CAMPING

A. General.

There are many benefits from camping.   A few include outdoors improve blood pressure, improve digestion and the fresh air reduces stress by releasing serotonin.  Therefore camping in a forest is healthy. 

Cleaner Air.    Many blogging sites say that oxygen is generated by plants and therefore the oxygen levels in a forest is slightly higher.   Not true.  Actual testing shows that the oxygen volume percent is the same throughout the world and does not vary significantly.  However, there is one thing that is higher in the city urban areas.  That is air pollution.  There are many pollutants in the air in urban areas and very little in forest environments. 

Reduces Stress.  Almost all studies have shown that camping in the forest reduces stress.  A study in South Korea showed that forest therapy reduced depression in alcoholics after 9 days.  The control group and the treatment group started out at a BDI (Beck Depression Inventory) of 15.3.  After 9 days the treatment group had a BDI value of 5.5 while the control group continued to measure 15.3.   That is a reduction of 64%.   There are many reasons why it reduces stress.   Getting away from negative factors, i.e. cell phones, television, computer terminals, traffic, the constant hum of noise, work, etc.  And, getting in touch with positive factors, i.e. talking with family, walking in nature, lack of noise, smelling the trees, listening to natures life giving rain, getting a good nights sleep, seeing stars in the sky, etc. 

Being with Family.  The camping environment brings the family together for more than a few hours.  This results in talking and listening.  Children can learn about the parent’s stories of their childhood, their parents and grandparents, and how peopled survived without the computer or cell phone.  Parents can learn about what makes their children happy, scared, or their friends.  Sitting around a camp fire telling stories and burning Marshmallows is epic and real.  How many times did you cook a hot dog on a stick and how did it taste? 

Practice Session.  Can you remember at least 3 fond stories you learned from your parents or children while sitting around a campfire.  

Observing Nature’s Beauty.  Nature has boundless beauty that cannot be captured in photographs.  The cuteness of tiny chipmunks darting under a log, or the ease of birds landing on tree limbs in complete balance, or the majesty of an Elk holding its head high as it runs through a forest with ease, are all things that can be seen in the forest free of charge.  The distance from a tall mountain top to the pristine lake below is breathtaking.  The thunderous crashing of an ocean wave on the beach or rock cannot be described in words.   The smoothness of sand dunes and the patterns that are illuminated by a sunset is only appreciated by being there.  All these things are available by simply packing up and going camping. 

B. List of Camping Sites.

All National Parks have camping sites.  Links to these National Parks are identified in the section on National Parks.  Below is a list of websites that identify the best parks for camping.