There is nothing that is as freeing and inspiring as being on the beach off the coast. The beaches are a space of constant change. With each wave, sand is washed away and redeposited along with the animals, plants, and fish that live amongst the waves and sand. This constantly brings new life to the beach, giving the beach a real sense of life and power.
Nothing beats camping on the beach. You can wake up to the sound of the waves crashing on the sand nearby. From the water, you can look up to see the sun rise or set — watching the sky change through its many colors.
But camping on the beach also comes with its own considerations. Nobody wants to get sand everywhere, after all. But beyond that, it can also be difficult to find beaches where you can camp legally or semi-legally. Most public beaches are closed to the public at night.
But if you have made reservations at a beach campsite or are camping out on a remote island somewhere, you'll need to pack the essential gear to stay safe and comfortable during your camping adventure.
Here are the eight must-haves to bring with you on any beach camping expedition:
1. A Tent With a Lot of Padding
The first thing you will need when you hit the beach for a camping trip is a tent with a lot of padding. There is just not a lot of support for your body on the sand. This can lead to tossing and turning during the evenings and sore muscles and aching back or neck during the days.
A tent with plenty of padding or support, or even extra padding for the floor, is a very smart move when on the beach. It may seem like no big deal, but you’d be surprised by the difference some extra cushioning can make.
2. A Tarp
The sun beats down pretty harshly along most beaches. That means you need to bring some sort of shade for your “spot” on the beach. We've found that our favorite way to do that is by hanging up a tarp over your spot to provide a large, cheap, portable, and easy-to-set-up sunshade.
Keep in mind that when you are on the beach, you won’t have as many trees and other natural landmarks from which to hang your tarp. If you plan to use the tarp method, you need to bring poles in order to hang them anywhere you want.
Beach camping means one thing and one thing only — swimming all night and all day long. Of course, this actually depends on the local rules and restrictions for your beach. But why would you go camping on the beach if you had no intention of getting a little wet?
Towels are a must whether you will be swimming or not. If you choose to lay out on the sand, they can provide you with a lounging spot out in the sun or under the stars. Bring at least one towel per person, or even two per person, so that there is enough for everything that you need.
4. A Cooler
No matter where you are camping, you are going to need a high-quality cooler to store your food and drinks to keep them fresh and ice cold. You are going to want a cooler that is really well insulated to deal with the heat you often encounter on the beach. Patriot Coolers are your perfect solution for beach camping coolers.
Our Rotomolded Coolers have state-of-the-art insulation capabilities, thanks to the unique rotomolded plastic. Our hard-sided coolers can keep ice frozen for five days, giving you a workweek of refrigeration without ice replenishing.
Our Rotomolded Coolers come in two sizes, 20-quarts and 50-quarts. So you have an option that is right for you and your camping adventure, no matter your group size.
5. A Camping Toilet
When nature calls, doing your "business" into the ocean at night isn’t exactly ideal for a quick bathroom break. Also, going number two in the ocean is never really acceptable; you’re going to need a camping toilet.
In other forms of camping, digging a cat hole in the ground and using that for the restroom can be an acceptable choice. However, there are not enough microbes in the beach sand to break down human waste fast enough for this to be an efficient disposal method.
Using a camping toilet is the only accepted environmentally respectful way to dispose of your human waste while beach camping. Whenever possible, you should use provided bathroom facilities.
6. A Water Bottle
Staying hydrated while you are camping is essential. But staying hydrated when camping on the beach can be especially difficult. You're exposed to the sun all day, and if you don't have quality drinkware, you'll be sipping on warm or even hot beverages.
Not exactly ideal when you're hot and sweaty and want to cool off. To stay properly hydrated, you need to bring a water bottle that is going to keep your drinks ice cold all day long.
Patriot Coolers makes drinkware that is ideal for your beach camping needs. Our stainless steel tumblers and water bottles are designed with state-of-the-art copper insulation interiors, which can keep cold drinks cold for up to twenty-four hours, giving you a full day to drink on your own schedule.
Plus, our water bottles are built tough to withstand outdoor use and typical wear and tear. Discover our entire stainless steel drinkware collection to find the drinkware solutions that you have been waiting for.
7. Body Wipes
You may not be able to shower while at the beach, but since you’re swimming in the water, you’re getting clean, right? Think again.
While you are beach camping, you are picking up dirt, sand, salt from the water, and sweat in your pores, under your fingernails, and just about everywhere else.
Keeping clean is important for your hygiene and your safety to prevent rashes from over-exposure to saltwater. Giving yourself a full-body wipe down with body wipes at least once daily can prevent some of the worst impacts beach camping can have on your body. They'll help you stay fresh, clean, and free from any unwanted sand and debris.
8. Fold Out Chairs
The final must-have for every beach camping trip that you go on is fold-out chairs for daily lounging. There are not many natural areas for sitting on the beach. Unless you want to alternate between sitting on a towel, standing, and laying on your towel, you're going to want to bring some fold-out chairs as seating options.
You should pick something lightweight and breathable that will allow for airflow on hot days and can be much easier to clean. Bring enough chairs for everyone so that everyone has a chance to sit out when they need to.
No beach camping trip must-haves list is complete without sunscreen. There is going to be a lot of sun, in case we haven’t mentioned that enough yet. The sun poses a major threat to your health over long periods of time due to UV radiation.
Wearing sunscreen is a proven and effective way to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays that the sun puts out. You should be applying sunscreen every few hours and every time you get in the water and come back out to keep yourself properly protected.
Consider using 30SPF or higher sunscreen to provide enough broad-spectrum protection to provide you with all of the health benefits.
Even on cloudy days, sunscreen is not an option.
Beach Camping: Takeaways
If you have never been beach camping, then you are missing out on one of the greatest experiences you can have in the great outdoors. And if you are going beach camping for the very first time, you need to make sure that you bring all of your essentials.
Your tent has to be spacious and provide you with lots of padding to get any sleep on the sand. If your tent does not have enough padding, consider getting additional padding. Don’t forget that you will need a tarp for shade or another umbrella or shade covering. A camping toilet is a must-have since human waste disposal on the beach can be additionally tricky.
Make sure you bring plenty of towels for laying out and drying off when you take a dip in the water. And you are going to need a top-notch camping cooler, which Patriot Coolers can provide.
Stay hydrated on your beach camping trip with your favorite piece of Patriot Coolers insulated drinkware. From tumblers to water bottles, we have everything you might want.
Body wipes for keeping clean and fold-out chairs for lounging around are also important for a quality camping trip. And last but not least: sunscreen!
If you pack all these essentials, you are ready for the ultimate beach camping experience.