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Outdoor Gear Reviews, Tips & Adventure Stories to Inspire an Outdoor Life

Month: August 2023

Unforgettable Camping for Couples: A Guide

A couple sitting by a campfire next to their Jeep with a rooftop tent. camping for couples


Escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life and tuning in to the tranquility of nature can be a rejuvenating experience. This is especially true for couples seeking a memorable adventure steeped in togetherness and exploration. One activity that provides such a dynamic experience is camping.

Camping offers a perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and bonding for couples. The charm of camping lies in its combination of planned preparations and spontaneous surprises. It’s not just about pitching a tent under the stars; it also involves preparing for various weather conditions, packing essentials, and selecting the perfect campsite. Moreover, camping is enriched by fun activities that can add a dose of romance and excitement to the overall experience, whether it’s stargazing, telling stories around a campfire, or cooking meals together.

Planning and Preparation

Selecting the Right Campsite

When planning for a couples camping trip, the first step is to select the right campsite. Depending on what you and your partner enjoy, the right campsite can range from a remote backcountry area to a campground offering a host of amenities. Look for sites that offer a balance between convenience and natural beauty. You’ll be spending a lot of time at your campsite, so pick somewhere that you find appealing and comfortable. Ensure the campsite is safe, has good drainage in case it rains, and has a source of clean water nearby.

We love camping directory sites The Dyrt and Campendium for finding new campsites that match what we are looking for.  Both sites also have mobile apps that are worth installing if you camp often.

Packing Essentials for Camping

Camping for couples requires you to be minimalist, but you should at the same time ensure you bring along all essentials. At the minimum, pack a first aid kit, plenty of food and water, appropriate clothing for the expected weather, and navigation tools like maps and compasses. Don’t forget a tent, sleeping bags, cooking supplies, and for extra comfort, compact camping furniture. If you’re planning to hike, consider lightweight options where possible.

When packing for a couples camping trip, we highly recommend mixing in some romantic elements for your trip.  We like to pay special attention to the sleeping arrangements when camping as a couple.  Ditch the individual sleeping bags for a double sleeping bag or a queen inflatable mattress.  We love our Coleman Queen Airbet Cot with bedding from home to make sleeping luxurious while camping. No matter what you choose to pack for your couple’s camping trip, enjoying the outdoors with your partner can be an amazing way to reconnect.

For a basic list of what to bring camping, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Camping.

First Aid Kit Essentials

A first aid kit is a must for any camping for couples trip. The kit should include bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, medical tape, pain-relief medication, any prescription medications, and an emergency blanket. Check your kit before each camping trip to replenish any supplies that have been used up or expired.

Food and Water Considerations

For food, many camping couples prefer simple meals that are easy to cook. If you and your partner fall into this category, opt for non-perishable foods like canned goods, instant meals, trail mix, and energy bars.

If enjoying the process of making meals together is more your speed,  it’s important to plan your camping meals ahead of time.  Make sure to bring all of the cooking gear, ingredients, and spices you’ll need for your gourmet approach. You’ll find that even an otherwise-mediocre dinner can be fantastic when you’ve made it together with your partner around the campfire.

If you’ll have access to fresh water, carry a portable water filter to ensure it’s safe to drink. If not, you’ll need to bring enough water for your entire stay. Whether you’ll filter water or bring it along, make sure you’ll have enough water for both drinking and cleaning during your trip.  Having enough drinking water ensures you’ll both avoid dehydration and having enough water for cleaning is just a good idea for a multitude of reasons.

Dressing for the Weather

Check the weather forecast before your camping trip, and pack clothing accordingly. Remember, it’s better to over-pack layers than under-pack. At a minimum, ensure you have a waterproof jacket or poncho, a warm sweater or fleece, and quick-drying pants or shorts. Don’t forget comfortable walking shoes!

Navigating the Terrain

Before setting off, acquire a detailed map of the area where you’ll be camping and familiarize yourself with the different paths, landmarks, and potential dangers. Carry a compass and potentially a GPS device, if you have one. Being well-prepared will help you confidently navigate the terrain and enjoy your camping experience.

Emergency Planning

Prioritize safety when camping. Let someone know where you’re going and when you’re expected to return. Take a short course on wilderness survival or at least familiarize yourself with the basics. And, don’t forget your fully stocked first aid kit, a sturdy tent, and enough food and water supplies to last in case you’re stranded longer than anticipated. Preparation is key when considering unexpected weather changes, getting lost, injuries or wildlife encounters.

