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Going to the beach and going camping are some of the most fun outdoor activities anyone could ever endure. The best part is they are relatively affordable family vacations once you have the equipment lined up. So when the camping element is combined with the gorgeous beaches across the country, the experience can be mind blowing. Learning a few of the essential beach camping tips and tricks will prove rewarding when the time comes to hit the soft white sand.
Especially with prior prepping and careful forethought. A successful camp on the beach involves plenty of forward thinking. Unlike camping at a camp site, beach camping can have it’s hurdles that need to be jumped prior to arrival. So, if you want to experience one of the best forms of camping, here are some useful tips on how to enhance your beach camping experience.
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Most Important Beach Camping Trick
Bring Beach-Specific Supplies
Just as with any other camping trip, you’re going to need the basic supplies including a tent, a sleeping bag, a tarp, cooking tools, etc. With beach camping, one helpful trick is to bring dust pan and brush, and sand stakes. Such handy tools will save you a lot of probable frustrations that can ruin your experience.
Your Tent & Camp Location Is Highly Important
The most critical piece of beach camping equipment is the tent in which you will be sleeping under. When choosing a beach tent for camping, you have to take into consideration the environment that you will be setting up base camp.
I’m sure you have noticed just how windy a walk along the sand can be. Now imagine trying to sleep with sand and wind hurling at the front door of your tent. Would the tent you currently own survive a strong wind storm often associated along beaches?. Invest in a high wind resistant tent so you don’t wake up to find your tent spread half way across the beach.
Choosing Where To Camp On The Beach
While it will vary from beach to beach as to where the best spot is to set up your tent, there area a few common guidelines to consider:
- First and most importantly, check that the beach you plan to camp on allows beach camping. Nothing worse to waking up to a fine in the morning.
- Never set up camp in the vegetation at the rear of the sand and dunes. This is not human habitat, so stay out!. Keep the beaches and animals alive and beautiful.
- Camp far back from the water leaving a at least a 5 foot distance between the tent and the vegetation. Don’t disturb their habitat and they won’t disturb you.
- Camping a few feet from the vegetation also allows for greater wind flow, but not cyclonic winds that will blow your tent away. The extra wind will also help deter mosquitoes.
- No wind protection from vegetation?. Look for sand dunes as a wind barrier. Or if you are driving on the beach, use your vehicle as a wind barrier. Set up tent behind the vehicle if no other means of wind protection are on offer.
- Sunset Penthouse? – Face the opening or awning of your tent towards the sunset so you can capture breathtaking views from the comfort of your own tent. The sun typically rises from the east, so face your tent in a westerly position to capture the stunning imagery.
- Camping Solo?. For the odd occasion when you feel like hitting the beach for the night by yourself, a camping cot tent is the ideal tent for one person. These cot tents are brilliant as they don’t take up much space, keep the insects out and are waterproof. So you can carry them anywhere and set up a tent cot to get the best location possible.
The Beach Is Hot – Protect Your Skin
Since water reflects solar radiation, it means you’ll potentially be hit with double the exposure. Consider bringing a sun shade or an umbrella if you’re car camping. If you’re backpacking, bring a wide-brimmed hat, high SPF sunscreen, and skin covering clothing.
If possible, set up base camp near some trees that offer shade. While getting a tan is awesome and all, getting sun burnt is not. So wear sunscreen and look for shady spots when not out swimming in the ocean.
Keeping The Sand Out While Beach Camping Tips
Sand has the habit of entering the little nooks and crannies that it’s not supposed to get into. Any seasoned beach-goer will tell you that it’s much easier to prevent sand from getting in than it is trying to get it out of the tent. Before you get into the tent or change clothes, brush of your legs, feet, and any other sandy body parts.
If you have young children, consider having a two-bucket system outside the tent and the car. Fill both of them with water, use both to rinse your feet, and wipe them off with a towel before stepping into the tent and car. As a final line of defense, have a brush and dustpan handy for sweeping inside the tent.
This is why whenever I go beach camping, I bring my tent that includes a mud room. This little area is great because the kids can get changed and dust off all the sand before entering the tent. All while being their privacy is respected.
