Quitting smoking can be challenging. You might have thought of quitting cold turkey, trying cognitive behavioural therapy, and joining support groups to do so, but there are other things you can do. If you think outside the box, you’ll realise you can ask Mother Nature for help in your smoking cessation. Camping is great for your mental health and physical health. It activates your nervous system’s parasympathetic mode, allowing you to rest and recover from your smoking habit and soothing any anxiety that might tempt you to reach for a cigarette. You can use the many benefits camping gives you to quit smoking and here’s how.
Bring everything you need – but not cigarettes
Pack everything you need to ensure that your camping trip goes smoothly—with particular awareness of your needs as someone trying to quit cigarettes. If you have smoking-induced insomnia, you might want to invest in a blackout tent and an extra-comfortable sleeping bag to encourage slumber. If your cessation efforts have resulted in the common withdrawal symptom of hunger, add more fibrous snacks. Finally, don’t forget the usual safety supplies, like proper clothing, bug spray, and sunscreen.
If you plan not to smoke during the trip, try leveraging tobacco-free alternative nicotine products like pouches and patches to soothe withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine pouches are placed between your gums and upper lip to gradually release nicotine into your bloodstream. The nicotine pouches from On! are available at Prilla in an ultra-compact and mini-dry format, perfect for stowing in your backpack. With its variety of strengths and flavours, you’ll have an abundant supply whenever you experience withdrawal symptoms on your trip. Alternatively, you can use an adhesive nicotine patch that delivers nicotine through the skin. You can utilise the Habitrol extended-release patch, which can provide you with up to 21 mg of nicotine over a day. This can come in handy on your camping trip if you need to relieve withdrawal symptoms for long periods of time.
Engage with nature – Take a hike
Hiking to your campground or any other time during your trip is a great way to exercise and enjoy the greenery and wildlife surrounding you. You can choose the pace you want and pause whenever you want to admire the scenery. If you’d like to increase the fitness benefits, you can deliberately seek steeper slopes to traverse and add stretches. As someone quitting smoking, however, you need to be aware that strenuous physical exercise can overtax you, so be sure to pay attention to your body’s signals and take breaks when needed. While it might be frustrating to realise you can’t yet handle more challenging trails, think of it this way: once you’re further along on your smoking cessation journey and your body has healed up and strengthened, you’ll be able to return and measure your progress.
Practice nature meditation
You can also engage with nature via meditation. Camping separates you from addictions to cigarettes and the digital world, allowing you to savour your beautiful environment. To practice this, sit somewhere comfortable where you won’t likely be disturbed. Then, take the time to engage your senses to observe the life around you. What do you see, smell, hear, touch, taste? Focusing on these things one at a time helps you to relax into the peaceful present
Campsite Rules and Laws
Most campsites will have their own rules on whether smoking is allowed. In the UK, smoking is usually allowed as it is an outdoor space and not covered by smoking restrictions. Therefore, it is best to check and see if smoking is allowed or not. If it isn’t allowed, consider using these campsites as you will be less tempted to smoke if you need to physically leave the campsite. For our US readers, there are laws that ban smoking on most state-owned campgrounds, such as campsites in New York. These campsites make it much easier to avoid smoking due to their strict policy.
You can use camping as a method and inspiration to quit smoking. Camp enough times, and you’ll find nature’s beauty and fresh air more fun and beneficial than cigarettes ever were.