Camping is one of my favorite things to do. I always am quite surprised when I meet people who have very different thoughts about the thought of camping. That is the reason I am writing this post, mainly to convince a group of my friends to go camping with me this summer.
For me, camping is nostalgic. Some of my best memories are from around the campfire or waking up early in the morning to coffee+eggs, surrounded by the redwood forest. I was very fortunate to grow up next to Big Sur, so there were definitely plenty of camping and hiking adventures that took place in this beautiful National Park. I’ve camped in the deserts of Joshua Tree, in the woods of Northern California, by the beautiful Oregon Coast, and in the mountains of Peru, and each experience has been memorable and wonderful. And, when I say camping, I don’t mean kicking up your feet in a log cabin. It’s time to pitch up our tents and go over ten reasons why you and your friends should go camping this summer.
1. Stargazing. Because you are in really remote places when camping, the stars are painted across the night sky in such an extraordinary way. When camping in Joshua Tree, I had never witnessed so many shooting stars at once. It was wonderful.
2. Sunrises. You get to wake up with the sun (and, hopefully a cup of black coffee) and witness the most beautiful sunrises. Mornings are already my favorite time of the day, so getting to wake up amongst nature is so peaceful.
3. Unplugging. Most of the places you go camping at, there is no cell service, which is just how I like it. You get to truly unplug from the outside world and don’t have to be bombarded by work email and texts. It’s a rest for the soul.
4. Good Quality Time. Since there aren’t any distractions from media and the outside world, the time that you are spending with those you are camping with is really intentional and meaningful. It allows you to be truly present and make memories with those you love most.
5. Hiking. You usually don’t go camping without going on some good hikes. The best part is that usually when you are staying the night on campgrounds, you have complete access to all the hiking trails. So, right after breakfast, you can hit the trails and get lost for hours. What better way to spend a day with friends?
6. Getting creative. When it comes to camp food, sometimes you have to get really creative. And, to be honest, I’ve had some really really good camp food. You just have to plan ahead. Going camping with my grandparents growing up, they made cooking around the campfire so much fun. Just because you are camping, it does not mean that you need to be eating hot dogs every night. Trust me. I’ve had a lot of gourmet meals while camping.
7. S’mores. Need I say more?
8. Campfire stories. Maybe this is cliche, but telling stories around the campfire is such a fun way to end the day.
9. Hammock naps. The best nap I’ve ever taken? Sitting in a hammock between two redwood trees, the chirping of the birds our radio for the afternoon. If you are looking into buying a hammock, eno hammocks are the best.
10. The stories you go home with. Just like any adventure, you create memories that will last a lifetime.
With everything going on right now, a lot of people’s travel plans got cancelled, including my own. But, that doesn’t mean that we have to go very far to explore our own backyard. I think this is a great time to go check off those National and State Parks off our bucket list. There are plenty of places to go camping in your own state or neighboring states. And, it will be totally worth the drive. Even if you’ve never been camping before, it’s worth it to do things outside your comfort zone every once in awhile. So, dear friends who I’ve been trying to convince go camping with me, are you in?