7 Surprising Benefits Of Camping (You Won’t Expect #3)
Camping trips are a great activity for both family and friends. Often it’s what we do when we feel like we need to “take a break” or “get away from it all.”
Personally I sometimes plan sudden camping trips when I feel like my family and I are overworked or stressed from our daily life. And the results are wondrous! We usually come back home refreshed and recharged.
From personal experience as well as a bit of reading, here is my list of the 7 surprising benefits of camping. I hadn’t really thought of these before, even as I definitely felt the positive effects camping has had on me and my family. Benefit #3 definitely surprised me!
Benefit 1. More Oxygen
If you’re used to an urban environment, then you’re used to air that is polluted and quite low on oxygen. But out in the countryside, away from busy streets and factories, the air is a lot cleaner and fresher. More importantly, the air has much more oxygen than you’re used to.
Additional oxygen intake helps trigger the release of serotonin in our bodies. Serotonin is the “happy hormone”, which prevents depression and stabilizes our mood.
More oxygen also improves our brain function. Our brain uses up a lot of the oxygen we breathe in – up to 20%! The oxygen-rich air help enhance alertness and quick thinking.
Benefit 2. More Physical Activity
Between unloading your camping gear, pitching your tent, gathering wood for your small campfire, and setting up your supplies, you will be engaged in a LOT of physical activities . And that’s just from the time you arrive up to the time you’ve finally set up camp!
Physical activity helps you burn calories and gives you the chance to stretch your muscles, especially if you work on an office chair throughout the week.
There are many other physical activities you can do while camping, such as hiking, biking, fishing, and even some exercise sessions. Be sure to plan out your activities so you can bring the necessary gear!
Benefit 3. Better Nutrient Absorption
This one surprised me when I discovered it. It turns out that being under the sun does more than give you a good tan!
Sunlight always feels great on your skin. That is no accident. Sunlight bombards your body with Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps you absorb more calcium and phosphorus for your bones and teeth. Vitamin D also boosts your immune system!
Of course, throughout your camping stay, you’ll be out in the sunlight while walking, resting, even eating. That entire time, your body is soaking up Vitamin D. Imagine: just by being in sunlight, you’re already reaping the rewards!
Benefit 4. Sleep
One other benefit of sunlight is that it keeps our bodies from producing melatonin. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant hormone. Its key function is to help regulate our sleeping pattern.
Ordinarily, our bodies produce melatonin during the evening, after the sun sets, because exposure to light inhibits melatonin production. However, with modern technology, our bodies are exposed to artificial light even during the evening, and this interferes with our melatonin production cycle.
That is why a camping trip, far away from artificial light and relying only on the natural day and night cycles, can help us greatly in fixing any sleeping problems we might have such as insomnia.
On top of that, you’ll naturally be tired after a day of nearly non-stop physical activity. What better way to cap off your day at camp than by getting some quality, restful sleep?
Benefit 5. Eat Fresh
This benefit will require some advance planning, but is well worth it. Camping trips take us away from the usual conveniences of fast food and quick-fix meals (unless we bring them with us).
Light a fire and cook your meals over it for less fat and less oil in your dish. Some campsites allow fishing in nearby lakes or rivers. Take advantage of those for some of the freshest meals you’ll ever cook up!
Aside from these, fresh fruits and vegetables make for versatile camping food. They stay reasonably fresh throughout the trip and require very little additional preparation. Fruits can be eaten as-is, while vegetables can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, or even roasted over the campfire.
Benefit 6. Destress
Our daily lives are a constant source of pressure and stress. Even at home, we receive work emails with follow-ups for deadlines or pending work. Children have schoolwork to worry about. Even social media, which is supposed to connect us to each other in positive ways, can also be a source of stress and anxiety.
That is why a camping trip is such a welcome respite. The opportunity to just unplug from the rest of the world and focus on yourself and your family is uncommon by today’s routines. Camping trips offer such opportunity, along with so many other great benefits along with it.
To maximize this period of rest, I highly recommend switching off your gadgets – there’s a good chance your campsite can only make emergency calls anyway. Some campsites do offer WiFi access, but I sincerely advise against using it. It will be difficult to enjoy nature and your company if you are bringing your sources of stress and anxiety along with you.
Benefit 7. Bonding with family or friends
Camping trips are the absolute best time to bond with family or friends. There’s just so much to do.
There are many camping games to choose from that are fun and offer an opportunity to get to know your companions better.
You can take reasonable hikes to nearby locations for the sights. If you camp near a lake or river, you can fish or even take a swim.
The best part is, any activity you can think of doing, you’ll be doing with family or friends. Getting to socialize with your companions while having fun activities helps to deepen your bonds.
Take That Trip
How did you like this article? I always look forward to camping trips with my family because these trips allow me to spend more uninterrupted time with them, away from things that demand our undivided attention such as work or school. As someone who loves the outdoors.
I also look forward to getting a bit more sun each time. It doesn’t hurt that there are all these great benefits to camping too!
One thing I noticed, in hindsight, is that I sleep better during our camping trips, and my sleep is always more restful and energizing. It turns out that there’s a whole lot of science and nature working in the background, helping me fix up my body as I sleep!
What other benefits do you get from your camping trips? Let us know what you think in the comments below, and share the article if you enjoyed it!