If you venturing a bit further off the beaten path, consider bringing along a satellite communicator to make sure you are in contact with those back home in case of an emergency. One of these little devices can provide an amazing amount of comfort when adventuring outside of cell phone range.

A couple laying down in a tent while looking past their feet to the surrounding mountains.

Setting Up Camp

While setting up camp is always hard work, working together as a team to set things up can be a surprisingly enjoyable process.  Remember that communication is the key.  Make sure to walk through the steps below together before tackling them to ensure the smoothest experience.

Arrive at your campsite with plenty of time to set up camp before dark. Don’t rush the setup process – nothing is worse than starting off a romantic camping trip with your partner with a frenzied and frustrating rush that leaves you both stressed out and mad. Take your time – maybe even start by having a drink together to celebrate your arrival before sweating the campsite setup.

Step 1: Choosing the Right Spot

When setting up camp, the first thing you need to do is find the right spot. Look for level ground where you can comfortably sleep and set up a cooking area. A spot under slight shade can be beneficial to keep the sun out during day time, but make sure you’re not under a tree that might drop heavy branches.

When my partner and I are on a camping trip together, we usually try to find a more private spot to pitch our tent.  Nothing kills the romance while camping more than feeling like you’re being watched (and heard) from all sides.  Think of your time together as a chance to get some special time alone. Make sure to prioritize the “alone” part by choosing a spot that will give you and your partner a bit more privacy to be yourselves and enjoy your time together.

Step 2: Pitching Your Tent

Once you’ve chosen the right spot, it’s time to set up your tent. Make sure the ground is clear of stones or sticks that could pierce your tent. Stake the corners of your tent into the ground, ensuring it’s tight. Once the tent is staked, insert your tent poles and raise the structure. After the tent is up, take the time to secure any additional guidelines to provide your tent with added stability against wind.

Pro Tip: For a romantic camping trip with your partner, more is better.  A bigger tent with more room is better than the 2-person (really a 1-person) backpacking tent you have in your garage.  A bigger bed (see the Coleman Queen Airbed Cot for an example) is better than smaller, individual meals.  While you’re at it, bring a few extra drinks in your larger cooler.  In our opinion, camping as a couple is about spending time together enjoying the outdoors – plan your trip to optimize for your mutual enjoyment.

Step 3: Setting Up Your Fire Pit

Your fire pit should be at a reasonable distance from your tent to avoid any accidents. First, create a circular pit in the ground about 3 feet across. Border this circle with rocks. This will be the main container for your fire. Gather wood, sticks, and kindling. Remember, never leave a fire unattended and always extinguish your fire before going to sleep.

Make sure to check before leaving home to make sure fires are allowed when you plan to camp.  Many locations are under fire bans and you’ll need to get a bit more creative if you want to enjoy a fire.  Propane fire pits like this one are typically allowed when wood fires aren’t and can be a great alternative.

Step 4: Arranging Sleeping and Cooking Areas

Inside the tent, arrange your sleeping area with sleeping bags and pillows. As we mentioned above, my partner and I love to sleep in a setup that feels as romantic and luxurious as our bed at home does when possible.   If you prefer not to bring your bedding from home, you can also unzip your sleeping bags to use them like bedding as opposed to containing and confining each of you.

Cooking should be done a reasonable distance from the tent to keep food smells away from your sleeping area. A foldable table can be set up for preparing meals and eating.

Step 5: Maintaining Cleanliness and Hygiene

Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene during camping is critical for a healthy and enjoyable camping experience. This is especially true when camping as a couple.  If you want to be close with your partner and enjoy the romantic moments you’ll experience together outdoors, it’s a good idea to be clean.

Bring along plenty of soap, wipes, and hand sanitizers. Do not dispose of soap or food scraps near your campsite as it can attract animals. Always carry out your trash and leave the campsite as you found it.

If you choose to camp at a location without restroom facilities, read our Guide to Creating your Own Campsite Bathroom for some ideas on how to do it right.  We recently reviewed and fell in love (at least as much as one can love a toilet) with the Trelino Evo S Composting Toilet.  We think it’s the perfect camping bathroom solution and both my partner and I love using it when we camp.

