The best camping activities for couples will bring you and your partner closer together for an unforgettable travel experience that doesn’t break the bank.
And in many ways, going camping with your ‘other half’ is a more romantic and adventurous vacation option than booking into a fancy resort or taking an expensive city break.
There’s no museums or upscale restaurants to distract you – just the peaceful wanderlust of mother-nature and some quality bonding time together.
You do have to put in a bit more effort though and some thought and preparation before you go will ensure your camping trip is not only romantic – but a fun, relaxing, and playful way to unplug from everyday life and escape into the great outdoors.
So, with preparation in mind, and to help you create some amazing memories you’ll never forget, we’ve listed our favourite things to do when camping with a boyfriend or girlfriend.
These top 30 camping ideas for couples are broken down into 6 steps: from romance and play, to getting unplugged and exploring your surroundings, these activities are guaranteed to make your camping trip – and relationship – a truly great adventure.
Related Post: Things to do while camping at night
There’s nothing more cliche and romantic than looking at the stars with the person you love. Camping gives you the opportunity to do just that. Choose a night when the sky is particularly clear and bring your sleeping bag (you’re sharing one, right?) out into the open. Wear clothes that are weather appropriate so you’re not too hot or cold.
Lie down with your loved one, wrap your arms around each other and enjoy what the night sky has to offer. If you know anything about the stars, you can even see how many constellations you can find!
You don’t have to be an outdoor survivalist to cook a meal from scratch while camping. Thinking of it as a bonding opportunity. Plan to create at least one backpacking meal together ahead of time and be sure to pack the essential tools. The basics you’ll need are:
To make everything smooth and fun, it’s helpful to decide what you’ll cook beforehand and bring the ingredients with you in a cooler. Otherwise, you can always take a short trip back to modern reality and head to the nearest supermarket.
Have you ever built a fire? If not, it’s time to do your research and get the basics down. Building a fire together is sure to raise the temperature between you. Don’t think of it as a chore, make it fun! Spend time searching for the perfect rocks and logs to build the pit and collect firewood together.
When you’ve hit the perfect stride and your fire is blazing, pull up some chairs or logs, settle down next to your partner and enjoy a cozy bottle of wine together. You can even pull out the marshmallows for making S’mores.
Camping in the wilderness can make you feel like you’re the only people on the planet. Take advantage of that feeling by coming closer with some help from your favorite tunes. Pack portable speakers and create a camping playlist full of songs that mean something to you and your partner.
When the sun is setting, turn the music on and invite your loved one to join you one on the dance floor. Shoes are optional. Enjoy the sunset while dancing in each other’s arms. Add some upbeat songs to the playlist for some shared laughter too.
Even if you’re camping in the summer months, nights can get cool and breezy. Bring lots of cozy blankets and pillows so you can create a special camping ‘bed.’ Take a break from structured activity at the end of each day, or for a nap in the middle, and just get into bed together.
Hold each other, make eye contact, and smile! Enjoy some peaceful time doing nothing but being with your partner is a super comfortable camping bed. It’s the perfect time to talk about your dreams and reminisce about the times you’ve shared.
When the game of poker is just between you and your partner, the stakes can get pretty interesting, to say the least. Pack a deck of cards and don’t forget the poker chips. Assign values to the chips. Get creative. Think massages and private dances.
Poker is a game for all times of the day, so enjoy it as many times as you’d like. If you’re playing in broad daylight, think about the stakes. You may want to move the fun inside the tent. If the sun has gone down, add some ambience with dim candles or lanterns. Play to win!
And if you haven't got a tent yet, check out our Alps Mountaineering Taurus 2 Tent Review - it's just the right size for couples: cosy and spacious at the same time.
Board games never go out of style and they come in handy in just about any situation, including camping. If you’re trying to pack light, look for travel-sized versions of your favorite games. One great option is Scrabble. You’ll be surprised how entertaining this classic game can be with a little innovation.
Play by the standard rules, if you like, but try to switch it up each time you play. Dedicate each game to a specific category that you both enjoy. Think of your favorite movies and shows, books, types of food, you name it, and play words that fall into those categories.
For some people, staying fit is part of their fun. If this sounds like you and your partner, then bring the workout to the campground. Put a twist on your normal workout routines by bringing a soccer ball or frisbee along for the trip. Spend the mornings running or biking together and return for a cup of coffee or tea.
If the campsite allows, you can see what’s going on higher up by climbing trees or rocks. To stay active at a more relaxed pace, bring a couple of travel yoga mats and get to stretching.