Prepare For Cool Beach Camping Nights
Fire is one of the best ways to keep warm during the night. Plus it keeps things more old school and more romantic if camping with your partner. But before you go lighting a fire anywhere, be sure to check local regulations in regards to beach fires. Remember how windy beaches can be and how fast fire can spread
Ensure that you have dry wood and be patient because it takes a while for the fire to start. Be sure to successfully put out the fire. Dose it with plenty of water before going to bed as the embers can still smoulder under the sand. Lastly, clean up the evidence. Keep the beaches beautiful.
Portable beach chairs are generally more comfortable to sit on than the ground, so bring some if you plan to keep warm next to a camp fire. Another great way to enhance the experience is sleeping under the stars. If the night is clear and you do decide to sleep outside, a synthetic sleeping bag would be the best option.
Watch out for Water and the Weather
When you are setting up an oceanside camp, it’s a good idea to look for the high tide mark, which is identifiable as a layer of seaweed, driftwood, and other sea refuse that’s left behind by a receding tide. Make sure that where you want to pitch your tent, keep all your belongings, and build your campfire is about 10 feet or more inland from the high-tide point.
Don’t forget to keep a close eye on the weather because the high winds can bring errant waves. If there are any gusts in the forecast, you should be more cautious about where you select your campsite. Be sure to keep a tide table handy; you can find these in surf shops, boating stores, apps like TideTrac, or even in the local newspaper.
Critical Tip For Surviving Beach Camping
Even if you are surrounded with water, it’s highly likely that you need to bring your own supply, or invest in quality water filters and purifying tablets. Sea water cannot be consumed because of its salt content. As such, unless you are very sure there is ample fresh water supply nearby, bring your own water.
Keep the Beach & Sand Clean
Beaches are very beautiful places and as a camper, it’s your duty to help keep them that way. Just as with any other campsite, you are responsible for your own garbage and you should be mindful of this as you plan your trip. Try to avoid bringing bottles and cans, since they are not only a big hassle to transport but they also need to be brought back.
Bring extra-large freezer or similar bags, which you can use as your trash receptacles. But don’t forget that you’ll need to carry them back at the end of your trip. Never ever release plastic bags into the ocean. This will kill our marine life.
Some parks offer visitors garbage bags, so be sure to inquire beforehand whether the site you are eyeing has this service. Also check to see if there are any restricted items that you should just leave at home.
Just A Few Tips For Camping On The Beach
Well that concludes the basic beach camping tips for 2018. While there are many many more things you will pick up along the way, such as mastering the camp dutch oven in sand. These tips will be enough to get the ball rolling.
Be sure to drop any comments or tricks you have learned over the years of camping on the beach. Myself and other readers would love to hear your unique tips and approaches to things.
4 thoughts on “Essential Beach Camping Tips & Tricks”
Hi Josh, I have been camping many times with my family but never on the beach. I tend to sleepwalk so I would be worried about walking into the sea, never to be seen again!
You mention that you have a tent with a mud room, is that just like an extention on the tent? Could it be used for an extra room to sleep in or would it be a bit small?
HI Matt, wow sleep walking would certainly be an interesting trait while camping. Fancy a midnight swim!. A mud room for a tent can be inside the tent like the one I linked too and also be zippered up as an extra room if you need. They are also great tent rooms for dogs. Alternatively you can get tents with entry rooms that are protected by insect netting which can be used as a mud room. Good luck with your next camping trip.
I never been beach camping yet unfortunately. However, now it’s going to be on my bucket list because it sounds so fun!
I’m for sure going to talk about this with my family because I can see us camping on the beach. The information you give is perfect, so if they feel skeptical, I can teach them what you taught me, thanks! I look forward to relaxing on the sand while taking in a beautiful sunset.
Absolutely Marques. you should go beach camping as soon as you get the chance, it’s a mind blowing experience if done right. Just make sure you have the correct vehicle if you plan to drive on the sand as it’s very easy to get bogged in sand. This is why you must lower the pressure in your tires.