Summer has officially arrived! That means one thing for nature lovers: camping. For nature lovers, nothing beats setting up a tent in the middle of the woods and falling asleep to the sound of coyotes, crickets, and owls.
Some people love the idea of exploring during the day but prefer falling asleep in the safety of an RV. Although an RV provides the comforts of home, that convenience comes at the price of experience. To experience nature, leave the RV behind and learn how to pitch a tent.
To experience nature, dial down your necessities
There are plenty of essential items you need to bring on a camping trip. For example, food, water, and a first-aid kit are non-negotiable. Other items aren’t as necessary as you think. You can probably think of at least three things you brought and never used on your last camping trip. Did you bring a lint roller? How about a back scratcher or foot powder? Although these items are convenient, they’re not necessary.
It’s hard to leave potentially useful items behind, but if items take up space needed for true essentials, leave them at home. Having non-essential items available will distract you from nature. For instance, you could be sitting comfortably in a chair watching a river rush by and suddenly remember you have Chapstick in the car. You’ll get up, rush to the car, grab the Chapstick, and by the time you get back to your chair you’ll have trouble getting back into “the zone.”
Make nature the focus of your camping trip
The whole point of camping is to enjoy nature, either by yourself or with others. It’s been known for years that camping in nature has a wonderful impact on bodily and mental health. In support of those claims, the Huffington Post published the findings of multiple studies showing exposure to nature reduces symptoms of depression and negative thinking.
According to a 2013 study conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder, abiding by the sun’s schedule makes you more likely to go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time. Sleeping apart from artificial light resets circadian rhythms and reduces grogginess.
You won’t experience the healing benefits of camping when your focus is on electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, or kindle e-readers.
Take your mountain bike to enjoy more of nature
You can only hike so far and for so long before you get tired. Bringing a mountain bike gives you the chance to explore your surroundings further. Many campgrounds have bike trails with maps showing how they all connect.
You might be used to carrying your bike on a roof rack, but mounting and dismounting your bike from that height isn’t easy. It’s better to transport your bike behind your car on a bike mount that attaches to your hitch. With a bike mount in back of your car, you don’t need to reach up or stand on a step stool to access your bike.
To see what’s possible, check out the hitch mounts from Stowaway2.com. They’ve got bike racks and cargo rack combos in case you want to haul gear with your bike. When you don’t need to haul gear, the rack can be used to mount other useful items like a grill or a generator.
Take time to explore your surroundings
Explore your campground the way a little child would. Dig your hands into the mud in the river to see what you can find. Throw sticks and rocks into the water and perfect the art of skipping stones. Stare into the open sky with wide eyes and as the night approaches, watch the stars come into view.
If you enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of nature, you won’t need so many “things” to provide comfort and entertainment. On your next camping trip, lose yourself in nature and you’ll see how little you actually need. When your eyes are open, nature provides the best source of entertainment.