A first time camping is both an exciting and challenging experience that can actually teach you some profound lessons about life.
I would never imagine that I could handle more than two or three days of living in a tent. The very idea of doing without modern-day conveniences scared me. Yet, after my first time camping experience this summer, I changed my mind.
It turned out to be a refreshing adventure that also reminded me of some simple yet important life truths.
Here are the life lessons I learned from my first time camping:
1. Appreciate what you have
Probably the first thought first-time campers have is appreciating some simple things they have left back at home. When you go camping, you have to do without your comfy bed, equipped kitchen and convenient bathroom. So at some point, you think about your comfortable home and all those things you have always taken for granted.
In the consumerist society we live in, we often forget to be grateful for the good things we have in our lives. Instead of appreciating what we have, we always want more – bigger houses, faster cars, more expensive clothes.
Sadly, this consumerist mindset doesn’t affect only the way we view the material stuff. Just like we neglect the importance of our conveniences, we take for granted our health, relationships and the wellbeing of our loved ones.
Sometimes we need to stay without all the nice things for a moment in order to truly appreciate them.
2. Learn to deal with difficulties
Another important lesson you learn from your first time camping is dealing with obstacles. A camping experience is about stepping out of your comfort zone and facing life in its raw form.
It’s not only doing without the conveniences that we discussed above. When you go camping, you inevitable deal with certain problems that require a quick solution. You need to set up a tent and deal with many other practical challenges.
Moreover, you may scratch yourself or get an insect bite. Your airbed may get a hole and deflate while you are sleeping so you find yourself lying on the ground in the middle of the night. While these things don’t sound like a global disaster, you still have to deal with them.
The point is that you basically get exposed to all kinds of challenges. This, however, is also the best way to learn how to deal with them. It teaches you how to be strong and get through the hardships. And this is one of the most valuable life skills you can learn from your first time camping.
3. See the beauty of the little moments in life
The rates of mental illness, suicide and loneliness have never been higher among the population. Have you ever thought why there are so many unhappy people today? While there may be millions of reasons for that, one of them is the fact that our lives have become incredibly complicated.
We have so many things to deal with on a daily basis and occupy our minds with. As a result, many people forget what life is actually about. They forget to see the beauty in simple things and appreciate those little special moments of a day-to-day life.
A gorgeous sunset, the majestic night sky, the smell of the soil after the rain, an evening walk with your special someone… A camping experience brings you closer to these unique moments and opens your eyes to the beauty of the little things in life.
You also learn to live simple without wasting your time watching TV or snooping around on social media.
4. Don’t lose your connection with nature
When you go camping, you are outdoors all day long. This gives you a chance to tune into the frequencies of nature. Whether it’s day or night, whether it’s rainy or sunny, you participate in all the natural happenings and cycles.
You also start to notice things you didn’t notice before. The touch of the sand, the sounds of the forest, the striking diversity of life forms on our planet. If you manage to establish a deep connection with the Mother Earth, you realize that the natural environment is our true home.
We may be surrounded by concrete and asphalt and have a slight contact with nature in our daily lives. Deadlines, stress, phone calls – all these attributes of the hectic modern lifestyle make us forget our real place in the world.
We forget that we are children of nature and not the masters of it. We ruthlessly exhaust its resources and destroy ecosystems for the sake of selfish short-time goals.
To change this mindset, we need to escape our city life from time to time and embrace nature. Things like walking barefoot, listening to the birds singing and watching a splendid sunset are enough to feel the connection and realize the forgotten truths.
5. Value the power of disconnection
We live in an overconnected world. Even if you are alone in the room, you are basically not on your own. With all the modern technology we can’t imagine our life without, we are never alone. Smartphones and computers, chats and messengers – we stay connected all the time.
This constant connection often keeps our minds occupied with superficial stuff. Who doesn’t like watching cat videos or having a Facebook chitchat with a friend? However, sometimes we need to disconnect ourselves from the external world and face our inner one.
I believe that everyone should take some time to stay on their own and put their thoughts in order. You can’t do that when you constantly hear the sound of incoming messages and your phone rings and interrupts your train of thought.
And when you never stay alone with your thoughts, you don’t get a chance to listen to the voice of your soul. You essentially don’t know who you are and what you want from life.
Not only that, but you also forget to enjoy the reality of life and all those inspiring little moments that we discussed above. My first time camping reminded me of the necessity to turn off the phone, go offline and enjoy the real life.
I never expected that my first time camping would turn out to be such a remarkable experience. It reminded me that sometimes in order to find life’s true meaning, it’s enough to leave behind your daily routine and spend a few days in a quiet natural setting.
Editor’s blog by Anna L.