Useful Tips For Camping On The Beach
If you click and purchase with one of our links, we earn a commission. Thanks.
Summertime and the weather are ideal for spending a night camping on the beach. Camping on a sandy beach is however quite different from spending time out in the woods. Just a few safety precautions and these top tips will ensure plenty of fun with minimal hassle.
Check weather updates for your beach camping location regularly. Weather can change quickly on the beachfront and offshore storms can catch you unprepared. Also, check tide tables and other relevant surf info.
Choosing A Beach
Keep in mind that camping is illegal on most public beaches. Most of the beaches that do allow camping will be off the beaten tourist paths so you may need to go a little out of your way. The bonus is that you will probably get far more privacy than on a public beach. Also, do a little research into the local wildlife and other factors that may affect your safety.
Summer is a busy time for beaches with people traveling far and wide to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand. Unfortunately, this also means that those camping spots are going to fill up very quickly, especially during summer vacation. So check out when the peak times are - whether you are planning a camping trip to a local beach or further away. You are more likely to find a camping spot out of peak times if you have left booking late. Book as early as possible (a month or more) if you want the best camping spot, on the best beach on your selected dates.
Choosing the right tent is critical to beach camping. Opt for tents that have a net or mesh windows and roof to allow for better ventilation in the heat and allow for stargazing. An open-sided tent (where one side of the tent can be left entirely open) is also ideal for beach camping allowing ocean breezes to naturally cool and ventilate the tent. Make sure your tent is waterproof and that it has a rainfly to protect against sudden rainfall or ocean spray. Remember to hammer those pegs deep into the sand so that the tent doesn’t make an escape with the assistance of a strong gust of wind.
Beach Camping Supplies
You will need all the usual camping supplies plus a few extra items to make the most of your beach camping experience. A small shovel is essential as is a brush and pan to get rid of the sand that will accumulate in your tent with ease. Any other items that will ensure greater comfort and therefore enjoyment can be taken along to the beach. You probably aren’t going to have to hike a very far distance to get to your camping spot so if it fits in the car, why not take it. In addition, you may also need these camping recipes.
As mentioned above, beach weather can change in a matter of minutes. A blistering, hot, and sunny day can quickly become overcast, windy, and cold. So pack warm clothes and an extra blanket or two to keep warm when the weather turns bleak and grey. The temperature is also likely to drop significantly at night so a warm set of pajamas or sweatsuit are ideal sleeping gear for beach camping.
Ever wondered why sunbathers prefer the beach to get the perfect tan to any other location? Double exposure. Not only do the UV rays of the sun brown their bodies but the reflection of the sunlight of the water provides additional UV exposure. It is also extremely difficult and highly unlikely to find a shady spot on a beach. So make sure that you have the essential sun protection gear to prevent severe burns and sunstroke including an umbrella, wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen and loose, light-colored clothing to cover up when you need it most.
It should go without saying but here goes - make sure to pitch your tent way above the high tide line. This line is usually noticeable where litter and debris litter the beach. A good way to ensure that even a spring tide won’t give you an unpleasant wet surprise is to go for the green. Plants won’t grow where there is saltwater so a good place to pitch a tent is where there is vegetation. Also, memorize or keep a copy of the tide table handy and plan your days accordingly. Try out our favorite tide trackers - “Tides Near Me” app.
Water, Water Everywhere - But Not A Drop To Drink
Salty seawater is not drinkable, even after boiling. The sun, the wind, and even the salt can all dehydrate you very quickly. Make sure that you plenty of water to meet you and your fellow camper’s needs. An average adult requires at least 8 glasses of water a day to stay properly hydrated under normal circumstances. Beachfront elements may mean you require more so plan ahead to make sure you meet those water requirements. Don’t substitute water for sodas, fruit juice, or alcoholic beverages (which will hydrate your further) and don’t drink water from nearby rivers or streams unless you purify it first.
You will never regret investing in a portable toilet for your camping adventures. Beach camps often don’t have ablution facilities located nearby and your portable potty can save you from a long slog in the dark when you need it most. There are plenty of different types available on the market so you are sure to find one to meet your needs.
Camping on the beach is going to involve water and getting wet. Rain, condensation, humidity, ocean spray, mist, and fog all contribute to a wet camping experience. So if you can, waterproof it. Ziplock bags are ideal for storing electronic devices such as mobile phones, chargers, and any other items that you want to remain dry.
Sand Dune Hazards
Sand dunes may be beautiful to look at but actually pose a huge threat. They are made of shifting sand, hidden rocks, and sometimes poisonous vegetation (editor - or poisonous snakes). Don’t camp on or near sand dunes to avoid being buried in sand or hit by falling rocks. Climbing the dunes is also not recommended as it is not good for the dunes and can result in injuries. Respect the dunes and keep a reasonable distance.
Avoid Night Swimming
Swimming in the ocean already comes with risks which are just increased when swimming in the dark. A good rule to follow is to leave the water when the lifeguards leave the beach and stay out of the ocean until they return. Currents tend to be stronger at night and you can’t see rocks or other debris that could cause an injury. Neither can you see a dangerous threat heading your way through the dark water like a shark or the countless other dangerous creatures that inhabit the waters.