Camping is one of the most popular activities in the United States, with over 40 million people going on a trip each year. There are many benefits to camping, such as connecting with nature, spending quality time with those you love, and getting away from the norm.
For those of us who are in recovery from substance use disorder, camping may be a therapeutic activity to aid the healing process. If you are looking to plan a trip out in nature, here are some ideas to get started.
The Benefits of Camping
When in recovery, your surroundings can sometimes make things harder for you. The environment you live in can trigger cravings and also remind you of negative emotions.
Even if your environment is not bringing your mood down, being in the same place every day combined with work and other stresses can burn you out. Taking some time away can do a lot of good for your mind. This is when a camping trip can prove to be beneficial.
Camping allows you to spend time detached from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, especially if you live in a city. Out in the woods, it can be very tranquil, allowing your mind to rest from common thought patterns or emotions.
This is why wilderness therapy is becoming a common practice. Therapists take their patients out into nature and then treat them there. Although you probably will not be camping with a therapist, being out in the wilderness can certainly benefit the mind.
In addition to connecting with nature, being out in the wild can help you reconnect with yourself. While going through the challenges of work, relationships, and treatment, it is common to sometimes neglect your relationship with your mind and body.
The world is a fast-moving and busy place, and through the internet, you are constantly given new information every day. Life can easily become overwhelming. Taking a break from it all can allow you to listen to your deepest thoughts and the sensations of your bodies. These feelings often tell where you may need to grow and thrive in life.
The first thing you want to ask yourself when planning a camping trip is “How much experience do I have?” If you have never been camping or hiking before, a public campground might be the best option. These grounds are closer to society and you can often drive right in and set up camp near your vehicle.
Making sure that you are not pushing yourself too far out of your comfort zone is important, especially in recovery. More experienced wilderness adventurers can do some hiking and set up camp farther into nature. Doing this allows for more privacy and options to choose from, although it is significantly more challenging.
The next question that needs answering is “What supplies will I need?” Some things to think about are a sleeping bag or hammock for nighttime, a tent or overhang to protect from rain, and tools to start a campfire. You will also have to consider how long the trip will be and how much food you will need for each day.
Going to a public campground with your car makes bringing plenty of supplies easier. Also, consider if you will be doing any activities like fishing or swimming that require extra tools and supplies. There are many resources online to figure out what you need for your trip, and it helps to make a checklist.
Things to Look Out For
Although camping can be a fun and relaxing experience, there are some things to keep in mind to avoid trouble. When deciding who to bring on your trip, make sure you select people that understand that you are in recovery. Invite people along who you respect, trust, and who bring rest to your soul.
Do not invite people who bring drama or who remind you of negative memories. Camping is about having an enjoyable experience so avoid taking people who tend to bring you down or stress you out.
Remember to refrain from planning an overly complex trip and learn about the area you camp in. Going on a camping trip can be an exciting experience, especially if you have never gone before. This excitement can lead some people into planning complicated trips, bringing more than needed, and trying to do too much.
The problem with an overly complex trip is that it can create expectations that are too high to reach. Doing so may also cause logistical issues like over-packing. Simple plans often have fewer issues and end up working out more smoothly.
While selecting a campground, make sure you learn about the area you are going to. Some examples of important information can include knowing what the weather may be like, the prevalence of bugs in the area, and animals living there. For example, if you are camping near bear territory you need to make sure you do not draw their attention by leaving unsealed food out.
Also, keep in mind any dangerous snakes in the area, which may change how you set up your tent. These tips are all part of camp safety, and it is important to learn these things while planning. Make sure to do your research and share the knowledge with your group. When done properly, camping can be very safe and fun.
Going on a camping trip can be a therapeutic adventure. Although it’s not for everyone, there are many different ways to camp to fit your needs. Participating in memorable and holistic activities can be a vital part of the recovery process. While that activity does not have to be camping, finding something you are passionate about can add spice and happiness to your life. Recovery is not something we should have to face alone either. For example, finding others to go camping with can give us something to look forward to and keep us motivated about the future. For help in reaching recovery, look no further than Everlast Recovery Centers. Our dedicated and experienced staff is ready to help you along your journey. We provide care tailored to your specific needs in a home-like environment located in southern California. For more information on how we can help, call (866) 338-6925 today.