If you’ve never been camping before, the idea of your first trip can be daunting. Given the pastime’s popularity, you’re bound to have heard good things, but how do you know if camping is for you?
Camping is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in nature, keep fit, and provide an outlet for your sense of adventure. You’ll discover new things about yourself and learn transferable skills, and it’s also a great way to build and maintain meaningful relationships with others.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that camping is for everyone, so we can’t blame you for doing your research to decide whether camping is something you’ll enjoy as much as others.
Books can – and have – been filled with people’s camping experiences.
To make things easier, we’ve covered some of the first feelings that spring to mind when we think of what it’s like to go camping.
Keep reading to see if any of these sound like your idea of a good time and can persuade you to give it a shot.
Even with fancy gear and a few modern conveniences, there’s something satisfyingly primitive about spending a night outdoors with very little between you and mother nature.
While your livelihood may not depend on how effective your camping skills are, it’s nearly impossible not to feel like you’re experiencing a little of what our ancient ancestors relied on to survive.
Anyone who’s collected their own firewood and managed to get a campfire going with nothing but a box of matches will tell you about that spark of satisfaction knowing you’d have made your prehistoric forerunners proud.
It’s also a joy to realize you’re not quite as dependent on 21st-century luxuries as you thought.
Most people don’t realize just how inextricable our day-to-lives are from the beeps and pings of technology until it’s gone.
Emails and texts, likes and dislikes, the phantom vibration your phone makes in your pocket, whether it’s actually going off or not; they all have more control over our lives than we imagine.
For some of us, our reliance on technology is a necessary yet convenient evil, while others live with a complete dependency on being digitally connected.
Whichever camp you fall into, there’s a tangible feeling of relief upon noticing you haven’t checked your phone in a few days and discovering that life still goes on when you’re off-grid.
Whatever stresses you may be going through in your day-to-day life – relationship problems, pressure at work, a sick family member – nothing helps to take your mind off them like spending a few nights in the great outdoors.
For starters, the logistics of camping are great for keeping the mind preoccupied.
Finding the perfect pitching spot, setting up your campsite, and even packing and preparing your equipment beforehand takes enough concentration that you’ll be laser-focused on the task at hand.
When you’ve taken care of the busy work, the chance to enjoy the fresh air and marvel at your natural surroundings is truly meditative, and you’re likely to find peace and quiet is the perfect environment for devising solutions to the problems you’re currently facing.
Camping isn’t just a health boost for your mind, but for your body too.
Even if you don’t plan on summiting a mountain or hiking all day between camping spots, you’ll still get a solid workout from your trip.
Setting up your spot takes effort, from pitching your tent and collecting firewood to loading your vehicle or frequently hoisting your backpack over your shoulders.
Camping also allows engaging in highly active outdoor activities such as mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking, wild swimming, or trail running.
Tiring yourself out is also an ideal way to ensure a great night’s sleep if you’re not used to sleeping in a tent so close to the ground.
Camping with a significant other is the perfect team-building exercise.
There are plenty of tasks that need carrying out to have a successful, enjoyable trip, which means communicating with each other clearly and comfortably sharing the workload.
You’ll also need to be prepared to compromise effectively – for example, with limited storage space, something you see as superfluous may be something your partner can’t live without.
Conversely, camping doesn’t come without its share of stressful situations, so the ability to remain calm with one another and find solutions is crucial.
In most cases, overcoming these challenges builds stronger bonds in a relationship; however, they can also lead to arguments and confrontations that may have you wishing you’d gone camping with your best friend instead.
There are skills you’ll pick up camping that you won’t learn anywhere else, despite many of them being extremely useful when you least expect it.
These can range from something relatively straightforward, such as campfire cooking or pitching a tent, to niche skills like knot-tying and being able to identify edible plants.
It can also be the perfect opportunity to brush up on your first aid knowledge, which could end up being potentially life-saving in a critical situation.
At the risk of sounding cheesy, you’ll also discover a lot about yourself while camping, especially if it’s something you’ve not tried before.
If you’re not used to spending much time out of the city, you’ll be surprised at how rejuvenating camping can be.
It’s easy to forget just how beautiful mother nature is when you don’t give yourself time to immerse yourself in it.
Once you’ve set up camp, you’ll have the time to take in all the trees, plants, animals, and insects in what can only be described as a reflective experience.
Take a camera with you, or, even better, if you’re artistically inclined, a sketchpad and some pencils to capture your favorite moments.
Spending time outdoors also puts our planet’s delicate ecosystems into perspective and can inspire a change in your daily habits to help protect them.
If you’ve never been camping before, the idea of it can be a little daunting.
How do you know what to take with you? What kind of sleeping bag should you buy? What do you do if it rains?
While these are all perfectly valid questions, a vast array of helpful articles are available online that can answer any queries you may have.
It’s also worth popping down to your nearest camping store and asking for advice.
The staff in these places are usually keen campers themselves and love any excuse to spend time talking about their favorite pastime and giving advice to newbies.
With a bit of research and the right preparation, camping doesn’t have to be a difficult excursion.
Camping is many things and can be both a positive and negative experience, sometimes all in the same day.
Without proper planning or the right equipment, it can be miserable and tiring, even risky or frightening; however, it has the potential to be extremely enjoyable and life-affirming, and, if you weren’t persuaded before, hopefully, this article has piqued your interest.
Most of all, camping is subjective.
Everybody feels something different from each trip, so the only way to find out for yourself is to start organizing an outing and to get out there.