Step 6: Understanding Camp Rules and Regulations

Lastly, always remember that each camping site comes with its own set of rules and regulations. Take time to know the regulations of your chosen camping spots. Respect the environment and wildlife around your camping site and remember, the goal is to leave no trace behind so that others can enjoy the natural beauty and wonder in the future.


A couple sitting in a campsite hammock with a lake in the background.

Camping Activities for Couples

Planning your Camping Activities

Charting out your camping activities is an essential step in creating an enjoyable and memorable outdoor experience. Divide the responsibilities equally between both partners. Decide if you’re more interested in laid-back activities like wildlife watching and stargazing, or more exciting options like hiking and exploring. Don’t forget to plan the meals you’ll be preparing together!

Alone Time….Together

When camping with your partner, it can be great to take advantage of the break from the noise, schedule, and business of our everyday and enjoy the quiet peace of the outdoors.  Since we all enjoy the quiet differently, give each other permission to do whatever most recharges your batteries. Each of you can read, take a walk, birdwatch, take a nap, play a game, or whatever alone and on your own terms.  You’ll find that giving each other this space while still being together can be both romantic and freeing.

Hiking Fun for Couples

One fantastic camping activity for couples is hiking. It encourages teamwork and resilience, and the shared accomplishment of reaching the peak is a bonding experience. Remember to pack plenty of water, snacks, and reliable footwear. Research your chosen trail before setting off, understanding the expected difficulty level and estimated duration. Make sure you stick to designated hiking paths to avoid potential hazards or getting lost.

Stargazing as a Couple

Camping for couples provides an excellent opportunity for stargazing. Be sure to pack a cozy blanket, hot drinks, and maybe a digital star map app for easy navigation of the night sky. Choose clear nights without moonlight for the best star visibility. Remind each other to step away from the light sources before starting this activity to allow your eyes to adjust to the night-time darkness. Also, take turns stargazing to maintain continuous surveillance of your surroundings for nocturnal wildlife.

Camping Meals for Two

Food always tastes better outdoors. Preparing meals together can be a fun, romantic camping activity for couples. Choose recipes that are easy to prepare and don’t require too many ingredients. Pack the cooking essentials and remember to bring enough clean water for both drinking and cooking. Remember to cook well and store food properly to avoid attracting wildlife to your campsite.

Storytelling under the Stars

Sharing stories in the flicker of the campfire is a time-old camping tradition. You can take turns to narrate stories, be it real-life anecdotes, fairy tales, or imaginary adventures. This activity works best in a cozy, secure setup. Ensure the campfire is maintained safely, and remember to fully extinguish it before retiring for the night.

Wildlife Watching – A Unique Experience

Watching wildlife in its natural habitat can be an exhilarating experience. Equip yourselves with binoculars, wildlife guides, and a lot of patience. Respect the boundaries of any animals you encounter, and avoid feeding or trying to touch them. Always follow local guidelines and regulations for wildlife watching to ensure your safety and that of the animals.

Camping Safety Tips

Regardless of the activities you choose, safety should be your top priority. Always let someone else know your camping plans, including estimated return time. Carry a basic first aid kit, sufficient supplies, and navigation tools. Adhere to local advisories and weather reports. And most importantly, leave no trace—carry all garbage with you to keep the environment safe and clean for wildlife and future campers.

A couple cooking food over the campfire while camping.


The Bottom Line

Whether you are seasoned campers seeking a refreshed perspective or novices embarking on your first outdoor journey together, adequate planning can enhance your camping experience exponentially. Understanding how to select the right equipment and campsite, how to set up your camp effectively, and engaging in romantic yet fun activities can transform your trip into a truly memorable one. Moreover, remaining clean and organized during your camping trip will ensure a safe and comfortable stay.

Always remember, camping is not just an activity; it’s an experience – one that encompasses collaboration, adaptation, and improvisation. The main intent is to enjoy the serenity of the wild while relishing each other’s company. So put on your adventure caps, prepare well and let the beauty of nature strengthen the bonds of your relationship.

The Ultimate Guide to Solo Camping

Stepping into nature alone, equipped with nothing but necessary supplies, the right skills, and one’s instinct, solo camping offers an extraordinary adventure waiting to unfold. It is an experience filled with tranquility, self-discovery, and the opportunity to connect with nature in its truest sense. But it also presents its unique sets of challenges and risks. For the uninitiated, the prospect may seem daunting, yet with the right planning, preparation, essential skills, and focus on mental and physical well-being, one can transcend these fears and uncertainties to relish in the unparalleled beauty and experience that solo camping affords. This democratic exploration of solo camping delves into these facets, paving the way for a safer, more fulfilling, and memorable odyssey into the wild.

