Camping is a fun activity, to calm the mind, connect with nature and create bonds with your family, friends, and even yourself. However, limiting camping because you are fat, can be the biggest regret of your life. Camping for a normal-weight person is quite different from a fat person caping, like choosing different gear, additional safety measures, and many more. If you are a beginner at camping, this guide covers everything a fat or overweight needs to know about camping in the woods.
You’ll find tips on fat camping, how to choose specific camping gear for a fat person, and camping safety basics. Plus, the problems you might come across due to being overweight, and how you can prepare for these problems in advance. So without further ado, let’s dive into the guide to fat camping.
What is fat camping?
Fat Camping is a term defined, as when an obese, overweight, or fat person goes outdoor camping. This camping can be solo or team [group] of people. Unlike a normal-weight person, people who are fat or overweight have to follow some rules to going camping, for their safety.
Camping is an outdoor fun recreational activity, which involves overnight stays away from home in the wilderness and into the lap of nature, filled with fresh air.
It became popular in the 19th century and started as an exercise to see the strength of an individual but now it is an outdoor fun activity, organized by families, and friends to get out from their busy urban life and enjoy nature.
Although there is no competition and requirement to go camping, there are some unsaid rules and questions regarding camping.
One of the most popular, should overweight or fat people go camping? Check out everything related to camping when you are fat, including the type of gear you need, problems you can face, and tips to consider on camping.
Should a fat person do camping?
To have fun outdoor, and enjoy sleeping in the forest, with nothing around for miles is a ” Life wonder come true”. And everyone has the equal right to experience this wonderful activity. The outdoor isn’t close to you, as it will not judge you if you are thin, short, or even fat.
Nature welcomes everyone, and the choice of visiting and seeing the sight is up to you. So, if you are on task and would like to experience the breathtaking valley, and want your first-morning deep breath with the scent of the brisk forest, then camping should be your priority.
However, unlike a normal-weight person, an obese person can not just wander outdoor, with a small backpack. There are some problems, he/she can face due to being overweight.
So, before packing your backpack, learn about what you can expect during camping. This includes following some rules on what to do, what special camping gear equipment is required for camping, the problems you can face, and how to be fully prepared for them in advance.
Can you do camping safely if you are overweight?
Yes, you can do camping even if you are fat. Camping has very little to do with the weight of the person, there is no special number assigned to how much a person should weigh, to go on camping.
Camping isn’t a strenuous outdoor activity if the camping location allows transportation access with vehicles. However, if the camping location is in high altitudes, or a person has to hike a few miles, to reach the camping location, then the weight of the person can create difficulty in reaching the destination.
Moreover, during outdoor camping, the person has to carry tents, gear, and other amenities, and if the person is not physically fit, then carrying that will create an additional problem for an overweight person.
If your camping includes, high altitudes traveling by foot, a fat person should travel in a group, and avoid solo traveling. Solo camping requires some physical activities like carrying all your gear, setting up your tent, and many more.
In addition, there are some other problems a fat person can face during camping which are listed below in the article. Also, we have provided a list, which includes some special safety tips like what gear to carry, how to keep yourself safe, and many more.
Problems a person can face in Camping due to Overweight
Transportation Of Gear
Firstly, the problem can occur for a fat person during camping, will be before even reaching the campsite. Camping locations are generally, a few miles away from the road, like deep in the forest, or near the river, and these will require you to transport all your camping gear to that exact location.
For camping, a person has to carry, clothes, gear, a camping tent, an air mattress, and many more, if going on a solo camping. The weight of camping gear and essential amenities will be easily over 10 – 15 pounds. So transporting all your things will be very challenging.
However, if you are going with a group and opted for Camping Packs, which gives transporting facilities then you don’t have to about this problem. The Camping management team will transport all your belonging to your tent.
Secondly, this is the hardest problem, you will come across. Walking outdoor is not as easy as walking in the park. The road is rugged, where you might have to climb up and climb down to reach the destination. 95 % of the beautiful camping destination requires at least 0.5 to 2 miles of hiking in the woods, or the mountains.
