Camping is a recreational (and oftentimes laid-back) activity pursued outdoors, away from cities and towns and in the lap of nature, with fresh air and (occasionally) wildlife for company. One can set up a tent, or live in a caravan when camping. But the classic camping trip involves toughing it out in tents – and at the mercy of Mother Nature.
Camping can be – and usually is – combined with other adventure activities, such as hiking/trekking, fishing, whitewater rafting and kayaking, giving one the ultimate outdoors experience. It can be an individual pursuit, but is often done in the company of friends and family. It’s a pastime that can be enjoyed by the young and the old. Camping is also a convenient option for those attending music festivals or sports gatherings. While camping has moved on from its rough-and-ready, back-to-nature origins, hardy folks are still willing to rough it out in the wilderness, no matter how conspiratorial the elements might be. But for families, with kids in tow, camping is the perfect activity for a vacation.
BENIFITS OF CAMPING:
1. THE FRESH AIR
When you spend time near a lot of trees, you take in more oxygen. That feeling of happiness that you get when you take your first breath of air at the campground isn't all in your head--well, technically it is, but it's a release of serotonin from the extra oxygen. Your body can function with less strain when there's plenty of oxygen. That's not the only benefit of fresh air. Research shows that some time outdoors can improve your blood pressure, improve digestion and give your immune system an extra boost. When you spend a few days outside, you get some serious health benefits from the extra oxygen and low levels of pollutants.
Camping alone is plenty of fun, but if you bring along a friend or family member, you'll enjoy a unique experience together that will help you keep a healthy, happy relationship. Socializing can extend your lifespan and delay memory problems according to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, and apart from the medical benefits, a few close relationships make life more fun. Invite a few friends on your next trip out.
3. IMPROVED MOODS
Regular campers will often talk about how the first few days back from a trip seem happier. This isn't without merit; spending some time outside in the sunlight can even out the levels of melatonin in your brain. Melatonin is the chemical that makes you feel tired and can induce feelings of depression, so by camping, you can enjoy better overall moods during and after your trip.
4. LESS STRESS
Camping also allows you to cope with stress. Stress can negatively affect your health in just about every way possible, and you're putting much less strain on your mental and physical faculties by giving yourself some stress-free time at the campsite. The lack of stress is related to the rise in oxygen levels, higher levels of serotonin and managed levels of melatonin mentioned above. There's also an emotional component at work here, since it's harder to be annoyed or angry when you're doing something that you enjoy.
Let's not forget the most obvious benefit of camping: you're spending a lot of time performing physical activities. Even if you're taking a fishing trip, you're burning more calories than you'd burn sitting around an office, and if you hike or bike, you're performing cardiovascular exercise that will help keep your heart and lungs healthy. Your activity levels will vary, but hikers burn anywhere from 120-300 calories per hour. Bikers burn 300-500 calories per hour, and fly fishing can burn up to 200 calories per hour. No wonder you work up such an appetite during a long camping trip.
Sunshine feels great on your skin, and there's an evolutionary reason for that. When you're out in direct sunlight, you're taking on a ton of Vitamin D, which allows your body to absorb calcium and phosphorous.
7. A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP
Assuming that you've got decent camping gear, you'll fall fast asleep after a day full of outdoor activities. Sleep has an effect on all of your body processes and can reduce inflammation, improve your cardiovascular system and help you stay alert. Many campers report better sleep cycles when they return for a trip.
8. GOOD FOOD
If you pack s'mores, you're not seeing any particularly solid health benefits in this department. However, if you're fond of fishing and hunting, you'll likely eat a large amount of protein and healthy fats on your camping trip. You won't get any preservatives or unnatural ingredients in a fresh lake-caught fish, and all of the exercise on your trip will help you digest.
9. NEW CHALLENGES
No two camping trips are exactly the same, and that's a good thing. Studies from the University of Texas and University of Michigan show that new experiences help to keep brains healthy. New activities that are both physically and intellectually stimulating have the greatest effect on brain health, and camping fits both of these criteria.
When you go camping, don't forget to turn off your cell phone. Leave the tablet and the laptop computer at home. Try to disconnect for a few days and enjoy the simplicity of the natural experience. This isn't just a general tip to help you enjoy the experience; if you're willing to enjoy your surroundings without any outside distractions, you could increase your lifespan.If you suffer from depression, fatigue, heart disease or even allergies, research shows that camping can improve your overall health. Just don't forget to commit to the experience--if your cell phone's off, you're on your way to developing a stimulating, tranquil hobby that will keep you healthy for years to come.
KANATAL: Kanatal is nestled in the middle of lush woods of deodar, rhododendrons and oak, near Dhanaulti, Mussoorie. The chilliest offbeat destination near Delhi, Kanatal is perched at a height 8500 feet. From basic camps to bamboo huts and Swiss cottage tents you have got it all; this little town is a hub for campers from around the world. Hiking, bonfire, trekking, volley ball, nature walks, are just few of the many activities you can indulge in while you are camping in Kanatal.
