Why People are Choosing a Tent and Sleeping Bag Over Hostels and Hotel Rooms

Why People are Choosing a Tent and Sleeping Bag Over Hostels and Hotel Rooms

We can all agree that the lives we are living are becoming ever so hectic. Amidst all the noise, trying to find that inner peace and tranquility has become harder than ever. Eventually, when we have had enough, escape lends itself to be the only solution. We set off to find a sanctuary.

Most of the time, we go on trips. To foreign countries. To distant places. We just want to briefly leave our lives behind and rejoice in simple things. However, we are then faced with an important dilemma. Will the comfort and security of a warm hotel or hostel provide a better sanctuary than a simple tent would?

Fortunately, we are witnessing a major transition in this regard. More people than ever are choosing to rely on their hiking backpacks, tents, hammocks, and sleeping bags for their travels. Apparently, sleeping underneath the night skies in the great outdoors works wonders for our minds and bodies. Moreover, there is a lot of scientific data that points out exactly why it is better to camp than settle for a costly hotel.

TENT VS HOTEL

Camping and Good Quality Sleep

Sleeping is often underrated. Just because we get those recommended eight hours of sleep on a nightly basis does not mean that we will wake up all fresh and dandy. As a matter of fact, here lies the first and most crucial reason why people choose to camp instead of stay in a hotel/hostel.

Like our homes, hotels and hostels are stacked with electronic devices which greatly affect our sleeping cycles. Prior to falling asleep, our pineal glands start increasing the level of melatonin (sleep hormone) in our bodies causing us to feel sleepy. What melatonin does is basically control our wakefulness. Electronic devices like laptops and cell phones in cahoots with fluorescent lights cause a delay in our circadian rhythms. This means that we fall asleep and wake up much later than our bodies would prefer.

You can check out one of the latest studies published in Current Biology on this particular topic. It explains how winter camping affects our circadian rhythms and sleep patterns.

Let us recapitulate how camping and sleeping outdoors affect the quality of our sleep:

  • Our circadian rhythms reset
  • Melatonin kicks in much earlier (2 hours)
  • Our biological clocks become aligned with our sleeping patterns
  • We wake up feeling brand new

CAMPING AND GOOD QUALITY SLEEP

However, keep in mind that it is important to choose the right location when setting up camp. If you build your tent on an uneven surface, the quality of your sleep will be affected. Here are a few tips for securing yourself a decent night’s sleep when camping:

  • Build a tent on an even surface or place a blanket underneath it
  • Think of the rain. If it pours down, make sure you and your tent are sheltered.
  • Let your sleeping bag contain your body’s heat (do not wear too many layers)

 

Camping and Mental Health

The second reason why people refer to camping as a better solution than a hotel/hostel is that it influences our overall well-being. Some researchers even suggest that just being surrounded by trees and greenery can improve our mood!

On a more serious note, people who are experiencing mental health issues and are struggling with some forms of emotional disorders like depression and anxiety can emotionally thrive in nature. Being out in the open reduces symptoms of obsessive negative thinking aka rumination, causing people to feel soothed and more relaxed.

We are all well aware of the fact that stress and anxiety are major contributors to sleep deprivation which consequently leads us to feel pretty lousy. In the end, we find ourselves stuck in a reverberant circle from which it is hard to break loose. Luckily, the answer seems to be pretty simple and primal. The answer is the great outdoors.

What does camping do to our mental health?

  • Improves mood
  • Reduces symptoms of depression
  • Reduces stress
  • Helps break ruminative thinking
  • Cures sleep deprivation

Camping and Mental Health

Camping and Physical Health

The benefits of camping are not reserved for mental health only. It turns out that spending time in nature works wonders for our bodies as well.

Let us start with the most obvious element. Fresh air. We have all felt dizzy and suffocated by the stale air in our homes, offices, coffee shops, etc. In fact, that stale air is packed with CO2. Is it necessary to mention that higher levels of CO2 slow down our metabolisms as well as cause us to feel pretty lifeless?

Whilst breathing fresh air, our bodies reset. Not only do we start thinking and remembering better, but our muscles get a kick as well. For example, if we were to perform some physical tasks which take a toll on the body, fresh air helps break down lactic acid, causing our muscles to recover faster and better.

Therefore, fresh air helps:

  • Improve thinking and memory
  • Slow down the metabolism
  • Break down lactic acid faster

Camping and Physical Health

Have you ever heard about forest bathing? It is not a joke, it is a scientifically proven form of therapy. In the woods, plants and trees are emitting chemicals called phytoncides which help protect them from insects and germs. Our bodies benefit so much from these chemicals, as it turns out. This technique was first developed in Japan in the late 1980’s.

Forest bathing helps increase the level of white blood cells in our bodies, causing our immune systems to strengthen. Also, it reduces concentrations of cortisol (stress hormone), brings down blood pressure as well as pulse rates. Let us not forget to mention that anticancer proteins are also boosted by it.

