Lifestyle

Why Your Family Should Go Camping

by Kendra Clapp OlguínDec 22, 2020

Why do so many families love to go camping? Because it’s good for you! It turns out that camping has a positive effect on your family’s relationships, spirituality, and appreciation of nature.

An image of a family in the 1970s camping.

Camping Research

According to Exploring Early Twenty-First Century Developed Forest Camping Experiences and Meanings, a study conducted in partnership with the US Department of Forestry, Americans love camping as much as ever. With new amenities and technology, camping continues to be a “way to comfortably contact and explore nature and to satisfy important human needs for personal restoration and social bonding.”

In fact, now more so than ever, camping can be the perfect “catalyst for bringing family members together who may otherwise be separated by the 21st-century life.”

A group of cousins with Camp Gramp shirts standing in front of a lake.

Camping Helps You Grow & Learn

Research conducted in the Czech Republic pointed to camping strengthening family bonds. “Camping is one way for a family to interact, grow, learn, and develop in a natural environment. The act of living outdoors allows room for the family members to relate to one another in a way that recalls an earlier and simpler era.”

Not only is camping beneficial for the family entity, but it is also an opportunity for personal growth in both children and adults. “During this leisure time of camping, it is possible to engage in many activities, such as sports, games, campfires, swimming, and writing in one’s journal, the outputs of which should be seen as informal learning.”

An old photo of a family ready to embark on a road trip.

Childhood Camping Stories

Whether you’re continuing a family tradition or starting a new one, camping is an excellent way to bring your family together. To show you the effect camping can have on one’s life, we’re sharing childhood stories from a few of our favorites in the camping biz.

Sam Degenhard, Founder & Owner of Campfire Ranch on the Taylor

I had the pleasure of growing up in a camping family where we spent most of our weekends and vacations RVing or on trips with Scouts – camping has always been a passion of mine but was never a career interest until I graduated from university in Colorado and found myself in Los Angeles.

A man with two children in a vintage Shasta RV.

While living and working in Southern California, I constantly needed to escape the city and spent most of my weekends trying to go camping. What I quickly realized is that there aren’t many great campgrounds out there designed to cater to 20-somethings and I felt out of place wherever I went. I channeled this frustration and went to grad school to study the outdoor industry and launch Campfire Ranch. We’re building campgrounds for the experience generation.

Two children in a bunk bed inside of a vintage RV.

Anne-Marie Byl, Digital Marketing Manager of Campspot

Growing up, my family was always planning our next camping adventure. My parents hauled our family of six all over the country during our youth, from squishing together in a single tent in Maine, in a hand-me-down pop-up camper in Northern Michigan, or driving out to Yellowstone in a rented RV.

A vintage photo of three children dancing on top of an RV with mountains in the background.

Camping with your family has its ups and downs – it comes with the territory. Something is always bound to go wrong. I remember raccoons eating all the food we had packed because my brother didn’t latch the cooler correctly. I remember hiking in Washington and getting caught in a torrential downpour where we had no choice but to keep going and get soaked to the bone. And I remember my mom flipping a kayak and hearing her swear for the first time.

A man hiking with a baby on his back with water in the background.

What’s great about family trips (camping in particular) is that even if things don’t go entirely as planned, years later, everyone looks back on the camping trip fondly. And the parts that were not-so-great at the time are the parts that everyone remembers best.

A man and baby in a red tent.

There’s something special about exploring new places with your family that gives everyone a shared sense of wonder and excitement. I’m so grateful for these shared happy memories with my family, and I’m thankful that I learned to explore and appreciate nature from a young age – even if things don’t go according to plan!