Isn’t it weird that a global infectious disease on the scale of Coronavirus is what it takes to help us realise that actually confined spaces might not be good for our health?!
Last year October I went to Aldi for flour and eggs but came out with a five man tent for less than £40 too! Of course it wasn’t the first time I’d had my own #Aldi PlotTwist but this time it was a big lifestyle choice I was making for my family going forward.
Went to @AldiUK for flour and eggs for my baking night, came out with a tennis racket and a four man tent #AldiPlotTwist #MiddleAisleOfWonder #MondayThoughts pic.twitter.com/Uc3orwUFiQ
— Hollie (@ThriftyMumCom) October 14, 2019
My own childhood is a montage of memories of den building, camping with family friends and going Enid Blyton style adventures in the woods. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up and of course there wasn’t even the choice to sit watching YouTube videos on tablets. There was still a lot of solitary entertainment but this was trips to the library and taking a book to bed instead of a teddy!
When I see kids who can’t go on short car journeys without some sort of in car entertainment it just makes me sad. I love that my boys have never told me they’re bored (yet). They will make up there own games, search for yellow cars out of the window, shout out TUNNEL! every time we go beneath even the skinniest of gantries. It makes my life easier but I’m sure has a longer term benefit to their own mental health.
Buying that Aldi tent of course meant there was a need to get a hold of the rest of the gear, sleeping bags etc but a trip to Go Outdoors in the January sales sorted me out and fresh air was on the menu for 2020.
Since then of course, Coronavirus has hit the newsstands and flights are being cancelled in every direction. For this reason I’m so glad we hadn’t booked a trip abroad with the kids. However much I could do with an all inclusive week in the sun and cocktails on tap!
Instead, we will be pitching our Aldi tent somewhere local with fresh, clean air and a play park and that’s it. Perhaps a kite and bike too but nothing that requires batteries other than a rechargeable torch for late night trips to the toilet block, unless I brave the bucket!!
The benefits of camping are well researched. Not only do you get to avoid the risk of flight cancellation if you’re on a staycation but loads of other things which improve your physical and mental health.
ThriftyMum Reasons To Go Camping:
1. Fresh air
As already mentioned, there’s a lower risk of catching anything simply because you’re not crammed into a small space with loads of other humans like you are on a plane! Camping normally involves pitching up in a field in the countryside too so pollution levels are much lower. If you’re amongst trees, you’re going to get a significant increase in Oxygen intake too.This is going to improve your serotonin levels which is your happy hormone so guaranteed feel good factor.
2. No clocks
Taking life at the pace it requires rather than rushing to meet deadlines immediately reduces your stress levels. It’s tough getting everyone out of the door ready for school/nursery so give yourself a break from those manic mornings. If you’re camping in your own country then you’ve got the added benefit of no difference in time zone too so little ones’ bedtimes aren’t messed up and no jet lag to deal with on your return!
3. Natural light
Most campers report having a better night’s sleep as they go to bed when its dark and wake when the natural sunrise starts to light up their tents. There’s logic that this is because it was how it was before we had electricity so how our bodies should actually function. It’s bound to be due to the reduction of exposure to harmful blue light emitted from TVs and phone screens on the run up to bedtimes too.
4. Switching off
If you’re looking for a calmer break than a week in the med with noisy kids clubs from morning to night then choosing to not even have an electric hook up can really help reduce the temptation still be connected with the world or work. Making the choice to not be available to everyone on demand is a powerful move. You’re then in control of your own headspace. A break from all the pinging social media notifications and incoming emails, even if these are for the latest deals and sale on the market. You’re suddenly and simply in the moment and all you have to deal with is what’s directly in front of you making you more in touch with your kids or fellow campers.
5. Stretch your mind
One of the first times I took my kids camping, their dad got really poorly and we also had our dog with us. This meant I had to think on my feet. Sort out the logistics of getting small ones bathed and ready for bed, how to pack up a tent and all the apparatus alone with a dog and toddler. It was a challenge and it stretched me but I came out of it feeling very empowered knowing that I coped in the midst of that situation.
I’m not going to lie, even the easiest of pop-up or inflatable tents require some physical effort but you’ll feel invigorated by this and the satisfaction you’ll get from erecting your own living space is immense. Taking bikes or scooters is so much easier when camping too as just not practical to take them abroad with you on a plane! I have this brilliant little pocket kite I keep in the car should it turn windy enough and its come in so handy in the past. They’re brilliant to run along with and burn off even more energy ready for a full night’s sleep.
7. Save money!
It is so incredibly cheap to go camping. From as little as £15 a night for a tent, it is one of the cheapest ways to take a family holiday which means you can go more often!
8. Pack as much as you want
Ok, so maybe you’re still restricted to what you can fit in your car but its so much more than what you’d get crammed into your plane luggage allowance!
9. Exchange rate savings
Sticking to a domestic holiday means you’re not going to lose out on exchange rate charges and fluctuations so even more money saving.
10. Language kept simple
If you’re no linguist then staying in your own country avoids any language barriers and confusion. Especially if there’s a need to seek any medical help, this will reduce the risk of anything being lost in translation.
As you can see – a ton of mental and health benefits that are just a bonus on top of not catching Coronavirus!