Campers ‘happier, healthier and less stressed,’ say researchers

Everybody should put ‘24 hours outdoors’ on their list of New Year resolutions, according to the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show 2018, with research showing those who camp are happier, healthier, less stressed, and spend more quality time with family and friends.

Research conducted by The Camping and Caravanning Club revealed that 93% of campers agree with the notion that camping makes people feel happier. Nearly half of non-campers also agreed. 97% of campers said camping generates happy memories, while 76% of campers are satisfied with their quality of life compared to just 59% of non-campers. 70% of campers believe camping and caravanning is a good way to make new friends, of which 40% said they’ve made ‘friends for life’. Those who camp say it’s a great social leveller and is accessible to everyone regardless of income.

With The World Health Organisation estimating depression-related illnesses will become the greatest source of ill-health by 2020^, 85% of adult campers feel camping can make individuals healthier and almost half think it should be prescribed on the NHS. Campers aged 55 and over are more likely to regard themselves as fit and healthy for their age than non-campers. 79% of youngsters who have never camped say they would like to go camping and one in three believe camping would make them healthier.

Studies also show that families who camp together have better relationships, with eight in ten campers agreeing that camping brings families closer: 91% of children say spending time exploring the outdoors with a parent would make them feel happy. Children who have camped are significantly more likely to have experienced activities such as kite flying, tree climbing, den-making, and cooking on a campfire.

The campaign encouraging all to spend ‘24 hours outdoors’ in 2018 is endorsed by the world’s greatest living explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who will appear alongside other celebrities at the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show 2018.

Sir Ranulph commented: “With the New Year upon us, there’s never been a better time to take charge of your mental health, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to spend more time outdoors in the fresh air. No matter your age, everyone can add a little adventure to their life, but don’t feel you have to commit to long expeditions or wild escapades, a night spent in the garden can work just as well and is also a lot of fun!”

Also supporting the initiative is female-adventurer Anna McNuff, who added: “Getting outside doesn’t have to mean embarking on arduous mountain treks or cycling for hundreds of miles. Heading to your local hill to watch the sun go down, taking a Sunday walk through the woods or spending an afternoon at the local park can do the trick too. All these things will do wonders for your physical and mental health.”

73% of all adults say camping is something every child should experience, with 46% of campers believing camping improves children’s behaviour. Parents who take children camping cite the top benefits as kids’ freedom within a safe environment, an escape from technology and enjoying a simple life outdoors. Other benefits include family interaction, developing community values and social skills as well as the opportunity to explore new places and cultural attractions.

Parents also feel that camping and caravanning has a positive effect on their child’s education, with 82% saying camping broadens experiences, encourages them to think for themselves, gives insight into nature and topics such as geology and provides stories to share in class. 52% of tent users felt that cooking when camping had a positive effect on their child’s learning and 77% of campers say camping introduces new skills. 60% of non-campers also acknowledged this to be true.

The Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show 2018 takes place at Birmingham’s NEC from 20 to 25 February and showcases the latest in leisure vehicles, camping, caravan holiday homes and lodges, as well as must-have accessories. Tickets are on sale now from www.ccmshow.co.uk or by phone on 0844 873 7333. Prices start from just £7.00†, with children 15 and under entering FREE.

†£7.00 Senior (over 60s), £8.00 Adult when booking before 23:59hrs 19/02/18 after which time prices revert to the on-the-door price of £9.00 Senior and £10.00 Adult. A £1.25 transaction fee applies. Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge. Car parking is included in the ticket price. No dogs (except assistance dogs). Children 15 years and under go free when accompanied by a paying Adult/Senior. Tickets are non-refundable.