If you’ve never gone camping before, you’ll be amazed by the physical, mental and social benefits you can experience from spending an extended period of time in nature.

According to American Psychology Professor Adam Alter, “Nature restores mental functioning in the same way that food and water restore bodies.” And not only do we find inner peace when we camp in nature, our resilience, relationships, and physical wellbeing improves.

If you’re not yet convinced, here are 14 excellent reasons to give camping a go.

1. Learn new skills

Camping requires a specific skillset that can be learnt with experience. Camp just once and you’ll be better placed to plan and pack for the occasion, pitch your own tent, build a campfire, cook food on the fire, read maps and prepare for unexpected conditions. With a bit of practice, you’ll be confident to camp again and again. Our Learn To Camp videos are a great place to start!

2. Reconnect with nature

While urban life dramatically demands our attention, trees, forests, rivers, streams and oceans don’t ask anything of us. Camping in nature gifts you with the health benefits of fresh air, sunlight and a peaceful setting to simply be in, offering the ‘mental reset’ we need to keep energised and motivated in our lives.

3. Spend quality time with loved ones

In this digital age, connecting with friends, family, colleagues, and the community means more screen time than ever before. As you play, chat, relax, move and build together, camping unites and engages people in the same face-to-face activities, helping to develop real connection and build meaningful relationships.

4. Make new friends

Do you like the idea of camping but feel prevented from trying it out because you don’t have anyone to go with? You’re not alone. Even with a network of friends, family and community, it can be difficult finding like-minded people who’ll take time off to camp. Joining social groups and clubs based around the outdoors is a great way to meet people to go camping with. Once you’re there, campsites can be hives of social interaction, presenting an opportunity to meet even more happy campers.

5. Eat well

Food tastes better when cooked over an open fire or campsite barbecue. All you need are some simple ingredients packed into an ice-filled esky to make several delicious meals and snacks. To put your creativity to the test, try preparing a menu before you leave. Our 3-day camping meal plan might give you some good recipes ideas.

6. Increase physical exercise

Research shows that physical activity can have both immediate and long-term health benefits. As well as reducing the risk of many serious diseases, exercise can give you more energy, make you feel relaxed, put you in a good mood and help you sleep better. If you’re used to working a stationary desk job, you might appreciate the way camping presents endless opportunities to explore and move. Many campers spend their days strolling, hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, rock climbing, playing ball games or doing training sessions at their campsite.

7. Build children’s confidence

With remote, online learning now the norm, recent research shows that a growing number of children are lacking basic social skills such as empathy and the ability to make friends. In an environment free of desks and screens, where they can freely play, socialise, explore, and problem-solve, children grow in creativity, confidence and independence.

A mother and daughter kicks a football in front of dad and two younger children in front of tents at Buchan Caves Reserve.

8. Reduce stress

When you’re camping, time slows down. There’s no need for the morning alarm clock, the rush to work or the school drop off. Here, there are no deadlines or traffic jams. As you look to towering trees and soaring vistas, the demands of the daily grind dissolve and you’re able to melt into a slower, more relaxed pace.

9. Unplug from technology

A recent study found that Australian smartphone users born between 1965 and 2012 spend an average of 6 to 7.3 hours a day in front of a screen – a large portion of our waking hours! Consider how present in time we could be with no electricity, and minimal or no phone reception. Camping lets us physically and mentally unplug from the addictive pull of devices, and with fewer distractions, we can feel reduced anxiety, calmer and more connected to the simple pleasures.

10. Reset your biological clock

Many of us experience sleep and waking issues due to an excessive exposure to artificial lights, however one study shows that sleeping close to the elements gives our bodies the chance to adjust to a natural day-night cycle, improving sleep patterns and boosting wellbeing.

11. Overcome challenges

There is an immense sense of accomplishment to be experienced from facing and overcoming challenges in the bush. While modern life presents work, family and domestic expectations, the natural world is unpredictable. Whether you need to fix broken equipment, find your way when lost, or work out what to do in extreme weather, solving problems is all part of the fun.

12. Experience awe-inspiring beauty

There are so many magnificent sights to behold and experiences to be surprised by when camping. How rare it is to spot kangaroos passing by and koalas in the gumtrees, fall asleep under the stars, take in breathtaking views and watch the golden sunrise. A remedy to our regular routines, camping offers a true sense of the sublime.

13. Save money

Camping is an excellent holiday option for people on a budget. Instead of spending money on traditional hotel and B&B holiday accommodation, camping offers the opportunity to take several mini breaks throughout the year for a slice of the cost. In 2019, the cost to pitch a tent at a campsite in Victoria’s state and national parks were halved, averaging $10-15 per person, per night, with costs as low as $2.70 in some parks.

14. Discover more of your backyard

How much of our wonderful state have you explored? Camping is a great way to get into nature and experience the rich and diverse landscapes of Victoria. We have more than 140 campgrounds throughout the state, so as your confidence builds, you won’t run out of new places to uncover. Plus, thanks to the $105.6 million Victorian Great Outdoors program, we’re building more campgrounds, and upgrading existing ones, right across Victoria.

Ready to take your first camping trip? Browse and book a Victorian campground stay.

Step-by-step guide for first time campers

Two female hikers sit outside their tents at Blanket Bay Hike-in Campground

Benefits of camping

If you’ve never gone camping before, you’ll be amazed by the physical, mental and social benefits you can experience from spending an extended period of time in nature.
Mum and Dad sit around the campfire with their infant son while their three other children play in the background.

Top tips for your first camping trip

Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation or both, camping is an excellent getaway option for people of all ages and stages – all you need is an open mind and a willingness to learn the basics.
A family with their car full of Macpac gear

Packing Checklist

One of the best things about camping is its simplicity; it demonstrates that we can truly live well with less. However, with the right items, you can still create a comfortable and cosy home away from home.
A father and young son prepare a fire in the communal fire pits at Troopers Creek Campground at the Grampians National Park

Easy campfire cooking

Whether it’s the open air, the open flame or the relaxed atmosphere, camp food is so delicious, and yet so simple.
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