When planning a beach camping vacation your packing list changes. Sure, there are the usuals—tent, sleeping bag, and the makings for s’mores, but there are other things you should bring on a beach camping trip.
There’s a good chance you might get rained on during your beach camping trip. Be sure that everyone has ponchos, shoes that can get wet (or at least more than one pair of shoes) and that your tent is without holes. Even if you don’t get rained on, the spray from the ocean can be cold and get you very wet if you’re not prepared.
Even if it’s very warm during the day at your beach location, it can get really cold at night. Don’t assume that if you’re pitching a tent right on the beach you don’t need a ground cover. The sand can get very cold at night, so always put a ground cover down before you pitch your tent. Make sure that you have either very warm sleeping bags (rated at 30 degrees or colder) or several extra blankets. Bring extra socks as well.
Ok, so this isn’t a traditional camping item, but sand toys are essential. What’s the point of camping on the beach if you can’t enjoy the sand? Particularly if you are camping with kids, bring a variety of sand toys. You can have sandcastle design contests and you can keep the kids busy for hours simply collecting crabs in their buckets.
You might not think of a beach vacation as one that provides for good hiking terrain, but you could be surprised. If you are camping on a beach near a large city your hiking options might be limited, but some of the best beach camping areas are more rural and there are plenty of hiking options around. Pack appropriate hiking boots for each person as well as water bottles, hats and hiking sticks.
Since you are camping at the beach, you might likely enjoy seafood for dinner at least one, if not most of the nights you are there. You might indulge fish, shrimp, clams, oysters, mussels, crab, and lobster.
Bring proper cooking vessels like a large pot for boiling and a lot of heavy duty tin foil. Most all of the food items can be cooked in foil (and some without) on the fire, but boiling lobsters or making shrimp cocktail/spiced shrimp might be preferable. Real butter and lemons are essential for seafood, but you might want to include dill, Old Bay Seasoning, pickling spices for spiced shrimp, cocktail and tartar sauces, and Cajun spices.
Of course, you must pack your usual camping stuff when you camp at the beach, but there are many more activities and options when you camp at the beach. Your activities might be different, your sleeping arrangements a little more soothing, your food a bit more flavorful. Having the proper items with you can ensure you can take advantage of all that your beach camping vacation has to offer.