While camping isn’t always the obvious choice for a Valentine’s Day vacay, when it’s done right camping can be far more romantic than your average dinner and movie combo. Imagine a night of complete privacy, removed from the struggles and worries of everyday life, far from the TV, Internet and other distractions that keep you from sharing quality time with your love.
A romantic camping trip gives you and your honey the chance to create your own five-star vacation experience without breaking the bank. You can create a Valentines itinerary complete with star gazing, a long sunset walk, and the chance to kick back lakeside with a bottle of wine and revel in the majesty of an amazing scenic view (no more gazing longingly at your computer screens).
That said, there is an art to planning for a romantic night in the woods. Since romance includes a certain level of comfort and luxury, preparing the perfect outdoor atmosphere requires a little extra work. But, fear not! We’ve compiled a list of planning tips and goodies to bring with you to help you achieve the ideal woodsy romance on your trip.
Plan Your Valentine’s Camping Trip in Three Steps
1. Pick the Place
Do some research on camp grounds in the area and find one that suits both of you. I recommend finding a site that gives you optimum privacy. Primitive camping sites are the best for ensuring that privacy, but there’s usually at least a one-mile hike to the camp grounds. Keep that trek in mind when you plan what to pack. If you don’t mind other people close by you and would prefer to bring a trunk of picnic materials, blankets, and gadgets, a drive-in site might be perfect for you. You can use RoverPass to quickly make reservations at campgrounds.
The best way to find out what site suits you both is to find a map of the campsites online. The maps are usually available on the park website. Think about what activities you both like to do, then find a park that can accommodate all your desires. Do you like to be by water? Perhaps you imagine an evening swim or you simply enjoy the soothing sounds of a rushing river. Find a park with a river running alongside the campsites.
You get the idea.
2. Visualize Your Perfect Night in the Woods
Imagine what your perfect night in the woods would look like. Are there blankets and pillows? Are there strings of lights? Is there a hammock?
Once you have a mental image, make a list of what you’ll need to bring so you can pack accordingly. If you’re hiking to your destination you may not be able to carry everything on your list, but with the idea in mind and list in hand, you can cross off items that aren’t essential for creating the setting you want.
See our list of suggested items in our Romantic Camping Goodie Guide below.
Never… ever… overlook the most essential part of creating a romantic evening: the feast. Make a mental menu of what kind of food you want to prepare. Maybe you want to spice up the night with some chili, go sweet with some S’mores, or lay back like a Greek God with a bag of grapes. Bring dinner, dessert, and your choice of snacks.
Also be sure you bring something delicious to sip on. I once camped in under 40-degree weather and warmed myself up with a hot mix of green tea and honey whiskey. It was the perfect mixture of sweet and warm.
With dinner I recommend wine (which you want to remove from its glass container and put in a bag or thermos), and with dessert try a fun cocktail like hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps, or my favorite tea and honey whiskey mix.
Romantic Camping Goodie Guide
Below are a few suggestions of goodies to bring to amplify the romance on your trip. Remember that NOT all of these may fit in your backpack if you’re hiking to your campsite, so take what you want from this list and modify it to fit your Valentine’s vacation needs.
- Air mattress: Lots of great air mattresses for low prices on Amazon.
- Two-person sleeping bag: You can buy sleeping bags that zip together or fit two people. If you want to try them out first you can rent them at REI or your local gear rental shop.
- Pillows: Bring a few extra and transform your tent into a cozy Valentines haven.
- Extra blankets: Like pillows you can never have too many blankets.
- Battery or solar powered light strings: take the romantic atmosphere up a few notches and hang string lights in the trees around your tent.
- LED Tea Lights: fires are real, but candles are perfect for setting the mood. Achieve risk-free romance by bringing a few of these tea lights.
- Guitar: Let your partner serenade you, or get a little goofy and sing some songs together.
- Portable music player: If you are not so musically inclined, create a playlist of your favorite romantic songs.
- Cooler: Keep all the food fresh and ready with a good camping cooler.
- Cards & Games: Bring games that you both enjoy playing together.
- Camping Stove: you can’t make hot coco or S’mores without a camping stove!
Share The Love!
If you’re going camping for Valentines day, post a photo on social media of your romantic camping trip, and tag it #CampingLove to get your photo retweeted and reposted on Instagram.