While there are as many reasons to camp as there are campers, there are some common themes that show up often in discussion.
One is to Gafiate, or Get Away From It All. Camping provides an opportunity to leave behind the stresses of the day-to-day life and recover for another bout in the ongoing fight for survival. Everyone needs a way to escape to recharge the batteries, and for many camping is it.
Another reason to camp is to promote togetherness on family vacations, forcing everyone to work together. I have vivid memories of a camping trip twenty odd years ago with a new tent for which we forgot the instructions… I do recommend putting the instructions on your checklist by the way.
For those on a budget, camping is a much cheaper way to run a vacation than the alternatives, and vacations that can’t be done if you intend to stay in a hotel become possible if you can camp nearby. Without the high cost of hotels, and cooking your own food in the campground rather than eating out, a surprising amount can be shaved from the cost of a vacation.
Then comes skills development. Camping is a way to leave the conveniences of modern life, and develop survival skills or even practice doing things in the way your ancestors would have been required to manage. Good planning can provide a quite comfortable life for the camping trip, and ties in well with the budget concept above. You might even discover things you thought you needed are not nearly as important as they seemed.
Finally, the challenge factor is worth considering. Doing without and making do with what is available can be a fine way to prove what you can actually do, as well as teaching you to appreciate those modern conveniences. After living outdoors for a while, I appreciate my plumbing more, after all.