Why Is Camping So Popular? What’s the Point of Camping?


Camp memories

Soon after graduating from college, I joined the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. Even though it’s an air force, new recruits are trained in a field exercise. I still clearly remember how it was. The strong smell of grass and trees that clung to me when ambushing in a thick forest, excitement when making a fire (mainly because of hunger pains), the sound of rain on the tent, beautiful sunrise in morning mist (after not sleeping a wink all night, though), etc. I imagine they are probably what many people expect for a camp. Camping becomes more and more popular in Japan. Me? No way. I was already camped out but am interested in why people do camping, going so far as spending a lot of money for camping gear.

Return to nature

We human beings have been keeping on making new inventions for convenience, in order to make our lives easy. Even if you’ve never camped, you can imagine how troublesome camping is, can’t you? We are basically lazy, so lazy that marketers (including me) have to struggle all the time. In fact, it’s really difficult to provide an incentive for people to make actions, even small ones like making a click. Why camping? People who like camping will say “It’s for extraordinary experiences,” but what people actually do in camping are boiled down to super-ordinary things. Preparing meal, eating, clearing up after meal, and sleeping. I know it’s important to do such everyday routines in nature, though.

An overpass in the forest. It's autumn, and tree leaves are colored in yellow.

Our wooden furniture could be alternative to camping

The next question is why and how nature works on our mind. Today, in order to promote our furniture, let me focus on two answers. They are the 1/F fluctuation and phytoncide. The 1/F fluctuation is information or rhythm we perceive through the five physical senses. It is thought to work for relaxation and mental stability and to exist a lot in nature. In the murmuring of streams, the rustle of grass and leaves, the sunlight filtering through trees, etc. In addition, you can see it in the grain of wood. The phytoncide is a volatile chemical diffused from plants (mainly from trees). It has the effect of killing bacteria and relaxing people. In a sense, you may be able to get the same benefit without going to the trouble of camping if you get our wooden furniture.

Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.

Photo Credit: https://www.tokyoweekender.com/2018/09/what-is-forest-bathing-and-can-it-really-help-heal-us/ , @niceviewtokoro