Although camping on the beach is very different from camping in the woods, they have one major thing in common: preparation can make or break your experience! Check out these seven beach-specific tips for an awesome camping experience.
First, decide if you want to camp at a designated beach campsite. The benefit of this option is the availability of amenities like bathrooms and drinking water. If you go this route, be sure to make your campsite reservation in advance. If you’ve never been camping on the beach before, we highly recommend reserving a designated beach campsite for your first few trips.
If you’re more experienced or just prefer a more remote destination, then setting up camp on your own is also an option. Do your research beforehand though, as camping is illegal on many beaches, and other beaches are often restricted or require a permit.
When camping at the beach, before you set up your tent or start your fire, you MUST be sure you’re far enough from the high tide line. (Side note: you also need to be sure that fires are allowed!) You can refer to a tide tracking app or website for your location to be sure you are in a safe spot. It may be tempting to set up closer to the water, but your tune will surely change as soon as one rough wave washes your supplies out to sea.
Camping on the beach is one big, sandy adventure. The sand has a way of getting into everything. Go the extra mile to prevent sand from getting into your tent and sleeping bag, and you will save yourself a lot of trouble. (Keeping it out is much easier than getting it out once it has gotten in.) Take special care to seal vulnerable items like food, clothes, and electronics in plastic zip-top bags. Place a rug outside your tent door to wipe off feet, and keep all shoes outside. If possible, keep a tub of water as a foot-washing station next to the rug. Bring a dustpan and brush for cleaning up sand when you see it inside.
Staying hydrated all day in the sun when camping at the beach is extremely important. This one is particularly critical if you are not at a designated beach campsite. Be sure to research a fresh water source (which you will still need to purify!). You may need to bring in your own water, though. You will need enough for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.
Does your campsite offer any natural shade? Probably not, so you need to plan ahead. If possible, bring a sun umbrella or some other form of sun shelter. In addition, and at the very least, bring wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen (including lip balm!).
It’s generally windy on the beach, and if it’s strong enough, it will not only blow sand everywhere but will blow your tent away in a hurry. Use sand stakes when tent camping on the beach. You can also bag the sand and use it to weigh down corners of a tarp or tent. Be sure to not leave lightweight items lying around.
In all of your preparation for hot, sunny days, remember that you’re camping at the beach—not just spending the day there—and it can cool off quite a bit when the sun goes down. Be sure to bring a jacket or hoodie for those late nights around the campfire.
Yes, camping on the beach and camping in the woods are very different. But, okay, the need for preparation isn’t the only thing they have in common. Coming alive in the great outdoors with people you care about—thankfully, you can find that in the sand or the trees. We’ll take either any day! If you share this spirit of adventure, be sure to check out our collection of rugged bags and apparel, crafted with you in mind.