Hello! I am Cat, Editor in Chief of The Unimpossibles and I am here on Couturing posting all week about my camping adventure to The Grampians! Or as I like to call it…The Glampians!
Camping, what’s not to love? Bushwalks, fires, friends, starry nights, fresh water lakes, open air, space from the city etc etc. I could go on for hours and hours about the many benefits of going bush. With so many fantastic destinations right on our door step, it is a surprise that camping is often overlooked as an option when going on holiday. My friends, I am here to tell you why camping might be your ultimate detox adventure. This week I tell you all about #camplife with great camping recipes, how to build a camp fire, what to take camping and how to basically camp like a boss.
It’s hard not to notice that health is massive at the moment, without it – we are nothing. Everyone is raving about raw treats, detoxing, yoga retreats, meditating, fit food and reducing factors impacting health. Camping is the absolute perfect opportunity to do all of the above without forking out all of the k’s for fancy retreats and hipster programs.
Top 4 Health Benefits of Camping
1. Reset your circadian rhythm!
We all know that good sleep is one of the foundations to optimal health, however, often it is impossible to get a good sleep in the city with light and noise pollution entering our private spaces. Humans have only had artificial light in abundance for the last few decades and even then it was contained to limited brightness from light bulbs and candles. Now it is a conscious effort to escape light at night with the abundance of iPhones, TV’s, iPads, laptops, street lights and everything else that is around.
When you are camping, you are kind of forced to wake and snooze in line with what our body naturally craves – once it is dark, campfire and lanterns emit soft light that helps release melatonin (the sleepiness hormone), then the break of day naturally eliminates any melatonin hanging around which makes you bright and alert.
Sleep is essential because it helps us balance hormones, skin, hair, moods, stress and so on and so fourth.
2. Complete Evacuation
Now this is a bit of a weird thing to talk about, but it is so so important to bring up. I imagine a lot of people are hesitant to go bush because of this – the toilet situation. Although squatting over dirt is not the most glamorous way to elevate oneself, it is actually one of the best things for your body. Forget forking out with a series of colonics, this is way cheaper and a lot less invasive! Scientific research has shown that squatting opens up the bowels better than sitting the way we do now, which results in complete evacuation (CE). Why is CE important? If you don’t completely eliminate waste, toxins build up and accumulate. You could be eating all of the right things that sets you up for optimal digestion so you can regulate hormones and excrete toxins such as caffeine and alcohol, but if you are not getting rid of them through CE, those toxins remain in the body with no where to go. Think about it… man wasn’t born with a toilet – we created that!
So embrace it, it is actually quite freeing. Once you get over the initial mindf*ck of it all, it isn’t that hard – and of course it will be a bit uncomfortable at first to think about, because it is not what you are used to!
How to do the deed outside with dignity?
Get a spade, a roll of paper and some biodegradable wet wipes.
Find a nice private place away from any water sources (you don’t want that in your water!) and from camp view.
Dig a hole approx 3ocm in diameter and 10-20cm deep.
Hover, sit and wait…
Finish up and clean your hands with the wet wipes.
Use the spade to cover it all up with dirt.
Done! Not hard, not embarrassing, just natural detoxing at it’s finest.
3. Getting back to basic healthy eating
It is really easy to eat healthy on camp – basically if you only take whole clean foods, that is all you have to eat. No tempting 3am Maccas or candy bar run. Embrace the time and make lots of one pot wonders full of legumes and veges, slow cooked potatoes and anything you can think of. Premake things like raw cacao brownies and bring along your favourite herbal teas, raw muesli’s and make it a culinary experience like no other.
4. Stress less!
If you read my post on how to Calm Your Farm, you would know that stress makes you fat. Getting back to nature, walking barefoot, sunning around, laughing, and generally taking time off is the perfect way to reset your adrenals and get back to burning fat instead of sugar.
So… now you know that camping is like a mega health retreat…. here is what you need…
Basic camping list:
- A sweet tent – we got a 4 mete Flinders Bell Tent from Homecamp. It is basically like living in Cirque du Soleil. Enough room for 2 double air beds or just the one if you’re greedy like us! I loved being able to stand up in the tent it made the world of difference.
- Airbed or foam to lie on – don’t forget the foot pump.
- Pillows and bedding – I just took the doona and sheets from home – I loathe sleeping bags!
- Food – make raw treats, bring a combination of easy to grab things as well as things that need cooking. Don’t forget herbs, spices, sriracha, salt and pepper – Stay tuned for some awesome recipes!
- Eski – often there is no where to buy ice so make sure you keep the eki closed and in the shade to make sure food doesn’t spoil.
- Cooking utensils – e.g cast iron pot / pan / teapot, tongs, fish slice, knife, folks spoons etc
- Serving plates / cups – e.g these awesome enamel ones from Homecamp.
- Fold out table – very handy for chopping, putting the gas stove on and general duties.
- Tarpaulin to hang between trees for extra shelter from sun/rain.
- Consider a second tent to shade your food if your main one is small.
- Outdoor chairs e.g leather stool from Homecamp or deck chairs.
- Clothes for both hot and cold – don’t forget the hat!
- Bug repellant.
- Basic first aid kit.
- Shoes for tramping.
- Day bag.
- Water – we took 2x 20l bottles which lasted 4 people 3 days and it just lasted.
- Water bottle.
- Someway to make coffee e.g the Filter Brewing Starter Kit that we got from Industry Beans
- Fun things todo e.g books, frisbee, silly games, drones etc etc.
- Cheesiest of all.. a good attitude and open mind… prepare for it to rain unexpectedly, to have dirty feet, for cooking to not always turn out and for there to be some challenges. These are the things that make the experience so rich and ensure that when you get back that you will have the best shower of your life and a new appreciation for all the good things you have at home. Additionally, take it easy… go on random walks, play your music loud, tan, meditate, do yoga, whatever!
Optional but very good extras:
- Door mat – good for quarantining the inside from all the outside! We DIY’d one from bark :D.
- Portable phone charger e.g to charge iPhone or iPad.
- USB adaptor for cigarette lighter, not as powerful as above but is cheap and easy to use if you are driving on day trips.
- Sweet tunes and a music player – no one can hear you crank it up in the wild!
- Paddling pool.
- Side tables if you have room – e.g we found rocks and tree stumps for ours – just shake out those bugs!
Not recommend, but I took it anyways:
- Pot plant – this may have invited feedback such as “did you bring anything else completely unnecessary?” as well as “who brings plants to a national forest?”, but I stand by my decision because my tent looked dope. It may have to sit on your lap for the entire 5 hour car trip though… just sayin…