Why People Camp

Nine-tenths of the world have no idea why the other ten percent camp.

Camping is more than a recreation for some–it’s an addiction. A lovely, lovely addiction.

For the majority, this is understandable. It may be hard to comprehend, but most of the world–and I do mean most–cannot afford to take holidays, and go out into the wilderness to experience something different from the suburbia we in many parts of Europe, the U.K. and North America enjoy.

But for those of us fortunate enough to live a middle-class and upward lifestyle, fully 25 percent or more love to camp. Even so, that leaves 75 percent of suburban dwellers puzzled as to why some of their friends and neighbors pull up stakes and  head for the great outdoors. So here are some really great reasons to camp. Maybe it will encourage others to take advantage of a brief life-style that is growing all too rare, and is therefore becoming all too precious.

1.  It’s a healthy addiction.

We all look for diversions that refresh us and divert us from the crappy stuff that life throws at us–and why not? Many–not all, but many–hate our jobs; but most of the things the world says we should be indulging in end up being  bad for us in some way; the majority of the good things are not conducive for everyone’s enjoyment (little legs hate marathons; butterflies can scare toddlers; what child likes opera?)  Get caught up in camping. though, and it works for everyone.

2.  You get away from what ails you.

Why does your life temporarily suck? Work? People who keep asking for favors? Constant requests to borrow your truck? Do you live in an apartment that lets in traffic sounds all the time? Camping solves all that–at least for the time you are out there. You can forget everything that irritates you. All you have is the basics–eat, sleep, live. Yes, it takes effort. But no tension. And when you are sitting in your chair in the pre-dawn, in front of a freshly-started campfire with a cup of coffee or tea in your hand, listening to the natural world around you wake up, there is nothing better. I mean, nothing.

3. You get better exercise than at the gym.

Face it. You have to work when you camp. You have to set up your camp, create a campfire, maybe erect a cook-shack; hump the gear to your site; organize the campers so everyone cooperates in a way that benefits the whole group; erect tarps, unfold tables and chairs, organize the under-teen goobers, and find wood. The truth of the matter is this:  the longer you stay out camping, the more you will lose weight in a healthy way. If you know what you are doing.

4. You find something no amount of money can buy.

So many people today dream of living a life of success as defined by television or the internet. Running around, sucking on a beer or a whiskey or a glass of wine, watching stick-thin models walk a runway, or hearing the hooting of well-dressed people under thirty on platforms such as cruises, bars and party settings. That only gets you a hang-over the next day. You don’t care about the people you are with, and they have no loyalty to you. But camping–you find memories, abilities and people of like-mindedness that remain with you and give you continuing purpose. What’s not to like?

These are only four reasons why people camp. Do you have others?  Let me know in the comment box below.

2 thoughts on “Why People Camp”

  1. I love camping. I love it for the reasons you list. I also like the challenge. I camp with minimal items most of the time. So I like the feeling of success; gathering wood, making warm food, etc. Such a challenge. And I like to imagine how the pioneer women lived. I return home very thankful for comforts.

    1. Minimal camping can be a real challenge! I no longer minimal camp, but I still like to experiment–trying different methods of fire starting, making bannock bread, and the like. As much as I love being out in the woods camping, there is something to be said for that lovely hot shower and comfy couch when we get home!

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