What is Hygge?

You know that warm, fuzzy feeling of Christmas? Or how you feel extra cosy wrapped up in a blanket whilst there’s a storm lashing at the window?

The Danish have a word for it: Hygge (hoo-ga).

Hygge is about slowing down to appreciate the simpler things in life, with an emphasis on sharing time with loved ones in a familiar, positive and private atmosphere. It’s heavily associated with the winter time, when the Danish weather often forces people indoors, but that’s not to say a family picnic in mid-summer doesn’t also count.

We think camping is the perfect holiday to bring Hygge into your life. Spending an evening wrapped in a warm blanket, stargazing with your friends definitely passes the Hygge vibe-check. So here’s our guide to get cosy!


Digital Detox

You can’t get back to nature with a phone in your hand, but camping is the perfect opportunity to throw off your ties to the modern world and simply enjoy nature.

The habit of pulling out your phone every five minutes may be difficult to break at first, but turn it off, leave it in the tent or car, and soon you’ll be so engrossed in the joy of being out in the wilds that you’ll quickly forget about Instagram notifications.

If checking your emails is an absolute must, then try to limit it to only an hour once per day, but social media doom-scrolling is banned! Just no… don’t even think about it…


Quality time with loved ones

For many people Hygge means close personal time with friends and family, and camping is one of the most personal holidays you can get.

There’s no fighting through crowds, or having to shout over the din of a busy restaurant. The isolation of having a patch of the forest all to yourselves makes the experience feel much more private. Going on group walks, cooking meals and playing games will strengthen your bonds and bring you closer together.


Mental health benefits of nature

Mental health is at the heart of Hygge. The Oxford dictionary defines it as “cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being”.

Spending time in nature has been proven to reduce stress, boost cognitive function and help us manage our mental health (plus much more). Camping is an excellent way to reconnect with nature in  pursuit of better mental health.

Read our article on the benefits of nature for mental health here.

Plus, it won’t surprise anyone that spending quality time with loved ones also helps us deal with our mental well-being. So a Hygge style a camping trip with family or friends is the double-whammy of feeling better!


The warm, cosy feeling

Camping in the summer will be warm and sunny (or so we hope), but Hygge’s strong association with Autumn means the colder weather is a bit more challenging. You’re not going to get that cosy Hygge feeling if you’re too cold!

Autumn camping is definitely achievable, you just need to be wise with the equipment you take. You’ll need a sturdy tent, a warm temperature rated sleeping bag and a sleeping mat, plus some well layered clothing and some nice warm meals!

For more in depth advice on colder weather camping, read our guide to Autumn camping.


Live in the present

Hygge means embracing the current moment. You can’t enjoy the ‘now’ properly if your mind keeps drifting into the future… towards those dreaded emails waiting for you on Monday morning.

On your camping adventure, only the right here, right now is what matters. Focus enjoying yourself as much as possible in the moment and the memories you’ll look back on will be even stronger.