Are You An Early Riser?

forest morning
It’s worth getting up just as the sun peeks through the trees.

Are you an early riser?

It’s a question that sparks a great deal of friendly, but heated, conversation in our house.  When we’re camping, I’m an early riser–I get up with the dawn, most days.

I do it, not because I can’t sleep, but because early mornings when camping are precious to me.  I start the fire, make a cup of coffee, and sit and watch the river go by. It will take a couple of hours for the sun to make its way over the mountains, and the silence while nature slowly wakes up is as peaceful as ever I have experienced. Peaceful moments in regular life are rare, and so I hoard those moments when I’m camping I’m like whiskey jack hoarding pieces of bread. I stuff them away to savor later, before going back for more.  Who knows when I’ll have the chance to do it again?

It enables me to create a morning routine without interruption, too.  Most mornings I get the breakfast ready for everyone.  By getting up early I can prep everything and have it ready to go, the coffee (which is the best morning smell in the world) announcing itself to the campsite, by the time everyone gets up.  The activity is unhurried, with plenty of time to refill my own mug and sit watching nature in between chores.

Psychology Today wrote that morning people are generally happier and more productive than night owls.  They tend to spend time in the morning on things that are important to them, or love to do.

If that’s the case, then creating a morning routine when camping actually makes you a happier person.  I do know that when I get back from camping I feel restored. Other vacations leave me feeling exhausted.

Create a Morning Routine That Really Works

You can create your own morning routine in camp.  Get up just as the morning light is beginning to turn everything visible. Dress warm; it’s chilly when you first get up. Go pee. Come back and wash your hands using sanitary hand wipes.  Put on the kettle, or saucepan, to heat water on the stove. While you’re waiting for it to boil, go start (or restart) the campfire. Once the fire is going, sit and watch the river (or other nature beauty) until the water is ready.

Use half the water for your morning tea or coffee (you can make coffee for the rest later). Pour the other half of the boiling water in a basin. Add some cold water to make it just the right temperature.  Wash your face, neck and hands in the warm water, then dry with a waiting towel.  I’m telling you, it’s the best feeling.

Take your coffee or tea back to the campfire, add a little more wood to the fire, and sit down. Hopefully you’ve brought a camping chair–they’re must-haves, in my opinion. Watch the world wake up.  Plan your day.  Figure out what breakfast is going to be, and if any prep needs to be done.

For the rest of the morning, until the others get up, continue doing that. Prep a little for breakfast, replenish the fire, refill the mug.  Watch nature. Think about stuff, or think about nothing. If your life is busy and stressful at home, this is something you may have to teach yourself to do. But it’s so worth it, and you’ll go home feeling far more restored.

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