Summer is finally here. What does that mean to most of us? Maybe a small vacation near home. A few nights in a cramped hotel room, perhaps. I would like to claim that camping more can make you happier.
What do you do on family vacations? Visit touristy locations. That’s great – you are helping the economy in different towns. But does it make you happy? Do you feel rested when you get home? Are you unplugging from normal life and actually taking a vacation? I think you probably do what I used to do. You still check social media. You still obsessively check your work email to see if there is an emergency.
Listen, when you take a vacation from normal life, you should be actually removing yourself from most aspects of that life.
By unplugging from your electronics, and from society, you can re-balance. So much of our lives are spent crowded around other people – regardless of whether you enjoy their company or not. We are relentlessly chained to our smartphones, laptops, tablets.
You don’t need too much to have a successful camping trip. What you need – a tent, a sleeping bag, a cook stove (or use the fire), eating utensils, food, toilet paper, garbage bags (don’t be a litterbug), and bare with me here because I’m going old school – a book or two, a crossword puzzle book, a deck of cards.
There are thousands of campgrounds around Oregon and Washington. But if you are like me and don’t appreciate the college kids next to you who party straight through the night, I have a little secret for you. Unimproved campsites.
What is so great about unimproved camping? Let me tell you:
- It’s FREE!
- There is less chance for rowdy ‘neighbors’
- Most places have zero internet access
- Most are located in BLM land – you will be closer to real nature
- Located a good distance from cities means you will have an amazing view of stars in the night sky
- Most are located around a river or lake
How you may ask, will rendering your electronics null and void provide you with happiness? You will have no choice but to notice the natural world around you. You will have no choice but to interact with your family. That teenage daughter or son that has been ignoring you for the past few years – they may just strike up a conversation.
Go camping. Get dirty. Be lazy. Eat s’mores and have a blast.