For most people, reading is a solitary activity. While camping with your partner, why not take the time to share? If you’re enjoying a quiet night or morning at the campsite or in the tent, make it more fun with some good material. Take turns reading chapters from books or magazines.
This is something you can think about before heading off on your trip. Bring a book that means a lot to you that you want to share with your partner, or bring a book you haven’t read yet and experience it together. Magazines are also good sources of entertainment and laughter.
Your camping surroundings are likely to be beautiful and inspiring. Grab that inspiration and transfer it onto a canvas or into a sketchbook. Bring paints or drawing materials with you and canvas or paper. Look for things around your campsite that spark your interest and recreate them.
You and your partner can spend time painting or drawing together each day or as inspiration strikes. To set the mood, put on some music that vibes well with your creative streak. Another fun thing to do is create paintings or drawings for each other. Keep them a secret until the reveal!
Being in a new environment means there are many things to discover. If you and your partner are animal lovers, it will be fun and rewarding to explore the campgrounds to see what animals and insects you can find. Bring binoculars for birdwatching and a jar for catching fireflies. Remember to let them go! And when you're ready to relax without the insects, check out our guide on how to keep bugs away while camping.
You never know what you will find along your path. You can start a shared collection of different beautiful bird feathers and take photos of animals you find in the woods.
The whole purpose of camping is to put yourself in the position of being one with nature. So, take it a step further and see all the sights. Pack good hiking boots and comfortable backpacks and spend a day hiking the marked and unmarked trails you come across.
Bring plenty of snacks and drinks so you can take as many small breaks along the way as you please. It’s up to you and your partner what kind of hike you want to enjoy. Make it a workout or take your time and absorb the fresh air.
Further reading: The 9 Best Health Benefits of Hiking
Animals and insects aren’t the only interesting species you’ll find when camping. Take a day and focus on the plant life in the area. Safety first of course, make sure that don’t eat anything if you don’t know what it is and keep an eye out for poison ivy!
Take a walk with your partner and search for wild berries, nuts, and other edible plants. Notice the different types of flowers you find and see how many you can name between you.
You’ll need a good stack of wood if you plan to make fires each night of your camping trip. Rather than heading to the same spots everyday, use the opportunity to discover different areas. Make a pact with your partner that you’ll take a firewood walk once a day and go down a different path each time.
The simple act of searching for firewood everyday will lead you to hidden places you may not have found otherwise. Not to mention that you’ll have a better selection if you don’t pick from the same patch of woods every time.
If you’ve been to the campsite before and know your way around pretty well, you can use that to create a fun scavenger hunt. Even if you’ve never been to the site, you’ll probably be able to map a small hunt out after a couple of days.
Collect small markers like rocks and leaves and put them in specific areas. Write clues for each checkpoint to lead your partner to the next target. Make it count by having a surprise waiting for your partner at the end. A special camping expedition or romantic dinner are great ideas.
Camping in the summer months is even better when there’s a nice body of water to swim in. Try letting go of any agenda for at least a day during your trip and simply allow yourselves to swim and enjoy the water.
If there’s a ‘beach,’ you can make a full day of it. Bring a cooler with sandwiches and drinks and soak up the sun. Alternate between swimming far and deep together and resting on your towels while talking about the day.
Many campgrounds offer boat and kayak rentals. Don’t be afraid to dive in if you’ve never been kayaking before. You and your partner will be able to put your communication to good use while keeping the kayak moving steadily across the water.
If you find that you enjoy kayaking, you can try hitting the water at different times of the day. Take the kayak out just as the sun starts setting and feel the warmth cross your bodies as you watch is lower down from the kayak. Some campgrounds even offer moonlight kayaking.
Different bodies of water have varying plant and animal life. Pack your mask and snorkel and explore the depths of the water with your partner. Count the number of unique plants and fish you see and compare with your partner's findings.
Depending on the type of water available at your camping site, you may be able to find shells or special rocks to collect while you're snorkeling. Exploring at different times of the day may allow you to see different species of fish.
Check to make sure your campground allows it before you get there and bring along a couple of fishing poles. Don’t forget the worms! Fishing is a fun way to relax and you might even walk away with a good catch for dinner.
You can make the fishing experience more interesting by using different types of bait and seeing whether you or your partner gets more bites. If you look competition, tally the number of fish caught at the end. Loser has to clean the fish for dinner!
The reality is that not every campground puts you close to a body of water. If you’re really attached to being able to cool off in water throughout the day, make it happen. Bring an inflatable pool with you. That’s right, a kiddie pool.
Chances are, you’ll be close to a water faucet and you can fill the pool with buckets, or bring a hose if you want. That way, you and your partner can spend time together cooling off in your kiddie pool under the forest’s trees.
