Camping Gear for the Beginner Adventurer
Lots of research shows how beneficial getting out into nature can be for one's mental health. It is a way to escape the noises, distractions, and stresses of everyday life and it can help promote a greater sense of focus and emotional clarity. Taking a trip into nature can be a refreshing experience that can help an individual to return to their regular life feeling rejuvenated and re-energized.
If you are thinking about planning a camping trip to help refresh your mental health but you've never done anything like this before, you may be a little overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. After all, there is a lot to consider when packing for and planning your trip. We've got some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your mental health vacation.
Picking a Location
The first step in the process of planning your trip is deciding where you'll be camping. While you can certainly travel hours to a national park or another popular and well-known setting, you don't have to travel very far if you don't want to. You likely have at least a few public camping areas that are more local to you where you can still enjoy the calming effects of nature. There are several different factors to consider when picking a camping location. For example:
- Will you be sleeping in a tent or will you have access to an RV or cabin? If you're not going to be comfortable staying in a tent and don't have a camper or RV, you'll want to be sure that the camping location you choose has cabins you can rent.
- Are you comfortable with going without a restroom or shower for the duration of your camping trip? If you're only spending a night or two away, you might not be too bothered by going without a shower. However, if you're planning to go for a longer trip, you may want to choose a campground that offers public showers and restroom facilities.
- Are you planning to travel with children? If so, you'll want to be sure you choose a terrain that won't be too challenging for them, especially if you're wanting to do some hiking. This may also impact whether or not you're willing to go without restroom and shower facilities and how far away from home you can travel.
Reserving Your Camping Spot Early
If you're going far out into nature, for example in a more secluded area, reserving a camping spot probably won't be something you need to worry about. However, if you're wanting to go to a popular area like a national park or if you want to book a cabin, you may need to reserve this well in advance. Keep in mind that camping sites tend to be the busiest on weekends during warmer months from June through August. They also tend to be crowded on certain holidays like Labor Day and Memorial Day.
If you would like to reserve your campsite in advance, a campground reservation site like Recreation.gov can help. This website can help you discover countless stunning camping locations throughout the country as well as help you figure out how to secure a spot and how much money you can expect to pay.
Gathering Your Materials
Planning for a camping trip and making sure you have all of the materials necessary is important. However, it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to prepare for a camping trip, especially if you bring only the most necessary tools. Make sure you keep the following in mind as you pack:
- Where are you planning to sleep? If you're sleeping in a cabin or an RV you'll already have a built-in bed. If not, you'll want to invest in a good quality tent, sleeping bag, pillow, and whatever you'll need to stay warm throughout the night.
- Don't forget a first aid kit. When you're out in nature you may not have easy access to medical care. In case of any sort of emergency, ensure that your first aid kit is fully stocked so you can be prepared for anything.
- Be prepared for the elements with sunscreen, waterproof clothing, bug spray, and clothing that is fit for the climate you'll be facing.
- Consider especially what you'll need to see and stay warm at night such as portable lamps, matches to start a fire, firewood, and an ax for cutting more wood if you need it.
- Make sure you have any necessary cooking equipment such as pots, pans, utensils, mugs, cooler, and pre-packaged food.
There are a plethora of mental health benefits associated with spending time in nature, like going on a camping trip. It is a great way to escape the stresses, distractions, and noises of everyday life. Camping can also be a great way to find a greater sense of inner peace so that you can return to life feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. If you are planning to try out nature therapy by planning your first big camping trip, you may be wondering where to start. This guide is a handy tool to help you begin the planning process. At Achieve Medical Center, we recognize that getting out in nature is incredibly beneficial for one's mental health. We make use of the beauty of nature around our California, Oregon, and Alaska locations to help you feel the healing power of nature. If you are ready to take the first steps toward better mental health, call Achieve Medical Center at (619) 381-8249.