can be relaxing and a great way to spend time away. However, I have also found it really makes me appreciate my home and the things I can take for granted. There is nothing like a long hot shower after a camping trip. Ah, the bliss of sleeping on an inner spring mattress. What a wonderful invention electricity is. The list of things to feel gratitude for goes on.