You’re looking to spend some quality time with your family, and there’s no better way to achieve that than going on an extended family camping trip.
Close quarters, a lack of technology, and a chance to reconnect when the daily grind has you down: who wouldn’t want that?
Families often opt for hotel vacations in destinations that offer attractions, but the attraction to camping is that you’re with one another.
We’re going to break down all the reasons why camping is good for your family, and why this next trip is going to inspire even more.
It’s easy to get lost in the nine-to-five rigmarole, so let’s recharge with all the reasons we’ve listed below, and return home a little more refreshed.
Quality Bonding Time
This might be the most obvious one, but it’s still the best benefit.
Think of everything in your daily life right now: work, commuting, your kids going to school, maybe the spouse working as well, mixed with trying to spend time with friends, enjoy hobbies, and exercise.
Do you have any idea how difficult it is to spend quality time with anyone when they have that on their plate?
With that much on your mind, you’re still going to be mentally clouded even when spending time with your family. When it comes to your kids, the benefits of spending time together are immense.
You’re inspiring positive behavior, opening the gates of communication so that they feel more comfortable coming to you with future issues and building on their self-esteem.
You’re not raising children; you’re raising future adults that need a full kit of life skills to be able to make it in this world, and knowing that their parents always have their back is extremely important.
While you can still get in some bonding time at home, you still have a ton of distractions at your fingertips.
We’re going to get into smartphone addiction and technological distractions in a moment, but when those are right in front of you, it’s easy for both parents and children to stop communicating.
Build better rapport with your family moving forward, and the next camping trip is going to be met with elation from everyone.
Getting Away From Technology
Smartphone addiction is a real thing, but since nearly everyone in America is suffering from it, we don’t talk about it often enough.
How many times have you gone to a restaurant, and seen an eight-year-old on a tablet while the parent scrolls Facebook on their phone?
We’re hooked to these little screens because they release a temporary stipend of hormones, called dopamine. It’s like your brain is starving and the only thing it’s hungry for is dopamine.
Even though you don’t know why you come back to your smartphone again and again to release that feeling.
Now, while we don’t know how large your family is or how many children it includes, we’re willing to bet that if you measured the amount of smartphone, computer, and television time on a daily basis, you wouldn’t like the sum.
We’re hooked on these things, and your camping trip pulls away most of those distractions. We’re not telling you to not bring your smartphone, just don’t use it often.
It’s great for emergencies and GPS navigation, but outside of that, we want to leave it alone. You’re cutting the cord on tech for a few days, so to speak, but you should work on bringing these benefits home with you.
Open up the discussion on part of why the trip was so much fun or so successful: you spent time together instead of spending it on your phone. Technological distractions will continue unless you bring up the issue.
Engaging in Serotonin-Boosting Physical Activity
Branching out from technological addiction, which can create some of the issues we’re about to mention, we’re going to discuss repairing the chemical productions in your and your family’s brains that create happier households.
The main endorphin that our brain creates, the “happy hormone,” is called serotonin. It’s something that our body craves, but it isn’t simply created in the way that dopamine is.
Serotonin is best created through consistent physical activity. Serotonin combats depression, but it can also combat the symptoms of anxiety.
These benefits aren’t exclusive to your other family members, because you could be feeling the effects of depression without even knowing it.
Data and information show that every age group is seeing massive spikes in depression rates, and there are a few things to blame for it.
Part of the reason is that we’ve never had a higher rate of obesity in this country, which affects how your brain produces certain hormones and chemicals.
Another reason is our lifestyles, which we’re going to disrupt with this camping trip. Getting poor sleep, poor exercise, and overworking yourself are all ways that your lifestyle negatively impacts your mood.
Between setting up the campsite, getting the campfire all squared away, and the numerous hiking trails all around you, you’re going to be more physically active on this camping trip than you are back home.
During camping, you’re also breathing in the fresh air, which comes with its own benefits for your body.
Your lungs aren’t working so hard to filter through inhaled pollution, you’re getting the proper level of oxygen to your brain, which helps produce the right level of hormones.
Simply being outdoors for a three-day trip will help, but to really reap the rewards, go on a family hike, encourage the kids to run around and play flashlight tag at night, and make plans for the next camping trip before you head back home.
Freedom From the Daily Grind
A staggering number of Americans hate their jobs and feel trapped in them at the same time. But we get locked into something that we don’t really think about, called praise addiction.
We’re encouraged to please others and make acceptable adjustments in our lives that benefit everyone else, and forget that we’re supposed to simultaneously focus on our own happiness as well.
If that doesn’t sound like some 1984 Orwell stuff, then we don’t know what does. The fact of the matter is, getting away from that toxic job environment could be extremely good for you, as well as the rest of your family.
When you spend the weekend at home, you’re not engaging in anything new: you’re stuck in the same old song and dance, so there’s nothing exciting or enticing around you.
