31+ Beach Camping Tips to Make Your Next Coastal Trip Easy

Going to the beach is one of my favorite things to do when it’s warm and sunny out. You all already know how much I love camping in general, so it only makes that pitching my tent in the soft sand and camping on the beach is something I can’t get enough of. 

In this article, I want to share the best beach camping tips with you so you can experience it for yourself.

If you’ve spent some time on Outdoor Andrew before, you know that I strive to provide nothing but the best information to my readers. I want to get as many people as possible interested in the outdoors, so everything here comes from personal experience and extensive research. 

I hope that when you’re done with this article, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect on your next beach camping trip. If you want to know even more about camping, I have one of the biggest compilations of general camping tips anywhere, so make sure you check that out when you’re done here!

Without further ado, let’s get into the most helpful tips for camping on the beach you’ll find on the web.

Key Takeaways

  • Properly setting up your campsite is essential for a safe and comfortable beach camping experience.

  • Bringing the right gear, such as a beach umbrella, portable grill, and first aid kit, can make all the difference in your comfort and enjoyment.

  • Beach activities and entertainment, such as swimming, beach games, and hiking, are a fun way to make the most of your time on the coast.

  • Being prepared for emergencies and taking steps to stay cool in hot weather and ward off bugs and pests can help ensure a safe and enjoyable beach camping trip.

Essential Beach Camping Tips: Everything You Need to Know

This article is designed to be your one-stop shop for all beach camping tips you might need to know. So while I recommend reading through the whole thing and taking a look at every tip, you can use the links below to jump to whichever section you want to know more about:

Tips for Setting up Camp at the Beach

No matter if you’re camping on the beach or heading on a dispersed camping trip to a primitive campsite, it’s always important to figure out where you’ll be setting up your campsite. In some places, you might find a beach campground that makes it easy to set up, but this isn’t typically the case

Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind when setting up your campsite:

  • Check local laws and regulations — before setting up your tent on the beach, always check the rules to make sure they allow camping. I have a guide on the legality of beach camping here that’s worth a read before planning your trip!

  • Look for a shady spot — finding shade at the beach can be tough, it’s not like camping in the woods. Consider bringing a beach umbrella or sun canopy to make your own shade if there aren’t any shady spots.

  • Choose a flat and level spot — look for a flat and level spot to set up your tent. Check for rocks, debris, and wildlife before pitching your tent. Avoid camping on sand dunes to help prevent hidden wildlife from surprising you.

  • Make sure you’re at least a few feet above high tide — don’t pitch your tent close to the water where it can quickly get flooded when the tide comes up. Always check to make sure you’re out of reach of the high tide line or it can get messy.

  • Use sandbags or heavy rocks to secure your tent — tent stakes are the usual fix here, but at the beach, rocks or a bit of sand can work better since there isn’t much hard ground for normal stakes to grab. Sand stakes work too since they’re designed for it.

  • Bring a groundsheet or tarp — lay a groundsheet or oversized tarp underneath your tent to protect it from sand, moisture, and other debris. This layer of protection will go a long way towards ensuring you don’t get as much sand inside your tent!

Beach Camping Gear Essentials

I have a complete list of beach camping essentials that goes into the details of the most important items you need to bring with you and what I personally use. While I strongly suggest you check out that beach camping checklist for more info, here are some tips on beach camping gear you’ll want to bring:

  • Pack a beach umbrella or canopy — this ties into the tip above, but you should always bring an umbrella or canopy just in case you can’t find a spot with natural shade on the beach.

  • Bring beach towels and beach camping chairs — a lot of your time camping at the beach will likely involve relaxing in the sand, so make sure you bring along some beach towels and chairs!

  • Bring a beach cart or wagon — easily transport your gear to and from the beach campsite with a beach cart that’s designed to carve its way through the sand (look for big wheels!).

  • Don’t forget high-SPF sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses — protect yourself from UV rays with these three beach camping essentials. Don’t get sunburned like me!

  • Bring a portable grill or camp stove — cook meals on the beach with a portable grill or stove. Check out my guide on how to cook while camping for more easy cooking tips like campfire cooking, the best stoves, and more.

  • Pack food in airtight containers — keep sand and insects out of your food by storing it in airtight containers.