Planning and Preparation for Solo Camping

Choosing the Right Camping Site

Solo camping begins with selecting the right site. Favor sites that are adequately spaced from other campers, but within reach of a ranger station or populated area for safety. The camping site should be on firm, level ground free from potential hazards like falling tree branches or water sources that could flood. Be mindful of local wildlife and their feeding or breeding areas. Always follow the “Leave No Trace” principles by camping on durable surfaces and maintaining noise control.

Online tools such as The Dyrt and Campendium are amazing ways to search for and identify ideal camping locations for your next trip.

Understanding the Weather Forecast

When camping alone, the weather can either make or break your trip. Use reliable meteorological sources to understand the weather forecast of your selected camping area for the days you will be camping. Be aware not just of temperatures, but also of expected precipitation, wind, and potential for severe weather events. This understanding can guide your preparation, from your route plan to your packing list.

Planning Your Route

A good rule of thumb is to plan your route well, regardless of how familiar the area might be. Key factors to consider when planning include difficulty level, distance, changes in altitude, and key landmarks. Plan to take rest stops at regular intervals, and mark your route on a physical map as a backup to electronic devices. Tell someone about your detailed plan and expected return time, especially when camping alone.

Packing the Right Gear, Clothing, and Food

Packing for a solo trip is different than for a group camping trip. Weight and efficiency become crucial. For gear, pack a reliable tent, sleeping bag, cooking equipment, and safety gear. Think lightweight and multipurpose. Always bring clothing suitable for the worst weather; include layers for cold nights, rain gear, and comfortable hiking boots. Food needs to be high-energy, lightweight, and easy to prepare. Hydration is crucial, so always have a means to purify water.

Many of the tips found in our Beginner’s Guide to Camping can also be super helpful when planning a solo camping trip.

Possible Risks and How to Mitigate Them

Solo camping does bring its share of risks. The most common ones include getting lost, illnesses or injuries and encounters with wildlife. To mitigate these risks, always carry a compass or GPS, an extensive first-aid kit with personal medications, and take precautions against animals by storing food properly and maintaining a safe distance.

Preparing for Possible Emergencies

Going solo camping might lead to unpredictable emergencies, hence, equipping oneself is of utmost importance. Pack essentials like a whistle for signaling distress, a reliable firestarter for creating warmth, and a flashlight for navigation. An effective means of communication such as a satellite phone or a personal locator beacon can be a true asset when one is camping alone. A crucial step to ensure safety is to share a precise plan of your outdoor journey with someone close. This way, they can engage the authorities if you don’t return as scheduled. Moreover, being well-versed in first-aid basics and survival skills, such as how to build a shelter or kindle a fire, can significantly enhance your preparedness for any unexpected situation.

Looking for tips on how to be more prepared for wilderness emergencies? Check out our Essential Tips for Surviving in the Wilderness.

Image of a solo camping site

Essential Skills for Solo Camping

Essential Camping Skill: Erecting a Tent

Mastering the art of setting up a tent is another vital skill in the toolkit of any solo camper. One should be clear on the fundamentals of maintaining the tent’s structure, how to ensure sufficient ventilation and the methods of safeguarding it from harsh weather. Correctly anchoring your tent is particularly significant in blustery conditions. Another important aspect of camping involves the careful selection of a suitable tent site. Choose a spot free from rocks, roots, and standing water to ensure comfort and safety.

Essential Skill Two: Starting a Fire

Properly building and starting a fire is not only essential for cooking and keeping warm, but can also serve as a morale booster and a focal point for your camp. Gathering dry, dead branches and leaves for tinder, using small sticks as kindling, and the eventual addition of larger logs to sustain the fire are critical skills to cultivate. Fire safety is of utmost importance too; make sure the fire is entirely out before leaving it unattended.

Essential Skill Three: Cooking with Camping Equipment

When it comes to cooking on a camp stove or over an open fire, there are several techniques that can improve your outdoor dining experience. Skills like properly lighting and regulating the heat of your stove, efficient fuel usage, maintaining clean cookware, and storing food securely to avoid attracting wildlife, all contribute to a successful camping trip.

