Camping and Parkinson’s: Cognition and Camping

world map with glasses, camera, journal and sunhat

This is the third post in our series about camping and Parkinson’s. You can read and watch the first one here, and the second one here

Parkinson’s is more than just its motor symptoms. It can affect your thinking, mood, ability to plan, and more. Camping and traveling, like many things, require these skills to have a fun, safe, and enjoyable time. So, does that mean camping and traveling with Parkinson’s is off limits? Absolutely not! In this episode of “Camping With Parkinson’s,” our guides Marty Acevedo and Carol Clupny explain how they manage their cognitive symptoms while traveling, as well as the benefits that camping can have on them.

episode 2: Cognition and Camping

tips and tricks mentioned

Executive Function (organizing, planning, and memory)
  • Skills such as planning, organizing, and sequencing can become difficult when you’re living with Parkinson’s. Marty and Carol recommend that when you’re preparing for a camping trip, write everything down, use a checklist, and plan ahead of time rather than on the go
  • Consider printing out directions for your destinations rather than (or in addition to) relying on GPS. This will help you see all your routes ahead of time and will be a lifesaver if your GPS stops working or you lose service
  • Recognize that you may not be able to make fast decisions while on the road. Communicate this ahead of time with your partner and identify travel and camping scenarios that may require quick decision-making to help prepare yourself for how you will respond
why camping is beneficial for your cognitive symptoms
  • There is always something new to see and learn, which can aid your brain in discovering new nerve cell connections (a process called neuroplasticity) and can inhibit cognitive decline
  • Since camping and traveling require many cognitive skills, they are excellent ways to maintain and strengthen the skills that you have
  • Camping allows you to meet and interact with many new people, which helps reduce common Parkinson’s symptoms like depression and anxiety

Even on boring roads, like highway 50 in Nevada, which is known as the the loneliest road in the United States, there is something new and interesting to see.”
-Marty Acevedo

Get inspired

Check out some of the unique places, things, and adventures Marty and her husband, Ace Acevedo, have discovered thus far in their camper-van travels.

Get connected

Email blog@dpf.org with your best camping stories or tips and tricks you would like to share with the Parkinson’s community. Interested in getting in touch with Marty and Carol? You can reach out to them personally by visiting Marty’s Ambassador page or Carol’s Ambassador page.

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