So you’re ready to take your first camping trip as a couple. Woot woot! Camping is awesome, and we think it’s the perfect type of travel if you and your partner are looking for a romantic adventure. But couples camping brings with it a unique set of goals, and even some challenges. You need the right equipment, the right plan, and especially, the right attitude. Whether you’re an experienced outdoors(wo)man, or whether you’ couldn’t pitch a tent to save your life, we hope this guide on camping for couples will leave you with a few ideas for your next adventure in the woods.
Getting Started: The Right Gear
We researched heavily plus polled our friends and fellow travelers to come up with this list of high quality camping gear. While we are writing with couples in mind, the vast majority of these items could be useful for friends, families, and singles who are camping together, too.
Every couples camping trip needs a cozy as hell tent. These tents for couples (or 2-person trips) are a few great choices.
Good for car camping or backpacking, the material for this 2-person tent is light yet strong. Setup seems to be easy and fast, with the tent being overall very lightweight for carrying. One Amazon reviewer claimed “this might be the best tent as far as quality vs price goes on the market.” Excellent venting and airflow mean you’ll be kept warm and dry, even during periods of rain. The Hubba Hubba can comfortably fit two people, preferably when snuggling together and enjoying a view of the stars when the rainfly is rolled up.
PS: The fact that this tent is named the Hubba Hubba makes us think it’s probably perfect for a romantic weekend in the woods.
Get it here.
Going on a couples camping trip with a canine companion? You might want to check out the Coleman Carlsbad Dark Room Dome Tent. This tent offers simple, 15-minute setup, so you can get your tent pitched and get started on your adventuring faster. The 4-person version of this tent will probably suit you well, so you can sleep two adults plus doggo. The screen room at the front of the tent is a great bonus, as your dog can sit in the shade and stay cool. In fact, the entire tent stays extremely cool and dark, as the material is designed to block out 97.5 of sunlight. So sleep in, enjoy the cooler temps inside the tent, and take advantage of the privacy. Coleman lives up to its reputation with a strong, sturdy tent that will take you where you want to go.
Get it here.
Sleeping Bags & Other Stuff
When camping with your partner, one of the most important considerations is your sleep comfort. After all, couples camping is often about the nocturnal, ahem…adventures, too!
Let’s start from the ground up. If you’re using a tent, you’ll want to create a soft, supportive foundation. There are a number of sleep mats for camping, but this is not a place where you want to skimp. There are basic cheap pads and leaky blow up air mattresses, but here’s what we’ve found as the ultimate choice for your sleep surface:
Apparently, this is THE mat for couples camping. It self-inflates in just minutes, so you can pop into your tent after a long day of adventuring and be welcomed with coziness. Super cold out? No worries. This mat is designed to be used in all seasons, and its insulation will keep you warm even in temperatures as low as -54 degrees F.
The mat fits snugly inside most 2-person tents, and is the perfect accompaniment to either a double sleeping bag or two singles. It’s not the lightest item (weighs about 7.5 lbs when packed up) so you might not want to go backpacking with it, but for couples car camping, it can’t be beat.
Get it for yourself here.
While that MegaMat sounds incredible, the price tag is admirredly a tad high. For the more budget-conscious camping couple, the ALPS Mountaineering Velocity Air Bed is a less expensive, yet still comfortable option.Air beds aren’t much to look at, but they can make or break the quality of your sleep while camping. This ALPS mattress has lots of solid reviews. It stays well inflated overnight and is comfortable and supportive, with a polyester Oxford fabric and coil system. It can hold up to 500 lbs and is 80″ in length, so it should work for nearly anyone. This bed is PVC-free, so if the scent of PVC material bothers you, or you have concerns about potential toxins, check the ALPS mattress out.
The air bed comes with a rechargeable pump, but you can also use a foot pump, which many reviewers have stated works more efficiently and reliably.
Get it for yourself here.
Lightspeed Outdoors 2 Person PVC-Free Air Bed Mattress
Of the three airbeds/sleeping pads featured, our top pick might be the Lightspeed Outdoors 2 Person PVC-Free Air Bed Mattress. It combines an affordable price with high caliber features. Plus, it is lightweight and compact at only 6 lbs and it is extremely portable.
