We Conquered Beach Camping and We’re Ready for our Next Adventure! #LetsCamp

Beach Camping for the first time was quite an ambitious goal for a family who has never camped in a tent before … or camped at all as a family. I have fond memories of my own college camping days but it was also the last time I slept in a tent. Ay, ay, ay! So, I have partnered with REI to share my family’s first camping trip story and give you a chance to win a four-person REI tent.

I was a bit nervous bringing the idea to my husband. I’ve mentioned it before and he would say things like, “Sounds cool.” However, I don’t think he thought I’d actually make the plans to sleep in a tent … outdoors … in Texas … in the summer. His one request was that we had to camp on the beach.

The beach? Um, okay. Neither of us had ever done this before much less with two kids and a dog. Yep, we decided to bring along the perro even though we had never traveled anywhere with him.

Let’s Go Camping

Beach Camping on Mustang Island - #letscamp #hazloepic - QueMeanswhat.com

We chose our date. After visiting the National Parks Service website, I called NPS at Padre Island for any additional beach camping information they suggested. The helpful people at REI worked with me to find out what equipment we needed. Finally, I read as much as I could online about beach camping.

As a partner in the #LetsCamp #HazloEpic campaign, REI sent us an REI InCamp 4 Tent, two REI Camp X Chairs and an REI camp roll table. We already had a cooler, sleeping bags, a small grill, a lantern and a few other chairs. After we went grocery shopping, we were ready to camp!

One of my biggest concerns was setting up the tent. This would be a first for me and my husband. So, we set up the tent the night before in our backyard. It was super easy! I’m so glad that we did practice because when we got to the beach, it was so windy. Not knowing exactly how to set up a tent would have led to a lot of frustration.

TIP: When pitching a tent in the sand, fill plastic bags with sand and place them on top of your anchors. This helps to secure the tent.

We chose to keep the food simple. We were already doing other big things for the first time, I didn’t want to stress out in trying to cook something new, too. We went with hot dogs on the grill, fresh fruit, cereal bars, and marshmallows. For drinks, lots of water, frozen juice to make on site, and cervezas for mom and dad. We were only there for one day so we had plenty of food.

TIP: if you are bring meat to your beach camp, freeze the meat the night before. It stays colder longer and also helps keep the other food cold in your cooler.

No matter how much you plan, you must prepare for a plan B. We drove from San Antonio to Padre Island. I had called earlier in the week and the office said that we should be fine because they hadn’t been busy all month and there would be plenty of space. This particular campsite had covered picnic tables, running water, and restroom facilities. However, once we got there, it was already full. I wasn’t prepared for that.

We drove to Mustang Island State Park just 15 minutes away. Guess what? Their campsite with restroom facilities was also full. People like to camp on the beach in Texas, y’all! Thankfully, they still had room for primitive beach camping. So, even though this wasn’t our original plan, my little familia was up for the adventure!

Most of the time was spent in the water. Texas summers are hot, yes. Cooling off in the gulf is a fun way to handle it.

Family time on the beach - QueMeansWhat

The bird watching on Mustang Island is spectacular.

Bird watching on Mustang Island - QueMeansWhat.com

Hot dogs on the grill was the perfect choice.

Hot Dog Dinner on the Beach - QueMeansWhat.com

Of course, we had to bury the cook!

Buried in the Sand - Beach Camping - QueMeansWhat.com

I’m sure in all that reading that I did before we left, someone somewhere mentioned how much sand would get in every cranny of your campsite. I just didn’t realize exactly how much sand would get in every cranny of our campsite. Regardless, we had a great beach camping experience. We couldn’t wait to get to a real shower but we still had a fun time! Now that we’ve conquered beach camping, we are ready for our next adventure!

Let’s Camp Giveaway – In Partnership with REI #Sponsored

REI letscamp giveaway

Thanks to our friends at REI, fellow San Antonio blogger, Josie from Fit Fun And, and I are happy to host a giveaway for a 4-Person REI Tent from each of us! Enter below and then head over to FitFunAnd to double your chances of winning. Good luck, queridos! I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing about your camping adventures.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Melanie Mendez-Gonzales

Original content creator for ¿Qué Means What? Texas Latina mom blogger celebrating culture in education, entertainment and family life.