This is even difficult for a person with an average weight, but as you are overweight, this route will be more difficult for you. Walking or Travelling term we call it- hiking is involved both in solo and team camping. Thus, without insufficient gear and willpower, you might not even reach your desired destination.
If you are hiking with a team, other members can help you through the walking, but on a solo trip, you won’t have any option. So, to prepare for that time, equip yourself with the necessary equipment. Check out, the equipment which will make this short hiking easy for you, mentioned below in the gear list.
There are some exceptions where there is a transportation facility like horses, carriages, and even vehicles. But it is not available in every place. So it is necessary to check if this traveling accommodation is available or not. If Yes, then the trip will be extremely comfortable for you.
The dangerous problem, most overweight teens and adults suffer from asthma problem. Avoid, walking at high altitudes risk might be risky for you, as at high altitudes there is less oxygen and a lack of medical supplies.
So, if you suffer from an asthma problem, it’s better to choose an easy camping trip that should not involve high altitudes and an easily accessible medical facility.
Another problem a fat person can face while camping is Pseudotumor cerebri. This causes severe headaches, vomiting, double vision, and other vision problems. So, if you face this problem, it would be a wise choice to stay put in the location and ask any other team member for help.
The fun part of any camping trip is sleeping in a tent. However, this can be a problem for you, as not all tents will be suitable for you. If you equip yourself with a small tent, then it will be impossible for you to sleep, and ruin the best part of your camping.
Thus, perfect tent size should be also a priority on an outdoor camping trip. This includes choosing the right tent size, the correct air mattress, and more. So read below, and check what your need to get a good night’s sleep during your camping.
Moreover, fat people also suffer from sleep apnea, where a person temporarily stops breathing during sleep. It is a serious problem and even more dangerous during high altitude camping, where the oxygen supply is low and medical facilities are not easily available. So, it is better to consult a doctor, about the problem, and after a thorough inspection, ask a doctor whether you are fit for outdoor camping or not.
Eating delicious dinner in the woods near the bonfire is a dream come true. This is one of the best fun parts of any camping trip as, at that time, you will just relax, sit beside a campfire, and have your delicious food.
However, you can not enjoy that wonderful time, if the food is not properly stored. This includes, which food to carry, how to store it, how to heat food, and what kitchen essentials to carry.
Weather (If Summer)
One of the biggest advantages to a fat person during camping is insulation. They can sleep comfortably on a colder night when a super skinny shiver shivers, as the body fat provides the additional heat.
So, if you are camping in winters a person will have an advantage but in summers, you will be at a huge disadvantage. With no air conditioner available to cool you down, your camping will be covered in a lot of sweat. Check below, on how you can cool down during camping in hot weather.
Health benefits for a fat person during camping
Overweight people, generally don’t like working out, but what if working out in a gym turns into a fun activity like camping. Outdoor activities, will encourage and force everyone, to use his/her muscles throughout the trip.
Camping is a mix of fun pastimes while watching magnificent scenery and doing daily physical activities. Thus, promoting a healthier heart, faster metabolism, and strong muscles.
There are lots of stories where people lose tremendous weight, by spending a few weeks in the woods. Maybe, if you do this you might shed some pounds while enjoying nature.
Free Your Lungs From Air Pollution
If you living in a metropolitan city, then you are not breathing quality air. The United States, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified air pollution is causing 30 million asthma and respiratory problem in the United States alone.
So, taking a trip to the natural wilderness will expose your lungs to the pure air. Thus, camping is not just a fun outdoor activity, it’s a way to engage your body in the more natural and get wondrous scents of the outdoor environment.
Vitamin D Increase
According to the research study, 40% of Americans suffer from vitamin D deficiency, and this mainly occurs in people who are obese, have dark skin, and are older than age 65.
During outdoor camping, your Vitamin D level will increase which helps the body in absorbing calcium and phosphorus, thus increasing bone density and enhancing weight loss, and decreasing body fat. So, a day in camping will not only rejuvenate your mind but your body too.
