Camping is Good for the Soul

Maeve Murdock, student, University of Notre Dame  |  November 18, 2022 in Pearson Students

A campsite with three tents in the foreground, with rising hills and the sunset in the background.

Camping is good for the soul. No matter how much you hate dirt, bugs, non-perishable food, or sleeping on the ground, camping for a few days out in nature can do wonders for your mental health and perspective on life.

In August of 2021, a group of 10 friends and I landed in the midst of towering mountains in St. Elias-Wrangell National Preserve. St. Elias-Wrangell is our largest national park, containing 13 million acres, and is found in south-central Alaska. So remote, we were flown in from Tok, Alaska on a 3-person plane in 4 separate rounds. The trip and transportation were organized through Xavier Expeditions, an initiative at Xavier University to introduce students to the beauty and peacefulness of nature. 

Camp Set Up

Dropped in the remote wilderness, surrounded by a mountain range, the only sounds we could hear were the rush of the river and the soft wind. We kept our food in bear barrels, large metal barrels that conceal the scent of food, in an effort to keep the bears from venturing into our camp. Any time we cooked, all the food was required to be eaten–otherwise the bears would be attracted to our camp. At night, we traipsed into the thick of the trees to sling the bags of food over the branches above, keeping them out of the bears’ reach. As you can tell, many precautions were necessary for our safety.