The joys and benefits of camping

The healing powers of camping

The healing powers of the wilderness are well documented. In his essay ‘Nature’, Ralph Waldo Emerson says: “In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through man, in spite of real sorrows.”

It is a sentiment that runs through the current crop of nature writers as well. Popular authors such as Robert MacFarlane, Anna Pavord and Melissa Harrison all extol the benefits of getting out and losing yourself in your natural surroundings.

And headlines in the newspapers are currently screaming out that 80 per cent of the population are now living lime-shorterning lifestyles. A little bit of natural healing might be just what today’s doctors would order.

An escape from the 24/7 lifestyle

All of which could explain the popularity of camping, particularly camping in quiet, secluded spots, with just the basic amenities and little or no phone connectivity.

Camping offers something that is completely different from any other break. Firstly, you can become totally unplugged. Ditching your screen for a few days can have a significant impact on your well-being. It may allow you to change your screen-time habits in the long term. Realising you can live without being connected 24/7 for a week might encourage more off-screen time after your holiday ends.

There is also some evidence that waking and sleeping according to nature’s patterns will help you reset your circadian rhythms. This will give you a better, more satisfying night’s sleep.

The great outdoors boosts mental health

With awareness of mental health issues reaching new levels, it is also becoming evident that the great outdoors can have a major impact upon mental health. Researchers at the University of Michigan in the USA have found that just a few minutes walking within natural surroundings can reduce depressive tendencies. In a corroborating study, researchers at Stanford University found time spent outdoors can lead to a reduction in negative and obsessive thinking.

Then there are the physical benefits of living outdoors. When you are camping you just can’t help but be more active. Living outdoors means you are putting your own tent up, carrying your own things and walking around more. You will burn more calories without even being aware of it.

Caravan and camping at Rookery Farm, Norfolk

Awe-inspiring

Finally, camping can help you reconnect with nature and re-discover a sense of awe at nature’s beauty. A iridescent sun-rise, a glowing, burnished sun-set, a sky full of stars, a vista of autumn trees. These are things that can stop you in your tracks and make you aware of how wonderful nature is. And science backs this up – awe-inspiring moments can make us happier and more inventive.

Norfolk Sunset

Here at Rookery Farm, we run a small, secluded, clean and tidy campsite. There is an accompanying children’s playground and miles of footpaths that are accessible from the campsite. We pride ourselves on offering our guests a chance to reconnect with nature and enjoy beautiful surroundings. It is certainly not a fancy, amenity-filled space but we feel it offers a place where people can come and recharge their batteries and rediscover their zest for life.