We all know camping is fun and allows us to connect with loved ones and nature.
But that’s just the start.
Did you also know that myriad health benefits result from spending a night under the stars?
From positive impacts on physical and mental health to those tailor-made for children, these benefits ensure there’s even more reason to camp.
Here are six solid reasons why camping is good for your health.
Sometimes camping and its associated activities present you with challenges; some that not even Google can reliably solve!
Often these are challenges not encountered on a daily basis: How to set up a tent or deal with scenarios where you aren’t armed with mod-cons or familiar surrounds.
In addition, camping often introduces you to new experiences, possibly an activity you’ve been meaning to try but have never got around to.
Whatever the case, there is plenty of research that suggests tackling new challenges and experiences can keep our brains healthy, as they force us to think for ourselves. Better yet, they can enhance self-confidence, growth, and happiness, too.
Following the above point, camping can have direct positive impacts on children’s development. And in the age of smart phones and tablets and other technology, this is even more pertinent.
Many kids are likely more confident navigating their way around an iPad searching for Bluey or Peppa Pig videos, or watching YouTube, than they are navigating the inside of a tent.
Yet camping introduces children to a whole new world and asks of them an ability to overcome new problems and challenges.
Having exposure to a different set of challenges not only keeps kids’ brains healthy but leads to increased learning opportunities.
A UK study from the Institute of Education at Plymouth University found an overwhelming majority of parents believed that camping had a positive impact on a child's education. Further social commentary supports this claim.
Research from the University of Colorado Boulder found that camping can reset our biological clocks and help those of us who find it tough to get to sleep and/or wake up in the morning.
In short, it’s a result of the increased use of artificial light in our daily lives and the fact that camping can help us to adjust to the natural light-dark cycle if we're given that chance.
Receiving adequate sleep has long been touted as critical to our overall health and wellbeing. Plus, aren’t we all much better company when we aren’t tired and grumpy?!
There are no guarantees with this one – some people are convinced that simply muttering the words, “Let’s go camping” triggers a downpour. But camping often means more time in the sun.
And more of those rays means extra vitamin D, which has benefits for you.
While much research exists to say that some benefits remain inconclusive, there appears to be agreement that it does aid bone health. Furthermore, the Medical Journal of Australia states that exposure to sunlight is the main source of vitamin D for Australian residents.
Sun exposure has also been linked to mental health benefits, such as improved moods. However, this all comes with a caveat: Direct sun exposure should be taken in moderation and adequate protection should be used to minimise the risk of skin cancer.
If your daily routine entails long periods being seated, chances are your opportunities to exercise are limited. The solution? Go camping.
While camping, you will likely explore new surrounds; perhaps wandering through a nearby national park or cycling or kayaking. Or, when staying at a BIG4 park, taking advantage of ample on-site leisure facilities that are generally on offer.
This increased exercise has been well-documented – from the Heart Foundation to the Department of Health – as having myriad physical and mental benefits. These include combatting health problems and disease and improving your mood and energy levels.
Such a point is not limited to camping. Simply hit the road and escape the daily grind or your regular routine.
That’s right – camping goes a long way to improving your mood. It’s all to do with serotonin, that wonderful chemical our body produces that helps to make us happy.
We’ve already touched on some factors that help the body create serotonin: more sunlight, more oxygen, and increased physical activity.
And when you’re camping, you’re likely to tick all these boxes. Happy days!