Last weekend we went camping at Paso Picacho, which was the first time for me since I was 15, and became an instant fan! It's hard to think of other activity that is more grounding and nurturing than spending the time in the nature and unplugging from our regular day-to-day.
Since I practice meditation and mindfulness, I try to incorporate those and bring awareness to new experiences by making sensory notes of the surroundings: seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching.
For example, how my body feels in the warm sleeping bag in a tent when it is 30F outside.
The smell of wild flowers I haven't seen before.
The sound of a crackling fire and the wind rustling through redwoods at night.
The taste of s'mores and a little sip of apple whiskey to keep us warm on a cold night. First coffee in the morning.
Seeing a GRANARY for the first time. Not the kind that humans build, oh no. The Granaries of Acorn Woodpeckers are trees in which these smart birds excavate custom holes to hold hundreds if not thousands of acorns. Woodpeckers don't actually eat the acorns themselves - I would have never guessed it! - they use "raw material" to grow their own worms inside the stored acorns. Granaries are reused over generations to store the winter food supply and also socialize just like how people like to gather in the kitchen. Blew my mind!
Here are some of my favorite camping activities rated as AMAZING by all of my senses that promote both physical health and mental relaxation to feel both recharged and well rested from the trip:
- Slow down right after the camp is set up to switch gears and get into a more relaxed mindset: literally start moving a little slower
- Go on a long hike
- Find a special place to meditate or have a snack, like a rock with a view or a rustic bench tucked away in a secluded area
- Watch a sunset from the top of the mountain
- Sit by the camp fire and share stories (scary or fun?)
- Gaze at the stars and wonder if they gaze back: without light pollution from the cities they will look much brighter and closer
- Relax with a book in a hammock if you brought one
- Make pancakes in the forest: this might require a little prep before hand. Bring along just-add-water pancake mix, mix it using an empty water bottle and enjoy the ultimate comfort breakfast in the nature.
Hope you're getting outside and enjoying the outdoors this weekend!