Most of us enjoy the outdoors for recreational reasons, but did you know camping features holistic remedies for stress? If you’re hesitant to “rough it” for the weekend, learn how to take advantage of your outdoor experience which might end up changing your mind. We will take this approach by considering Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

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Physiological

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At the very basic level, humans need food, water, shelter, sleep, etc. to survive as a species. Camping offers healthier cooking options by allowing campers to grill the majority of their food. If you’re munching on S’mores the entire trip, you might begin to feel sluggish and depleted of nutrients. Instead, take this opportunity to be in touch with your primitive side. Fish if you’re able to, and bring fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds from the house.

Also consider the circadian time shift. Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes following an approximate 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. Once you sleep outside overnight for 3 days, research suggests your body’s internal clock reverts to waking up earlier and going to bed at a reasonable hour, which ultimately leaves you feeling refreshed.

Safety

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We suffered a major thunderstorm on our camping trip a few days ago. Luckily we checked the weather prior to plan accordingly.

Aside from feeling financially secure, Maslow’s findings reveal how camping can contribute to your resiliency. I’m not encouraging readers to camp in shitty weather, but if you’re up to the challenge, dive in (Just don’t compromise your safety!). We used a tarp underneath our tent plus a rain guard and drug our pop-up canopy over the tent for additional protection.

New challenges develop and promote problem solving skills, and for this reason, we commend camping.

Love/Belonging

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Let’s face it: Camping brings people together. From putting up the tent to preparing meals and loading the canoe carefully, damn near every activity requires a team effort.

Maslow pointed out how a sense of love and belonging becomes critical in meeting the next step, Esteem. Even the television show Naked and Afraid embellishes on the significance of developing personal relationships with peers to complete seemingly impossible missions. Camping offers the perfect venue to strengthen connections which encourages everyone’s participation. Gathered Again outlines tips for how to plan the perfect family reunion.

Esteem

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Now’s the time to flex your muscles. Camping could boost your self-esteem by leading you to practice those problem-solving skills we discussed earlier. Blame it on a slight case of biophilia, but my soul and self-esteem depend on the outdoors.

Green Exercise has been known to boost self-esteem. Camping falls in this realm. Be it hiking, kayaking, or merely setting up the firewood, any form of outdoor exercise is bound to lighten your mood. Check out Psychology Today’s report which explains why exercise matters.

Self-actualization

bobennettOnce you become a camping pro, the sky’s the limit. You’re perfectly capable of hiking that extra mile, backpacking without electricity and challenging yourself to expand your outdoor knowledge. Nature exposes us to our flaws when our tents flood and our victories when shelter keeps us dry. Practice what you know and master the art of camping. Feel free to review this link with additional camping health benefits. Or leave a comment if you would like to share a camping narrative.