Essential Skill Four: Navigating Using a Compass or Map

Navigational skills are crucial for any kind of outdoor adventure, but when solo camping they become even more essential. Familiarity with topographic maps, and understanding how to use a compass can make the difference between getting lost or staying on track. Knowledge of natural navigation techniques, like reading the sun or stars, can also be valuable backups.

Essential Skill Five: First Aid Knowledge

Solo camping entails dealing with potential emergencies single-handedly. Knowing basic first aid, like how to dress a wound, treat burns, deal with bites or stings, manage hypothermia or heat stroke, and recognize symptoms of common ailments, can be a lifesaver. Carrying a well-stocked first aid kit and knowing how to use its contents is equally important.

Fundamental Skill Six: Safeguarding Yourself Around Wildlife

During solo camping, it is crucial to know how to behave around wildlife to ensure safety and enhance enjoyment. This involves maintaining a tidy campsite to discourage animal visitation, reacting appropriately if confronted with wildlife such as bears or snakes, and taking preventative measures against issues related to smaller creatures. Respecting and staying aware of wildlife enhances peaceful coexistence with the various animals encountered during camping. Mastering these protocols will help you to have a successful and unforgettable solo camping journey.

Illustration of various camping skills essential for solo camping, including setting up a tent, starting a fire, cooking with camping equipment, navigating using a compass or map, first aid knowledge, and wildlife safety protocols.

Maintaining Mental and Physical Well-being while Solo Camping

Ensuring Physical Wellness and Safety on The Trail During Solo Camping

Preparing your body for the physical demands of camping significantly contributes to a successful solo adventure. Regular physical exercise, centered on cardiovascular activities and strength training, should commence in the lead-up to your trip. This approach not only promotes overall fitness but also equips your body to manage camping-specific challenges such as erecting tents, igniting fires, and hiking.

Staying vigilant and educated about your chosen trail is equally significant. Being knowledgeable about the terrain and weather conditions allows for safe, informed decision-making. Equip yourself with navigational tools like a map, compass, or GPS to prevent any likelihood of getting disoriented. Must-have personal safety gear includes a flashlight, whistle, and first-aid supplies for all camping excursions.

Hydration and Balanced Diet Requirement for Solo Camping

Hydration is crucial while camping, especially if you’re participating in strenuous activities. Drinking plenty of water helps in muscle function, aids digestion, and keeps your skin healthy. Always carry ample quantities of clean, safe drinking water. Investing in a good quality water filter or purification tablets is a smart move, especially in remote areas where fresh water sources are questionable.

Maintaining a balanced diet while camping is equally important. Pack nutritious, non-perishable foods, such as nuts and dried fruits, canned items, and whole grains. These foods can provide you with the necessary energy and nutrients. Meal prepping beforehand also can save you time and ensure that you’re consuming a balanced diet.

Tackling Loneliness and Boredom during Solo camping

Solo camping can get lonely and monotonous sometimes. One effective strategy to manage solitude is by engaging in activities you enjoy. This could be reading a book, writing in your journal, painting, or taking photographs. These activities not only keep you engaged but also allow you to document your journey in unique ways.

Engaging in mindfulness practices, such as meditation or yoga, can help manage loneliness. They allow you to connect with nature on a deeper level and appreciate solitude rather than fearing it.

The Importance of Rest During Solo Camping

Sleep is as vital as physical activities and a diet plan during a camping trip. After a day of rigorous outdoor activities, your body needs time to recover and prepare for the tasks ahead. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Consider investing in a comfortable sleeping bag or hammock to ensure good quality sleep.

Keeping up with your physical and mental health while solo camping can enhance your experience and make for a memorable and fulfilling journey. Regular exercises, a balanced diet, sufficient water intake, engaging activities, and enough rest are crucial points to consider.

A person camping alone in a serene forest surrounded by mountains.

Ultimately, what makes solo camping, a feat in its own right, profoundly rewarding is not just the physical journey to extraordinary places, but the journey of self-discovery that it enables. The correct planning and preparation, acquisition of key skills, and deliberate focus on physical and mental well-being, not only ensures a safer trip but also enhances the overall experience. Embracing its challenges and being equipped with the knowledge to mitigate them, prepare you to let your guard down and immerse yourself wholly in the captivating beauty and serenity that the wild offers. Each trip becomes an unforgettable chapter of adventure and self-revelation worth being etched in the annals of your life’s experiences.