Improve Sleep Quality
Although, it is hard to believe you a person can get a good night’s sleep in an open environment, where insects and birds keep making noise during the night. People believe sleeping in a quiet room on their thick mattress is more relaxing, and they can get a good night’s sleep. However, according to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep quality and quantity have declined over the decade.
Moreover, during an experiment among campers and hikers, 90% believed they get better sleep outdoor, rather than at their home. This is because of the air quality and quantity available in cities.
Thus, if you are one of person who hasn’t enjoyed a good night’s sleep, then camping can do the trick. However, camping can improve your sleep quality, if you are using the right gear, tools, and preparation.
In this modern world, stress is one of the biggest health problems, which is affecting every person on the earth. According to the American Institute of Stress, it stated that over 60% of Americans in 2017 are stressed due to work, relationships, and many more.
Although camping can not solve the stress issues, it allows the person to get relief from the things which are causing the stress, and help the mind to refocus on the important things in life.
In addition, oxidative stress is reduced during outdoor activities like camping and hiking. Some people are stressed eating or in depression, camping is the first therapist they should opt for.
Increase Creativity power
Creativity can happen anywhere at any time, but according to a 2012 study of 5,000 adults, more than 75% were not showing any creativity. The reason behind this decrease was, constantly working under a lot of stress, long hours, and lack of focus.
However, camping does not give any creative ideas, it provides the person a different environment where the human can relax his mind, and reach his potential creativity.
By following these rules, many creative companies, are using greenery in their offices, fountains, etc. to promote creativity. So, want to get creative why not try a camping trip, it might give you ideas.
Which is Comfortable For Fat Person: Solo Camping or Group Camping
People do camping for different reasons like exercise, to escape the stress of life, for some epic views, for a sense of accomplishment, to self-reflect, and many more. Solo camping and group camping are different, and this is your personal decision which you want to choose. To make things easier, we have listed some merits and demerits of each camping category.
Solo represents singular, which means you will be doing camping only by yourself. There will be no known person during your camping, from starting to the end. Solo camping is more about self-reflection and learning about yourself. Check out the Solo Camping Checklist you’ll need for your camping.
Promote Personal Growth and Self Reflection
If you are feeling congested from your lifestyle and want some time to connect with yourself or want to learn about your emotions, then solo camping is a perfect choice as it encourages personal growth.
If you are suffering from depression due to weight issues, solo camping will allow you to gain confidence and get a sense of accomplishment.
Learn How to be Independent and Resourceful
If you are a fat person, you will have to face challenges as you will be all alone, and you have to prepare for everything from cooking, setting up the tent, and protecting yourself.
If you opt for solo camping, you will gain self-independence, empowerment, and accomplishment. Keep Note: It can be extremely tough, so always understand your limitations.
Are you fed from the noise of people, solo camping is a wise option. In this the only noise will be birds singing, so do you want to hear it?
Being alone does bring joy, but it raises responsibilities. For an overweight person, this is 10 times more difficult compared to a normal person. from carrying heavy camping gear, foods, etc. to setting up a tent, cooking the food, and many more. Everything should be completed by a singular person. So, going solo when you are fat, might not be a good option.
Despite how adventurous it sounds and magnificent the nature looks in the daylight, at night it can be 100 times scarier. As you will be alone, you have to protect yourself from the wild animals like foxes, coyotes, elk, etc, so solo hiking possess a great wildlife danger.
Along with wildlife danger, wandering in the woods is also scary, if you are not fully physically fit. In case of any medical emergency, there will be no one around to help you. So, solo camping possess a great risk.
Team Camping is when a group of people travels side by side to a certain destination for camping, like going on camping with friends, family, etc. this activity is great to spend some time with your loved ones, share some outdoor experiences, and build a deep bond.
If you opt for group camping, the first problem a fat person has to face which is transportation will be no more. There will be people around you who will help you in every process from carrying weight to looking after you if you get hurt.
It increases the security, and the workload will be distributed to every person. Thus, the trip will be extremely comfortable as compared to solo camping.
If you accidentally left something, need a quick spray from blisters, or any medical help, your camping buddy will help you through the process. You all can share foods and amenities.
