School is out here and the weather has finally turned warm. Yay, summer has arrived! With the arrival of summer comes the time to plan summer adventures. For Greg and me, our thoughts turn to camping. Going camping is one of our favorite summer activities. We are reminiscing about past camping trips and planning where we will go this summer.
Is camping part of your summer rituals? Or is camping something you haven’t done in a long time? Maybe you’ve never gone camping?
If the thought of camping is new to you, here are 13 great reasons to go camping.
- Being outside all day: So much of our daily life happens indoors. Going camping means spending the days outdoors. Each day is filled with different sights, sounds and smells when we spend it outdoors.
- No schedule: While camping we eat when we are hungry, go for a walk when we feel the urge, go swimming when we are hot, go to bed when we are tired, get up when we are awake. There is no schedule, no need to do something at a specific time. I don’t have that freedom in my regular days, so really enjoy this when camping.
- Swimming: Who doesn’t love going for a swim on a hot summer day? Here in Ontario most campgrounds are on or close to a lake or river, allowing lots of opportunities to swim while on the camping trip.
- Wildlife viewing: Some of my greatest wildlife viewing opportunities have happened on camping trips. Last summer’s highlight was seeing a beaver swimming in the river, just ahead of our canoe. We were going in the same direction, so we followed him for probably about 5 minutes. Our presence didn’t seem to bother him, as he just did what he was planning. Typical wildlife encounters on camping trips include rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, frogs and many kinds of ducks, but sometimes include turtles, deer, moose and porcupines. Big or small, it’s always exciting to glimpse wildlife.
- Paddling: We don’t own canoes or kayaks, or have easy access to them at home. Many of the parks where we go camping offer them for rent. Renting a canoe or a couple of kayaks for a day or several days gives us the opportunity to get out on the water and view the landscape from a different perspective. I love the peace and tranquility of an early morning paddle.
- Hiking: Most parks have several hiking trails, some long ones and some short ones, that allow us to get out and explore. Many hiking trails have some great viewpoints along them, with special things to see along the way. I love hiking; it’s exercise, fresh air and an adventure all rolled into one activity.
- Campfires: I love the tradition of a nightly campfire. There is something very primeval about sitting around a campfire, watching the flames, feeling their heat, telling stories and smelling that campfire smell.
- Roasting marshmallows: That campfire creates the opportunity for roasting marshmallows. Did you roast marshmallows on the charcoal grill after are bbq dinner as a child? I sure did. Now that we have a gas grill, roasting marshmallows isn’t an option. We always pack marshmallows when going camping. Sitting around a campfire, roasting marshmallows always creates a bit of competition, seeing who can roast the perfect one. Roasting marshmallows around the campfire is a great experience for kids, and an opportunity for adults to relive childhood memories.
- Spectacular views of the stars: With all the light pollution in most cities, the view we get of the stars at home is nothing compared to the views when we go camping. A dark clear night and an opening in the trees are all that is required to do some stargazing. While out camping we see thousands of stars and even see the Milky Way, which just isn’t visible in the city. If we are extra lucky we are there on a night when the Northern Lights are active. Seeing the Northern Lights dance across the sky is pure magic.
- Great night’s sleep: Nothing helps me get a great night’s sleep better than spending the entire day outdoors. All that fresh air really lulls me to sleep at night. Of course, we do have one trick that helps with the great sleep. We have an air mattress. Sleeping on an air mattress is a completely different experience than sleeping on the hard ground.
- Get away from the everyday: I have no worries while camping. There are no obligations, or tasks waiting for me. No work emergencies, or things that must get done right now. We are in our own little bubble while camping, with no knowledge or care of what is happening in the world around us.
- Connecting with family/friends: Going camping means spending a lot of time with the people with you. You do everything together. You make new discoveries and have adventures together. It’s a wonderful opportunity to really connect with them.
- Camping is fun: There is so much fun on each and every camping trip. Isn’t that the best reason of all?
Greg and I are veteran campers. We’ve been camping together for more than 10 years, and both of us were camping long before that. We’ve done it with and without kids. Each camping trip is an adventure, with new things to do, new places to explore, new things to experience, and special memories to be created. I hope we never feel too old, too tired or too busy to plan a camping adventure.
There are so many great reasons to go camping. Why do you go camping? If you’ve never been, I urge you to give it a try. There is a great adventure waiting for you and your family.
A Note About Photos: Most of the photos in this post were taken by me, and as such are copyrighted to me, Julie Rivet. They can be used if proper attribution is made, with a link back to this post.
The three photos that are not my own are used under various creative commons licences, as noted in the caption under each photo.