How to camp on a beach & not hate yourself the next day

 

Camping as an enjoyable activity that people willingly partake in is something I’m starting to suspect is a lie.

It is often that I see images on Instagram and Pinterest of people camping out on the beach. Picture it: waves splooshing onto the sand, the waning sun peeling dusk over the horizon as people put beers in the hands and grins on their lips. Serene, right?

WRONG. 

 

EXPECTATIONS (cred: @doyoutravel)

REALITY (cred: Me. Amazing.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camping on the beach is terrible. Have you ever BEEN to a beach? If nodding yes, then you have experienced the phenomenon that is SAND. Sand, for those who don’t know, is a coarse, granular pile of shit that once lodged into your crevices, will remain. Much unlike the UK in the EU. It is a despicable form of matter that clings to your eyes, sinks into your sunscreen and stings your legs when the wind hurtles it towards you. Sand is nobody’s ally.

But like a clingy friend, after a beach trip sand becomes an omnipresent part of your life. Like President Trump, economic inequality under capitalism and that mole on your back, the grains stay, yet we must carry on.

Sand nightmares aside, camping on the beach summons a vast range of difficulties, and as someone who has camped on the beach twice in her life I am now an expert on how to conduct this activity. Here you shall find a foolproof list of dos and don’t’s for those who really intend to do the same. I mean, is camping actually a vacation? It’s more like practice for the zombie apocalypse.

WHAT TO DO

Choose a quiet, picturesque beach where camping overnight is legal.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Choose a beach where camping overnight is illegal, meaning the entire experience will be lived in fear of an approaching, scornful ranger. Or serial killer. But that could happen at a legal beach, too.

That one down there will do!

 

WHAT TO DO

Bring a joyous, optimistic camping buddy with you. You’ll need them. Bonus points if they can light fires.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Invite Negative Nancy.

WHAT TO DO

Bring camping supplies and warm things to snuggle up with.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Forget pillows.

WHAT TO DO

Bring sufficient light sources for when it gets dark.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Rely on your iPhone torch. It is not a sufficient light source.

WHAT TO DO

Bring a mountain of snacks and drinking water.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Spill sand into your hummus. Sand is the enemy.

WHAT TO DO

Bring alcohol if legal. If not legal, well….

WHAT NOT TO DO

Forget a bottle opener. BONUS TIP: In case of emergency, do not smash neck of bottle against rock in frustrated attempt to open it. Glass will shatter, along with pride.

WHAT TO DO

Stake your belongings / tarp / tent down with stones.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Forget where stones are and stub your toe. See above re: adequate lighting.

WHAT TO DO

Bring bug spray.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Spritz bug spray into camping buddies’ face. See above re: adequate lighting.

WHAT TO DO

Try to get all the poop out of your system before departing for camping trip.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Poop somewhere visible to others.

WHAT TO DO

Start a campfire (if legal)…

WHAT NOT TO DO

Try to learn how to start a campfire with no reception and a limited supply of matches. How did anyone figure this out without the internet?

 

We made it work, eventually.

 

WHAT TO DO

Go for a swim or surf.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Swim at dawn, dusk or nighttime. Sharks exist. Stick to the day.

WHAT TO DO

Bring sunscreen to please Mother.

WHAT NOT TO DO

‘Forget’ to apply sunscreen. Mother was right.

WHAT TO DO

Choose a base close to vegetation for shelter, away from the fluctuating tide line.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Camp on the dunes. Those are important (for some reason).

WHAT TO DO

Bring music and speakers.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Forget to charge speakers. Beaches lack powerpoints… useless things.

WHAT TO DO

Enjoy the sight of stars above and crashes of waves below. The whole fiasco is worth it for a reason. Be inspired to have #deep conversations with your camping buddy, ponder the meaning of life, the universe, and everything (the answer’s 42), or just sit in silence to absorb nature’s blissful sublimity.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Go to sleep too early. You’ve made it this far, dammit.

WHAT TO DO

When you do head to bed, cuddle up in your sleeping bag, which you hopefully brought.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Moan about how hard it is to roll up a sleeping bag when packing up. Everyone else hates that job too.

There you go! They don’t call me Deb from Accounting for nothing. Camp happy, happy campers, and may the sand within you neither live long nor prosper. 

Thanks for reading,

Anna x

 

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Shopgirl Anonymous
    May 2, 2017 at 2:07 am

    Excellent tips! I’ve always dreamed of camping on the beach, but have just never really received the opportunity to do so. But now I’m prepared should the opportunity arise. 😉

    • Reply
      annaholling
      May 3, 2017 at 8:29 am

      It really is worth it, as long as you’re prepared and the weather’s half decent! And good company goes a long way 🙂

  • Reply
    Ellen Hawley
    May 2, 2017 at 8:26 am

    …Not to mention, figure out where the tide line is and camp well above it. There’s nothing like waking up underwater.

    • Reply
      annaholling
      May 3, 2017 at 8:29 am

      TOO TRUE

  • Reply
    Rosie
    May 2, 2017 at 8:32 am

    This is brilliant – I remember when I was little I absolutely hated how the sand stuck to my feet after I’d been in the sea! I’ve never camped on a beach (too cold up north!) but should I ever do so, I’ll keep these tips in mind 🙂

    • Reply
      annaholling
      May 3, 2017 at 8:30 am

      Thanks Rosie!! Sand is a bugger but WE WON’T LET IT RUIN OUR GOOD TIMES

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