If you’re looking for some good camping on the beach tips, that probably means this is your first foray into the world of seaside camping.
Camping out on the beach is generally a windy and sandy affair, though neither of those things should deter you. It’s no different than mosquitoes and ticks in the woods—it’s just different. Fortunately, it’s also a blast, whether it’s a romantic getaway or a fishing expedition.
25 Camping on the Beach Tips
You might think you don’t need any tips for beach camping. How much different could it be from camping in the woods, right? You might be surprised at the challenges and adventurous opportunities that await you on the beach. So here are 25 tips to get you started.
1. Check ahead on the weather
A light or heavy rain is a far different animal out on the beach than it is in the woods. When it rains on the beach, it usually means high winds, and you will lack the cover you have in a forest. Check ahead and pay attention to the forecasts before you make plans.
2. Find some cover if you can
When you arrive on the scene, and you’re pitching your tent, try to find a lot or an area where there are some trees or at least large shrubs. Just because the weather person said it was going to be bright and sunny, that doesn’t mean anything on the beach, where the weather is as random as it gets.
3. Leave the beach exactly as it was
Honestly, you should do the same no matter where you are camping. However, there’s something clean and pristine about beaches, and you shouldn’t mar that aesthetic by leaving behind all your trash and other waste. Clean up after yourself and appreciate the time you spent there.
4. Power banks are your friends
While it’s perfectly fine to bring an all-electric generator along for the trip, if it’s just a weekend vacation, bring the power banks along. They’ll keep your iPhones and Androids charged and ready to go through the weekend, along with your other devices.
5. Check ahead concerning campfires
Beaches are usually more open to fires unless the wind is really bad. There aren’t usually any trees, dead leaves, and dry twigs laying around on beaches, after all. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with all beach campsites, and if you want a fire, call ahead and clear it first.
6. Be sure to bring something to shade you
On most beaches, you will be fully exposed to the sun throughout the day, without a break unless you go somewhere to find shade or spend the entire camping trip inside your tent. Bring an awning or some type of gazebo you can cook under and set up some chairs.
7. Bring sunscreen and sunblock
It’s understandable if you need to spend some time working on your tan, but you’re going to get plenty of sun, so sunblock is a necessity. Sunscreen is great for a tan, but too much is simply too much.
8. Bring bug spray
Mosquitoes aren’t usually as bad on the beach as they are in the woods, and you won’t have run-ins with ticks nearly as much. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen at all. Bring some bug spray and thank us later, especially if you’re going to the beach somewhere in the deep south.
9. Bring digging tools
It’s a good idea to bring an E-tool with you. You do have to be careful about digging on a beach because it’s often very limited by law. You can dig a firepit though, in most cases anyway.
10. Consider tent stakes
Tent stakes don’t function nearly as well on beach sand. If you know you’re going to be more inland and not right out on the beach, you might be okay. If you know you will stake your tent in beach sand, purchase tent stakes specifically for beach sand.
11. Understand tides
There are high tides and low tides and people who have no experience on the beach have no idea how high a high tide will get. You may find your tent underwater in the middle of the night if you aren’t careful. Most beaches have markers for where the high tide hits so be sure to pitch your tent above that line.
12. Don’t play on the dunes
It might be something you could get away with back in the 70s, 80s, and even into the 90s, when playing on the dunes was a lot of fun. Nowadays, authorities are far more sensitive about dunes. Hurricanes and other natural disasters have wiped them out far too many times in recent years.
13. Bring something to haul your stuff in
Beach wagons and beach carts are a good idea. They have huge, lightweight, rubber tires full of air that help you transport all of your camping gear across the sand. You can also use a sled or something similar, so long as it slides across the sand.
14. Flatten and shape the sand
Before you pitch your tent, flatten out the entire area. Be sure to push all that excess sand in the direction of the wind, building yourself a dune that will help block wind and sand from your tent.
15. Set up your tent upwind
Set up your tent, awnings, and any other cover you brought along upwind of where you will spend most of your time relaxing. This will help block the wind from blowing on you constantly.
16. Bring warm clothes in the fall, spring, and winter
Sure, it may be down south, but unless you have ever experienced the beach in those three seasons, you might be surprised at how cold you will get. Constant wind at 70°F and below may feel good at first, but you will find that you get colder and colder as the day goes on and night falls.
17. Don’t bring bottles
One of the biggest reasons to avoid bottled drinks is most beaches have banned them. The other reason is that you may accidentally leave it behind. It won’t take long to get buried in the sand, and someone could come along and step on it, breaking it and cutting their feet up.
18. Towels, towels, and more towels
You can never have enough towels on the beach, and you’ll discover many great ways to use them as well, aside from drying off.
19. Bring extra coolers
An extra cooler is always helpful, especially if you just cram it full of ice and nothing else. It will hold for a long time, and you never know when you will need the ice.
20. Cut and prep food before you leave
You will soon discover that sand can be a terrible thing because it literally finds its way into everything. It’s best to cut and prep your food beforehand because that’s less time your food will be exposed to beach sand.
21. Bring a broom and dustpan
You will get beach sand in your tent. Lots of it. Constantly.
22. Hide all of your food inside the vehicle before bed
Raccoons love the beach. Raccoons love campers. Raccoons love to wreak havoc on your campsite, ripping, shredding, pulling, pushing, climbing, and eating everything that smells of food. Hide it. Hide it all. Hide it where it is completely secure for the night.
You’ll want them, and if you don’t have them you will wish you did.
24. Bring foldable chairs
It’s the beach—easily portable, foldable chairs are a must. Anything else is sacrilege. Besides, you will need them, and they are super convenient.
25. Keep a bucket of water at the entrance of your tent
This is the best way to minimize beach sand. Simply dip one foot and step inside the tent, then dip the other foot and completely enter. It’s helpful to lay down a towel just inside the entrance, so you don’t track water everywhere.
There you have it—25 tips for camping at the beach. There are so many more that we could probably list, but you will learn the ropes fairly quickly once you’re out there. Besides, the above 25 will at least keep you from burning in the sun and avoid a pre-dawn raccoon raid on your camp.
The most important part is to have a blast and prepare yourself for digging sand out of everything—on you, in your tent, your sleeping bags, and your cars.
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