We went camping as a family at O’Bannon Woods State Park this weekend (pictures to follow soon) and had a great time. The weather was perfect for camping: 70s during the day, and 50s at night. At one point, I realized that camping is good for you in so many ways. So here is a rundown of all the reasons you should take yourself and/or your family camping … the sooner the better.
- Camping gets you out in the fresh air. Lots of research has been performed in recent years about the fact that living and working in climate-controlled environments with poor ventilation spreads colds, flu and other common illnesses. Let’s face it: trees are better at recycling air than an HVAC system.
- Camping requires you to get off your butt. Particularly if you’re tent camping, rather than RVing it, setting up camp is a lot of work! You have to assemble your tent(s), blow up air mattresses or arrange other bedding, gather firewood, and unpack your gear. And cooking over a fire pit is a cardiovascular activity–you have to tend the fire and the food the entire time.
- Camping makes you work as a team. When you get to the campsite with 20 minutes of daylight left to pitch a tent, start a fire, and roast some weiners, trust me, you will learn to work with your spouse as a team.
- Camping forces you to ask for help sometimes. We forgot, in our rush, to bring a lighter, matches, or anything whatsoever to start a fire with, and our friends the Frakeses wouldn’t be arriving till the next day. So we had two choices: sit in the cold or humble ourselves enough to admit we didn’t have it all together and ask strangers for a match. Sounds like a no-brainer to some, but that’s actually a really hard thing for some people.
- Camping gives you the opportunity to meet new people. Interestingly enough, the next morning, yet another camper came by … looking for a match or a lighter, having forgotten to bring anything to start a fire with. We also met an interesting couple who were walking their domesticated wild dog from India. Part of the joy of camping is a change of scenery and environment, and most campers extend that to the social environment, and like meeting new people from different backgrounds.
So now, while the weather isn’t too hot and isn’t too cold, it’s a great time to make plans to go into the great outdoors and spend some quality family time. Even if you think you’re allergic to roughing it and, in the words of Woody Allen “at two with nature” you might find that it has more to offer than you realized.