There’s nothing more romantic than seeing moonlit waves rushing up to shore. Camping on the beach is a dream for many, but waking up with a wet back and a pool of cold water around your feet might not be the experience you were dreaming of just a few hours before. Even though sand is soft, preparations must be made in order to sleep comfortably. Camp too close to sea and the tide might take your tent stakes. Camp too far from the beach and happy munchers might take your food. Camping should be rewarding, here are some considerations to keep in mind.
Hear the waves without feeling them
Depending on where you set up camp, the rising tide might have you cold, wet and packing in the middle of the night. If you are new to the beach you are visiting, see if you can ask a local how far the tide comes in, in order to stake out dry land.
Hungry, furry friends
Beware of beaches at the edge of a forest; even a tropical paradise will see its share of goodie-stealing mischief. Animals love free food. If you’ve camped far from a shop, food loss can really shorten your stay. Keep food close by and closed when you’re not consuming it – plastic containers can help keep those little hands off. In certain destinations abroad, tribes of monkeys have adapted to tourists so much so that they have become addicted to sweet alcoholic beverages. And you don’t want a drunk monkey brushing up against your girlfriend!
Sand, surf, and sun. Going to the beach is all about enjoying the sun. But when you camp on the beach you might not want your tent to be a burning oven when shady spots are hard to find, or even non-existent depending of the beach. Bring a tarp and make a lean-to to cover your tent. You can use drift wood as a stand if it’s available.
You won’t be allowed to camp on every beach. While some beaches allow camping they might cordon off a certain sections. If you can’t camp far from other visitors it is still important to find protection from the wind. While sand dunes might make the perfect cover, their vegetation is intrusive. Your tarp lean-to creation might make a better wind breaker.
Making a fire pit
Don’t let the wind put out your flames. Dig a shallow hole in the sand before distributing your firewood.
Make a checklist and be prepared before setting up camp on the beach, you’ll want the right tools to keep yourself cool and dry. You’ll need one tarp on top, to cover your tent from sun, and one tarp below to keep the inside of your tent from becoming a pool. Sand stakes will hold the tent on windier beaches. And a brush and duster will help you take sand out of the tent the morning after. When you head back into the water in the morning you might want to wear a wetsuit to keep you warm, sea water can be pretty cold.
Set your tent up somewhere cool, and with these tips your time at the beach will be unforgettable.