At the Beach — July 24, 2014 at 5:00 am

6 Essentials for Beach Camping

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dosecreative / iStock / thinkstock.com

dosecreative / iStock / thinkstock.com

Get out of the woods for awhile and pitch a tent on the beach—after all, it is summer, and camping doesn’t mean that you need to sweat your socks off inland or deal with bug bites. Better yet, beach camping isn’t as complicated as you may think. Here are 6 tips to get you planning.

Find a killer spot
Before you pack up the gear and head for the nearest coastline, do some research to make certain that overnight camping is permitted. Depending on the beach, you could get into some serious trouble for sleeping on the sand—either by cops or vagrants. For a more secluded spot, check out coastal state parks and campgrounds—many offer camping opportunities. If you are a seasoned beach bum, it’s always fun to scope out your own private slice of shoreline.

Tides
When choosing your perfect spot, keep the tides in mind.  You don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night with waves crashing around you.

To Tent or Not to Tent?
Yup- part of the beauty of beach camping is that you don’t necessarily need a tent. Depending on where you plan to set up, sometimes all you need is a big ol’ fluffy blanket, pillows, and the starry night sky over your head. If you do bring a tent, make sure to bring extra long stakes for that soft, deep sand. Ditch the sleeping bags—it’ll get toasty out there.

Water Toys
Gather all the goodies you’ll need to enjoy some beach time. Kayaks, surfboard/boogie board, bikes, and fishing gear will give you plenty to do. Of course, you don’t want to forget the basics: swim trunks, snorkel/mask, flip flops (duh). Make sure to really do your research before you set out and get an idea of the beach you will be spending the night at. Are there sand dunes? Can you kayak through mangrove islands? Are there hiking trails? Pack accordingly.

Sun Protection
With the sun boiling out there, don’t forget to pack the essentials to keep you from turning into a lobster. Opt for sunblock with at least 30 spf, hats, lightweight clothing, and sunglasses. It might be a good idea to bring a big bottle of aloe in case of sunburn. Make sure to keep plenty of water handy as well- dehydration is something you want to avoid at all costs.

Fire Power
Most beachside state parks will provide grills for cooking, but if you are looking to make a bonfire, better check out the rules of the beach first. Same goes for picnic tables and chairs—most parks will have them, but double check in case you will need to pack your own.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Ya heard? The beach is a beautiful place and they are slowly diminishing worldwide due to pollution, erosion, and overdevelopment. Keep your site clean and pick up more than what you came with. Remember that the beach isn’t just for your enjoyment—it is home to an intricate ecosystem of salty critters and lush foliage. Don’t be that guy trampling the sea oats, and if you see wildlife, observe from a distance. Let’s keep our beaches sparkling for generations to pitch a tent for years to come.

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