DHANAULTI: Settled amid the alpine forests of oak, deodar and rhododendrons, Dhanaulti is a camper’s paradise. Other than adventure camps, you can avail facilities related to corporate team building and kids. Here, you can try your hands in sports like rappelling, rock-climbing, trekking, ziplining and others.
RISHIKESH: Rishikesh, is a hub of campers and adventure-seekers. The camps are settled on the white-sand river beach, by the Ganges on one side and its tributary on the other. Jungle walks, kayaking, volley-ball, river rafting, mountaineering, jungle trekking, bungee jumping and other such adventure await you. And when you simply want to unwind around the campfire, the soothing gurgles of the river and chirps of beautiful birds will keep you company. From basic to luxury tents, you have options to choose from. You will easily find accommodation and packages that will best suit you.
CHOPTA: Chopta is rather a paradise untouched by humans. If you are planning to camp in Chopta, you wouldn’t have to search a lot to find comfortable facilities, without having to compromise your conversation with nature. From the camps in Chopta, you can further take famous trekking routes like Tungnath, Chandrashilla and Deoria Tal. If that’s not enough, head to higher altitudes and relax by the glacial lake.You can find variety in tent accommodation, which also include dome tents or family tents. Most of the tents have dry pit western style toilets and provide fresh and filtered drinking water. Do not also worry about delicious food.
AULI: One of India’s best skiing destinations, this town can be visited anytime during the year. Sight of oak-edged, heavy dense coniferous woods and mist-laden valleys make it a delight and hot-spot camping destination of Uttarakhand. Live inside a tent right beside a pristine water-body or just in the middle of woods. Other than skiing and camping, trekking is a common activity in Auli. If you love heights you mustn’t miss the cable car ride that flaunts the picturesque panorama of Auli and around.
NAINITAL: Indeed a popular hill-station of India, located on the foothills of the outer Himalayas, Nainital with its glistening pear-shaped lake and scenic beauty has and continues to attract a myriad of travelers. Easy tented accommodation is available, letting you breathe fresh air. Other than boating and camping in Nainital there are mélange of activities for you to try, right from trekking to rafting and paragliding to indulge in.
CORBETT: Acclaimed for the population of tigers in all of India, this surely is an ideal place for camping for the lovers of wildlife and wilderness. The buffer zone of corbett national park is where you can find options for camps, from luxurious to basic. There are mainly two types of tented accommodations, namely pakka cottage camps and temporary camps. Near the Sitabani Forest area is where you can find temporary ones. Here, you can enjoy activities such as elephant ride, bird-watching, swimming and much more.
MUKTESHWAR: Mukteshwar Camp is surrounded by apple and peach orchards and its name is inspired by the color which blends perfectly with nature as the sun sets (or rises) over the snow covered mountains. Mukteshwar literally means 'Abode of Shiva' and has a Shiva temple at the highest hill on the ridge.There is Rock Climbing/Rappelling at the cliffs, deep jungles for explorations and complete Camp Purple team to take you around their villages for approachable Himalayan meal. American Safari tents, basketball/volleyball court, hangout huts and running water common washrooms – Camp Purple in Mukteshwar is a best place to fulfill your hunger to relive stress free life.Apart from the above, day picnics out in the jungles, meadows and streams, workshops based on forestry and other community development projects, on kite-making and flying and stargazing await you as much as the blazing campfire, endless cups of tea and day-dreaming on sun- drenched grassy slopes.
PANGOT: Pangot is a little island where the coos and chirps are heard in abundance. Just a few kilometers away from Nainital, Pangot is an apt spot for someone longing for sheer peace. Not just basic tented accommodation, you may also opt for Swiss tent accommodations with independent toilet, hot shower and many other amenities.Bird watching, wildlife safaris, rock climbing, rafting, nature walks and bonfire (just to name a few) are some activities that visitors indulge in.
BINSAR: Binsar, the Crown Jewel of Kumaon Hills lies in close proximity to ancient Silk Route and is surrounded with lush jungles of rhododendrons and oak, which is home to an expansive biodiversity. Binsar is also known for its Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary and the cluster of 124 temples in close proximity. Adventure camps here are easily available and provide a wide range of facilities. Riverside trek, jungle camping, bird watching, rappelling, valley crossing, rock climbing and bonfire are just a few activities you could try while camping in Binsar.
CHAKRATA: Surrounded by some of the most beautiful locations of the country, Dehradun hides a small destination in its folds. Chakrata, a town in Dehradun district is known for being amongst some of the most offbeat locations, and this campsite in Chakrata serves you the best colors of this place.Riding on zig-zag roads through the hills and rolling green forests, you will finally arrive at this majestic campsite filled with hammocks, comfortable tents, dim ball-lightings, and a stream that flows through the property. Making for a complete tribal experience of camping, the place has an air of wilderness and is covered in Himalayan Flora. The stream forms a natural pool where you can dip in the cool water. Get to enjoy a tribal dance performance when you interact with the locals of this area.The best part of the campsite is its location. Located quite near to the Tiger Falls, the best adventure at this campsite will be a trek to the famous cascades for about 2.5 to 3 hours. When you come back in the evening, a warm campfire will be waiting for you at the campsite so you can enjoy gazing at the stars with your campmates.