Instead of reaching for the medicine cabinet, it may be time to reach for our sleeping bags and tents. Research shows that camping in nature is good for our mental and physical well-being.
What better reason to head out with family and friends into the great outdoors and sleep under the stars?
Check out the brain and body benefits of camping:
Benefits for your brain
Get better Zzzz’s: Sleeping away from artificial light and waking up with natural sunlight can reset your circadian rhythm which will help you feel refreshed after a better night’s sleep.
Bonding with friends and family: A camping trip with family and/or friends provides excellent bonding time. Sitting around a campfire and talking without distractions is a great way to connect.
More green time, less screen time: Camping is a great opportunity for a digital detox. Turn your screens off and give your eyes and mind a break. Many parks have cell coverage so resist the urge to post live camping updates on social media by leaving your cell turned off in your car.
Lower stress: Camping in nature takes us away from common daily stresses like traffic, work, and noise pollution. Instead we are exposed to relaxing landscapes and stress-reducing sounds like waves, rushing rivers and bird songs.
Benefits for your body
Fresh air: Camping and spending more time in nature surrounded by trees means breathing in more oxygen and less pollution. Your body functions with less strain when there’s plenty of oxygen. The extra oxygen also causes your body to release serotonin- considered a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness.
Get a boost of Vitamin D: Spending time outdoors means you will be able to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Research has shown that Vitamin D may help protect against multiple diseases, is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth and may even help ward off some forms of cancer.
Get active: As you set up your campsite, fetch water for drinking and washing up, walk to the washrooms, and build your campfire, you will find that camping can by quite physical and makes you and your family more active. This extra activity keeps your heart and lungs healthy!
Let’s go camping!
Over 100 provincial parks offer car camping, including:
Located on Round Lake, Bonnechere offers an excellent beach for swimming, great paddling down the Bonnechere River, and three beautiful campgrounds. Campers love the River Loop campground which offers many scenic riverside campsites.
This ecologically diverse park stretches 7km along the shores of Lake Huron. More than 200 species of birds have been spotted in the park which brings birders flocking here every year. Campers love the many large, private and well-treed sites.
Grundy offers paddling opportunities abound and park lakes provide access to famous Voyageur routes along French and Pickerel Rivers. The park also features excellent hiking trails and 8 sandy beaches for swimming. Campers love the lakefront sites.
Murphys Point features excellent fishing, paddling, hiking and swimming and is well known for its guided tours of the restored Silver Queen mica mine, two pioneer homesteads and ruins of an early sawmill. Campers love all of the camping options: backcountry camping, car camping, deluxe yurt, deluxe tents and a camp cabin.
This park features excellent paddling on its 8 canoe routes and excellent hiking on its 11 trails that explore rocky shores, beaches, lakes and rivers, waterfalls, forests, wetlands and rolling hills. Campers love Agawa Campground where more than half of the sites offer a stunning view of Lake Superior.
Find a campground near you
For more information on camping facilities in different parks, check out the “Camping” tab on the individual park pages or learn more about camping in Ontario Parks here.
New to camping?
Ontario Parks offers the award-winning Learn to Camp program at several parks including Bronte Creek, Darlington, Earl Rowe, Emily, Sibbald Point, Six Mile Lake, Selkirk and Grundy Lake Provincial Parks.
Healthy Parks, Healthy People
Research shows that spending time in nature is good for our physical and mental health and camping is just one of the ways to include more nature in our lives. This is why Ontario Parks has embraced the worldwide Healthy Parks, Healthy People movement which encourages everyone to spend more time in nature.
In celebration of the Healthy Parks, Healthy People movement, Ontario Parks is offering FREE day use at all Ontario Parks on July 15, 2016; the perfect time to visit some parks and check out nearby campgrounds.