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Camping makes you happier, says major new study

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Camping in the great outdoors makes people happier and improves their wellbeing and mental health, according to a major new survey

The Outjoyment Report asked nearly 11,000 people what they think about the benefits of all types of camping – whether it’s in a tent, caravan, motorhome or glamping.

And it found campers are happier, less stressed, more connected to nature and more likely to be active outdoors.

The report, commissioned by the Camping and Caravanning Club and carried out by academics, revealed:

  • Happiness is the top motivator for going camping for 97% of campers, while 48% of campers reported feeling happy almost every day, compared with 35% of non-campers
  • Campers are more connected to nature, with 93% going camping to enjoy being in nature
  • 93% of campers value camping for the benefits it gives to their health and wellbeing

People who camp more often have optimal mental health, according to the report, with 44% of campers flourishing, compared with 31% of non-campers.

It also found that 88% of campers are motivated to go camping to take time out of everyday life and they have higher levels of psychological wellbeing than non-campers.

The report revealed that 98% of campers take part in outdoor activities, with 91% going walking, 39% cycling and 26% enjoying birdwatching.

Camping and Caravanning Club Director General, Sabina Voysey, said

 

Camping in all its different forms puts us on the doorstep of the great outdoors and provides a clear pathway to a healthier and happier lifestyle – one in which people appreciate nature more and are active outdoors. Given the many negative events that have been happening in recent times at home and abroad, anything that helps people to feel better about themselves and each other is vitally important.

The study was carried out for the Club by academics at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and Sheffield Hallam University and it was published 11 years after the groundbreaking Real Richness Report, also commissioned by the Club. 

Dr Kaye Richards, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University, said, “Camping connects people – to the outdoors, to nature, to each other, and most importantly to themselves. Positive emotions generated from outdoor enjoyment help to alleviate everyday stressors and promote feelings of life satisfaction. It is no surprise then, that the more people camp the more this can improve happiness and wellbeing.”

Dr Adele Doran, Principal Lecturer in Tourism Management at Sheffield Hallam University, added, “Campers really enjoy an outdoor lifestyle. They pursue a range of outdoor activities while camping, which fuels their sense of adventure, keeps them physically active and connects them to nature. In fact, campers are more connected to nature than non-campers.”

The Outjoyment Report also examined subjects such as the importance of children going camping as part of their formal education, with 94% believing children should learn outdoors, while 93% think pupils should camp as part of their formal education.


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