A lot of travel enthusiasts have been suffering in the aftermath of the pandemic. Of course, it’s nothing compared to the tragedy brought about upon those directly affected by disease and economic struggle. But over the years, many people have turned to travel as a means of enriching their lives. In its absence, they are deprived of a vital source of joy and new experiences.
The good news is that we haven’t lost travel entirely. It’s true that if you usually fly to distant cities and visit popular tourist attractions, those experiences are off the menu for now.
But if you’re willing to go a little further off the beaten path and tolerate the loss of some creature comforts, you can be rewarded with more unique adventures. Here’s how you can start getting your travel fix by becoming more of an outdoor person and learning how to camp.
If you look at the typical day in the life of an average traveler, you’ll find numerous points of contact and potential exposure. We’re accustomed to the tight spacing of commercial flights and budget accommodations. Money changes hands, cards are swiped at train and bus terminals, and we can’t eat while wearing face masks.
It will take time to figure out how everybody can change their travel habits to enjoy standard experiences. But in the meantime, outdoor travels are good for you. You’ll be more physically active and get more vitamin D, both of which are good for your health and boost resistance to the coronavirus in particular.
Heading into the wilderness for travel experiences isn’t a new craze. Many people have enjoyed trekking outdoors for years. But unlike urban centers, there’s plenty of space for everybody when you head into nature. You won’t have any trouble keeping a safe distance from others, especially when you need to eat. And you’ll only have to handle your own gear.
Gear and the preparations involved in camping are something that can deter many city travelers from giving the experience a shot. But it’s not too different from the ordeal of packing your bags for a regular trip.
Instead of booking an Airbnb or hotel, you’ll have to bring your own accommodations. You won’t have to dress up for fancy venues, but you’ll have to dress appropriately for the weather. And you’ll need to err on the side of surplus when it comes to packing food and water. Covering those essentials will be a great start.
Pay attention to the weather forecast; you don’t want a storm to soak your first camp, or hail damage to put your car in need of repair. When you’re starting, check out nearby developed camping sites so that you’re close to home and have access to amenities such as running water and a bathroom. This will let you ease into the experience.
Bring the kids
Camping is also an excellent travel activity for kids. Years of modern living make us accustomed to convenience. Our daily routines are typically sedentary, our movements limited to sitting, standing, and walking. We spend more time soaking up artificial light from screens than actual sunshine.
By re-introducing children to the outdoors, we show them that they can have fun without a device in their hands. They can help set up the tent, build a fire, and keep an eye on your belongings and logistics. It gives them a sense of responsibility and independence.
If you plan on bringing the kids along, make sure to adjust your preparations accordingly and be particularly mindful of their needs. They are more sensitive to heat, cold, and hunger; they can also get bored quickly during intervals. Extra clothing, snacks, and some game ideas will come in handy.
Maximize the experience
Seasoned campers can be oblivious to the trade-offs involved, but beginners will miss the lack of amenities. So even as you start acclimating to the outdoor lifestyle, you’ll want to make the most of each trip.
Besides being a great family experience, camping is also an opportunity to learn life skills. And this doesn’t have to mean hunting or foraging, though those are certainly useful. It could be something as simple as navigation. Or knowing how to whip up a tasty meal with minimal cooking gear.
You can also use the outdoors as a platform for your current hobbies or pick up new ones. Try to identify local plants and birds, or practice your photography or painting.
This is also an excellent time to put away technology, even if you have a good signal, and focus on connecting with others. Spend hours around the campfire staying warm, sharing stories, and creating memories. It’s an effective antidote to the deterioration of social skills in today’s world.