Whether you want to turn up the heat or re-light that spark, camping can be a great way to add some romance into your life. It’ll add some spice and excitement, forcing you to break away from your normal habits and go out on an adventure. Bring your significant other into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for great bonding time and intimacy.
If you’re new to camping, or you’re so used to doing it a certain way, perhaps you need some help thinking up ideas on how to create a romantic camping trip. Here are 13 tips that you can follow to get you pointed in the right direction.
1. Find Some Privacy
First things first, you have to find some space where you won’t be interrupted. A romantic camping trip is dependent on a secluded campsite, otherwise the effect will be lost. I mean, can you imagine acting all lovey-dovey in the middle of a campground, surrounded by dozens of other people? You’d get a lot of stares, groans, and facepalms from uncomfortable campers who will wish they had more than a thin sheet of nylon between them and you.
Dispersed camping is a nice option if you don’t mind being completely off the grid. Otherwise, if that’s a little too wild for you, many campgrounds have spots that are more private than others. Do some research, call ahead, and see if you can reserve a site that will meet your requirements.
2. Camp in Your Living Room
You don’t have to travel very far to find a romantic campsite to share with your partner. Sometimes the most romantic getaway is right inside your own home – it might just take a little work to make it something truly special and exciting.
My wife and I often pitch our tent inside our living room, stuffing it full of pillows and blankets to make it extra cozy. We like to sleep on the floor to make it as realistic as possible, but you could certainly toss in an air mattress and some extra padding to make it more comfortable.
The beauty of camping inside your own home is that you can bring some fun into your relationship without giving up on any amenities. You’ll still have access to your kitchen, bathroom, and entertainment, and the experience itself takes almost no planning or effort whatsoever.
Of course, you can certainly go all out to make it a time you’ll never forget. Make a special dinner, light all the candles, play some music that both of you will enjoy, and spruce up the inside of the tent. It’ll be a night worth remembering, and perhaps a date idea that you’ll want to reproduce in the future as well.
3. Ambiance is Key
Mood lighting is pretty much mandatory if you’re trying to plan anything romantic at all. When you’re home, that means dimming the lights and getting the candles ready. When you’re in a tent, it means you’ll have to get creative because it’s usually not that simple.
The first thing you’ll need to establish is whether or not your campsite provides electricity. If they do, bring some LED string lights to plug in, so you can cast a homey glow on your surroundings. However, if they’re like most campsites, you’ll be on your own when it comes to bringing power into (and around) your tent.
For a pretty penny, there are a number of ways you can create electricity at your campsite. A generator or power station will get the job done nicely, and they’re useful to have for non-camping activities and emergencies as well.
Don’t have the money to spend on a generator? No problem. Bring a few candles, ideally in some sort of container to prevent wax or fire from spreading places you don’t want them to go. And if you’re really desperate, even a campfire can provide a romantic camping atmosphere. Just don’t get too close, otherwise you’ll smell like smoke for the rest of the night, which could easily spoil the fun!
4. Go Stargazing
There are roughly 4,500 stars in the sky that are visible to the naked eye. And on a clear night far from the city lights, they sure are a sight to behold. Enjoying the breathtaking view is the perfect way to end a romantic camping trip, especially from the comfort of your own stargazing tent.
If you feel like geeking out, try to spot as many constellations as you can. Perhaps you can impress your significant other by pointing out Andromeda and Perseus in the night sky – a representation of eternal love among the celestial beings. Or for a more tragic romance, there’s Orion chasing the Pleiades, forever unable to obtain the object of his affection.
Whatever the case, bring a small telescope or a pair of binoculars, and have fun gazing at the majestic expanse of faraway stars. I guarantee both you and your partner will be enchanted by the view.
5. Get a Double Sleeping Bag
The downside of camping is that you have to sleep away from your significant other. After a romantic evening enjoying the outdoors, it feels a little anticlimactic to just hop into your separate sleeping bags and call it a night. You’ll miss out on some quality bonding time, and you won’t be able to share body heat on those chilly nights.
Double sleeping bags are a great way to solve this problem, allowing you and your partner to snuggle close to each other during the night. There are a couple of different varieties that you can choose from, but all of them are going to be rectangular sleeping bags, instead of the mummy style. Some come as separate sleeping bags that can be zipped together to form one big bag. Others are just designed as one big bag that can hold two people.
Personally, I like the style that can be zipped together. It gives you more options than simply buying one giant sleeping bag that has to be used with a partner.
6. Prepare a Tasty Meal
Nothing says date night like a fancy dinner. Typically, this takes the form of food from a high-class restaurant, or an impressive home cooked meal, for all you chefs out there. But unsurprisingly, it becomes trickier to prepare a romantic dinner when you’re staying in a place without amenities.
That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though. If you’re car camping, you can still bring a portable stove or a grill to whip up something delicious. Even when you’re backpacking, you’d be amazed by what you can cook by using the campfire or a single propane burner.
