Is Camping a Type of Therapy?


I don’t think I have ever used the words “camping” and “therapy” in the same sentence before.

But, I recently read that studies from the  Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom shows that 93 percent of campers believe the experience makes them happier.

Why I go camping

I have always gone camping simply because I enjoyed it, I like using all my gear, sleeping in my tent, spending time with my family, and food always tastes better cooked on the campfire.

Following recent events in my life, I felt the need to be somewhere where I had some space, silence and simplicity, somewhere to rationalise my thoughts. I needed to be in the outdoors, I needed a camping trip.

Due to the unorganised state of my camping gear, a small window of opportunity, and really, really bad weather, I did not manage the impromptu camping trip I needed.

Sitting on the sand watching the sunset

Sitting back and enjoying nature is a great way to clear your head. Photo: Ben Collaton. 

How camping changes my perspective

But it did highlight to me that I get much more out of a camping trip than I realised. I don’t just go camping for fun. I also need it as a type of therapy – to bring myself back to a sort of reality. To keep perspective on the important things in my life.

Appreciating the small things

I needed to use my camping gear, I enjoy packing my car, pitching my tent, using my headtorch and lighting a fire.

I wanted time to appreciate the small things, like the sound of light rain on my tent fly, cold morning air on my face, and the way the stars shine brighter in the wilderness.

It’s the simple things like eating food prepared on a campfire. Photo: Hillbilly Camping. 

Enjoying campfire prepared food

I looked forward to getting up early so I can see my breath in the icy cold air while I make coffee, and I craved some really simple camp food.

The type that would taste somewhat ordinary at home, but is an incredibly mouth watering delight when prepared on a campfire.

Spending quality time with family

The best part of camping though is the quality time I spend with my family.

There are no distractions that day to day life tempts us with, you don’t get reminded of your “to do” list every time you walk past it. There’s no television, radio, no phone… if you turn it off. You can focus solely on yourself, and your family.

Kids camping at the Coorong

Spending time with kids and other loved ones are so important. Photo: Ben Collaton. 

Camping as “Natural Therapy”

I now think of camping as a “natural therapy”. One which is much cheaper than many prescribed therapies offered to us nowadays.

It is also very accessible, and it’s simple to get started. Just ask the staff at Snowys how you could be enjoying the great outdoors next weekend!

Share this article with anyone you think could do with a dose of “camping therapy”.

About the writer...

Ben Collaton

Trekker, surfer, climber, mountain biker, runner, camper. Participator in most things… master of none.

Joined back in March, 2013

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