This is a post about something that makes me, specifically, happy. As I said in the post about beer, this may or may not make you happy. But I don’t care, because it works for me and you have to find out what works for you. I went camping two weekends ago, and it was a blast. My girlfriend and I packed up the car and met up with one of my high school buddies and his future wife for a good old-fashioned camping trip. A good time was had by all.
The setup was basically car-camping. You know, where you drive your car up to the site and carry your gear less than 50 ft from the car to setup your campsite. The only difference is that car camping usually involves water and electrical hook-ups and a bathhouse, but we had none of those. According to the state park, it was “primitive” camping. And it was just what I wanted.
The weekend was filled with fires, roasted marshmallows, good friends, my homebrew, my buddy’s homemade hard cider, disc golf, and nature. Also, they brought their dog, Molly, which was fun since I love dogs. Seriously. But that’s a topic for another post.
Camping is great for a lot of reasons. It lets you unplug for a while. I didn’t open a laptop, or even carry my phone on me the whole weekend long. It was glorious. Also, you get a lot of time outdoors, which we already know is a big deal for our happiness levels. It is also a good reminder of all of the comforts we have that we regularly take for granted. Camping is great for giving you a fresh perspective on how luxurious your everyday life is. For instance, I was digging holes for latrines, foraging for wood for heat and light, sleeping on the hard ground, and ended up with some very itchy poison ivy. You may be thinking, “Who in their right mind would voluntarily do all that?” But I’m here to tell you I wouldn’t change any of it (OK, maybe the poison ivy).
Almost every single person in the USA lives a very comfortable life. We have little computers we call phones that basically give us unlimited information at the touch of a finger. We sleep on big, soft, cushy beds. We spend all our time in temperature controlled environments. We have light at the flip of a switch. All of these things are relatively new (at most about a century old). It’s good to remind ourselves just how good we have it. Not to mention the fact that cutting all of those things out is really refreshing and fun from time to time.
On a different note, we also got a lot of exercise. We played disc golf (which is very fun, and mostly free, if you’ve never played) and hiked around the park. Taking in nature and getting healthy all in one blow. Also, spending a little time in a non-sterilized environment can be really good for you. Not to mention really beautiful.
Plus you never know what is going to pop up in the woods. My girlfriend was really worried about spiders the whole time, but we also saw this little guy, who just hopped out of nowhere from under the leaves.
In short, camping is awesome, and I don’t do it enough. If nothing else, it can help you realize just how awesome your life really is. I was really happy all weekend long, and then when I got home, I was really happy to have a hot shower and a soft bed. Taking little trips like this one can be a big boon to your happiness levels, and can really help you break up your regular routine. So if you are feeling like you’ve been stuck in a rut recently, why not try a quick local camping trip? I bet you’ll be glad you did. I sure am.
Have you been camping recently? Do you have any good camping stories?