There are some things you should never leave behind! Can you guess?
Whether you’re a newbie at beach camping or go every weekend…
Rest assured as there is beach camping gear you should always take with you. Read along as we break down some of the things that have made our camping lives a little bit easier.
How to prepare for your next beach camping vacation
Just to make things clear, there are two types of beach camping you can do. You can camp out for the day at the beach, which is very relaxing. Just keep in mind you cannot sleep there.
Or actual beach camping where you go to a designated beach camping location and camp out in either an RV or tent.
Do your homework.
It is often more important than not doing your homework beforehand. I have come across many beaches that do not offer tent camping and only offer RV camping.
I have also come across very popular beaches where you have to book in advance by 6 months to 1 year!
There are also some camping sites that are much quieter and less busy than say your typical crazy beaches. It really depends on what it is you are looking for.
Make your reservations out ahead of time.
Whether you are looking to go camping this weekend or in the summer, then be sure to just plan ahead. Once you have a rough idea or semi idea when you want to go, then book it. It is often easier to cancel a reservation then actually wait.
Certain camping places actually do have a standby time. So let’s say you have a camping place in mind to visit and don’t have reservations, then call and see if they have any last minute cancellations.
Check weather patterns.
I have lived both on the east and west coast. And let me tell you… the weather patterns are waaaaay different.
Florida is gorgeous and beautiful with pristine white beaches on the Gulf Coast of Mexico and relaxing beaches on the east coast side. The weather can be very different if you are not used to it.
Florida is also known as the liquid sunshine state.
Well for one, Florida’s rains are sporadic. Meaning that someday it will be nice and hot and sunny while other days it will be raining cats and dogs.
On days when it rains, the weather is warm enough so you can still have flip flops on. The puddles are even warmer.
I love splashing on the warm puddles in flip flops.
Ironic, I know.
At the beach, the sand could get really damp. In the summer, especially July and August you can get caught in a storm.
The weather is unpredictable.
So when do you camp in Florida?
The best time would be spring. May is also a good time. But it depends. Just remember if you are planning a vacation then make sure you have some flexibility in Florida.
Best beach camping essentials you need for your first time
There are certain things you need to take with you when you plan to camp out to the beach for a day or two. Here we break down the obvious and maybe not-so obvious things to plan for the next time you go out.
- A Beach Tent : There are some good beach tents out there and others that will easily break. Here, I recommend the top 15 beach tents you can invest in when you go camping this summer. Check it out right here.
- Sleeping Bag: waterproof is better and look for the synthetic kind. This helps avoid the absorption of water because even by the coast the grounds can get damp. You can check the current price on Amazon: here.
- Solid Tarp: to place under your sleeping pad. See what the current Amazon Price is here.
- Brush and DustPan: Having one of these really helps you sweep the sand out of your tent
- Sand Stakes: if your tent doesn’t already come with sand bags, it’s probably a good idea to hold down your tent with some beach stakes.
- Rain Fly: These are perfect to prevent the humidity from entering your tent when camping. Check the Amazon prices here.
- Sleeping Pad: You will need one of these. The price will likely change over time, so click this link to check the current price of the sleeping pad on Amazon
- A Yoga Mat: who doesn’t love doing yoga by the beach; I love this eco friendly brand! Check out the price on Amazon.
- 2 buckets: If you put two buckets of water outside your tent then you can wash your feet right off when you enter your tent.
Not-so obvious things
Dry shampoo (if you’re a girl or even a guy) the showers at most of the camping sites are timed to sometimes 3-5 minutes. It’s a pain having to wash your hair! The best you can do is buy a dry shampoo.
Zip lock Bags to place fragile items, if you already don’t have a waterproof phone pouch
Filterable Water Bottle. Even purifying tablets may work. It’s just better to bring enough water for yourself. Check the current price on Amazon here.
Garbage bags, some camping sites provide them but others don’t. Do your homework beforehand
Quick drying towels since they are smaller and use up less space. Check the price on Amazon here, since the price changes overtime.
Layered clothing– it does get chilly by the beach, you’ll need layers
Flashlight and extra batteries– I really do love this brand. One of the best. My dad helped show us how amazing this brand is.
Wide Brimmed Hat– Male or Female. You need a hat. The sun rays beating on you during the day can really sunburn you.
Camping cookware-cutlery set, a plate, mug to boil water with, small and large pot with lid and handle, non-stick skillet. Since the prices do change over time, you can click here to see what the camping cookware set is on Amazon now.
Healthy snacks that can last you. I love taking these with me to the beach. Read about our healthy snacks.
Camping on the BEACH SAND TIPS for the day
If you are going out to the beach for the day, and want to pitch a tent, then by all means do so. Camping out on the sand for the day is not only fun but super relaxing.
I can just lay on the beach tent all day and sleep or read. It not only provides shelter from the sand, but shade and of course privacy.
Check out our blog of the best camping tents to use in 2020 here.