In this busy life, family members, and friends are getting apart, but thanks to a quick camping trip, you will have the opportunity to revisit old moments and make some new memories on your journey. This is very essential, as it will promote and hopefully resolve any issue with life.
Lack of Peace
The biggest problem with team camping is that there is no peacetime. Despite being good for relationships, it lacks the time for self-growth. Every time you’ll be surrounded by someone, and you will not have to meditate.
When a person especially a fat person, does something extraordinary like going on a solo hiking or solo camping, it boosts self-confidence and increases self-esteem. During Solo camping, every part has to do by a single person thus gaining, independence, but group camping lack this feature.
Being fat doesn’t mean you can not do camping or hiking. Fat camping is an activity that helps obsess people lose some weight and enjoy the outdoor presence at the same time.
Tips for camping or hiking as a fat person
Go on your pace
Being a fat person, one should not see hiking or camping as a competition. Speedy hiking not only attracts a lot of injuries but also increases your heart rate and brings joint and muscle pain with it. So, take little steps by maintaining constant speed with breaks in between. Maintaining a natural pace is beneficial for both fat and an average person.
Walking fast can increase the pain in joints, muscles, and ankles if you are fat. So make sure to decide the distance of your walking and choose the trail that has less elevation gain. I know some people go camping or hiking to lose weight, but you should also know that consistency is what helps you achieve that.
Carry less weight
This is important. If you plan to go hiking while you are outdoors camping then, make sure to carry as less weight as possible on your shoulders. According to health experts, obese people can lead to arthritis in adults. If you plan to do hiking, then leave most of your things in a tent, and only carry water and some snacks with you on a hike to fuel your body up.
Don’t go too far
Don’t push your body as that can ruin your camping experience. If you plan to do a hike while you are camping, then make sure to choose the trail with less distance. Walking long distances can put a lot of pressure on your knees and increase the chances of ankle injuries.
Gear guide for fat camping
According to several surveys done by organizations, it is clear that overweight people are more likely to get foot pain and injuries in contrast to the average person. So, selecting the right pair of hiking shoes or boots is very important for you when you are going in outdoors, where the chances of foot injuries are high.
Weight not only attracts foot injuries but the ankles, knees, and hips, as well. So what hiking shoes are best for you?
Choose hiking boots with good stability– According to doctors, an overweight person must look for shoes that are non-slip. In simple words, you have to choose hiking boots that provide strong stability or grip, and ankle support. Ankle support is very important in a hiking boot as that can save you from many foot injuries which contribute to the highest portion of overall injuries that takes place during hiking.
Thick outsoles with cushioning – Look for hiking boots that have a thick outsole and cushioned footbed as per the recommendation by foot health professionals for heavy people.
Further, Wear padded socks to protect the soft tissues of the foot.
Moreover, there are three types of hiking boots and shoes, and you should know which one will serve you best in outdoors.
Hiking shoes – These hiking shoes are lightweight and compatible for day hikes. these are the number one pick for ultralight backpackers, however, at the same time, these are not good for overweight people because of the lack of protection for feet and ankles. So, if you are an overweight person, you should avoid hiking shoes.
Day hiking boots- These hiking boots again lack the support you need while hiking. These hiking boots are mainly for day hikes or multi-day hikes. They come as mid-to high-cut, so you can expect the ankle support is more than hiking shoes but not compatible with heavy hikers.
Backpacking boots– These boots come with a thick and stiffer midsole, and are compatible for long treks. But you can also use them on a day’s hikes, on and off the trail. These boots provide ankle support as they come as high cut. So, if you are looking for hiking shoes that can prevent an injury then go with these hiking boots as they are designed in a way to carry weight with comfort, and also provide more stability on an uneven trail.
Cushioning also plays a very important role when selecting a hiking boot for a heavy person. Mainly, there are two types of midsoles in hiking boots, which are – EVA midsole, and Polyurethane.
Heavy people should look for shoes that have a Polyurethane midsole as it is durable, stiffer, and more comfortable for you on uneven trails. EVA midsoles on the other hand are more cushioned but are not compatible for heavyweight or long hikes. So, simply go with hiking boots that have a Polyurethane midsole.
