10 Ways to Commune with Nature on Your Next Camping Trip
People go camping for many reasons, but by far the most primary and primal is simply to commune with nature. That big wonderful world of ecosystems and living, growing things can strike awe into even the coldest and most stressed out spirit. Many people find themselves drawn out into the wilderness, or at least semi-wilderness, just to be surrounded by trees and natural flowing water for a little while. If you own an RV or are considering buying one, chances are high that you are one of the multitude compelled to camp in the great outdoors and connect to nature as it lives and thrives around you. Of course, even once you’re out in the woods it can still be difficult to unwind and truly appreciate the natural marvels before you. As a guide, here are 10 wonderful ways to commune with nature on your next camping trip.
1) Drink in the Sights
The first and most important step of communing with nature once you’re at your campsite is not to take it for granted. Rather than simply assuming you know what is around you at a glance, really take a moment to drink in the sights. Look at the arrangement and colors of the trees, how their branches have grown, and what kind of underbrush is most common.
Look up. Most people forget to look beyond eye-level, especially when they live in an urban environment for too long. The tops of trees and the way their branches interlace make a beautiful sight, one you shouldn’t allow yourself to miss on your trip. Look down as well and remember to examine the earth beneath your feet and the beautiful smaller plants that grow up out of it. Take a moment to note how things grow and where. This will help you relax and truly appreciate the wild environment around you.
2) Breathe the Aroma
Every plant in a natural ecosystem has its own scent, and you can help yourself commune with nature by taking the time to learn the aroma language of the forest. Try to sort which scents come from which plants like the most common trees around you, the various types of wildflowers, and the occasional sharp-smelling bramble. It can help to either close your eyes and move around smelling specific plants up close. We don’t recommend that you do both at once. Taking in the smells of nature around you will help you feel at one with your surroundings.
3) Take a Hike
In most campsites, there’s a lot more to the park than the limited area around your tent spot or RV hookup. In fact, these areas are the most affected by hundreds of previous campers and there are deeper, more secluded and natural areas to explore nearby. Once your camp is set up, take to the hiking trails and take in the overwhelming beauty of your surroundings. Every mossy rock and swaying tree is there to be enjoyed and you should spend some time really appreciating all that nature has to offer. You may even want to pick a perfect spot along the way to sit and fully absorb the wonders of nature.
4) Stack Rocks
Rock stacks are an age-old camping tradition, but they’re not as easy as they look. Finding the right rocks and carefully stacking them in a stable but seemingly precarious position requires time and focus, but you will definitely get better at it with practice. All you need is a relatively flat space and a collection of local rocks that might stack well together. Gathering and stacking the rocks can serve as an activity-rich form of meditation. The activity proves very useful for people who arrived too wrapped up in their daily concerns rather than relaxed while on a camping vacation.
5) Make a Natural Sculpture
Rock stacks aren’t the only kind of art you can make out in the wilderness. Technically, the forest is your canvas and you can be the creator. As long as you don’t want to cut into the trees. If you have an artistic bent to your personality, now is a wonderful time to connect with nature by applying your creative eye. Consider building a statue at the side of the hiking path or bring the supplies home with you to make something specific you have in mind. The act of crafting something entirely out of leaves, twigs, and local rocks will help you spend more time among these wild resources and can make a memorable souvenir of favorite campgrounds.
6) Spend Time Alone
If your vacation isn’t about meeting other campers, then spending time with them will only get in the way of communing with nature the way you’d like. Vast amounts of humans stamp the ground flat, leave slowly growing piles of litter, and push back nature from their favorite clearings. In order to truly connect with your natural environment, you may want to schedule time just for yourself and the hiking trails so you will have that rare and wonderful opportunity to see and hear no signs of life beyond you and a well-cut trail.
7) Press Flowers
Sometimes the urge to reach out and pick one of the brightly colored wildflowers out on the trails hits you. It’s totally okay as long as the general population of each flower is complete. This flower you pick will most likely end up stuck through a buttonhole or tucked behind your ear but it will eventually wilt. If you would like to build a collection of beautiful camping memories, you can keep that flower pick for years to come in a pressed flowers book. Accompanied by a small blurb about either the flower or how you were feeling that day, your collection becomes a thoughtful remembrance.
8) Build a Scrapbook
If you’d like to go above and beyond fresh pressed flowers, you can make an even larger kind of memory book with a combination of photos, pressed plants, and delightful decoration. A scrapbook is often a large project to take on, but is a wonderful way to make your time camping in the great outdoors easy to revisit in memory with the simple turn of a page. To start your scrapbook, make sure to bring a large base book and a camera so you can take snaps of everything from a rare bird sighting to beautiful bushes to the antics of your fellow campers.
10) Leave Footprints
Communication with nature can be a 2-way street in which you do your best to appreciate and commune with nature and nature, in turn, is slightly marked by your passing. Whether you carve your initials into something or simply take a wonderful walk, be aware of the signs of yourself you leave behind. When you leave footprints on the trails, this is your way of thanking nature for giving you a beautiful place to walk. Sure, the footprints will wash away with time, but that’s how it’s always been and will be. Accept the eternal and constantly changing state of the ecosystem and you will subtly become a more connected part of it.
Nature has a vast number of wonderful things to offer you in the form of experiences, understanding, and even delicious wild edibles. In order to make the most of your next camping trip, simply take the time to enjoy the natural world around you. Take a hike, breath in the air, and leave only small signs of your passing so the forests and campsites will be as beautiful for your next visit as they are today. Contact us today to get on the road for your next adventure.