From honing new skills to spending time with loved ones without distraction, we outline ten key health benefits of camping.
To many people, particularly those living in cities, camping can seem like a chore more than an enjoyable activity. But camping has some incredible benefits to your physical and mental well-being.
So, if you’ve been meaning to head into the great outdoors for a break from the trials and tribulations of everyday life but have yet to take the plunge, check out these amazing health benefits of camping.
Tell Me The Good News’s top tips for camping:
- Choose your campsite wisely. This can mean ensuring you find a place that is safe and legal, but you should also consider important factors such as proximity to water and accessibility.
- While preparing to camp, make a checklist of essentials like water and food. You don’t want to reach your campsite and realise you have forgotten key supplies!
- Ensure you have good-quality equipment like tents and sleeping bags. We recommend not cutting corners in this regard.
- Check the weather forecast before you set off and pack accordingly.
- Leave your campsite as you found it. Pack any rubbish away and dispose of it at the nearest facilities.
10. It reduces inflammation – combats cytokines in the immune system
Research suggests that forest bathing reduces proinflammatory cytokines (small proteins) in the immune system. Some cytokines exacerbate issues like arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and asthma.
So, taking time to practice forest bathing while camping can significantly offset these diseases by nipping cytokines in the bud.
9. It helps you develop new skills – the result of trying new things
Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a first-timer, camping will help you hone skills that you don’t use in day-to-day life. You’ll learn how to pitch a tent, start a fire, tie knots, and cook with rudimentary equipment.
The sense of accomplishment felt when learning and practising such skills will help increase self-confidence and help you face any of life’s challenges with adaptability and tenacity.
8. Improved mood – stimulates production of the ‘happy hormone’
It could be being outside, keeping active, or the change of scenery, but several elements of camping increase the body’s production of serotonin – the ‘happy hormone’.
Increased serotonin levels can greatly help mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, as well as other bodily functions.
7. It gives you a break from technology – put the phones and tablets away
Say goodbye to doomscrolling because the likely lack of signal while camping means you’ll forget you even have a phone.
This health benefit of camping will also take your mind off work as you won’t be checking emails or responding to work-related calls or texts.
6. It helps us build relationships – spending time with loved ones
Honing the aforementioned skills with your fellow campers is the perfect way to build relationships. While we recognise the struggle to put up a tent can cause friction, we promise you’ll feel closer to your loved ones at the end of it all!
Related to our previous point, no screen time encourages us to talk to those around us rather than merely occupying the same space while scrolling on social media. So, the lack of technology helps develop relationships, too.
5. Improved sleeping pattern – an unexpected health benefit of camping
If you’ve never camped before, the notion that sleeping on the ground can improve your sleeping pattern may seem alien, but hear us out.
Firstly, you’ll be tired from all the exercise that you’ll get (more on that later), so you’ll be ready to sleep at an earlier hour. Furthermore – back to that point about technology – no blue light from a digital screen means no depletion of melatonin.
Altogether, you’re bound to get much better sleep and restore the body’s natural circadian rhythm.
4. Increased energy levels – feel revitalised
Flowing nicely from point five, a good night’s sleep lends itself to increased energy levels. But that’s not the only way the great outdoors will revitalise you.
Sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D which helps our cells’ mitochondria (that generate energy) use oxygen and power various parts of the body, including our muscles.
3. It promotes healthy eating – you can’t nip to your favourite takeaway
You can’t deep fry food or head to your favourite fast food restaurant if you’re in the middle of the wilderness. Therefore, camping encourages you to cook your own food, preferably with fresh produce.
If you feel really adventurous, you could try your hand at foraging your food. However, we only advise this if you are familiar with the terrain and the edible foods found there.
2. It’s great physical activity – who needs the gym?
You know what’s a thousand times better than staring into space while sweat drops on the treadmill screen? Walking through nature and taking in its sights. But that’s not the only form of exercise that camping promotes.
Camping-adjacent activities can include canoeing, hiking, and rock climbing. It’s a fun way to burn some calories.
1. It helps reduce stress levels – one of the most important health benefits of camping
In a nutshell, all of the points above point in one direction: stress relief.
Increased serotonin, a break from work and quotidian life, improved sleeping patterns – they all help to reduce stress levels in the body. So, get up, go for a hike, set up camp, and walk up to see the sunrise. It’s the perfect remedy for a stressful week.
Other notable mentions
It stimulates creativity: A change of scenery is always a great way to get the creative juices flowing. Add to that the fact that nature has inspired artists of all disciplines since time immemorial, and you’ll agree that camping is a great way to stimulate creativity.
Fresh air: Thanks to pollution, we are exposed to poor-quality air increasingly often. Heading away from urban environments and into nature is a step away from pollution, towards the clear air helped by nature’s filtration system – trees.
Go camping; your lungs will thank you!
Your questions answered about the health benefits of camping
In this section, we answer some of our readers’ most frequently asked questions as well as some that often appear in online searches about the health benefits of camping.
Does camping have health benefits?
Camping has some excellent health benefits that we have outlined above.
Why is camping good for adults?
Simply put, camping is particularly good for adults as it provides a welcome break from the quotidian.
The stresses of daily life can get in the way of things like exercise and spending time with loved ones. Not only can camping take your mind off such stresses, but it also actively ticks a lot of boxes that your daily life might neglect.
Why does camping feel so good?
Camping feels good for a number of reasons, such as those listed above. Taking a break from technology, exercising, and spending time with friends and family are three of our favourite reasons camping feels so good.