Camping trips take planning, packing your backpack, and work, and even if you’re taking 8-12 trips per year, there’s so spread out that it’s an exciting thing that you can focus on.
If you’ve ever felt like you’re barely stringing along at work, that’s called being in workplace burnout. We would all love to believe that we can leave our work problems in the office, but it’s just not that simple.
It’s even more difficult for your children, because not only are they spending 35+ hours per week in school, but they don’t have the option to leave their problems at home.
They go to school with their friends, they bring homework home, and maybe they’re even in extracurricular activities. It impacts the rest of their life. That family camping trip could be exactly what they need to ease nerves, tension, and stress.
Better Sleep, Longer Slumbers
Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body. We’re forced to do it every night, constantly thinking about the time we’re losing, instead of the benefits we’re gaining.
As adults, we only need about eight hours of sleep per night to function properly, but children and teenagers can need up to thirteen hours per night. That’s insane, especially when you think of all the school-related things we just discussed.
Kids aren’t getting enough sleep in today’s day and age, whether it’s from smartphone addiction keeping them up at night, or their schedule (which is admittedly busier than we would like to believe).
But when you’re camping, what do you have to wake up for?
You’re making your own breakfast, you’re planning and executing your own activities: you’re not waiting on anyone, for anything.
You can devote your time to sleeping, let the keeps rest until their bodies decide to wake them up, and ensure everyone starts the morning off on the right foot. Some of the major benefits of getting proper amounts of sleep are:
- Short and long-term memory improvement
- Dissolve stress
- Combat symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Children can improve their focus and their grades
- Increased job performance
- Regulate weight
- Reduction in inflammation
- Higher energy levels throughout the day
Who wouldn’t want all of those benefits? We’re always thinking that there’s too much to do, and not enough time to get it done, but if we just slowed down a bit we could improve our overall health.
To help you and the family sleep better, get tents with thicker walls that help cut out natural light, comfier sleeping bags, and take a look at our list of camping hacks to help improve comfort in the great outdoors.
Monetarily Relaxing for the Parents
In this corporate-run world, vacations become stressful instead of fun.
That is, for the parents, at least. Hotels jack up prices, attractions charge insane entry fees, and the bill just racks up.
The great thing about camping is that once you own the equipment and carve out the time, you might pay a total of $30 in campground fees, plus the gas to get to and from the campsite.
If you want to take it a step further, you can adopt a minimalist mindset to help you cut down costs, and maximize your fun.
You can be frugal without appearing like a cheapskate. The goal is to get home from the trip and say, “That was relaxing and enjoyable, I can’t wait to do it again,” not hop on the computer and cringe at your online bank statement.
Spouses Spend More Time Together
When is there time to spend with your husband or wife when the two of you are at home?
Life gets crazy, and it doesn’t slow down as the days go by.
Whether it’s some time to be intimate, or simply to open up conversations that would otherwise elude you at home, this is the longest stretch of time for you to iron things out with your significant other, and reconnect.
Even if you’re just chatting about the things that bother you in your normal day-to-day life, or you’re just relaxing together, it’s a break from the stress, and a chance to actually enjoy something together.
If it’s been too long since you’ve looked at your significant other as your best friend, a camping trip can help undo the damage of mundane life.
You All Chill Out a Bit
Relaxation is the sum of many of the things we’ve mentioned: less stress, natural remedies to your problems, and disconnection from technology.
Nobody has ever been coiled with stress while sitting around the campfire with their loved ones, enjoying food and drink, and not having to get up for work the next day.
Everyone gets a chance to chill out a bit, but if you’re still not certain how to get the full extent of that relaxation you’re after, we have some tips to help you close out this article.
Tips on Making the Family Camping Trip Better
- Bring Some Toys: You can’t expect the little ones to be entertained the entire time, so during those lulls, bust out a few of their favorite toys. They can play quietly in their tent so you can have some one-on-one time with your spouse.
- Keep Coffee Handy: Instead of heading into town to get your coffee in the morning (which mimics your daily drive and at-home routine), be sure to have some coffee handy. You can bring instant, mix in some cold water before adding your hot water, and bring a bottle of flavored syrup to give you a coffeehouse feel and flavor.
- Research the Area Beforehand: Try not to get locked into a tourist trap. Relaxation is key, so if you’re in cramped, close quarters camping sites with noisy neighbors, then you’re going to run into unnecessary stresses.
- Knowledge-Up: Spend some time refreshing your knowledge on setting up a campsite, and make the trip as relaxing and carefree as possible for your family. Sure, they’re still going to have to pitch in and help,(otherwise all the stress is on you), but knowing what to do at the moment will help you feel more prepared, and lead your family into a successful and fun camping trip.
What Are You Waiting For?
Family trips involve quality bonding time, and your children aren’t always going to have a clear schedule.
There’s no time like the present, so use this information to achieve the drive to make a memorable camping experience that they’re going to cherish forever and that your spouse will never forget.