Whether you’re heading to a beach along a lake, river, or ocean, you are bound to run into water and sand. Use this complete packing list of things to bring when beach camping to make your trip easier.
Warm weather has arrived, and odds are the only thing you want to do is go straight to the nearest body of water and lounge on the sand. If you would prefer to avoid musty boardwalk hotels but still get in some quality beach time without breaking the bank, beach camping is the way to go. Camping comes in many styles, and beach camping is a fun and minimalist camping style when it’s undertaken in good weather. Whether you're traveling to an ocean or a river, with the right gear, beach camping will be a breeze. Beach campgrounds are in high demand, so make sure you start planning your trip early. Here is a packing list that includes six items you should definitely bring when camping on a beach!
Let’s face the facts: Beaches are wet. While rain is a concern when camping anywhere, wet sand or a strong tide when you’re on a beach could leave you and all of your belongings soaked. So, before you decide what you need to pack, you’ll need a water-resistant bag to keep your gear and clothes dry.
Want to make sure your stuff is extra organized? Try packing cubes that are also water resistant. Never again will you waste time digging through your bag to find that one matching sock.
Whether it rains or not, you’re still going to have some wet stuff, like a bathing suit and sneakers. And if you start mixing your damp gear with your dry gear in your luggage, then everything is going to get damp! So pack a supply of compression bags to keep your wet stuff separate, and use a shoe sac to keep all that sand from spilling into your duffel.
There’s a good chance that you’ll be swimming, surfing, and/or snorkeling on your trip, so afterwards, you'll need to dry off. But instead of lugging around a giant beach towel that will take eons to dry, pack travel towels—they take up less space and are quick-drying, so they are ready to use whenever you decide to dive back in.
Biodegradable Soap & Sun Shower
Most beach campers, no matter how close they want to get to nature, need to bathe eventually. But personal items such as regular shampoo and soap contain countless chemicals that can be harmful to the environment—they’re meant to decompose in soil and won’t break down in water. So if you want to wash up in a river, lake, or ocean during your trip, look for a biodegradable soap and a sun shower.
Beach environments are harsh on the body. No beach camping packing list is complete without sunscreen, Aloe vera, and SPF lip balm. Remember, apply sunscreen 45 minutes before you’re in the sun and reapply every hour or so after swimming or sweating.
Regardless of whether your next trip includes camping, the beach, or any other type of travel, don’t leave home before reading our complete Packing List for Camping Beginners. And if you’re missing some gear, why not put them on your gift list for your next birthday holiday!
Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):
Beach Vacation Packing List: What Things to Pack for a Beach Trip
The Ultimate Packing List For Camping Beginners
Buying Guide: Pack-It Packing Organizers and Compression Bags
By Kristen Putch on February 21, 2020
Kristen is a foodie and a wanderer born and raised in upstate New York. She currently resides in York, Pennsylvania, where she works as the food editor at The York Dispatch. Follow her on Twitter at @kjputch.