Just keep in mind that most beaches only allow you to camp out for the DAY ONLY. It’s rare to find a beach that allows night camping. Most campsites can be miles from the actual shore.
If you are out for the DAY and looking for some tips here are some tips that may make your day just a little bit nicer.
Sand Tips for the Day
- Sand gets everywhere: Having a wide beach towel or blanket on the ground will help with getting any other sand in there
- Bring plastic bags or waterproof bag
- Bring your normal beach essentials– read our blog post about what you bring to the beach
- A Beach Umbrella – sometimes it’s smarter to cover your tent from the blazing rays
- Buckets of water to rinse your feet in before you enter the tent
- Lots of H2O
- Make sure to bring sunscreen: you will need to reapply every 2 hours or so depending on how high your SPF is
- Do not camp near the sand dunes. Often times human interference affects the vegetation near here.
- Don’t camp too close to the shore. California beaches are easier to tell if the tide will roll in. Florida Beaches, on the other hand, are sneak attacks from behind. We were taken by surprise once. The soft tide can just roll by.
- Take all the trash with you. Help the animals and your beach camping sites by leaving a clean environment.
Beach Camping Do’s and Don’t
Do Pick up after yourself; all trash
Do Buy reusable containers and things you can reuse
Do Pick up other random trash even if it doesn’t belong to you. Your beach will thank you
Do Bring reusable containers to store stuff in
Do bring your own trash bags. Some places don’t have them.
DON’T Feed Wildlife – doing so changes their feeding patterns of them being able to hunt for themselves
DON’T Trash your beaches. Read our blog on how you can create change here.
DON’T consume plastics such as disposable water bottles and cans.
DON’T trespass in places you are not supposed to go in. Certain areas are meant to be off limits.
DON’T camp out at the base of coastal bluffs in California! They can be dangerous and fatal if they break off.
Keep in mind
That the more people interfere with vegetation on sand dunes then the more vulnerable they become to becoming lost.
Do your part as a camper and beach-goer. Leave the place exactly as you found it. With nothing but your footprints.
Let others also enjoy the gorgeous beauty of our beaches by leaving them better than how you found it.
Camping Sites in California to Check Out
California is filled with miles and miles of gorgeous pristine coastlines and mountains! It is definitely one of the best places to check out if you are visiting for the first time.
There are plenty of places to choose camping and exploration in Cali. So whether you choose California or Florida to be your destination there are plenty of places to check out.
Check out our blog of the best places to go camping in San Diego here. We also breakdown which beaches in California you can tent or RV camp.
Our top 3 camping places are usually the ones we hit first. Whichever camping place you pick will be so much fun!
Other Popular Beach Camping
California is full of beach camping locations. Just remember to keep your beaches clean.
Whatever trash you leave behind has an impact on the environment.
Pismo Beach Camping
Another popular place for camping is in the Pismo Beach area. With the ability to fish, swim, hike and even possibly ride ATVs, this campground has become more popular with time.
Pismo offers the North Campground and Oceano Campground areas. Both are different and offer different views of the ocean. In the North Campground, you can find the Monarch Butterfly Grove within walking distance.
The perfect time to visit is November- February to visit the grove. To learn more you can visit their page here.
Big Sur Beach Camping
One of the most gorgeous places to camp in all of California is the Big Sur Beach camping area. In fact it is the most popular and well known camping in all of California.
Can you really blame the gorgeous mountains and beaches all in one.
The biggest tip here is to plan camping at the beginning of the year. In fact, most people book trips as early as January for the summer.
Since summer is one the most popular times to plan some beach camping, it is also the busiest. Make sure you plan ahead.
Also remember, keep nature as it is. Learn how to take care of these gorgeous places and what you can do to help change the amount of trash that happens in our places.
Do NOT trespass where you are not supposed to go. A picture is not worth having lots of natural habitat ruined. Help protect these beaches and enjoy them. Only you can create change. It starts with you.
To find out more about beach camping in Big Sur then be sure to check out the California camping source here.
Having the best beach camping gear this summer is really what you need to make a splash. Sometimes you do not need the fancy equipment that can weigh you down.
Whether you are out camping for the day or camping for the night, having the right beach camping gear may make your camping just a little bit nicer.
For all the first timers who are camping out, remember to prepare ahead of time. Having the essential beach camping gear is what can make your trip a wonderful one or not. I think it can either make or break your trip.
It’s absolutely amazing to plan out some nice quiet beach vacations.
Although, sometimes we forget what kind of impact we can have towards our beaches.
As always, just doing your part can make dramatic change. Help our beaches by doing your part and picking up after yourself.
By doing so everyone can enjoy the beaches as much as you can.
Jess and Jeanette are two sisters who created Unseen Beaches. This beach travel blog was inspired by their family beach vacations taken while growing up. Helping you discover the best U.S. beach destinations worth visiting, staying, and eating at.