  • Bring along a sand-free beach mat — these can be used to relax on to avoid getting sand all over, or even for keeping sand out of your tent if you use it like a big doormat.

Tips for Beach Activities and Staying Entertained

Whether you’re camping solo, going with a partner or group of friends, or heading to the beach with family, having some activities planned can make all the difference in a memorable trip. Here are a few ways you can stay busy:

  • Bring a frisbee, volleyball, or other beach toys — have fun and stay active with games and sports like these; perfect for hanging out with friends or camping with kids.

  • Go for a swim or try snorkeling — explore the underwater world and cool off in the water. Snorkeling is one of the coolest things to do at the beach; I might have to start a whole snorkeling section on the site…

  • Bring a book — relax and enjoy the beach with a good book. Few things are more relaxing than laying on the beach reading a book with the sound of waves crashing in the background.

  • Take a walk or hike along the coastline — explore the area and enjoy the scenic views. Whether this is a romantic walk with that special someone, or a solo stroll down the coast, going for a walk at the beach is always an amazing experience.

  • Consider bringing a kayak or paddleboard — both of these are fun ways to explore the water and get a quick workout in!

Beach Camping Safety Tips

While beach camping safety isn’t too different from regular camping safety, there are a few extra things worth mentioning. Keep these safety tips in mind before heading to the beach: 

  • Check the weather forecast — be aware of any changes in weather conditions and plan accordingly; if a storm is rolling in, consider rescheduling your trip. Always be prepared for unexpected storms and have a safety plan in place before you go.

  • Bring a first aid kit — be prepared for any injuries or emergencies with a well-stocked first aid kit.

  • Be aware of local wildlife — respect the wildlife and their habitats, and avoid disturbing them.

  • Bring a whistle and a strobe light — use a whistle and strobe to signal for help in case of an emergency. Beaches can be pitch black at night and it can be impossible to find help without these.

  • Have an emergency plan — discuss and plan for emergencies with your camping group, including evacuation routes and rendezvous points if you somehow get split up.

Tips for Staying Cool While Beach Camping

Any time you’re going camping when it’s hot out, you need to find ways to stay cool and beat the heat. Check out this guide on how to stay cool while camping for all the gear you need, but here are a few quick tips:

  • Pack a portable fan — stay cool and comfortable with a portable fan, like any of our top-rated camping fans.

  • Wear loose, lightweight clothing — choose breathable clothing that allows for air circulation and helps keep you cool.

  • Stay hydrated — bring plenty of drinking water and electrolyte-rich fluids to stay hydrated and cool. If you’re planning on having some adult beverages, bring an extra cooler dedicated to water so you always have enough on hand.

  • Use a dark room tent — a dark room tent is designed to block out sunlight and keep your sleeping area cool. It’s also great for sleeping in even when the sun comes up!

  • Take a dip in the water — cool off in the ocean or nearby waterways to lower your body temperature and stay comfortable.

Tips for Dealing with Bugs and Pests on the Beach

Nothing is more annoying when you’re at the beach than having to deal with bugs, insects, and other pests. These tips and tricks will help you keep them at bay so you can enjoy your beach camping adventure:

  • Use insect repellent — bring bug spray or use something like a Thermacell rechargeable insect repellent to create a dome of bug spray around your campsite and keep bugs away.

  • Keep food covered and sealed — store food in airtight containers to avoid attracting pests.

  • Use citronella candles or torches — burn citronella candles or torches to repel mosquitoes and other insects as an alternative to bug spray.

  • Keep your campsite clean and tidy — avoid leaving food scraps, trash, or dirty dishes out to minimize the chances of attracting pests to your campsite.

Plan Your Beach Camping Trip Today

Beach camping can be a fun and memorable experience, but it’s important to be prepared and take steps to ensure your safety and comfort. From setting up camp to staying cool in hot weather, there are things to consider when planning a beach camping trip that are a little different from regular camping. 

By following the beach camping tips and tricks in this article, you can make the most of your time on the coast and enjoy a safe and enjoyable camping experience. Whether you’re lounging on the beach or exploring the coastline, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on a beach camping adventure.

So grab your gear, pack your dark room tent, and get ready for an unforgettable beach camping experience. I hope to see you out there soaking up the sun — just remember to bring sun protection!

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