The many benefits of wild camping and it's potential personal transformative power

wild camping Lake District benefits isolation
Wild camping has lots of benefits - some of which you may not have thought about. Read on to learn why I enjoy it so much...

Why on earth would anyone go wild camping???

Wild camping can seem a strange activity to some people (I’ve encountered a few puzzled looks when I say I’m off camping on my tod in the middle of nowhere, and even some comments like you must be bonkers if you go on your own haha) I like to wild camp both with others, and also on my own, and for very different reasons. 

Wild Camping has a load of useful, powerful benefits that are good for the old noggin, coupled with a potential transformative power, that not many other activities can match. Below are the reasons I Iove a bit of wild camping, and I hope it makes you want to have a go and reap some of these benefits too!

wild camping Lake District benefits isolation
Wild camping lets you see some spectacular scenery and gives you time to soak it all up

The 12 big benefits of wild camping and why I do it: 

Spectacular scenery: 

The great outdoors is full of stunning landscapes that for me are awe-inspiring, and seeing these landscapes at sunrise/sunset when the light is at it’s finest & most unique or witnessing morning cloud inversions or the most amazing dark starry night skies takes things to another level, and these sights are most easily seen when you can just retire back into your tent that’s perched high up a mountain, rather than a big trek back to the car in the dark!

Enhanced Physical Health: 

Outdoor activities are a really good form of exercise and if your carrying your camping kit on your back too then it’s a really good workout and a good physical challenge. It takes some fitness to do this and every camp you do will make you fitter and stronger, and you'll want to get fitter in between camps too so your not blowing out your arse on hike - so it's a good motivator to get, and keep fit!

wild camping Lake District benefits isolation
If you decide to wild camp up mountains and hills - then it can really improve your fitness levels (or be a reality check and make you want to get fitter! :-)

Sense of Freedom: 

Being away out in the sticks, away from your usual routines, responsibilities, work and unplugging from the 24/7/365 digital world gives a sense of freedom that is rare to find these days in a world full of digital distraction and noise. When on a camp you'll find time slows down, you'll feel less busy and the sense of freedom when it's just you and gigantic landscapes is pure bliss.

Simple, Easy Living: 

Normal day to day life can seem rather hectic with lots to do and a seemingly endless to-do list, but when out wild camping, you slow right down and your needs are really simplified - as you don’t need much at all, just a bit of canvas giving protection from the elements, a matt & sleeping bag, and food/drink are all you really need. The new daily to-do list is just to find a nice spot to pitch the tent, warm up your food, have a drink, enjoy the views and watch day turn to night! Simple. 

This post is not sponsored by Brewgooder haha But I do like to take a couple of cans of various IPA's on my wild camps to sip whilst soaking up the views!

Improved Sleep Quality: 

Exposure to natural light cycles and the tranquility of nature can reset your body clock to natural rhythms of day and night and lead to enhanced sleep quality (if not quite on your trip then certainly when you get back home haha)

Improved Mental Health: 

Time spent in nature has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and promote relaxation and mental well-being. A break from the always-on, modern digital world is also a really useful rest for the mind. Wild camping is a great way to reset, recharge and get the old noggin in good working order.

Personal growth: 

Detachment from our regular surroundings and habitual patterns of living, coupled with a dose of isolation can provide lots of introspective time for greater reflection and self-discovery, insights and setting new goals - ultimately leading to a more enriched and meaningful existence. Without quiet time to reflect and learn we'll never grow as a person - and wild camping gives plenty of time for that.  

wild camping Lake District benefits isolation
The solitude of solo wild camping can give plenty of time to reflect.

Increased Resilience & mental-strength: 

Going back to basics out in the wilds, carrying everything you need on your back comes with it’s physical challenges, and it can have it’s mental challenges too, like coping with being on your own in the middle of nowhere! It’s a good test. However, overcoming these challenges (physical & mental) in the wilderness builds resilience, inner-strength, and a new-found confidence that you can deal with any challenges that come your way, whether wild camping or in life general!

New skill development: 

Wild camping requires a whole new set of skills to be learned that you may not already have (practical and mental). Developing these new skills to help you survive in challenging environments will make you a more accomplished person, and make you feel like you can take on any other new task. 

Improved creativity: 

Time spent alone allows the mind time to explore uncharted waters, giving rise to innovative thoughts and new ideas and helping you see your life or other aspects of it in a whole new way. Many great human ideas and creative exploits have their roots in the solitude of contemplation. 

Wild camping lake district best spots tent Helm 2 compact tent review
Time spent in nature on a wild camp can have a real restorative effect on us

Connection with Nature: 

We are quite removed from nature in the modern man-made synthetic world and have lost connection with an environment in which humans evolved in for hundreds of thousands of years, and some say in doing so we’ve lost connection with our Self. Full immersion in natural surroundings on a wild camp can feel like going back to our origins and nature habitat and have a real restorative effect on the human psyche. 

Renewed sense of appreciation: 

As well as valuing your outdoors experience in nature, even if your first wild camping trip doesn’t quite go to plan, you’ll also come back with a renewed appreciation for all the things in life we take for granted (such as modern conveniences haha) and perhaps a bit more gratitude for all that you have in your life, both people and things - and that’s always a good thing.

I hope this blog post has introduced a new way of thinking about wild camping - and you now want to get that wild camping trip planned!

Wild camping essential equipment
Click here for my wild camping beginners guide with top tips to make sure you have all you need to enjoy a wild camp

Happy Camping!

Post by Stuart Hodgson 
'The Hiking Photographer'

I share my adventures as I love the outdoors and it's spectacular natural landscapes. Being outside can also bring many benefits to us, including improvements to our physical & mental health and I want to help others reap these benefits too. I hope you enjoy the blog and it inspires you to plan a trip or two!

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Thanks for taking an interest in my blog, all comments and questions are welcome! Best, Stuart

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