Our Guide to Beach Camping, Destinations & Packing
Beach camping is one of the most anticipated adventures of the Summer. It is perfect for families, couples, or a relaxing solo trip. Check out our beach camping guide below. We show you the necessary items to pack, along with some of the most awe-inspiring places to pop a tent, lay a blanket, and toss up a hammock.
Photo taken in Grand Island by MuskOx
What should you pack when beach camping?
We love to say pack less, and explore more, but when it comes to "out there" or primitive experiences, it is best to ensure you have exactly what you need to keep the stress low and the positivity high! Here is our top ten essentials when packing for your "off the grid" weekend on the water.
Be Smart About Your Tent
A beach tent is so necessary - but choosing one can be so overwhelming! We recommend the Oileus Four Person Beach Tent. It is waterproof, windproof, and will protect you from strong UV rays. It is also lightweight and quick to set up so you can spend more time relaxing and less time pitching a tent!
Keep On Top of Your Hydration
Staying hydrated is key, and sometimes your awe-inspiring campsite requires you to hike in which requires lite packing. To eliminate the need for multiple water jugs, we recommend the Sawyer Squeeze Filtration System so you purify on the go.
Ventilation Equals Dryness
Synthetic sleeping bags are a must for beach camping because the insulation is less affected by moisture. The Nanowave 55 Degree Sleeping Bag from Marmot is perfect for sleeping outdoors in hot temperatures. It is also extremely lightweight making it easy to pack, and features a full length zipper to help with ventilation.
A Good Blanket Makes All The Difference
Gear up with a cozy beach blanket, especially for the nights that get a bit crisp. The Runaway Jim Blanket from Trek Light Gear not only has an adorable design but is handwoven with 100% post-consumer recycled materials. Not to mention - this brand will plant one tree for every blanket sold.
Cold Ones On The Beach Are A-OK With Us
Coolers are essential for hanging out all day at the beach to store your drinks and snacks! Hike-in, hike-out, no problem -- the HydroFlask 20L Day Escape Cooler is the perfect size for a short trip and easy to carry due to the backpack design.
Versatile & Protective Clothing Matters
Being thoughtful with the apparel you bring is so important - sun protection but also the ability to keep you cool. We recommend bringing along our Ultra Lightweight Charleston Performance Hoodie. It also has the ability to dry quickly - so you don’t need to worry about it getting wet from coastal or lakefront waves!
Fire Provides Celebration and Heat
Fire and camping go hand in hand, especially on the beach with a group of friends. Starting a fire on a windy beach with damp wood sounds much easier than it is! That is why we love the Radiate Portable Campfire. All you need for this fire is a match, and you are all set! It is also free on any harmful chemicals, which means it is safe for roasting s’mores, and enjoying the company of your closest herd.
Rest, Relax, Recharge So You Can Explore More
It wouldn’t be beach camping if it didn’t involve relaxing on the beach. Our favorite beach lounger is the Zempire Roco Lounger. This is the most comfortable folding chair, and you are guaranteed to take some beach naps in this! Also - the polyester cover can slip off for easy washing when you get back from your trip!
Hats Mean Comfort And Protection
Keeps the sun out of your eyes and off your face, check! Pull your hair back after days of camping, check! Hats are awesome, especially hats with a comfortable fit and a color way that goes with anything. Grab a Muskox Logo Hat and check all the boxes. Members of our Herd love it for its rugged look and relaxed fit.
A High Tech Beach Towel?
Assuming you plan on taking a dip while beach camping - you are going to need a beach towel! We love this Diamond Chevron Towel from Sand Cloud. It features sand-free technology so no matter how long your towel sits in the sand, it will be sand free! It also is quick drying - it dries 3 times faster than your standard beach towel!
Where's the best beach camping in the US?
Let's not forget, the most important component when beach camping is your location. Now that you have your packing essentials, let's get you dead-set on the best places around the US to set up camp on the beach. Below are our top five places to camp on the sand and near the water, but we want to hear from you. What are some of your favorite beach camping spots?
Pacific Beach State Park, Washington
The Pacific Beach State Park is a shoreline filled state park is intended for camping, as it has waterfront tent sites ready for you to start pitching a shelter! You can bring your dog with you to play fetch on the sandy beach and even fly kites on the breezy oceanfront.
Photo of Pacific Beach State Park via The Higster
Fort De Soto Park, Florida
This park which is located near St. Petersburg includes five islands that stretch along Tampa Bay and The Gulf of Mexico. The Fort De Soto ocean-front view is truly breathtaking featuring crystal clear waters and warm Florida temperatures.
Grand Island, Michigan
Our ultimate favorite beach camping destination, and close to home! Escape to the Hiawatha National Forest in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for the super primitive experience that is Grand Island. After a quick ferry and a 3.5 mile hike-in your campsite will be surrounded by the world-renowned sights of the Pictured Rocks and cliffs that have been carefully crafted by our planet for close to 20,000 years.
Photo taken by MuskOx in Grand Island, Michigan
Edisto Beach State Park, South Carolina
Not to be confused with the now tourist bustle of Folly Beach, Edisto Beach State Park is somewhere to be cherished. This breathtaking beach camping site is located on the coast of South Carolina where you will have access to the Atlantic Ocean. Not only can you enjoy the sunshine and sand, but you can also boat, fish, and will have access to hiking trails!
Grand Haven State Park Beach, Michigan
Grand Haven is a super accessible summer spot in Michigan for beach camping, family fun, and a day outside ranging from nature to the city. You truly can't beat the easy spirit of Grand Haven State Park. This beach features the most beautiful sunsets along Lake Michigan, and a pier with a lighthouse for your nightly strolls.
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