Pros and Cons of Beach Camping (And How to Prepare for It)

Whether you’re familiar with beach camping or wondering if it’s worth a go, it’s smart to weigh the pros and cons before venturing out. Instead of wading through the internet to find separate reasons for and against pitching up your tent on the sand, we’ve made it easier by giving you the most important pros and cons of beach camping. 

The pros of beach camping let you experience breathtaking views, sunrises over the sea, and plenty of fresh air. The con is that it’s dangerous if you’re not prepared and there’s environmental impact. Ensure you know the tides and where it is safe to camp. Also, be ready for unpredictable weather and sand in your tent. 

Keep reading to find out more pros and cons of beach camping. Overall, we firmly believe that if you are prepared, anyone can enjoy this activity. 

Pros of Camping on the Beach

While we could easily write a whole article on the pros and benefits of camping at the beach, we’ve condensed this into 10 major points.

Check these out below if you need some convincing!  

1. Sand is Comfortable 

Unlike mountain or forested terrain, camping on the beach is much more comfortable. This is partly because sand can be molded to fit your body, thus creating the perfect shape for your bed.

Double-check that the beach you plan to visit is sandy and not pebbled, as this would otherwise cause the opposite.  

2. Beautiful Scenery 

The stunning scenery is one of the best reasons to camp on the beach. With beaches surrounding you, you can usually catch glimpses of the coast or wide-open sandy straits.

You also have the ocean or another large body of water next to you, which offers equally beautiful views.  

3. Immediate Access to Open Space

Unlike forest camping, beach camping allows you to choose a site with plenty of open space.

Having immediate access to open space doesn’t only afford you more privacy and a bigger spot to pitch your tent. It also gives you the feeling that the beach is all yours.

Do check out my guide on choosing the perfect spot to pitch your tent.

Immediate Access to Open Space

4. Plenty of Water Activities

Camping also gives you quick access to plenty of water activities.

Whether you prefer higher-intensity activities like surfing, kayaking, or swimming, or perhaps you prefer more low-key activities like shelling, fishing, or wildlife watching.

Each beach has different water activities to keep you busy throughout your camping trip. I have curated a list of fun beach camping activity ideas to keep you entertained.

5. Catch the Sunrise and Sunset

What better place to catch a sunrise and sunset than over the beach? The best thing about beach camping is that you don’t have to go far to catch this unique spectacle.

Camping on the beach allows you to have this by unzipping your tent door! 

 6. Budget Friendly 

Like other camping, beach camping is an affordable way to stay in vacation hot spots.

Instead of spending $100 plus a night for a hotel near the beach, you can cut these costs in half or quarters for a camping site! 

7. Fresh Air

Beach camping can give you the fresh air you need, which helps stimulate your mind and body.

Generally, beaches are fairly exposed, allowing a good amount of wind to keep circulating a consistent fresh air flow.  

8. Ultimate Relaxation 

Another great reason to try out beach camping is how relaxed it can make you feel. Spending time outside and disconnecting from technology is a healthy way to find peace of mind.

Beach camping can encourage rejuvenation, and that’s great for our overall well-being.  

9. Escape the City

Beach camping is a great way to escape the city and get a well-earned break.

City living can sometimes feel overwhelming, and work can feel impossible to escape, but leaving the city for a secluded beach can bring some perspective and peace.

Another reason beach camping works wonders for your mental health.

Escape the City

10. Unique Wildlife

If spotting wildlife gives you as much buzz as it does for us, you will be thrilled to hear about all the unique wildlife you can see from the comfort of your tent on the beach.

Imagine waking up and watching dolphins, whales, sea birds, or even wild horses on the beach. This is all possible when you’re camping on the sand! 

Cons of Camping on the Beach

Beach camping is a great way to experience the outdoors but it doesn’t come without drawbacks. My article on ‘What is beach camping like?‘ will give you more insights.

Read our 10 cons below and prepare for what beach camping might be like. 

1. You Must Know the Tides

Beach camping is all fun and games unless you’re unprepared. It can be dangerous camping near a shoreline, especially if you’re unaware of the tides.

High tides can flood your campsite and pose a danger to your belongings and your life. Always pitch up your camp above the high tide line.

2. Sand Gets Everywhere

If you’re beach camping, you must understand that sand will get everywhere. However hard you try to keep your tent in a sand-free zone, stopping the little specks from sneaking in can be impossible.

If you can’t handle a bit of sand in your sleeping bag, beach camping probably isn’t for you.  

Sand Gets Everywhere

3. Unpredictable Weather 

Camping in the woods gives you a degree of shelter that camping on the beach won’t. Since beaches are usually exposed areas to camp on, they can be open to all the elements, including storms.

Unpredictable weather can be hazardous when camping on the beach, particularly when it can cause rising tides.

4. Not Always Accessible

While some beaches will allow camping year-round, plenty of beaches will close from late autumn till the beginning of spring.

This means beach camping is generally only accessible during the summer months. Summer is usually the busiest time of year at the beach, so you can understand how this is a turn-off.

5. Limited Privacy 

Beaches can be busy places, especially during summer, and this will impact your privacy.

While some beaches may appear to offer wide open space and plenty of privacy, this can easily change with day visitors and is unpredictable too.  

6. Keeping Food Cool is Difficult

Since there is generally limited shelter at the beach, keeping your food cool is hard, even inside your tent.

This means the food options and how long your trip is may be limited to how much cool box space you have. Even planning a short camping trip, you must watch the cool box thermometer.  

Keeping Food Cool is Difficult

7. Noisy

Beaches can be busy, especially during the holidays, which can get seriously noisy. Since most beaches are public, you can’t always be guaranteed peace.

Even if it’s not peak season on the beach, remember the wildlife can be noisy too. Seagulls are particularly loud! 

8. Risk of Sunburn 

Beach campsites aren’t only exposed to storms but also to the sun. Sunburn can put a serious downer on your whole trip, and the risk of getting sunburnt at the beach is much higher when camping on one. 

9. Limited Resources

Unlike other campsites, some beaches are secluded enough to limit access to resources.

This can include fresh water, food stores, and dumpsters. If the beach you’re planning to visit lacks these amenities, you will have to provide them yourself. 

10. Environmental Impact

Beaches and dunes harbor precious ecosystems that can be impacted negatively by camping. Overuse of beach trails, campsite erosion, and litter are all byproducts of beach camping that are not sustainable.

If you want to go beach camping, respect the beach and leave no trace. 

The Pros Outweigh the Cons…

Whether you’re already decided on a beach camping trip or wondering if sleeping on sand is your style, it’s good to consider both the pros and cons of camping at the beach.

Beach camping can give you immediate access to open, scenic space while providing plenty of water activities at your fingertips.

However, pitching your tent up below the shoreline or during unpredictable weather can also be dangerous.

But you can easily mitigate the dangers with preparedness. The benefits far outweigh the disadvantages of beach camping.

Beach camping is a great adventure. Just make sure you prepare beforehand and leave no trace!

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with his pet bunny when not out in the woods, exploring the infinite beauty of mother nature.

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