Discover canopy glampling with the team from Canopy Camping Escapes, who have written this blog to highlight the benefits of taking a step back from our busy modern lives, unplugging and reconnecting with nature.
It’s often said that the best ideas come from ‘solving your own problems’… and when we first conceived a nationwide network of glamping escapes - this was definitely the case!
We were both from rural backgrounds, but our children were growing up in urban environments - and the back lawn and local park, were about as much ‘nature’ as they got. We loved the idea of giving them access to real wilderness environments and back to basics fun - and getting a little more ourselves as well. The need was clear - but what we didn't really realise at the time, is that we were also tapping into an emerging global trend.
As humans, we're part of nature, but after hundreds of years of social and urban development, we've become increasingly disconnected from it. Richard Louv, author of 'The Nature Principle' and 'The Last Child in the Woods' has coined the term "nature-deficit disorder" to describe how over-cautious parenting and the lure of digital devices, is increasingly depriving kids of time outside to explore and interact with the natural world. Meanwhile ‘grown up’ lives are dominated by office buildings, artificial lights, air conditioning, and evenings spent indoors in front of screens.
A 2017 American study found that "more than half of adults reported spending five hours or less in nature each week", with many other studies showing that conditions like asthma, allergies, obesity and poor mental health can all be linked in part to our modern lifestyles.
But things are changing - with more and more trends proving our need to take a breath, reconnect with nature, and slow down. Shinrin-Yoku or 'forest bathing' is a popular past-time in Japan, which some workplaces are even starting to make compulsory. Forest Kindergartens and Forest Schools, where children play, learn and interact with nature are popping up across Europe and North America. ‘Digital detox retreats’ give stressed urban professionals the chance to escape and unplug… such as The 72 Hour Project, where for 72 hours, guests cut themselves off from technology, sleep in glass cabins, and immerse themselves in nature.
And beyond the 5-star hotels and infinity pools, ‘glamping’ is growing in popularity, not just in New Zealand, but all over the world… as an accessible way to get off the grid and back to the great outdoors. Our guests often tell us that unplugging from their devices, slowing down and immersing themselves in nature was the most enjoyable part of their stay. The simple pleasure and sense of calm you get from sitting around a campfire, cooking in an old coal range or soaking in an outdoor bath under a star-studded sky can't be overstated.
And all this nature is starting to have an effect… with actual studies are showing profound and beneficial physiological effects. Studies have shown a leisurely walk in a forest lowers cortisol levels (the 'stress' hormone), decreases ‘flight or fight’ nerve activity… and even reduces inflammation in the body. Many others show mental health, body mass index and stress levels are all positively affected - putting science behind what many of us instinctively know.
So how much nature do you need? It might not take much. A wander through a park or just sitting in a garden and taking in the trees is enough to improve your sense of wellbeing and calm. But with our busy lives providing so many artificial moments - one of our most important ‘jobs’ could be remembering to re-balance the scales… for our families, and for ourselves.
ABOUT CANOPY CAMPING ESCAPES
Established in 2012 by friends Liz Henderson and Sonia Minnaar, Canopy Camping Escapes was set up to offer a unique and outdoorsy getaway. "We loved the idea of arriving at a beautiful location with a luxury canvas tent, fully set up and waiting. Somewhere private and secluded. A place, where even though it’s in the middle of nowhere, has hot water, decent loos, comfy beds, and warmth.
That sparked an idea, and since then, Canopy Camping Escapes has gradually curated a collection of special places of the glamping kind, all lovely, and all off the beaten track. Our collection includes beautiful tents surrounded by nature, quirky cabins with packets of personality and secret hideaways that offer something completely and utterly unique.
All our places are handpicked. We do the hunting for you. We seek out special places, and in many cases we work with our hosts to create them. Our places range from super luxurious - to simple and rustic. In every case, they have a little bit of magic, a certain charm and an unsurpassed connection to nature.
Think about it. You’re with your partner, family or friends, surrounded by nature. You’re sleeping in a comfortable bed under a starry sky. A night bird whistles somewhere in the distance... waves crash on the shore... a wood-fire crackles and glows in the corner.
So get away from it all… unplug, unwind, get back to basics, reconnect with family or friends, create memories… Go glamping!
Canopy Camping Escapes brings you a collection of glamping sites around New Zealand, all available to book, for a one-of-a-kind Kiwi experience."
Go in the draw to win a $250 Canopy Camping Escapes Gift Voucher to go on your very own glamping nature retreat! To enter, simply head to our Facebook page and comment on our Glamping Nature Retreat post on who you would take with you on your getaway. Find it here.