5 ways camping changed my life
As I started to take camping seriously in my early twenties, I started to notice how it just clarified EVERYTHING in my life, especially the need for less.
You’ve probably heard of minimalism, but maybe you’re convinced it’s not for you.
I firmly believe that minimalism is for everyone, despite that not being a very popular view. That’s because I don’t think that you have to follow any “minimalist rules” in order to call yourself a minimalist.
Minimalism is a mindset, and it is a tool. It’s a mindset in that you decide how much is enough and learn to be content with that. And, it’s a tool in that you use it to simplify your life so that you can live a life that is meaningful for you.
Not only that, all of us “minimalists” out there are on unique journeys. Our lives look different, our personalities are different, and our level of “enough” is different. I think that’s okay…and beautiful.
WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES OF MINIMALISM?
In order to determine which principles of minimalism you need in your life, you need to know what they are and what they can do for you. There are two main principles of minimalism.
1. Remove anything from your life that is holding you back and robbing you of joy.
You will want to apply this principle to your life if you spend more time than you would like picking up after your life, cleaning, and maintaining your possessions. If you have too much in your home, it causes you to be overwhelmed by all that needs to be done.
2. Prioritize what matter's to you.
Prioritizing what matters means really choosing the people, places, items and experiences that serve your needs. It means consciously living a life that supports your higher needs as the unique human you are.
That’s it. Minamilsm isn’t overcomplicated and doesn’t have a certain way of looking like only two pieces of ikea furniture in your room. It is adopting a mindset of purpose and true joy in your life. . Minimalism is a journey towards looking more inward at your relationship to you, your fellow humans and the world around you.
Over the past few years, my outdoor experiences have taught me so much, especially about what really matters in life- living big with my relationships and smaller in all of the stuff.
Here are 5 ways camping has made me a minimalist.
Living with Less
Camping and Backpacking forces you to be sheltered and surrounded by less. I’m always amazed at how blissfully happy I am with my backpack and just a few items. This concept has really made me re-evaluate even the smallest of habits that may not seem like a lot in the short run but add up over time.
The older I get, the more I realize just how much my physical environment affects my ability to concentrate. When you are in the wilderness, everything is in tune to the moment as there are no other distractions like phones, traffic, loud noises- only the pristine environment around you. Understanding this principle has been of tremendous value to my life as it encouraged me to take hard look at what was always distracting me in my home- papers on the coffee table, extra boxes lying around, place holders not having anything. I started carving out just 20 minutes a day to tend to my home so it never started to pile up as a mess with laundry, papers, my business camping gear (how many times have i had tents on my floor?) :)
Bringing Nature into the Home
When you are out camping and backpacking you find this certain gratitude of the routine that comes from packing up camp, organizing your backpack. Everything has it’s placed and every item it’s value. The more time I spent outdoors, the more I actually take pride in my home, my space and want to curate more nature within the home. The more I filled it with aromatherapy diffusers, plants, crystals and things of the earth, the less I cared about the miscellaneous items around my home that had no value or didn’t bring me joy. If you are starting a minimalist journey, I highly recccommend The Magical Art of Tidying Up.
Remembering That my Human Relationships Always Come First
This is perhaps the biggest and most fundamental reason I do what I do. Being a part of outdoor group experiences taps deep deep into my most primal sense of belonging. Every fiber of my being is alive when I’m in the wilderness setting up camp, enjoying conversation or helping each other out. We need each other more than we need anything else on this planet, we are wired as animals to work in and thrive in groups.
Eating/Moving With The Cycles of Life
As my possessions and habits that don’t serve me become less appealing, I have more time just to feel into life. I naturally crave foods that are in each season, like potatoes in the winter and strawberries in the summer. For periods of months I’ll go through more grounding meditation and yoga in the winter and in the summer I”ll swim, bike and climb an whole lot more. I listen to what my body needs and move accordingly. There is this voice within that is allowed to come up when you start shedding all of the things you don’t need in your life, you just have room to think and feel everything more.
How has camping changed your life?
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