Whether you are car camping, trekking miles with your gear to a secluded space within nature, or simply setting up camp in the backyard, camping is good for the soul. There is something so unique about sleeping under the dark night sky with twinkling stars that slowly make their appearance as times passes by. Camping removes us from the four walls we are used to. We get the opportunity to create a makeshift home and be on nature’s time. Now, that is refreshing!
I recently had my first experience backpack camping in North Carolina. It was both an invigorating and challenging experience. I was humbled by the experience. Why? Because it was difficult. My short legs struggled hiking through mountainous terrain while carrying my loaded pack. I trailed behind my family members as I moved at my own pace, sweating from the southern heat, and had no idea what the trail ahead entailed. The end result and overall experience was well worth the work.
Why do I say, set up camp?! When you commit to a camping trip, you are saying “yes” to endless hours of fresh air, you have the opportunity to disconnect from technology and life in the fast lane, and reconnect with those you are with and nature in an authentic way. I’ll admit, it had been a minute since I had camped last. This trip reminded me of all of the health benefits that come with setting up camp in the great outdoors. Here are some of the reasons why I say, set up camp!
Work for Your Stay –
Let’s chat about setting up camp. From collecting wood before dark to setting up tents and sleeping gear, camping is a task. It requires work. It is an opportunity to create your own outdoor oasis. Some ways to spruce up your campsite may be setting up hammocks, hanging twinkle lights from the surrounding trees, or creating an inviting campfire pit. Regardless of your style, camping invites you to work for your stay, it challenges you to move your body in different ways, and tap into your creativity. I found that all of this together creates quite the fulfilling experience!
Disconnect & Recharge –
How do you feel when you look down at your phone and you have absolutely no service? As we were traveling further into the mountains our GPS and music started telling us it was “reconnecting”. For a moment, my husband and I were bummed because we wanted our music playing and we wanted to have an idea of where in the world we were. We then took the disconnect as a hint. Windows went down and immediately a rush of cool, dewy mountain air made it’s way in. This forced me to take a deep breath and to simply be present.
I’ll cherish this trip of ours, because I was able to create special memories with people I care deeply about. There was no distraction. We were able to be fully there and with one another. We had authentic conversations, laughed together, and embraced the beauty around us. We had quality time with one another. That is invaluable.
Travel Affordably –
This backpack camping trip was entirely free other than the gas it took to reach our destination and the food we packed ahead of time. We parked at a trailhead along the Appalachian Trail, hopped on the trail and hiked to a spot that looked like a promising campsite for the evening.
If you are looking for wallet-friendly travel options, this is it! In Michigan rustic campgrounds start at $13/night while a campsite with a “full hookup” reaches $40. I’d say that’s a deal! Click here to check out MI camping options and prices.
Do you insist you are not a camper? I dare you to try something for the first time. Set up camp in the backyard, add some twinkle lights, tasty grub and enjoy the night outdoors. To ease into camping, try out a cabin or a yurt.
Not only is camping a healthy option for your wallet, spending an extended time outdoors with friends and/or family impacts all dimensions of your wellness: socially, spiritually, physically, intellectually, environmentally, and emotionally. Give it a try and let us know how it goes, we promise it is good for the mind, body, and soul!
I heartily agree. Though we usually find ourselves in a campground there are so many wonderful ones near woods, trails and beaches in Michigan. And we’re pairing them with great gravel and off road trails to use our new mountain bikes !!! Great advice, Lee.
Great idea – taking your bikes. Biking is such a great way to cover a lot of ground and sight see too. It doesn’t have to be hard on your body either.That sounds like a future blog post.