We love camping! The great outdoors, cooking under the stars, coming back from epic hiking for a beer round an open fire, awesome! But we understand that it's not everyone's cup of tea. It can have a bad rep: bugs, rain, campground toilets... less awesome. However even if you're more of a beach bum or spa break fan, we guarantee that you should try camping at least once in your life. Here's why:
1. It's good for your mental health!
Camping allows you to get away from it all, unplug and reconnect with nature. Disconnect from your phone, Instagram, the headlines, and re-find your self and your self sufficient abilities. We as a species are so obsessed with our phones now that they are often the first and last thing we look at every day! Take the time on your camping trip to live in the moment and enjoy the company of the people you are with. You'll soon realise that you can live without checking in online, and it's actually very liberating!
Camping and getting back to basics also helps to put things into perspective. It's surprisingly easy after a day or so of the great outdoors and a change of routine to switch off and forget about work emails, social media and scare mongering news stories - you'll realise how small your worries are in the grand scheme of this massive world, and appreciate the things that really matter.
Without the hustle and bustle of city life and invasive bluescreen light, your circadian rhythms will reset and you'll soon find yourself rising and sleeping with the sun. You'll also get a healthy dose of fresh air and Vitamin D (rain permitting), which will boost your immune system, making you feel great!
2. It's cheaper than a hotel.
Once you've invested in a few bits of kit, like your tent, mattress, sleeping bags and stove, with care, your camping gear will last you for years. Campsites are very affordable - even desirable campgrounds near national parks are rarely above £30 per night, far less than hotels, and sometimes as low as £10 (or free!). We always have a real sense of freedom when camping - we can move on every night or stay somewhere for 2 weeks, in a posh campground with all the amenities or somewhere totally remote.
3. Cooking outside is brilliant!
There is literally nothing better than the smell of bacon cooking on a camp stove the morning after a long day of fresh air and hiking. From curry to pasta, chilli to stew, there are so many fantastic one pot camp fire recipes out there! Getting the whole family involved in meal preparation is a great team building experience, and your dinner will taste even better when it's a team effort. Humans are naturally very social creatures, and before TVs became the focal light source of our living space, sitting around a fire, eating together and talking was an important bonding exercise.
We've also had some fabulous views while camping too - imagine having your breakfast under the trees of Yosemite National Park, or on the beach outside Malibu, or listening to the crashing waves in Pembrokeshire, Wales! You'll never feel closer to nature than when you are immersed in it.
4. Wait til you see the stars...
One of the most magical camping memories we have is seeing the Milky Way over Monument Valley, Utah. Get away from the light pollution of civilisation and you'll be astonished by what you'll see when you pop out for a midnight wee! Getting outside will give children (heck, and adults!) a new found understanding and respect for the environment and nature which is so valuable if we're all to love and protect our planet.
5. You'll bond with friends and family .
Camping is a great exercise for problem solving and team work. Putting the tent up, map reading, sharing the cooking (and washing up), jokes and beers around the fire are all great fun and will certainly make you all embrace your inner Bear Grylls - you're all in it together! There's no room for divas in camping. Plus outdoor exercise releases endorphins- hiking, surfing, climbing, cycling, even a game of campsite frisbee will make you feel great, and reconnect as a group.
Without the everyday distractions from technology you'll actually sit and talk! We know!! Old school. Camping is so much fun, and the quality time together will create memories that last a life time.
Fancy giving it a go? Awesome! Not sure? You could always have a test run in your back garden! Pitch your tent safe in the knowledge that hot showers and a duvet are close by, and we bet you'll have the confidence to last the whole night outside.
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