The act of camping has been around since the dawn of time. Cowboys camped, early explorers camped, mountain Sherpas camped and here in North America, long before the Europeans, the First Nations people lived inside structures they made with materials they found in the wild. Its only when we as people started to spend time indoors that we fashioned the need to sleep outdoors and termed it ‘camping.’ Before that it was just life.
Now in modern times, we all spend way, way too much time inside. So when the opportunity arises, we all need to heed the call, and get back to our primitive roots.
So why is it so appealing today to cook on an open fire and sleep on the ground in a time when we have computers in our pockets and high speed coffee drive-thrus? Here at White Sands Campground we have some theories.
1. Its part of our primal DNA. As mentioned above, our ancestry simply lived this way, even in the winter. They hunted, gathered and built shelters in the bush just to survive. Camping today is a way to trigger that primal instinct. Now don’t laugh, but sleeping on 2 inches of space age foam, surrounded in goose down or even on a king size bed in a luxurious travel trailer connects us back to those roots.
2. We are creatures that need to socialize. Summer leads to outdoor socialization where we come out of our introverted shells and let loose. Lawn games, campfires, cards, guitars, and even dancing to the car stereo are all important tools to fulfill our socially starved interactions with friends and family. It’s pretty hard to FaceTime a game of lawn darts.
3. You can’t relax at home. We all love our homes but the reality is when we are there, there is always the ‘list’. Paint the bathroom, cut the lawn, clean out the lint trap or hang mini blinds. Camping for the weekend is your outlet to truly relax. Sure you have camp chores but you also have naps, reading books, staring at the stars, and chilling by the fire.
4. It creates a sense of accomplishment. No matter what you do for a living, surviving a weekend outside creates real gratification. Camping utilizes all major skill sets from engineering to architecture to culinary to sports talents. A weekend outside will make that boardroom presentation seem like a walk in the park…literally.
5. Winter is long in Canada. Spending large stretches of our lives bundled up and cooped up inside messes with us. As soon as the warm weather hits we have to make up for lost outdoor time. Imagine spending all summer inside, in air conditioning watching Netflix …wait don’t, that’s just cruel.
6. Pop culture idolizes the act of camping. The beer companies love to show people camping having a great time in their advertising. Their research teams spend big dollars figuring out what makes us tick so they can try to sell us delicious icy cold beverages. How could they be wrong?
7. Camp food always tastes better. Lets look at the hot dog, a camping staple. Try this experiment. Cook a hot dog in the microwave at home, place it on a fancy bun, load it with condiments, and eat it. Remember what it tastes like. Now next time you are camping, cook a wiener on a stick, burn the crap out of it, drizzle one stripe of mustard and one stripe of ketchup on it with no bun and tell us which tastes better.
So next time you feel the urge to reconnect with your inner camper, embrace it. Pack the tent, the cooler the hotdogs and get outside.
The Fine Print: The opinions expressed are those of White Sands Campground. We are not physiologists or medical professionals of any sort, we are campground owners and have been so since 1995. Our research is not based on telemarketed polls or petri dishes in labs but is driven by our real world of providing great camping experiences each and every day of the summer. In the winter you will find us in Mexico. We love to camp and wanted to share with you why we think we all must do it. Uncover your camping DNA now…the doctor has ordered it.