If this is your first time camping, then check this guide for beginners – Winter Hiking for Beginners
Trekking poles, also known as walking sticks are very important gear when it comes to hiking or camping, especially if you are fat or heavy. You will thank me later!. Hiking poles have always been a hot topic in the community.
Some people swear by them while other doesn’t feel the need to take help from poles. Besides all this, hiking poles can be very useful when it comes to avoiding injuries and eliminating joint pain.
Using trekking poles can reduce the stress on stress on the feet, legs, knees, and back. It distributes the weight in a manner that reduces the pressure on one point.
If you are heavy then, this is super important as this can help you to reduce pressure on your knees while walking in outdoors and maintain your balance at the same time.
Walking sticks provide you extra stability and balance on an uneven surface, which is vital for a fat person according to health experts.
Besides that, there are a lot of reasons why as a heavy person you should always carry walking sticks with you.
- Reduce fatigue
- Good for walking uphill or downhill
- Provide strength to legs and spine
- Helps in maintaining a good posture, thus leading to better breathing
If you are fat camping and you have no interest in hiking, still, using hiking poles can be helpful if you walk for short distances.
If you want to know how to choose the right trekking pole or how to use them in the right way, then you can see my article here – How to Use Trekking Poles
As discussed above when it comes to heavy people. they are likely to feel uncomfortable in a tent. So you need to make sure that you carry the right sleeping items with you so that you don’t have to survive the sleepless night.
When choosing a tent, there are some things that every camper or person should be aware of, irrespective of size and weight. You have to shrink down your choice as more choices lead to confusion, which results in poor decisions.
But today we are only focusing on tents that are compatible and best for fat people. There are some things that every person should look for in a tent if you are fat or not.
Pick the right type of tent –There are various types of tents, that suit different weathers, and you should pick the right tent that suits your desired camping weather.
For instance, three-season tents are best for winters as they can block the heavy winds and are thicker. While on the other hand, summer tents are light tents with a lot of ventilation and are made of thin material.
However, if you are looking to camp in the snow then go with tents made for snow conditions, 3-season that will not be compatible with such conditions.
Consider the weight of your tent- Some tents are heavy than others. Heavy tents are hard to carry, even if you want to carry them from car to campsite. So, make sure to check the weight of the tent, you don’t want to put a lot of pressure on your back while carrying a heavy tent.
Choose the right size – Choose the right tent for your size. You should look for tents that have enough space for you and also room for storage. A fat person who is also tall should look for a 6 to 8-person tent for camping. In that, you will have enough space left for storage and room for an air mattress.
The best thing about big tents is that you can easily stand in these tents in contrast to some 3 or 2-person tents. As a heavy person, one should also look for a tent that has enough floor area to fit in an air mattress and later left with room for storage like a heater and food.
If you are picking the 8-person tent then you should also know that they’re going to be on the heavier side and you have to share the weight of it with another person.
Check the ease of setup – It is very important for fat people to take a tent camping that is easy to set up. You might see a tent with a lot of features and options when you first see it but are they easy to set up? Or do they take hours to set up?. These are some questions you should know the answer to when you are buying or taking any tent with you while camping.
I know everyone goes camping so that they can move their body, but at the same time, you don’t want to spend hours just setting up a tent as that can make you feel burnout. So, it is best to test the tent before buying in a shop, or if it is not possible then see the review on youtube or the web.
To make things easy for you you should first learn how to pitch a tent in the right way and how to use creative ways to make sure you feel comfortable inside a tent –
It is a fact that air mattress is way more comfortable than sleeping pads. And when it comes to heavy people air mattresses are a much better choice. However, one also has to deal with the hustle of inflating and deflating, which is not the case with sleeping pads. However, in the end, air mattresses are way more comfortable and preferable for fat and heavy people.