Seriously. Modern life dictates that a lot of time is spent checking in with voicemails and emails, but what about checking in with what’s going on around you? You and your partner can decide to dedicate a few hours each day to unplugging.
That means, turn off your cellphones, put away the laptop, turn off the music, and just allow your ears to readjust to nature’s soundtrack. This is a great way to spend the morning hours or wind down in the evening. Talk about what different sounds you hear. You may pick up different things!
Instant gratification is easy to find with technology. If you’re bored, you can just scroll through social media or pull up the day’s news stories. What will you and your partner do to keep each other entertained during the no-phone time each day? Try telling stories.
It may feel silly at first, but if you stick with it, your imaginations will run wild. The types of stories are up to you. You can create stories about the future, stories based in alternate universes, or ghost stories after the fire burns out.
You obviously know each other, right? Maybe, but you can also dig a little deeper. Before leaving for your camping trip, search for or create a list of questions that you and your partner can ask each other. Try to think of things that you don’t already know.
This is like a game but it can get intense. That is really up to you and the questions you choose. Take the nature of your relationship into consideration and make a list of juicy questions. Fun is important too, so throw in some crazy ones for a good laugh.
If you get tired of the card and board games, take your playtime up another notch. Engage in a good old fashioned game of charades. You can write down the names of people, animals, and things on scraps of paper and take turns choosing.
You can also skip the paper prompts and spend time acting out your favorite scenes together. Think of scenes with two characters, pick roles, and go for it. It’s sure to end up in laughter, tears, or both!
Once your ears have tuned in your natural surroundings, you will start to see things you didn’t notice before. That’s the perfect time to strike up a game of ‘I Spy.’ Let yourselves feel like children again and give clues to help your partner guess what you’re looking at.
This is a fun activity that you can play throughout your camping trip. It’s totally portable since it needs no pieces. Check into nature anytime with this game. Play it while hiking, swimming, kayaking, or relaxing around the fire. To raise the difficulty level, designate a time limit for responses. A little healthy competition never hurt anyone!
While it’s definitely worthwhile to turn your phones off for at least a few hours each day, you’ll probably need them to take photos. If you have a separate camera, even better. You and your partner will explore your surroundings while camping and you’re sure to discover beautiful pieces of nature that you want to remember.
Along with capturing photos of different animals and plants as you walk different paths, you can also document the feelings associated with the experience. Take turns holding the camera as you go for hikes and walks. Each partner can shoot moments that feel meaningful to them. It will be fun to look back at all the pictures after your trip and you can make an album.
Every trip has a special feel to it which you want to capture with a souvenir. The perfect souvenirs from a camping trip are pieces of nature. During your walks and hikes, keep your eyes peeled for rocks, pinecones, shells, sand and other small things that stand out to you.
When you look for nature souvenirs, think practically in terms of what you’ll be able to keep and store. You and your partner can merge your collections into a display when you get home or keep them separate. Maybe you want to turn your souvenirs into crafts and paint the rocks you find!
Finding beautiful leaves and flowers is a common occurrence during camping trips. Instead of settling for photos of your favorite discoveries, you and your partner can bring a book or album along for pressing. This is an opportunity to create a shared memory of the time you spend together camping.
This activity can involve many details if you’re interested. You and your partner can search for specific shapes or colors to press. You can even create pictures using leaves and flowers. Try to press leaves and flowers with an environmentally-friendly attitude. Pick leaves and flowers that have already fallen!
Another collection you and your partner can build together is a bug collection. It may sound strange if it’s not something you’ve done before, but it can be very fun once you try it. As you explore the surroundings during your camping trip, you will likely come across the bodies of dead bugs. Rather than brushing them aside, consider adding them to a collection.
There are many species of insects that are beautiful and colorful. Maybe you’ll discover that you each have a preference for a specific bug. Bees, caterpillars, and butterflies will add brightness to your collection. Spiders can be fun to examine too!
If you and your partner are handy and enjoy doing crafts together, you can create a special and unique keepsake by whittling wood. This is a great activity to do together if you will be camping for many days at a time. The first thing you and your partner will need to do is find appropriate pieces of wood. You’ll be surprised at the high-quality materials you can find when you explore the woods.
Depending on your skill levels, you and your partner can work on whittling a piece together or work on individual projects. Doing this together will give you a feeling of shared relaxation and creativity. Gift each other with your creations or display them at home.
To be honest we’ve really only scratched the surface in terms of all the different camping activities for couples. So let us know in the comments which of your favourite we might have missed – and keep it clean! =ZIP=