Beach Camping Tips

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What are some fun family games to play at the beach?

Beach Blanket Bingo and Other Beach Camping Games

Is there anything better than tossing a Frisbee at the beach? Maybe, but your discount camping equipment should include at least a deck of cards, some beach balls, and some plans for great games on the sand.

A great beach camping game is Sand Trap, the perfect game to play out of the water. Bring along some paper cups (9 to be exact), some golf balls, small prizes, and a golf putter if you have one. The object is to putt or roll the ball into each cup, just like a game of golf. The first player to get the ball in the hole three times in a row wins a prize.

Also high on the list for hitting the road to the beach camping park are float tubes and boats. They work well in mild surf, or on a lake or river beach, and some are big enough for the entire family. Kayaks and canoes are another beach option, too, and there are even portable, blow-up models that are easy to pack, store, and blow up when you hit the beach.

How can I keep sand out of my tent when I'm beach camping?

Discount Camping Supplies For Camping on Sand

There's no doubt about it, when you camp on the beach you can't avoid getting sand everywhere. Clothes, hair, shoes, and outdoor gear, they all come home with sand in them. Many beach campers feel sandy food and clothing is just a part of the beach camping experience.

If you're not that affectionate about sand, here's a tip for helping keep sand out of your tent or motor home:

Keep a large, deep basin with your outdoor gear. When you arrive at your campsite, fill the basin with water (sea water is just fine) near the entrance, and make sure everyone rinses their feet before they step inside.

What kind of cooking utensils should I use when I cook on the beach?

Cooking on the Beach

Face it; you're going to get sand in your food if you cook your food out in the open on the beach. That said, when you shop for cooking equipment for camping, check with a professional at a discount camping equipment store to find out the best type of pots and pans to use in the salty beach environment.

Many people do not recommend using cast iron at the beach, as the salt water and humid environment can rust cast iron prematurely. It's a better idea to use aluminum or stainless steel cooking utensils for cooking on the beach. Your discount camping equipment professional should be able to steer you in the right direction for cooking gear.

You can cook over an open fire if the beach has fire rings. If not, check with the beach campground before you head off to your beach adventure. They can tell you what type of cooking fires or stoves they allow.

What kind of outdoor gear do I need for my dog when we go beach camping?

Dog Beach Gear

Don't forget Fido when you camp out on the beach! Most beaches that allow dogs in the campgrounds require them to be leashed at least some of the time. Look for a good quality leash or harness that will withstand the rigors of beach camping, like gritty salt water and sand. Most outdoor gear shops feature pet accessories too, such as pet buoyancy jackets, reflective collars, and plastic collars that are waterproof.

You might want to take along special bowls for pet food and water, too. To keep them from ending up full of sand instead of kibble, take along a plastic place mat or foil pan to set them in, so they are safe from sand and seawater.

Most dogs love the beach, so take them along on your next beach camping excursion. With the right outdoor gear, they'll have just as much fun as the rest of the family.

Do I need a fishing license when I head out for a beach campground?

Fishing at a Beach Campground

Before you head off to your beach campground getaway, be sure to check local fishing license requirements. Many discount camping equipment stores sell fishing licenses for their local areas, or have information posted with license information.

Most all states require fishing licenses for any type of beach fishing, from surf fishing to crabbing and shrimping along the shore, and most rangers DO check for licenses at all times of the year.

Make sure you have the right equipment for salt water fishing, too, if you're camping along the ocean. If you're not sure, check with your local discount camping equipment store to find out what you need to fish in salt water versus fresh water.

What should I watch out for when I visit the beach?

Beach Safety and Camping

Chances are, when you visit your beach campground, your kids are going to want to collect seashells, starfish, and other assorted beach creatures. Bring along a plastic jar to hold rocks, seashells, and even some beach sand as part of your beach outdoor gear.

However, the beach is a natural environment, and each of the creatures you encounter depends on another to live and thrive. Explain to the children that bringing home fish, crabs, starfish, and such really can harm the natural balance of the beach and ocean.

So, enjoy the creatures of the beach, but leave them behind on the sand for others to enjoy, too!

Can I gather driftwood for a fire when I go beach camping?

Firewood or Driftwood?

If you're planning on enjoying a fire at your beach camping park then firewood should probably be part of your outdoor gear. Some beaches have enough driftwood to gather for an evening fire or two, but many more don't offer these opportunities.

Check with the ranger when you arrive to see if driftwood gathering is allowed. Bring along firewood with your other gear just in case. Most campgrounds offer small packages of firewood for sale for a small amount. Oh, and don't forget to pack some marshmallows and sticks for toasting over that roaring beach fire!

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Guru Spotlight
Carol Sponagle