Health & Wellness / Travel

Let’s Go Camping!

campingAs of May 11, 2021, data from the CDC confirms that over 116 million people in the United States are now fully vaccinated. That equates to 35.1 percent of the country’s population. As confidence in public health protection from COVID-19 rises, more Americans are setting their sights on travel. Despite promising statistics, some people are not yet ready to stand in long airport lines or head to crowded beach resorts that put them in close contact with strangers. For those who seek adventure and time with special friends and family yet wish to maintain levels of social distancing, camping is the ideal solution.

Camping is a fun group activity. Not only does it allow people to get away from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives, but it also gets people to connect with one another through fun activities such as pitching a tent, building a campfire, taking a hike, going motorboating, kayaking or canoeing, swimming, fishing, nature watching, and more. In addition, campgrounds are often located in peaceful settings, such as near a pristine lake, a flowing river, deep in a forest, or surrounded by lush green pastures. Being amid nature encourages people to decompress and spend more time appreciating the environment. This is particularly refreshing for people who are tired of work demands, seek escape from modern technology, or simply wish to be more present in the moment.

There are numerous benefits to camping and being active outdoors. Examples include the invigorating feeling one gets from being free in nature, the euphoric energy derived from reaching the peak of a mountain after a climb, the comforting warmth felt near family while roasting marshmallows and sharing stories around a campfire, and the quiet calmness experienced when looking at a night sky filled with a billion bright stars. Spending some time alone to reflect and clear one’s mind can be a positive spiritual experience. The ability to decompress and relax can bring couples closer together and bond families. The desire to unplug from electronics and the world, even for just a few hours, encourages people to build friendships, communicate and provides one-on-one time together without distractions.

Camping is one of those activities that requires some money upfront to purchase gear. This includes items like a tent, tarp, sleeping bag and pad, stove and fuel, cooler, lanterns, and more. Once these expenses are met, camping is quite affordable. Camp gear can also be borrowed; however, when doing this, the golden rule applies. Always give borrowed items back in as good as or better condition than received. Other main expenses related to camping are transportation and food, campground charges which provide access to a campsite and amenities such as showers and toilets, activity fees for nearby attractions, permits and entrance fees to other nearby parks, and additional equipment for activities, such as fishing apparatus, a lifejacket, hiking gear, etc. Before spending money, be sure to compare rental options for camp gear and equipment and larger expenses like boats and canoes. This is especially important for those not fully committed to camping regularly. Renting can save money upfront and alleviate long-term care and the need for storage of gear.

Camping out is a great activity for families, couples, and single people looking for some quiet time to commune with nature. Campgrounds throughout the United States offer varying experiences in diverse landscapes. In addition, there are different kinds of camping, from secluded backcountry DIY sites to developed campgrounds that generally come with a cleared lot, a fire pit, and a picnic table. Some may offer electric hook-up, water access, and delivery of firewood and ice. There is also glamping, a derivative of two words – glamour and camping. Glamping generally features a semi-permanent structure with amenities such as heat and a/c, electricity, a mini-fridge, furniture, and more. Some even offer concierge services, meals, bedtime turndowns with complimentary nighttime beverages, maid service, entertainment, and more. RVing is another option. This includes motorhomes, camper vans, fifth-wheel trailers, pop-up campers, and other recreational vehicles. Since there’s something for everyone, and privacy can be easily attained, camping is perhaps the best vacation option for summer 2021.

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