32 Responses

  1. Linda C. says:

    We love Enchanted Rock!

  2. Tanya Montes says:

    I used to camp at the beach with my dad all the time. If love to win to do the same with my son.

  3. Rita says:

    We like to camp at Garner State Park.

  4. Fiona N says:

    I would love to camp at Chautauqua Lake KOA in New York!
    Thank You

  5. Nicole Sender says:

    I like to go camp at Steamboat Rock in WA!

  6. Christy says:

    Camping is on our summer bucket list! This would be PERFECT to win! Side note: I haven’t been camping since I was girl scouts almost 20 years ago! I’m a little NERVOUS!

  7. Lea Anna says:

    Yosemite for sure

  8. Kelly D says:

    My favorite place is a local state park where you can rent pedal boats.

  9. Linda C. says:

    I can’t pin to Pinterest, I keep getting this message: Oops! Sorry! We blocked this link because it may lead to spam.

  10. I used to camp out all the time at a local Girl Scout camp when I was a kid. I’d love try beach camping with my kids for their first camping experience. Definitely something to add to our 2016 Summer Adventures Bucket List!

  11. Leslie says:

    Love visiting Concan and Fentress for some floating in the river!!!

  12. Jim Lipscomb says:

    One of my favorite spots has always been Paynetown, on Lake Monroe. I have SO many dream spots ….

  13. Heidi K. says:

    I would love to take my family camping in the Black Hills!

  14. Heather Poindexter says:

    Never even tried beach camping. We take weekend trips up to new river or linville springs.

  15. Marty Crosson says:

    We’ve never tried camping as a family before, but now that the kids are a little older, I’m ready to go again. Before the kiddos, we’d usually hit state parks within a couple hours drive.

  16. I haven’t done much camping. And I’ve never camped with my kids so I’m VERY impressed with your trip. Looks like fun! The one time I camped on a beach in my 20s, I got eaten alive by sand fleas. I hope you didn’t see any of those buggers. 😉

  17. My favorite place to camp is Guadalupe State park!

  18. Christy says:

    Smoky Mountains in N.C. are gorgeous in summer

  19. Vanessa Díaz says:

    We love to camp in concan.

  20. G Leonard says:

    Would really love to camp with the family in Port A!

  21. Jessica says:

    In the spring my family (me, husband, 7 year old and 3 year old) had our maiden camping adventure in our back yard, in a 3 man tent. It was fun, but cramped. In the fall, when it’s not so st inking HOT in Texas, we might venture to Guadalupe state park or somewhere nearby and see how it goes. Eventually, we hope to do more camping, further away and for a few days at a time.

  22. Lee says:

    Our favorite camping spot in Texas has to be Lost Maples in the Fall. Thank you for your consideration.

  23. Christina says:

    I’d love to camp on the beach. It sounds like you had a good time. I also love to camp in the mountains. It’s cooler and there are plenty of hiking trails.

  24. Pat says:

    I would like to go camping at Grayton Beach State Park in Florida.

  25. Carolsue says:

    We also like to camp on the beach here in California. There are some nice places to camp on the beach in Oregon, too!

  26. Veronica says:

    We haven’t camped in years! This just made me want to do it this fall…Thanks Melanie!

  27. Scott says:

    I’d love to camp in the Appalachian Mountains

  28. Trey says:

    Inks Lake is one of my favorite places to camp because it’s so close to everything. There are a ton of things to do in the Highland Lakes area. However, Lake Livingston holds a special place in my heart because that’s where my GF and I first camped together in college.

  29. Garrett says:

    I love to camp in the mountains of New Mexico!

  30. We love Garner, but I’d love to try camping on the beach!

  1. August 16, 2015

    […] provided my family several items for our beach camping trip which you can read about in my post: We Conquered Beach Camping and We’re Ready for our Next Adventure! Not only did we survive our first-ever camping trip, we are already planning our next family […]

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