How Not to Camp on the Beach


You know what sounds romantic and fun?  Camping on the Beach.  

Sleeping in a tent on the sand, in theory, sounds comfy and worry-free.  So, we decided to pack up for a night on the beach with the kids and the dogs.  We headed to The National Seashore.  I even made sandwiches and bought chips.

But the thing is, we were the only ones with a tent.  There were many RVs, and we soon found out why that is the camper’s domicile of choice.  We did not know how high tides would get or account for the wind.   Plus, after some research, I discovered that you really aren’t supposed to pitch a tent in the dunes.  (I was worried about snakes, anyway.)

While my husband put the tent up, my eldest began to dig a circle in the sand.  She said that she was “helping” – her circle later became the place where we roasted marshmallows for s’ mores.  My youngest was still waking up from a nap and a massive Doritos eating episode a la David Hasselhoff.  And, the dogs were exploring and peeing.  I was beginning to regret the whole camping extravaganza.  Beach Camping

The tent was lopsided due to the wind, and I was really worried about becoming claustrophobic, especially if we were surrounded by a rising tide.   I was still in it, though.  I mean, I’ve camped before; I was a girl scout.  Albeit, a girl scout who never, ever camped on a beach.  And, I certainly never camped in a wind-threatened tent with sand, wet smelly dogs, another adult and two children.  Still, I did not want to be the one to pull the plug on my husband’s adventure.  I could be outdoorsy! 

Luckily, reality began to sink in for my husband, and we decided that maybe we didn’t have the right equipment, Beach Campinglocation, or tide information.  

Plus, there is no cell service out that far, and we couldn’t check on the tides.  The dogs, who kept staring at me like they were wondering why we were still at the beach, and I was relieved.  We ran along the beach in celebration.  (My dogs are both 11 years old; they missed the couch.)

But we made the best out of it; we had s’mores, and they were super yummy (Annie’s Cinnamon Graham Crackers, Endangered Species Milk Chocolate and Dandies Vegan Marshmallows= perfect combo).  I also discovered Staycation Beer which proved to be perfect for this short staycation.  Then, we drove home where I washed the little foo-foo dog, my kids, and myself. Kids were fast asleep by 10 p.m. 

So, if you are planning to camp on the beach, may I suggest renting an RV?  I mean, I bet the sunrise is gorgeous!  Beach Camping

Also, here are a couple websites that could prove handy:  

National Seashore Camping

Beach Camping Tips






  1. Oh!! So funny! I’ve never been a beach person myself, but have stayed over a few times for a weekend….many moons ago. My now 32 yr old son was about 2 and sleeping in a metal tub at night…..we were also too close to shore and I woke up to him FLOATING and the foot of my sleeping bag, hanging off my fold-out lawn chair….completely wet!…..Seriously! Talk about panic!! Thank you for sharing your story!

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