A Holiday of Fun, Fitness, and Learning?

Campground locations

Of all of the places that families typically visit for holiday — theme parks, water parks, cities, etc. – family camping vacations are some of the most popular in America. Collectively, about 534.9 million days were spent camping by American families in 2011. Camping is becoming more and more popular because it is so multifaceted. It combines fitness, learning, and recreation into a memorable experience.

The stereotypical image of a camping trip is a group of friends pitching a canvas tent in the woods. Believe it or not, this isn’t the only way to camp. There are several of forms of camping that exist, including:

- Backpacking: hiking while carrying gear on one’s back, is a popular activity – 92% of campers hike on trips even if their trip isn’t solely dedicated to hiking)
- Cabin Camping: staying in a cabin in the wilderness, usually one part of a camp resort, allows the feel of the outdoors with the comfort of the indoors
- Car/Off-Road/RV: a powered vehicle is an important part of the camping experience, allows one to cross and explore terrain that cannot be accessed by foot
- Tent Camping: pitching a canvas tent at different organized camping grounds or simply in the wilderness.

There are many more forms of camping besides the above, but those have proven to be the most popular. A survey showed that 86% of all campers camped by tent, 33% went backpacking, 26% used drive-up/cabin camping grounds, 24% went by RV, and 11% camped in their backyard.

However, the type of camping you choose doesn’t matter nearly as much as the health benefits that camping provides. Exercise, fresh air (oxygen), sunshine (Vitamin D, even out melatonin levels), a decrease in stress, a more positive mood, and positive brain stimulation are all important health benefits that people have experienced as a result of camping.

Camping is a multifaceted activity with different avenues/paths to take, many health benefits, and infinite memories to create, which is why it is becoming a vacation favorite with more and more American families each year.

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