What does forest bathing do?

  • Reduces cortisol concentrations
  • Lowers pulse rates and blood pressure
  • Increases levels of white blood cells and anticancer proteins
  • Boost our immune systems

 

Here comes the sun it is for everyone! Another obvious but crucial element which affects our physical health is the sun. We all know that the sun is our most prominent source of vitamin D. What we often fail to understand is just how important vitamin D is for our bodies.

When you start reading about all the positive effects of vitamin D, you begin to think that the list is neverending! Still, it is important to point out at least a few key benefits:

  • Improves memory and learning ability
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Improves concentration
  • Balances blood sugar level
  • Prevents heart diseases and diabetes
  • And so much more

 

Other Camping Benefits

It would be fair to say that there are a lot of benefits that come with renting a hotel or hostel room. Of course, you are always comfortable, warm and safe. Additionally, there is a proper shower waiting for you to use it at all times. However, quite often, hotel rooms are missing an important factor which helps create unforgettable experiences. Fun.

Camping is a social thing. When we are in need of bonding with our closest friends and family, going camping is one of the most brilliant options we could ever choose. If you think about it, every step of the way is a team effort. From packing the bags to setting camp. Devoid of urban hindrances, by which we mostly mean technology, we are free to roam and enjoy each other’s company.

Should we even mention that camping is a perfect learning experience for children? Not only do they learn how important it is to rely on other people and develop a sense of togetherness, but they are also faced with many practical tasks through which they develop their problem-solving abilities as well as motor and spatial coordination.

Another important advantage of camping is that it allows us to reestablish our bond with nature. Being faced with vast landscapes of mountains and forests helps silence our egos which are pretty pumped most of the time. Nature works wonders for self-confidence because it makes you appreciate the fact that you are even alive. Suddenly, even the smallest of gestures and commodities instill a sense of joy into your heart.

Lastly, there is no better to place find your inner peace then somewhere out there. In nature. In the wilderness. Escaping the hyperstimulated atmosphere of everyday urban life is a proper form of therapy for the body and soul. You get the chance to think clearly, organize your thoughts and priorities. Focus on the now.

Let us sum up the “other” benefits of camping:

  • It is fun
  • It helps bring people together
  • It challenges the body and the min
  • It is great for kids
  • It helps you find your inner peace
  • It boosts self-confidence
  • It makes you feel free

tent vs hostel

We Are Not Surprised

We are not surprised that people are starting to come to terms with the fact that a simple tent can be much more beneficial than a hotel room could ever be. Granted, it all depends on what kind of a vacation you are looking to get, but it is really hard to ignore all the facts that show just how camping affect all aspects of our lives.

Instead of pursuing status and affluence, we need to step back and find our true selves first. Camping allows us to do that. It makes us appreciate life, our friends and family, nature, and above all ourselves. In a harsh, unforgiving urban surrounding we have found ourselves in, a little bit of true appreciation will take us a long way.

In order to fully answer the question – “why people are choosing a tent and sleeping bag over hostels and hotel rooms?” – it would be best to simply sum up everything said about camping so far.

  • Camping affects our sleep quality
    • Resets our circadian rhythm
    • Melatonin kicks in much earlier (2 hours)
    • Our biological clocks are aligned with our sleeping patterns
    • We wake up feeling brand new
  • Camping affects our mental health
    • Improves mood
    • Reduces symptoms of depression
    • Reduces stress
    • Helps break ruminative thinking
    • Cures sleep deprivation
  • Camping affects our physical health
    • Reduces cortisol concentrations
    • Lowers pulse rates and blood pressure
    • Increases levels of white blood cells and anticancer proteins
    • Boost our immune systems
  • Other benefits of camping
    • It is fun
    • It helps bring people together
    • It challenges the body and the min
    • It is great for kids
    • It helps you find your inner peace
    • It boosts self-confidence
    • It makes you feel free

We truly hope that this trend will keep on growing. It is not that we have anything against hotels and hostels, but the benefits of spending weekends and vacations on camping are truly invaluable. Facts speak for themselves. In order to secure our children a better future, we first need to help them understand what the problem seems to be with the present. Too much noise, stress, and distractions, but far too little freedom, fresh air, and inner peace.

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Comments 2

  1. Hi, Nigel! You are absolutely right- it so good for you to forget about hotels and walls from time to time and try getting closer to nature. Well, as close as possible. 🙂 I was wondering, what do you think is the best way for someone whos never been camping to start?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Frankie,
      Yes, getting back to nature can be a wonderful thing and much more cost effective than staying in a hotel! If you want to start camping and have never been before I suggest that you start with a single overnight trip somewhere locally that is also close to shops/amenities so that if you can forget something or it does not work as expected that it is not a big deal.
      Cheers,
      Nigel

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