While on the surface camping doesn’t seem like it has much to do with saving money, the two are actually more connected than you might imagine. Camping is an activity where when actively go and live minimally for a short time, stripping away our creature comforts, usual sources of entertainment and digital connection with the outside world. Taking the lessons you learn from a simple camping trip and applying them to your finances can give them a huge boost. Don’t believe us? Here are 5 things we think will change your mind.
Often when we run into a challenge or problem in our lives we look to the outside for a solution. Depending on what the challenge is, maybe that means buying a new lawnmower, laptop, or car. But when we’re in the middle of nowhere camping, running out and buying what we need is not an option. We have to make do with what we brought with us and what we have in the here and now.
So next time your run into a problem, before going and buying something new, ask yourself how to solve the problem with the resources you already have. You’ll probably be surprised how often the seemingly biggest of problems have the simplest of solutions.
None of us want to be lost in a forest with night coming on, but that’s the exact situation you could find yourself in if you don’t bring a map on your camping trip. In nature there’s less of a safety net than in everyday life, so we’re forced to plan ahead more than we normally do. And because we’re forced to plan ahead, we often make smarter and more calculated decisions when we’re camping than we normally do.
Connected to the point above, part of planning ahead is knowing your limitations and not biting off more than you can chew. Hiking a trail above your fitness level or ability will very quickly make you realize you should have checked its difficulty before you started. It can be a humbling experience if you reach the midpoint of a hike and realize you still have to trek all the way back to camp exhausted.
Often in life we start out on ventures or buy things that are outside our grasp, with disastrous results. There’s a time and place for things like signature installment loans, but often we think we can afford things or put them on credit cards when in truth we can’t, and paying them off becomes an ordeal of its own. So think about that hike next time you’re planning on buying something you can’t afford.
Sometimes in the modern world we use TV and other digital distractions to anesthetize ourselves from the stresses of daily life and everything that’s happening in the world. We draw a blanket of shows, video games and movies over ourselves to drown it all out. When we do this, we leave ourselves open to making costly impulsive financial decisions because of how much static we’ve surrounded ourselves with.
In nature the only static is the hum of crickets and whisper of the wind through the trees. Our minds are clearer there, and it’s easier to make smarter decisions. Try to hang on to that feeling of serenity when you head back home by indulging in the digital world a little less.
We live in a social media world, and even the most reclusive of us probably has at least one account, if not multiple ones, across Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. And because of that, we’re always connected to other people, peering into their lives, and inevitably comparing what we have to what they have. And that can push us to buy things we can't afford with money we don't have to impress people we don't care about. Going camping forces us to sever that connection for at least a short time, and recenter ourselves around what we truly value.