Another PVC-free product,the mattress is comprised of TPU, and maintains a firmer sleeping surface than other air mattresses. Its material creates a steadier hold with less sag, which might make it better for side sleepers or those who shift frequently at night.
The included pump is said to work great, inflating the mattress in minutes. The pump is battery-powered, which some campers might prefer. With backup batteries on hand you can always be sure you can power the pump, and not worry about taking time to charge it.
The Lightspeed Outdoors mattress is good quality, rarely needs re-inflating, and has a lot of great ratings on Amazon.
Get it for yourself here.
Once you’re settled on a comfy sleeping pad or mat, the next level up is your sleeping bag. When camping a deux, you might be interested in sleeping bags for couples. These double sleeping bags make it so much easier to snuggle together during the cold camping nights. Plus, they’re just so cute, aren’t they? Here’s one to consider:
This double sleeping bag is big and comfy with plenty of room to roll around. At 94″ x 62″ it’s actually longer and wider than a standard Queen-size mattress. This bag will keep the both of you warm and comfortable in temperatures as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit. (You can choose between a 0 degree bag and a 20 degree bag, depending upon what season and climate you’re camping in). Draft tubes placed at shoulder level help keep in the warm air, along with double-layer construction and hollow fibers that help trap the warmth.
Sleeping outside doesn’t have to be rough. The fiber fill keeps the bag bouncy and soft, and the bag also has an extremely soft lining. There also are some nice features that will enhance your sleep comfort, such as
One downside of this sleeping bag might be its size. It is definitely meant for car camping as opposed to backpacking, as it weighs a hefty 16 lbs. Some reviewers also report it as being slightly difficult to fold/roll up, though the included compression carrying sack is supposed to help.
Get it here.
PS: The Mammoth sleeping bag linked above has a soft poly-flannel lining. If you’d like something a little more “snug,” you could opt for the Fahrenheit Mammoth, which boasts a 100% cotton flannel lining. The two bags are essentially the same aside from different lining materials.
You might not always go camping as a couple. What if one of you heads off on a separate adventure? This sleeping bag could be the perfect solution. It is actually two individual sleeping bags that connect at a central zipper to form a mega-bag.This is a down sleeping bag (Soft! Warm!) and is rated for 25 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s one of the lightest sleeping bags of its kind on the market, and let’s face it, each of you carrying your own bag and then connecting them at night might be the best couples camping and packing solution!
With a special external coating to repel water and keep you dry, the bag will also keep you comfortable and stable while sleeping. This is due to its construction with horizontal baffles, ensuring no unpleasant cold spots pop up in your bag.
To connect your single sleeping bags together, you need to make sure you choose a right and a left bag (two different colors).
Get your own here.
Camping Essentials for Couples (Or Really Anyone)
Now that you’ve got the bedding handled, it’s time to fill up your car (or pack) with the remaining equipment you’ll need. We’ve selected a few great items below you might want to add to your couples camping checklist. PS: any of these could be great camping gift ideas for couples!!
An awesome price gets you the ideal flashlight for your next camping trip. This one is water resistant, produces a super bright, wide beam of light, and 5 unique flashlight settings. The battery life is also long-lasting.
Check it out here.
Get clean, safe drinking water when you’re on the trail. Able to filter 99.9999% of all bacteria and protozoa, this lightweight and trusted filter can handle 100,000 gallons of water from lakes, rivers, and streams.
Get it here.
One of our friends swears by this tool. Able to bring 2 cups of water to boil in just two minutes, the cooking cup is connected directly to the high-performance burner. It stores easily inside the cup (so its convenient to pack) and if you wish to, you can connect other Jetboil items as well, like the Jetboil FluxRing 8″ Frying Pan.
Right now, the system comes with the Flash Java Kit, which includes a coffee press and a sample of Green Mountain Coffee (Vermont, yo!). Imagine having a delicious french pressed coffee after waking up at your campsite? Glorious.
*As for what to cook on your camping trip, check out this list of terrific (and easy) meals for car camping.
