Does camping improve mental health?

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Lachlan Cornell

Often when we think of self-healing, we either seek professional help or drastically change our routine. Both are admirable and effective. However, there is a way to elevate your mental health and wellbeing that disguises itself as a leisurely activity. Camping. Camping is a great way to cut us off from some of the usual suspects of our mental health issues – namely FOMO (fear of missing out), due to social media.

Research

Studies done by the Caravan Industry Association of Australia, revealed those who regularly go on caravan and camping trips are happier, more satisfieed with life, more optimistic and more energised than non-campers. The also highlights these statistics:

-94% of campers believe camping can help recharge your (mental/emotional) batteries

-83% of campers believe camping makes them feel healthier

-85% of campers said camping allows them to gather their thoughts

Camping

Camping is extremely popular as a recreational activity and is done by people of all ages. From family-bonding to young adults to lone campers to road-trippers to caravaners. For the average camper, the benefits of their trip may not be consciously noticed – and is often not the purpose of the trip. However, no matter your age or reason for camping, I think we can agree that most of us find ourselves returning with an elevated spirit.

A misconception amongst non-avid campers is that camping is just for men. In the last 12 months, women have taken 5.4 million caravan/camping trips and spent 24.6 million nights camping in Australia.

Similar activities

If camping is not your forte, there are plenty of similar activities that offer the same result. Bushwalking and rainforest walks I would say is the most appropriate. You still get the social benefit as well as getting out into nature without having to stay overnight and give up your comfy bed and roast dinner. There are bushwalking groups throughout the Northern Rivers, just Google, ‘bushwalking groups northern rivers’ to find one.

Even going to the beach has similar effects on our mental health. Perhaps this is more of a big deal to those who don’t live coastal but none the less, there’s a reason why we all live on the coast, right? A common denominator here seems to be outdoors and nature. There is something about nature that elevates our mood and can have significant positive impacts on mental health.

Lachlan Cornell
Freelance Writer
rainbearwriting.com

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