As summer approaches, most of us are busy fantasizing about going on vacation with friends and family members after months of isolation and, let’s face it, boredom. Of course, your travel options are likely to be a little limited this year as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt plans. For the sake of safety and keeping transmission rates low, experts are strongly encouraging people to take an outdoor vacation and avoid air travel this year.
Fortunately, there are heaps of outdoor vacation options available, including camping, hiking sessions, national park visits, and more. There’s never been a better time to get up close and personal with the natural world and lose yourself in its beauty.
If you’ve never embarked on a hiking vacation or are yet to appreciate the simple joy of camping, we’ve listed a few of the pros and cons of outdoor excursions. By preparing yourself for the best and the worst, you’ll know how to make the most of your time and remain comfortable (even when the weather’s looking terrible!)
Are you baffled by your friends who love outdoor adventures and camping? Here are some of their best-kept secrets:
You can unplug from social media and other distractions
The pandemic has supercharged the amount of time we spend on social media platforms, email accounts, and web pages in recent months. Unfortunately, endless scrolling and half-hearted interactions on Twitter have left people feeling burnt out, restless, and looking for something more fulfilling. Immersing yourself in the great outdoors is the perfect way to unplug from online life and rejuvenate your mind. Who knows – it may even help you to overhaul your unhealthy online habits for good!
You can get fit
Outdoor holidays represent an easy way to get fit while having fun. As well as going on long hikes and exploring your surroundings, you could try an activity such as kayaking, rock climbing, or wild swimming. Just remember to stay safe and try new activities with the guidance of an instructor!
You learn to appreciate the small things
Going on a camping vacation is an effective way of stripping your life back to the essentials and learning to appreciate the things in life that matter. You don’t need a huge TV or closet full of shoes to enjoy life – spending time around a campfire with your nearest and dearest is often the closest thing to pure joy!
You will feel closer to nature
In a time of ecological crisis, it’s never been more important to connect with the natural world and learn to appreciate our place in it. Only a few days of hiking could transform you into the eco-warrior you’re striving to become.
Clearly, outdoor vacations have a lot going for them. As with many things in life, however, they’re not always rosy. Here are a few hurdles you may encounter:
With no internet connection, video games, or nightclubs, restless campers may find themselves getting a little bored. If it’s raining hard and you’re struggling to focus on a card game or novel, try to sit with the feeling. It may help you to generate some new thoughts and ideas!
Personal grooming will get more difficult
Even the best camping sites tend to come with rather rudimentary shower facilities, making washing and grooming difficult. This low-maintenance lifestyle may prove difficult for some campers, but rest assured you will all smell as bad as each other as the vacation ends!
It can be difficult to sleep outdoors
Unless you’re one of those enviable people who can fall asleep anywhere, snoozing under the stars can be challenging thanks to low temperatures, loud bugs and creatures, and uncomfortable bedding. If you’re struggling to drop off at night, try to tire yourself out during the day with plenty of energetic activities.
Camping equipment can be costly
If your jaw has ever dropped at the cost of a new tent or a pair of simple hiking boots, you’re not alone. Decent camping equipment is often more expensive than it looks as it is made using sophisticated technologies designed to keep you safe and dry in the great outdoors.
Whatever you do, don’t opt for the cheapest items in the store, as they’re the most likely to let you down. Just remind yourself that outdoor vacations are much cheaper than city breaks and excursions to sun-drenched villas. Plus, once you own a set of camping gear, you can use it again and again during future adventures!