What is it about camping?

Why go camping?

What’s so great about camping?

I have a confession to make. I’ve never considered myself to be a “camper”. I thought a camper had to be spontaneous, “outdoorsy”, and have no fear. This is definitely not me.

Growing up, I wasn’t the child who ran out the door – rain, hail or shine, climbing trees, making mud pies, or exploring the woods around the neighbourhood. I was the quiet girl, curled up with a good book, lost in other worlds, day-dreaming of people, places and adventures far away.

Growing up in New Zealand and Australia I was lucky enough to live close to beaches, forests and beautiful landscapes. I never considered the outdoors as special – it was just there, a part of life.  As I grew older I enjoyed going on camping trips to islands, beaches, and national parks. They were always great fun, but I still never considered myself a “camper”.

These days I fully appreciate the beauty of the outdoors and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities – running, walking, hiking, cycling, and skiing (all at a nice gentle pace!). I also very much enjoy a stay at a luxury hotel or cosy B&B, and still love curling up with a good book. So what is it about camping that has captured me now?

Lack of Distraction

We have many distractions in our day-to-day lives. Email, phones, social media, TV. With no demands or notifications from devices or screens, no gardening, housework or unfinished DIY to attend to you really can concentrate on living in the moment. Which leads to…

Mindfulness

Yes, I know it’s an overused buzzword these days, but there really is something about concentrating on one task, whether that’s building a fire, making a cup of tea, or watching the birds, that is both relaxing and refreshing.

Time slowing down

Without all the distractions and demands of everyday life, it does feel that time slows down. That means more time for conversation, connection and contemplation. More time for drinking wine or whisky around the campfire.

Connection

Life is busy. Quality time with family and friends is often squeezed in between other demands. Camping gives us time to explore, play or sit together, unrushed. Conversations flow, bonds are formed, and connections are strengthened.

I’ve realised now too, that you don’t need to be a certain kind of person to enjoy camping. So I guess maybe I can call myself a camper.

Are you a camper? What do you love about camping?