Selecting an air mattress for a fat person is easy and difficult at the same time as you have a lot of options to choose from. There are some things that a heavy person should know when selecting the right air mattress for themselves. Like choosing the air mattress that provides more support to the abdominal area. Besides, that one should also check –
Height- The height of the mattress is very vital when it comes to heavy people as it is difficult for them to get up or stand easily if the height is too low. So make sure the height of your air mattress is double. Avoid a single-height mattress as they are too low and near to the floor, makes hard to get up.
weight capacity – Pick the air mattress that is compatible with your weight. There are air mattresses available in the market that can hold the weight up to 600 pounds, 700 pounds, and even 800 pounds. The general rule of thumb is to go with an air mattress that can hold 10 percent more weight of your body weight for assurance.
Stiffness- Choose the mattress that can give you more comfort. Avoid mattresses that are too soft or have a stiffness level below 6 as they are too soft for heavy people. You need a mattress that is somewhere between 6 to 8 on a scale of stiffness for the best comfort.
You should also make sure that the air mattress can fit inside the tent. What is the purpose of buying a mattress if it can not fit inside the tent? So, makes sure you buy a tent that can fit a king-size air mattress. Don’t worry, if you don’t worry, I have made the selection process easy for you. You can check this article – Best Tent for Queen size Air Mattress
Sleeping bag or quilt
A sleeping bag and quilt are other things you need while fat camping. When it comes to picking the right options then it is evident to say that it is a quilt. Quilts provide more body freedom. If you are a person like me who is a side sleeper then you will likely feel more comfortable with the quilt.
Quilts are also best for heavy people as it is hard for them to change their sides while sleeping, which becomes more difficult when you are sleeping in a sleeping bag. So, a general rule of thumb is to avoid sleeping bags and use a quilt if you are fat.
However, it is inappropriate to use a quilt if you are fat, especially in winters or you are camping in the snow. Sleeping bags provide you with more warmth during snow camping and keep you warm inside in contrast to quilts.
For more difference and to know which is best for you, you can check my article on Are quilts more comfortable than sleeping bags?
Fat guy camping chair
There are a lot of options available in the market for people whose weight is normal. However, choosing the right camping chair for heavy people is not that easy as one has to consider some things before buying any chair.
Key things you should look for in a camping chair are the weight limit and the comfort it provides. Checking the comfort is as crucial as checking the weight limit for a camping chair. So make sure to check the material, padding, and width of the chair. ALPHA CAMP oversized camping folding chair is one of the best heavy-duty camping chairs on the market.
Tent vs hammock which is best for you
A hammock can be a good option for you if you are camping in summer. Now there are various companies that make heavy-duty hammocks for big people which can support 800 lb of weight. These hammocks are strong as they are made of quality fabric.
The best thing about using hammocks over a tent is that they weigh less than a tent and are also easy to set up. Further, there is no problem with ventilation or hustle of finding a good place for pitching a tent.
Just like its pros, using a hammock has its own downside. Sleeping for longer hours in a hammock is not that comfortable, the problem is more if you are heavy as it is difficult to move your body inside the hammock. Moreover, hammocks can only be good for day camping, for the night you have to pitch a tent.
How to protect yourself from the cold while fat camping
Cold can be dangerous! It is always best to prepare yourself in advance if you are planning camping.
Check the weather
Before heading to the campsite, make sure you are aware of the hazards and weather conditions of the trail and site. Keep yourself updated with the weather trends.
Moreover, it is always best to stay in contact with the ranger station and tell any of your family members or friend about the return time. This will alert them in case you are late. While doing so make sure to tell them to wait for 1 hour or 30 minutes before searching out for you.
Take lithium-ion batteries
If you are going camping in winter then take lithium-ion batteries as they perform best in cold temperatures. Further, lithium-ion batteries also have more durability.
Make the surface flat for pitching a tent
Pitching a tent is difficult in winters because of too much snow it is hard to find a flat or dry surface. However, you should look for a flat surface and remove the snow with the help of tools and your boots. When camping in winters make sure you have the right tent suitable for cold temperatures.
Choose the right camping gear
If you are camping in winter, you need different gear than you use in summers. For instance, it is better to use a sleeping bag in winter than quilts as they keep you warm inside.
To know the right winter camping gear, check this article here – Winter Backcountry Camping Checklist