Beach camping can be a dream or a nightmare. Waking up on the beach, not wearing shoes for days at a time, and living the island life--what could be better? The relentless wind, intense sun, and sand covering every surface--what could be worse? Don't make the same mistakes we made! Remember these 4 lifesaving items before you head out to camp on the beach.
1 -- Shade
The sun was intense on Padre Island. Even with the sky overcast for most of the day, we were sunburnt in no time. If you're heading down here, have a plan for how you're going to escape the sun. We picked up this awning last minute, and we're so glad we did! We moved it around on the beach to create shade wherever we were at. Obviously sunscreen is a must, but for the kids, I like to have swim shirts they can put on so that I know they are protected. Some loose fitting, cool pants that they could put on to cover their legs would have been nice too. This lets them stay on the move with a little more protection.
2 -- Stakes
The wind on the beach was a force to be reckoned with! The little stakes that came with our awning and bathroom tent were not cutting it. Not to mention, the sand isn't great for holding stakes in. These heavy duty twist anchors worked great for us. If you don't want to be chasing your tent down the beach, get something better than the standard tent stakes.
3 -- Bug Protection
If you forget bug spray, there's a good chance you'll be miserable. Grab some bug spray, hydrocortisone cream, and maybe even a net around your awning, and you'll thank yourself.
4 -- Fresh Water
Bring way more fresh water than you think you will need! Being out in the sun all day, we need more to drink, but what we didn't consider was how much water we would need to wash off all the sand! There was sand in the air, on every surface, and coating our skin. There was sand in our beds and in every part of our truck. The only way to get rid of it is being able to shower or wash off before you get in your tent and vehicle. This was one of our biggest regrets!
We hope this helps save you some misery when you camp on the beach! Check out our adventure at Padre Island National Seashore here!