7 Top Health Benefits of Camping – Your Right To Know

health benefits of camping

Getting back to nature offers proven benefits for physical and mental health. Camping allows stripping away the modern sedentary lifestyle to embrace simpler times sleeping under starry skies, cooking over a campfire, and adventuring into beautiful wilderness. Read on as we explore numerous evidence-based scientific reasons on how and why is camping good for you, no matter how old you may be.  

7 Mental and Physical Benefits of Camping

1. Boosts Happiness & Life Satisfaction  

There are several emotional benefits of camping. Multiple studies reveal outdoor excursions and nature immersion reliably improve measures of overall happiness, mood, and life satisfaction. Japanese scientists found forest bathing reduced hostility and depression while improving liveliness and vigor. 

Another study saw over 95% of campers report increased happiness from trips. Disconnecting from devices to reconnect with lakeside views or mountain ridges brings therapeutic effects. 

Take your significant other on a romantic camping trip, to get an extra dose of oxytocin that will bring you two closer than ever! 


Today’s plugged-in, fast-paced modern lifestyles drain mental bandwidth leading to chronic stress and anxiety for many. So, is camping good for mental health as a whole? Research published in Frontiers in Psychology confirmed time in nature reliably lowers stress hormone cortisol levels. Other findings show just 20 minutes outdoors reduces anxiety sensitivity. Camping allows deep unwinding to birdsongs instead of phones and Slack chats.  

3. Camping Improves Sleep Quality 

Improved quality of sleep is one of the most important benefits of camping for adults and even younger campers. Artificial light pollution from streets, devices, and indoor lighting interrupts circadian rhythms worsening sleep struggles for many. 

Studies confirm camping regularly resets routines via bright daylight and near-total darkness absent electronics. Researchers found camping sleep boosts melatonin levels by almost 70% improving sleep efficiency, duration, and vitality upon waking. 

4. Sharpen Attention Spans

Overstimulation leaves modern brains taxed attempting to process more input than evolution equipped humans to handle. Studies reveal even brief nature exposure restores depleted cognitive functioning, boosts attention spans, and enhances creativity compared to urban settings. Camping’s simpler stimuli and fewer intrusions optimize recharging mental faculties.

5. Camping Promotes Physical Fitness

Research identifies vitamin D as crucial for bone/muscle health, immune function, cancer prevention, and regulating inflammation. Since our bodies synthesize vitamin D via sunlight, most people face deficiencies from too much indoor living. Camping’s outdoor days and lakeside lounging optimize sufficient sun exposure for proper levels. Additionally, all the hiking, paddling, and scene chasing means more physical activity than Peak couch potato status.  

6. Social Benefits of Camping 

Campfire chats, team tent setups, and group kayak trips build stronger social connections. Scientists measure brain activity and find outdoor excursions improve positive emotions and social cohesion. Cooperating to gather firewood or navigating new places sparks bonding oxytocin levels higher too.

Families strengthening relationships away from home distractions is invaluable. Camping with toddlers and babies can be made easy with some simple tips and tricks that make the wilderness safe for them. 

7. Camping Boosts Immune Function 

Could brief wilderness trips toughen immune response similar to vaccines? University of Utah research found three days of camping boosted antiviral defenses by 50% for nearly 2 weeks. Additional Japanese studies confirm spending time in forests significantly increases the number of natural killer immune cells lasting a full month after trips. Talk about camping giving health a real boost!

Our Final Words

Reaping the perks of physical and mental health benefits of camping hardly requires hard-core expeditions deep into backcountry wilderness. A car weekend camping trip filled with campsite feasts, lakeside lounging, and evening bonfires brings the same revitalizing benefits in easier formats. Those able to invest in their RV open even more comfortable camping possibilities. 

Regardless of how you camp, integrating more time in nature essential for human health brings profound benefits for improved fitness, cognitive performance, social connections, immune function, and beyond that accumulates quickly. Give yourself the gift of escaping devices and getting back to green spaces as often as possible. Your mind and body will thank you for prioritizing some rejuvenating camping trips this season.