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I love camping! I feel calm and relaxed in the woods. All the day-to-day problems just sort of melt away as soon as I get to the campsite. I stop thinking about work. I stop worrying about the items that I should have packed for the trip (since it’s pointless at that point). Most importantly, that little bit of anxiety that I always seem to have for no reason goes away. I am at peace.
Sure there are things that can go wrong when you’re camping. It has rained on almost every camping trip I’ve been on. I’ve taken the wrong trail while hiking and ended up hiking several miles more than I was planning on (in the rain). I’ve had countless huge mosquito bites, spider bites, wood tick and deer tick bites. Even with everything that goes wrong, at the end of every camping trip I’m left feeling sad and lost. I feel at home in the woods.
When I’m camping there’s usually no cell service. On the drive back home after our recent camping trip we had missed calls and texts from Mr. Frugal Turtle’s family. There was mixed communication and they got really worried when they couldn’t get a hold of us! Oops. On the plus side, we had no idea what was going on in the real world. That’s not always a bad thing. I recently went a week without the internet and I think it changed me for the better!
If you’re new to camping and need some ideas about what gear to bring, I wrote up a detailed post with many of the items we use when we go camping. You can find it here!
#1 Benefit of Camping
When I go camping I get a great workout every day. Whoever I go camping with, we usually spend our days hiking or biking around the park. On one camping trip with my sister we hiked for over twenty miles. We got up really early and had a big, filling breakfast. After breakfast we filled our backpack with water and snacks and left our campsite. 11 hours later we finally got back to our campsite. It didn’t even feel like a workout! We took enough breaks and just took in the beautiful scenery on our hike. Although I usually stick to hiking I have done some biking while on the camping trips as well. In fact the day after the epic 11 hour hike we went biking to give our legs a little break. It was so much fun.
#2 Benefit of Camping
Shared hardship increases intimacy!
That phrase was used in an old episode of Dharma and Greg. It’s really true! When camping there are harsh elements that need to be dealt with. It’s usually rain in my case! Take our last camping trip for example. It was a beautiful evening. The sun was shining and we had just started to cook dinner. All of a sudden the sun disappeared and in its place were clouds that were getting darker and darker. At that point I told Mr. Frugal Turtle “Maybe we should hurry up, it looks like it could rain.” His response, “We got time.” Of course, ten minutes later when I had just sat down to eat my food it started raining. Mr. Frugal Turtle, who was still cooking his food, told me to run to the car and finish eating. He was going to finish cooking and get stuff cleaned up. What a gentleman! When he finally sat down in the car to enjoy his meal, all we could do was laugh. It never fails to rain when we’re camping! We sat in the car and enjoyed our meal and talked for the next half hour before it finished raining.
My sister and I have had great conversations! While trapped in a tent. Listening to rain. The only time we sit in the tent when it’s raining is at night. No campfires in the rain! Nothing else to do except play games and chat.
If it’s raining during the day, we usually just deal with it and still go hiking. That’s what they make rain ponchos and rain coats for! I’m not going to sit in a tent all day just to avoid the rain. That doesn’t make for a great story. People will think you’re nuts if you go hiking in the rain. It’s fun to see their expression when you tell them how you braved the elements.
#3 Benefit of Camping
It’s a frugal vacation!
Usually. It depends on how you camp. I’m not talking about the expensive RV with all the bells and whistles. Fancy gourmet meals and expensive alcohol do not make for a frugal camping trip.
Camping in a tent and only buying essentials make for the frugal camping trip. If camping is a common getaway, you’ll have almost everything needed to go camping already. All you’ll need is maybe some water bottles and some camping food. Plus whatever the price is to reserve that site. We paid $77.50 for three nights. This past camping trip we also spent around $20 to get a tour of a cave. However, normally we don’t do any activities that cost money when camping. We spent maybe another $75 for food water, and firewood.
Our meals while camping:
Eggs and salsa wrapped up in a tortilla. Banana
Eggs and toast. Banana
Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Hot dogs/veggie dogs with potato salad.
Black bean burgers with vegetable foil packets
Bean and Cheese Quesadillas with salsa and guacamole
Pretzels and Dip
Homemade Trail Mix with peanuts, cashews, M&Ms, sunflower seeds, and raisins
Summer Sausage, sliced cheese and crackers (Mr. Frugal Turtle)
We were actually only at the campsite for lunch one day out of the three. The other days we just had snacks for lunch while we were out hiking. I’m a vegetarian. Mr. Frugal Turtle is not. He does eat a lot of vegetarian meals however. Luckily he has liked almost every vegetarian meal I’ve made him!
Camping is such a wonderful way to spend a few days. I look forward to our camping trip every year. It reminds me that I need to get outside more. I really do feel so much better when I’m outside enjoying the weather. It brings families and couples closer together. Plus, you get to see a part of your state that you might not get to see otherwise. Most people don’t even know we have caves in Minnesota. They were really cool! Our tour guide did an awesome job and took time at the end of the tour to answer any questions.
Do you enjoy camping? What other some other benefits of camping?