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Healthy camping can be easy! This wonderful outdoor activity offers many health benefits that contribute to your overall well-being. Embracing the outdoors positively impacts your mental health by elevating your Vitamin D and serotonin levels. It also effortlessly promotes physical activity, resembling what play does for kids. With all the health benefits of camping, there are also opportunities for pitfalls like pudgy pies, s’mores, grazing snacks, alcohol, sugary beverages, and excessive use of electronicsThe allure of summer sun and relaxation can make it tempting to abandon your healthy habits, but this won’t help you restore or maintain your health. By taking time to plan, you can stay on track and enjoy everything summer has to offer. 

6 HEALTHY CAMPING IDEAS 

1 – PLAN HEALTHY MEALS AND SNACKS 

Eating healthy while camping is a breeze with a well-thought-out plan! Unlike dining at restaurants or attending parties where there are concerns about allergens and unhealthy ingredients, camping is great because you’re in control! Plan ahead so you aren’t grazing on junk food. Convenient and nutritious options like Protein balls make great on-the-go snacks, and we have plenty more ideas for snacks on the go. Another crowd favorite is corn-free chips with guacamole or salsa. Simplicity is key for cooking on camping trips, so explore different recipes and discover what you like. Check out some of our favorite summer recipes and ideas for grilling. You can also find an abundance of options in our recipe section. 

2 – TRY HEALTHIER S’MORES 

We talked about healthy foods and snacks, but this one deserves its own category. S’mores and camping just go together. While they have yet to find a way to make cauliflower taste like s’mores (like they did pizza), there are healthier options for a camp-friendly treat. Check out our healthy S’mores ideas to transform this classic treat into a healthier option or make an even healthier dessert without sugar to curb the S’mores cravings. For sugar-free treats, try Christy’s Peanut Butter Dream Pie or Thin Mint Cookies. 

3 – STOP BUGS NATURALLY 

Much of what goes on your skin goes into your bloodstream, so it’s essential to look at what ingredients are in your bug spray. Those ingredients can add to your toxic load. Why do that when there are natural options to keep bugs away?  

  • Eating garlic not only adds flavor to your food but repels insects.  
  • Burning a mixture of cinnamon and coffee grounds can keep bugs away from your campsite.  
  • Mixing dried coffee grounds with cinnamon essential oil and placing them in a bowl or on a flat surface can be burned as incense. You can also add a bit of cedarwood oil for easy burning.  

For more ideas and instructions on making your own bug spray, check out our article on natural bug repellents or the DIY Bug Spray recipe. By opting for these natural alternatives, you can effectively keep bugs away while minimizing your exposure to potentially harmful ingredients. 

4 – SAFER SUNSCREEN 

With all the time outside, you’ll likely get plenty of sun. That’s great for Vitamin D, but you can get burned if exposed for too long. Instead of reaching for sunscreen containing potentially harmful chemicals, consider finding natural alternatives. As mentioned in our article on toxic sunscreen, one study found that chemicals in sunscreen were detectable in the bloodstream 24 hours after application, and levels rose with repeated applications. 

Thankfully, there are numerous safer options available. Natural substances like coconut oil and shea butter can provide decent sun protection, and you can also explore the benefits of essential oils with additional SPF properties. And, of course, don’t underestimate the effectiveness of a simple sunhat. If you prefer to purchase sunscreen, EWG – the group that came out with the “dirty dozen” and “clean fifteen” – has a helpful app. Scan the barcode on your product, and it’ll tell you whether its ingredients are “clean” or truly safe. 

5 – CLEANER THOUGHTS ABOUT ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES 

Many alcoholic beverages contain high amounts of sugar. It’s one of the reasons why alcoholic fatty liver disease was, at one time, far more common than the non-alcoholic variety. These days, people eat so much sugar that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common concern in most people. If you’ve been around the Wellness Way for any length of time, you know that one of our first suggestions will always be to cut out sugar. We’re also not big fans of drinking alcohol, as ethanol is still toxic to the body. 

You don’t need to drink to have a good time, and your health will be better without it. Some people enjoy alcohol during their camping trips, so if you’re going to imbibe, don’t let it derail your healthy habits. Again, we’re not advocating for alcohol as a healthy beverage. If you’re looking for healthy drink options, try iced tea, infused water, or smoothies. Stevia-sweetened soda is also a Wellness Way favorite. 

But if you’re determined to drink alcohol, look for gluten-free, organic beers and wines –preferably dry wines. Be sure to avoid your allergies (including yeast and barley), and don’t assume gluten-free beer is “healthy.” For those who prefer cocktails and are willing to try something new, there are healthier mixers sweetened with stevia or other alternative sweeteners.  

Check out our cleaner drinking ideas articles for more inspiration. 

6 – SKIP THE ELECTRONICS AND SLEEP BETTER 

Did you know screens can worsen eyesight and increase stress and anxiety? It may also contribute to or worsen ADHD and impact your circadian rhythm. Camping is the perfect opportunity to reset that rhythm and your body as a whole. Exposure to natural light and grounding helps rebalance the physiological systems that can lead to better sleep. If you’re camping near the beach, go for a barefoot walk through the sand to get your grounding in, and experience even more health benefits! The effects will last far beyond your trip. 

Skip the electronics at night and do things that don’t need them during the day – go for a walk, hike, or scavenger hunt in the woods. Divide into teams and play hide-and-seek, race through the woods or sand, or wherever you’re camping. Pinterest and the internet are your friends when it comes to coming up with a list of possible fun activities. You’re in nature – enjoy it and capitalize on it to help your kids with their digital detox. Enjoying your time in nature will also help you sleep better! 

MAKE HEALTHY CAMPING MEMORIES 

You can make fantastic summer memories and enjoy healthy camping. Taking care of your health will help make many more summers of camping in the years to come. A healthier version of you will relish the joys of camping far more than if you were feeling unwell. So, invest in your well-being while enjoying good times with family or friends.

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Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your Wellness Way clinic or personal physician, especially if currently taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. Pregnant women, in particular, should seek the advice of a physician before trying any herb or supplement listed on this website. Always speak with your individual clinic before adding any medication, herb, or nutritional supplement to your health protocol. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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