Summer is here and that means that it’s time to start thinking about planning a camping trip (or trips, if you are lucky!). I love camping. There is nothing quite like the feeling of immersing yourself in the woods. Last summer, we made a few trips to the backcountry of Algonquin Park. For three days we canoed, hiked, swam, sat around the campfire and slept under the stars. No computers, televisions or cell phones. There was nothing that we had to do and no where that we had to be. It was perfect.
As a kid growing up just outside of Toronto, I was lucky to be surrounded by nature. I was also lucky that my parents taught me to appreciate the outdoors from a young age. Some of my best memories are ones of hiking, biking, fishing, catching frogs in my rubber boots, going on camping adventures, swimming in lakes and singing songs around campfires.
Laugh unapologetically, sing at the top of your lungs and dance like nobody is watching – because they aren’t. Its just you, the birds and the trees.
Spending time in the great outdoors always reminds me how important it is to step away and disconnect; to simply enjoy nature and everything that it has to offer. It is so easy to get swept up in the modern conveniences of life but sometimes, we need to step back into our natural environment of the mighty woods. It is somewhere that has always made me feel completely at peace and at the same time, completely alive.
Here are nine things that stepping into nature can offer:
1. Unplug & de-stress – In the crazy world that we live in, we are surrounded by technology and entertainment more than we have ever been before. More and more research is finding that this constant stimulation leads to stress and burnout. Take a break from all things technology by stepping into the woods – where most of the time, reception isn’t an option. Bonus – vitamin D offered by the sun can do wonders for stress levels.
2. Find your inner child – Do you remember when everything used to amaze you? When you had a general curiosity towards life? That’s your inner child! When you start to pay attention to nature, you realize how beautifully everything works together. Laugh, play and let your inner child shine.
3. Build confidence – If you were lost in the middle of the woods, could you survive? For a lot of people, the answer to this question would probably be no. Spending time in nature allows you to build confidence. You start to realize that nature is a giant, perfect system that provides everything that we need to survive; we just have to learn how to use it.
4. Forget about your appearance – When you are in the middle of the woods, there are no mirrors. You can leave the whole getting ready routine at home (except for a little coconut oil moisturizer maybe…the one thing I can’t seem to live without). I love that the woods let you wake up and feel beautiful in your own skin, exactly as you are.
5. Get back to your roots – Before modern conveniences, people spent most of their time in nature. Today, many of us (including myself) are pretty removed from the way that our ancestors used to live. Ditch the concrete and step into something a little more ‘eau natural’.
6. Feel connected – Once you start to pay attention, you realize that everything is connected. We are all energy of the earth. Take off your shoes and feel the sand beneath your toes. Listen to the crickets sing. Catch a glimpse of a shooting star. Take a deep breath and remember that life and energy exists all around you.
7. Exercise – We all know how important exercise is, but do you ever start to feel like going to the gym can become a chore? For most of us, this is probably true. The solution? Grab your hiking shoes and get outside for some adventure! You will get a great workout (especially if you are carrying your camping gear, canoeing and portaging) and make some great memories along the way.
8. Travel light – When you go camping and take only what you can fit in a backpack, you realize quite quickly how little you actually need. Its easy to get wrapped up in our possessions but stepping away with only a few key belongings is an important reminder of how little we need to experience true happiness.
9. Be 100% yourself – Finally, make sure that you laugh unapologetically, sing at the top of your lungs and dance like nobody is watching – because they aren’t. Its just you, the birds and the trees.
I hope this motivates you to venture into the woods. And hey, what better way to spend time in nature then to pitch a tent and camp? Go grab your backpack so that you can set out to explore the beauty that this world has to offer. I can promise that you won’t be disappointed.
It is so easy to get swept up in the modern conveniences of life but sometimes, we need to step back into our natural environment of the mighty woods. It is somewhere that has always made me feel completely at peace and at the same time, completely alive.
Keep Shining — Kate☀️
*Note: This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.