5 surprising mental health benefits of camping

Apr 28, 2021 BY Paul McWilliams

Our mental well-being is exceptionally important. We all need to be aware of living lifestyles that keep us in a good state of mind as opposed to those that are damaging. Which is where these surprising mental health benefits of camping come in.

5 surprising mental health benefits of camping Pixabay royalty free image

Working on our mental well-being doesn’t have to be all about medication, counselling and therapy (although those are all very useful treatments). It can also be about choosing to live a lifestyle that keeps our minds, as well as our bodies, in good shape.

As we’ll see below, camping is a useful tool to give your mental health a regular boost. Although if required it should be used alongside a more stringent mental health programme complete with counselling from the likes of MyTherapist.

Surprising mental health benefits of camping

Most regular campers know that it makes them happy. The reasons are different for everyone, but whether you camp in Africa or your backyard it has positive effects. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at five ways camping can help us to stay in good mental condition.

25 different types of camping Pixabay royalty free image

Camping can reset circadian rhythms

Modern life can be distracting, with endless stimuli and stresses keeping us awake at night or waking us up early in the morning. That’s why it’s important we take some time away from the modern world and get back to simpler pleasures.

And what better way than a weekend camping trip? Even a short break could be enough to reset our circadian rhythms that determine how well we sleep, recharging the batteries and helping us to deal with modern life.

Being outside makes us happy

For millennia humans live a mostly outdoor lifestyle. It’s only in the last few hundred years that we have moved more indoors. In short, we all need to spend more time in the fresh air.

Beginner camping essentials list Guide to camping gear for first-timers Pixabay royalty free image

There are huge physical and mental health benefits of being outdoors, including reducing stress, physical activity, proximity to nature and more. All of which help to keep us in good mental shape.

Increase self-awareness

When was the last time you spent any time alone? Not with a phone or laptop or watching TV but truly with your own company. A while, right? But there are huge benefits to spending time just in your own company and with your own thoughts.

Solo camping can really help to boost self-awareness, identifying areas of stress or worry you might not have even recognized. And being alone in nature can help you to reconnect with the things that are really important. Even a short time alone can have a big impact on our mental well-being.

5 surprising mental health benefits of camping Pixabay royalty free image


The importance of touch

Just as it might have been a while since you were last on your own, when did you last connect with nature in a physical sense?

There is strong evidence to show that ‘grounding’, or physical contact of the human body with the earth’s surface, can have huge psychological benefits, aiding sleep and reducing stress. This is one of the more surprising mental health benefits of camping, as you can’t camp without touching the ground.

Less screen time

As well as being a distraction, screen time can have other detrimental effects. Too much time in front of a screen can increase anxiety and lead to poor sleep. It can even lead to physical pain such as back and neck ache, which can all feed into poor mental health.

5 surprising mental health benefits of camping Pixabay royalty free image

Camping holidays are the perfect excuse to ditch those screens and get out into the real world. No TV, no tablets, laptops or phones just some restorative fun in the outdoors.

As you can see, the mental health benefits of camping are real and significant. Of course, camping is not a complete cure for all mental health problems – such a thing doesn’t exist. But it can form part of a regime to boost your mood, help you sleep, reduce stress, burn a few calories and have fun.

We hope you found this guide to the surprising mental health benefits of camping useful. Please check out our other camping articles for more inspiration. And if you are suffering from mental heath issues please seek help as counselling, therapy and all manner of treatments will help things improve.


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