Best Camping
By Kylee Ryers

Beach Camping that Cares for the Coast 

While relaxing on a pristine beach might be paradise, camping is fast becoming one of the most popular vacation choices for American families; over six million new households have started camping in the last five years. Yet when planning your next getaway, you need not choose between a luxury oceanside experience and getting up close and personal with the great outdoors.

Beach camping gives you the best of both worlds, and many of the most spectacular coastal regions in the world like Australia’s Fraser Island can only be truly experienced with a 4x4 and a tent. However, beaches are fragile and variable ecosystems that require safe and sustainable camping practices. Here are the three main points to remember when going beach camping. 

Camping in the Blue Mediterranean

Camping in the Blue Mediterranean

Plan and Prepare

Before you pack up your vehicle and set off for the coast, make sure you’ve done your research. Though exploring for a secluded spot to set up camp can be thrilling, at least plan the general area you’ll be in to make sure that you can indeed stay there overnight. Permits may be required to do so, especially in reserves or state parks. Furthermore, researching the area will reveal any particular environmental rules and regulations that apply to the region, as well as what amenities are provided.

Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before setting off, too, in order to avoid getting caught in gales or high tides. Regardless of the forecast, always be sure to choose a site at least 20 feet from the visible high tide line. You’ll probably be far more exposed camping on the beach than in the woods, so make sure you plan and pack accordingly.

Camping on the shores of Sea of Galilee in Israel

Camping on the shores of Sea of Galilee in Israel

Get the Right Gear

Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you have to give up the luxurious relaxation of a typical beach vacation - you just need to have the right equipment. Set yourself up with a fully waterproof tent made from recycled material and specialized sand stakes to secure it. Erecting it over a much larger groundsheet and tarp will allow for plenty of space to comfortably relax, as well as being ideal for getting rid of pesky sand before entering your tent.

Putting some space between yourself and the sand with an air mattress will also make for the most comfortable camping experience, but don’t forget to also bring sleeping bags suitable for the temperatures you’ll be exposed to. To generate as little waste or pollution as possible, reusable containers and rechargeable lamps are a must-have.

Family camping at the beach

Family camping at the beach

Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints

Coastal regions feature a variety of interlinked ecosystems, including the ocean, dunes, and beaches themselves, and so it’s particularly pertinent to minimize your impact on the environment. Dunes themselves can be incredibly delicate yet are vital to coastline preservation, so avoid camping directly on them. The most straightforward way to camp sustainably is to pack up all of your waste to responsibly dispose of away from the beach, and ensure all waste water is drained on land beyond the sand and not in the ocean. Even your soap and toothpaste should be biodegradable to avoid any damage to the beach wildlife. When you eventually leave, it should be as though you were never there at all.

Spending a vacation camping on the beach is ideal for anyone that loves escaping to the ocean as well as a bit of an adventure. Caring for the coast while you camp there by being prepared for the unique conditions, using the right gear, and leaving as little trace as possible will make sure the beach can still be enjoyed for generations to come.

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