Everything You Need to Know About Beach Camping
Beach camping is the ultimate summer getaway for any avid camper.
After all, who doesn’t love the idea of beachside bonfires, ocean sunsets, and falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves?
There’s no doubt beachside camping is an amazing experience, but it can differ greatly from the average camping trip.
The key to enjoying a great beach camping getaway is preparing for the elements. If you don’t have the right gear, sand, water, sun, or wind can ruin your trip.
Read on for a breakdown of our top beach camping tips, including a packing checklist, safety tips, and lots more!
Tips for Camping on the Beach
1. Choosing a beach campsite
Designated beach campsites are ideal for a family trip or weekend getaway. This way you can enjoy all the fun beach activities along with convenient facilities like bathrooms and drinking water.
To find a beach campground near you, head to BookYourSite.com to explore thousands of sites and RV resorts across North America.
Galveston Island RV Resort – Galveston, Texas
Oceanside RV Park – Oceanside, California
Camp Gulf – Destin, Florida
Camp Hatteras RV Resort and Campground – Rodanthe, North Carolina
If you prefer a wild or remote destination, be sure to do some research beforehand. It can be tempting to just choose a beach and set up camp, but some areas may be restricted or will require a permit.
2. Be aware of the tides
Before you start setting up your campsite, make sure you’re in a safe area that won’t be affected during high tide. Familiarize yourself with the tides ahead of time and choose your spot accordingly.
3. Bring adequate shelter
If you have space, consider bringing a collapsible sun shelter. Not only will this provide much-needed shade, it can also be used as a refuge from rain or mosquitos.
4. Sun protection is essential
Camping at the beach means exposure to harmful UV rays, so add an umbrella, high SPF sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats, and sun protective clothing to your packing list.
5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Whether you’re lounging in the sun or splashing around in the ocean, don’t forget to drink plenty of water!
You should plan to pack at least one gallon of water per person per day, with at least a gallon reserve to be safe.
Don’t rely on freshwater sources – even if you’re camping near a lake, river, or stream. Regardless of how clean it looks, you should always purify any water before drinking it.
6. Getting rid of sand
When you’re camping at the beach, one thing is guaranteed: sand will be in everything before you know it.
Here are some ways to keep sand from getting everywhere:
– Place a small rug outside your tent door and keep your shoes outside
– Bring a brush and dustpan to remove sand from your tent
– Use baby powder to remove sand – it will soak up moisture, dry the sand, and cause it to fall right off
– If you’re RVing, keep a small tub of water by the door to rinse feet before entering
7. Beach camping etiquette
As with any traditional camping trip, leaving no trace of your visit is essential. Whether you’re on the ocean, a lake, or a river, keep these important beach camping etiquette tips in mind:
– Take all your garbage with you
– Avoid camping in sand dunes since they provide habitats for a variety of wildlife
– Use biodegradable soap and sunscreen
– If you have a fire, ensure the ashes are adequately buried
– When wild camping, take a trowel and dig toilets at least 100ft away from any water source
Choosing a Beach Camping Location
The location you choose for your campsite can make or break your experience.
Ideally, you should try to set up your gear where the sand meets the vegetation. This area will offer protection from sun, high winds, and high tides.
Look for a spot with soft, flat sand in a shaded area that’s away from the dunes – which are a fragile part of the beach ecosystem.
And, most importantly, remember to stay above the high tide mark!
How to Set Up Your Campsite on the Beach
A well-positioned campsite can make you feel at home in any environment.
Here are a few tips for campers:
– Clear away pebbles or rocks in your camp area.
– Before you set up your tent, lay a tarp on the ground to keep it dry and to keep sand out.
– Choose a designated cooking area to build your fire.
– The ideal area for a campfire is on flat ground, away from any vegetation or brush that may catch fire.
And some tips for RVers:
– Avoid parking on wet sand – which means you are in the path of an upcoming tide.
– Place plywood underneath leveling jacks (or tires) to prevent the vehicle from sinking in the sand.
– Set up the mesh, plastic, or plywood sheets against the ocean-facing walls of your RV. This will block sand from blowing out from underneath the tires, which can cause the RV to get stuck.
– Park your RV with the doors facing away from the ocean to deflect wind and prevent any potential damage.
– Use large mats at your campsite to help keep sand out of your RV.
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Safety Tips for Beach Camping
Are you prepared for unexpected weather changes? Do you know what to do if you’re caught in a rip current? Remember these essential safety tips to keep yourself and your family safe while camping at the beach.
– If you choose to camp in an area with no lifeguards, make sure there’s always someone watching on the beach while you’re in the water.
– Be aware of rip currents. They can be extremely dangerous, so you should know how to spot them and know what to do if you get caught in one.
– Stay hydrated. When you’re in the sun all day long, dehydration can quickly become a major issue.
– Before you head to your destination, check the weather forecast. Even if it seems pleasant, be prepared for unexpected storms or inclement weather.
– Temperatures can drop significantly at night, so be sure to bring enough clothing and supplies to stay warm and dry.
Beach Camping Checklist
When it comes to beach camping, you’ll need to put a bit of extra thought into what you pack to ensure an enjoyable trip.
Once you’ve packed all the necessary camping essentials, here’s what you should add to your list for a safe and comfortable beach camping experience:
– Sunscreen with high SPF
– Wide-brimmed hat
– Quick-drying towels for the beach (and extra towels for bathing)
– Extra clothing layers
– Lightweight, breathable windbreaker
– Sweatshirt and warmer clothing
– Water shoes
– Pop-up shelter
– Beach umbrella
– Beach chairs
– Large water container and water purification methods
– Shovel and biodegradable toilet paper if a toilet is not available
– Ziploc bags or dry bag (to keep phone, camera, and wallet dry and sand-free)Garbage bags
– Extra bags for any wet clothes
– Small broom or brush and dustpan (to sweep sand out of the tent)
– Mosquito repellent spray
– Snorkel gear
– Beach balls
– Flotation devices
– Kayaks, paddleboards, or surf gear
– Life jackets
Fun Beach Games for the Entire Family
The best part about camping at the beach? Games and activities, of course! Here are a few exciting games the whole family will love.
1. Beach tic-tac-toe
For a fun twist on a classic game, try playing tic-tac-toe on the beach. Just draw your board in the sand with a stick and collect some shells to use as ‘X’s’ and ‘O’s’.
2. Beach scavenger hunt
Everyone loves a good scavenger hunt! Make a list and get the kids to collect items like seaweed, shells, heart-shaped pebbles, and feathers. Add soda cans to the list to leave the beach a bit cleaner than when you arrived!
3. Beach bowling
For a competitive game of beach bowling, you can bring your own plastic pins and balls or create your own setup. Simply dig three holes in the sand (small, medium, and large). Then, line the kids up and have them roll a ball towards the holes. Higher points can be awarded for sinking a ball into the smaller hole.
Ready to Book Your Beach Camping Getaway?
Now that you’re familiar with the ins and outs of beach camping, it’s time to start planning your next adventure.
At BookYourSite.com, you’ll find a range of beach campgrounds across North America. And when you reserve with us, you get access to exclusive deals, discounts, and coupons.