To carry your water when camping or hiking, you’ll need a reliable water bottle. I’m obsessed with this one, which I actually own and use.It fits seamlessly in the water bottle slot on my backpack, has a perfectly sized and shaped carrying handle (which also doubles as a carabiner), and best of all, keeps water ice cold for 24 hours or more. It also keeps hot liquids toasty for approximately 8 hours, though I haven’t tested this out yet. The bottle is easy to open, never leaks, and cleans like a charm. Highly recommend it.
Get it here.
A quick dry towel is a camping essential. Microfiber is the best material to get the job done, soaking up water fast and drying out even faster. This one comes in various sizes and has odor control to keep the towel fresh for days.
Get yours here.
Other Things to Add To Your Packing List
Don’t forget to be prepared out there. The AMK Fundamentals First-Aid Kit is ideal for keeping you safe, all in a compact container.
Eco-friendly soap and shampoo & other eco-friendly camping products
Solar and portable chargers
Keep your devices powered out there. Here is one option: Goal Zero Venture 70 Recharger
Tiny, lantern-shaped string lights to make your tent cozy, romantic, and Instagram-worthy!
A variety of useful tools is critical. This one from Amazon has a hammer, knife, saw, wire cutter, pliers, and more.
Tips for Camping as a Couple
Okay. So now you’re packed and ready to go. Is this trip going to be a romantic adventure? Or a bust?
Chances are, everything is going to go just FINE. And traveling, we often say, is one of the best ways to get to know if you’re compatible with another person. So dive in and go have fun. But if you want some tips for your best experience, read on.
Start slow if necessary
It’s quite possible that one of you is way into the idea of camping…while the other needs a little convincing. Don’t be afraid to start small and slow. You don’t have to go wilderness tent camping on day one. If your partner isn’t so sure about spending a night outdoors, look into options for glamping, or rent a cabin. You could even pitch a tent right in your own backyard to get started. Be patient with the less enthusiastic member of your party, and you may soon find your sweetheart falling more in love with camping—and with you!
Keep your expectations reasonable
Part of the fun of a romantic camping trip is the cuddling, etc. inside the tent. But, it’s important not to create unrealistic expectations for your getaway. Sometimes, things go wrong. You might be uncomfortable in the tent, or encounter terrible weather. You might forget the bug spray and end up with a leg full of bites. These can be serious mood killers.
The beauty of camping with your significant other is that you’re spending time together. This bonding in nature is so powerful and so great for a relationship. Don’t put too much pressure on the trip. If you don’t have wild tent sex or kiss in front of the perfect sunset, it doesn’t matter. What truly matters is being with the one you care about.
Plus, there can always be more trips in the future!
Build a fire, and bring a blanket
Nothing says camp romance like cuddling in front of a roaring, fragrant fire. (Can’t you just picture that firewood scent now?!) It puts you in a relaxing, peaceful mood, and it’s a perfect excuse to get close.
No need to show off your boy scout or girl scout skills though. Bring some quick fire starting logs, or other tools to help you build your fire without stress.
Put time into making a great meal
One of the most essential items in any couples camping guide has to do with food. Camping can be great fun, but if you don’t come prepared with good, nourishing food, you can find your mood souring very swiftly.
Plan together for the meals you’ll create, or at least for dinner or one big meal per day. This helps ensure you’re both going to dine on food you enjoy and there’s absolutely something special to be experienced from cooking together.
Don’t forget s’mores for dessert. Here’s an awesome s’mores kit so you have everything you need.
Don’t be afraid to try new things
Once you’ve camped together a few times, you might want to branch out. There are lots of great camping ideas for couples to try. Examples include discovering a new location, moving from car-camping to backpacking, or experimenting with sleeping in a hammock.
While many love the peace and quiet that camping in the woods can bring, sometimes, the quiet can be too much. To keep your mood one of romance, don’t forget some portable speakers. Plan ahead by putting together a camp playlist that includes songs you both love.
If you play guitar, bring that, too. Who wouldn’t want to be serenaded in front of a campfire?
Wine never hurts
And finally, if you enjoy wine or beer, don’t forget to pack a little for your trip. For us, it’s a must. Red wine is a great choice for camping, as it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Check out Bota Box, a boxed wine we tried last summer that is actually super delicious. Perfect for camping.
Ready to go?