Camping Date Ideas for Summer

Camping Date Ideas for Summer

Camping, indoors or outdoors, is a great way to connect with your date. Spending time in nature (or cozy at home) is a chance to disconnect from your devices, enjoy the romantic vibes, and relax together. If you’re looking for camping date night ideas, our Bumble dating experts have put together this handy guide. 

First, the safety briefing: camping outdoors or in new places is not a first-date activity. Only camp with partners you know and trust. If you’re really keen to go camping sooner rather than later, you can always make this a group date activity with friends—it will be just as romantic out in nature, under the stars. And remember, always tell someone at home where you’re going and when you plan to return. Make safe choices. 

Ok! Now we’re switching out of parent mode. Let’s start with outdoor camping dates for the adventurous among us. 

Where to camp on a date

Sometimes, you can camp for free in specific national forests, grasslands, and other parklands. However, the catch is that you’ll need to go outside of any developed campgrounds. If you want to keep costs down, this is an option. You can use government websites to check for free camping spots, and make sure to call and check with local field offices about any other rules and regulations for setting up there. 

However… these free spots fall into the wild camping category, and having no bathroom might not be your idea of a romantic date. Totally understandable! A campground might be a better option if you’re looking for somewhere with picnic tables, water sources, and bathrooms. Look for options in your local area, or consider going further afield if you’re planning a weekend away. And wherever you camp, remember to leave no trace so it’s just as beautiful for the next daters.

What to bring for a camping date

Essential food

Our number one concern on every date: what are we eating? You could pack a picnic or plan a wilderness banquet. If this isn’t your first camping experience, you might have a portable stove from your last adventure, or you could pick one up at any good camping store for around $20-$30. 

Whatever you’re planning to eat, don’t forget the utensils! Bring knives and forks, plates, bottle openers, a serving spoon, cups, and anything else you need to feast—don’t forget spatulas (weirdly essential), scissors, and extra bits like a cheese grater or colander, depending on what you’re cooking. And that stove? Needs gas! Usual safety rules apply, please, so read the instructions and preferably do a test run before your trip. 

Every seasoned camper knows you will almost certainly forget something. Camping isn’t really camping until you’re looking for a perfectly-shaped rock to act as a can opener (spoiler: it doesn’t work, and that can is coming home with you). Don’t worry—as long as you have a few easily accessible snacks, you’ll be fine! Relax and enjoy the romance of outdoor eating with your date.

Essential gear

Let’s run through the essential gear for a camping date night. Find a tent (you could borrow one if you’re not sure whether camping is your thing yet) and practice putting it up before you take it out for the night. Few camping experiences are worse than getting to a campground when the light is fading and trying to put up a tent for the first time. Arguing over poles and pegs is not the atmosphere we want to create. 

Pack everything you need to keep warm, including sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, extra layers, and sleeping mats. Even in warmer climates, temperatures can drop at night. Pack torches or headlamps and extra batteries. And we know most of us rely on our devices, so bring a portable battery pack and any cables you need, too.

Camping activities

Set the scene

If you’re planning to build a campfire on your date night, please keep safety in mind at all times—you should always have a bucket of water or sand nearby. Please also ensure you have permission from whoever owns the land to make a campfire. Due to climate change, it’s dangerous to make campfires in many areas. If in doubt, don’t make one. Your night will be just as warm with a few blankets and a torch, and you’ll get a better view of the stars. 

You need three types of wood to start a campfire: tinder, kindling, and fuel. Pile up your tinder (small twigs, dry leaves, brown needles) in the center, then add kindling (larger sticks) in an A-shape around it. Light the tinder, wait for the kindling to catch (blow on it if you need to), and add more kindling as it gets going. Later, when the kindling is burning well, feed it with more kindling and fuel (larger pieces of wood). 

Once your fire is going, get cozy, toast some marshmallows, and see if you can muster up a spooky story! Now’s the time to get the s’mores ingredients out—why else do we go camping? The recipe is easy: toast a marshmallow until golden brown, then sandwich it between two graham crackers with some chocolate chunks. When it’s all squished together, enjoy! 

If you want to treat your date to something extra-special, consider bringing an acoustic guitar or ukulele. Nothing is more romantic than a serenade around the fire on your camping date, right? 


Yep, it’s time to get unplugged from your devices (conserve that battery!) and pass the time with analog pursuits. A classic card game by torchlight is a cute way to pass the time, so bring a pack of cards and maybe take a primer on the classic two-player games before you go. 

Travel-sized board games are also great picks to test your date’s competitive side! A good loser means a big green flag from us.


Romantic camping date nights could be the perfect time to stargaze. You’ll likely be somewhere away from light pollution, so the stars will be easy to see with your eyes alone. 

Look for constellations like Ursa Major (the cup shape with the long handle) or the three bright stars in a straight line that make Orion’s Belt. If you see a particularly bright star glowing red, you’ve found Mars! Keep an eye out for shooting stars… then you’ll know the universe is blessing your date. 

Indoor camping date ideas

Not outdoorsy? We get it—camping can be a beautiful way to enjoy nature, but it can also be cold, wet, and not so romantic. Different strokes. 

Let’s bring those relaxed, natural vibes inside. Find a quiet spot and, if you’ve got the space, pitch your tent indoors. If it’s a tight squeeze, bring the camping vibes with some pillows and blankets on the floor, or drape a blanket across the room. If you’ve got a sleeping bag, bring it out. 

Once you’ve set up your “tent”, think about the campfire. We know we don’t need to tell you this but please don’t light a campfire inside your home! Instead, you could set up a collection of candles (on a level, fire-proof surface, far away from those blankets and pillows). Even a tealight flame has enough power to roast your marshmallow. Or our favorite hack—find a fireplace stream on your TV or laptop, and you’ll swear you can feel the heat coming off it. Plus, the snapping, crackling ASMR is seriously good. 

If you can, add some greenery. Gather any indoor plants and place them around your tent area for an outdoorsy feel. Don't forget about the food! If you’ve got a cool box or anything that can act as a picnic basket, fill it up and bring it to your “camping” spot. Then, try out some of the fun camping activities we’ve already talked about—board games, picnicking, or just watching a movie and relaxing in your pillow fort. 

When it comes to camping dates, it doesn't matter where you go or what equipment you use as long as you spend some quality time together. We hope you enjoy taking on the great outdoors (or indoors) as a team!