If you don’t have much confidence in your ability to make a multi-course meal, you can always do something a bit simpler. For example, there are several ways to make coffee while camping, or you could make a hot cup of tea. Whatever your significant other prefers, I’m sure they’d appreciate receiving a steaming beverage when they wake up.
7. Play Games
How often do you find time to play with your significant other? If you’re anything like me, it’s not as often as you’d like it to be, simply because busy schedules, chores, and responsibilities tend to get in the way. Camping is fun in its own right, but sometimes it’s nice to have a few other options available to help you kill time and make merry.
On rainy days, it can also be nice to have something to do inside the tent other than stare at each other. A deck of cards is always a small, lightweight, and versatile option, or you can go all out and bring something like Monopoly. Who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll find a way to integrate it into your routine back home too!
8. Snuggle by the Campfire
There’s just something that’s so soothing about a wood fire, whether it’s crackling away in your tent stove or in a fire pit outside. The popping of the wood, the dancing glow, and the radiating heat all amplify the romantic atmosphere that you’re trying to set. Grab a large blanket to throw over both of your shoulders and enjoy the cozy atmosphere.
Of course, you can’t have a campfire without making s’mores. Bring your graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate to create a gooey treat that you can make for yourself, or feed to your significant other. I like to find local sticks to use as skewers, but you can always bring your own from home as well.
New to building a campfire, or it’s been long enough where you could use a refresher? Check out our guide on how to build a campfire for all the tips and tricks you’ll need to create a roaring blaze safely and responsibly.
9. Invest in a Loveseat
I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of camping chairs in your life. In fact, you probably own some already, if you like to spend time outside in nature or at sporting events. Which means, just like sleeping bags, you know that there aren’t many two person options available for couples who want to sit next to each other.
This is where a camping loveseat comes in. There are many models that you can choose from, but most of them simply look like an extra wide camping chair – or a “camping bench,” if you will. Generally speaking, they’re only a little more expensive than a regular camping chair, so they can be a nice option if you’d like to sit next to your significant other.
The only downside, in my opinion, is that there’s usually a support bar pushing up between the two sides of the loveseat. It can make it uncomfortable to sit hip to hip, but it’s a necessary feature for the overall stability of the seat.
10. Catch the Sunset
Sunsets have inspired poets and romantics since time immemorial. There’s just something about the gentle glow and the array of colors on the horizon that’s incredibly peaceful and idyllic.
In fact, research has shown that sunsets have a profound effect on a person’s mental health. They reduce stress and enhance the long-lasting satisfaction that is felt about a person’s life. So next time you’re feeling worked up and overwhelmed, go find a spot to watch the sunset and decompress. It’s not like they happen every day, or something…
And there’s no better way to enjoy this calming experience than with your significant other. It’s a scene taken straight out of a romance movie, and is the perfect way to end the day before settling in for the night.
11. Go on a Scenic Hike
If you look up the definition of “romance,” you’ll find that one facet of it is the excitement and mystery associated with love. That being the case, there are few activities better to do on a camping trip than a good, long hike with your romantic partner.
If you’re active people with a thirst for adventure, you’ll probably want to find a hike that will get your blood flowing and your adrenaline pumping. When I was just visiting Acadia National Park in Maine, with my wife, we did something called the Precipice Trail. It’s a highly exposed and difficult path up a mountain, where you have to make use of metal hand and footholds to scale the smooth rock. A hike like that is what good bonding time looks like for us, and I know it would be the same for some of you as well.
However, we’re friends with a married couple who prefer to take slow walks through forested trails. Spotting a few birds, sitting on a bench overlooking a lake, and staying far away from danger is more their style. Whatever category you fall into, take the time to explore your surroundings, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
12. Bring a Hammock
Sleeping in a tent on the hard ground can certainly be an adventure, and romantic in its own way, but hammock camping elevates that experience to a whole other level.
Swing above the earth and enjoy the gentle sway as you feel the breeze blow across your face. A couple feet beneath you will be the uncomfortable ground, insects, rodents, and other creatures that are better left unseen. In a rainstorm, the water won’t be pooling under your shelter, threatening to oversaturate the material and soak through.
However, hammocks are small, and the traditional method won’t really allow you to sleep with your partner. If that’s something that matters to you, consider checkout out double camping hammocks. They’re oversized enough to accommodate two people who don’t mind being close to each other during the night.
13. Don’t Forget to Take Pictures!
Now that we live in an age where we don’t have to develop film, there’s no reason to hold back when it comes to taking pictures. Capture moments that center around you and your significant other, the environment that you’re in, and what you’re doing. Not only is it fun to do, but you’ll also be setting yourself up for future bonding. Looking at old photos is its own sort of romance, especially if you take the time to organize them into a memory book.