On a recent backcountry trip, I emerged from the wilds scarred, bruised, limping and probably losing more blood than a normal human should. Yet, although I had the appearance of someone dragged through hell, while lashed to a pack of wild horses, I was all smiles; Grinning ear to ear like it was my birthday.
It might seem hard to imagine, but I love camping. Yes, it gets dirty; yes, my sleeping bag isn’t a Tempurpedic, but for me, comfort is a distant consideration to the experience. It’s not glamorous, and it can be rugged, but the adventure is second to none. Anything can happen while camping, and no two trips are ever the same.
Before you ask what I could possibly love about camping, I’m going to beat you to the punch and give you my top 10 reasons to love camping too:
10 Reasons to Love Camping
- Cozying up to a blazing fire on a chilly night roasting hotdogs or marshmallows: – In the backcountry, the opportunity for a fire doesn’t come around too often. But when it does, I guarantee you I’m taking full advantage of it. On a chilly night, very few things are more comforting and tranquil than sitting around the warmth of a campfire roasting up a dog, or watching your marshmallows caramelize over an open flame.
- Encountering wildlife – Beautifully rare and incredibly thrilling, encountering the elusive inhabitants of the wild is both awesome and mesmerizing. There is a hidden kingdom beyond our own, and if ever given the chance to peek behind the veil to see a family of grizzlies or even a herd of Deer, capture it because you’ll be talking about it for years to come
- Drinking hot coco and watching the sunrise – usually getting up before dawn is met with derision and a caffeine crazed stupor; that’s because it’s usually followed by 9 hours behind a desk. Watching the world shake off it’s slumber in the wilderness, while sipping on hot chocolate, is an unrushed calming experience, and of course a world apart from the cubies.
- Dozing off in a hammock – who doesn’t love hammocks? Now add in the rhythmic cadence of a running stream, melodic harmony of the neighborhood birds, a gentle breeze, and you have yourself paradise.
- Discovering beautiful vistas and natural beauty – there are places unreachable by anything other than old-fashioned walking. Places so far off the beaten path, that the journey itself is as rewarding as the destination. There is a pride in discovery, and a sense of accomplishment knowing you climbed, crawled and fought your way to a view few have seen firsthand.
- The peace and solitude – Every now and then, we all need a break from real world. Whether it’s our smartphones or checking email, we spend a huge portion of our lives tethered to one thing or another. The solitude camping affords, allows us to reconnect, recharge and find our Zen.
- The camaraderie with fellow backpackers – Even though I travel to the backcountry and endeavor to find my Zen, it’s always a pleasure to see friendly faces on the road. It’s one of the few places where strangers become friends, and where an unspoken bond of support for each other exists.
- The sea of stars – You’ve never seen the sky, until you’ve seen it in the wild. The night literally comes alive with millions of stars dusted lavishly across the entire horizon. You never realize how immense and wondrous our world really is, or how small you really are, until you’ve stared into the starry sky. If you’re lucky, some nights you can even see the clouds of the Milky Way. It will be the closest many of us will ever get to the far reaches of our universe.
- The smell of the wilderness – This one is hard to describe. But for anyone who has spent any time out in the wild knows that distinct smell of the outdoors. There is a crisp unpolluted freshness to the wild, making each gulp of air a newfound pleasure.
- Eating - Food has never tasted soooo good. Where in the city, we take each meal for granted, with camping you savor each feast until the last bite. The days are generally planned around meal times, not for lack of things to do, but for the simple realization that we live to eat!
Those are my top 10 reasons to love camping! The best thing about camping is that the adventure is unique for everyone.
What are your reasons?
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