Camping and hiking are a great way to become one with nature. It can benefit your state of mind and induce a relaxed state whilst lowering you levels of anxiety. It can be misunderstood what encapsulates the meaning of camping.
What is the meaning of camping?
Camping is an outdoor activity that involves spending the night outside in a tent or another form of shelter that is not a house. This is typically done in natural areas, such as national parks, wilderness areas and commercial camping grounds.
What is hiking?
Hiking is an activity that is quite often coupled with camping. It involves walking varied distances along trails or paths, similar to a nature walk. Hiking can be a long process with some hikes lasting days and weeks. Nature near hiking trails can make the process more difficult if the hike is taking place in rough terrain areas, such as hills.
How can camping be relaxing?
Camping is an activity that allows us to appreciate nature. Spending the night around natural locations can invite a relaxed state of mind. Being outside allows you to restore oxygen into your body from the fresh air. Getting away from built up areas can offer a different perspective. You get to see natural waterfalls, hills, mountains, and rivers, which are thought to be relaxing for most.
In addition, technology can quite often be a distraction from the natural world. Camping takes those technology distractions away and forces us to focus on the now.
How can hiking be relaxing?
Hiking is a form of exercise and exercise is known to reduce levels of stress through releasing hormones, such as adrenaline. It also promotes healthy weight loss and fitness, making us feel better about ourselves and consequently improving our self-esteem. It is also reported that hiking has psychological benefits, such as reducing anxiety, stress, and depression.
Camping can involve taking various equipment, especially if you are planning to go hiking whilst you are on your camping trip. It can be useful to make a comprehensive list of items that you need to bring along. For some inspiration, we have complied a checklist of items you may want to take with you.
- A tent/shelter
- Pillows/Sleeping bags
- Clothes that are suited to the weather
- A portable stove/fuel
- Torch - Using light to navigate your way through the natural area at night is particularly important. It can ensure your safety throughout the night and prevent accidents from falling. Headlamps can also be a useful tool for hikers.
Essential Hiking Equipment:
Whilst we have complied a small checklist for campers, some equipment is essential and should not be left at home. As such:
- A backpack to store and carry the necessary items along your hike
- First Aid kit
- Navigation tool/map - Camping can be a great way to forget about technology and immerse yourself into nature. However, using a navigation system on a smart phone can ensure your safety. Additionally, if you were in danger, it is a great way to be able to call for help. Navigation can also be in the form of a map, a GPS device and a compass.
- Suitable hiking clothes
- Appropriate footwear
- Your shelter - It is important that you take the appropriate shelter on your hiking trip. If there is more than one of you, the tent should be big enough for everyone to comfortable sleep. If you are hiking and taking your shelter with you, a light weight tent and sleeping bag would be beneficial. Sleeping is an important factor for any individual and therefore, establishing a comfortable sleeping situation when you are camping aids your relaxation.
- First Aid Kit - If you are hiking alone, taking a first aid kit is integral in the case of an accident. You do not want to leave a wound open and unprotected in the event of an infection. You should find emergency care as soon as you are able to, but a first aid kit will ensure another layer of protection throughout your hike.
- Food - Hikes that are traditionally done up mountains and over hills will have limited access to food. It is important that you keep your energy levels up during intense hikes. If you are taking a particularly long hike, dehydrated food that can be rehydrated with hot water may be useful.
- Water - Staying hydrated throughout your hike is incredibly important. As mentioned in the camping lists, a water filter system, such as filtered water bottles can be a great essential to take on your hike.
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