How to Introduce your Partner to Camping for the First Time

Tips and advice on how to successfully introduce your partner to camping for the first time.


Having shared passions and common goals are the glue that holds a relationship together. While you and your partner might already have many of those dialed, you might be wondering how to introduce your partner to camping in a way that shows them how fun it can be.
Making sure they enjoy their first time camping is paramount, and can pretty much be the deciding factor on whether or not they’ll go again. Luckily, the Bearfoot Theory team is made up of ladies who love to get outside and camp. We’re sharing our best advice and simple things you can do to help you introduce your partner to camping so you both have a great experience.

If you’re looking to make camping a shared passion in your relationship, this post is for you. Here are our tips for how to take your partner camping for the first time.

Start Small and Enjoy Yourself

Beginning with a hectic or complicated camping trip is definitely not the best tactic when trying to introduce your partner to camping. Keep things simple the first time around and make it as stress-free as possible so that you can both enjoy your time outside together. Start with a two-day, one-night car camping trip. That way, if there’s no shower at the campground it (hopefully) won’t be a big deal. Plus, if you forget something important, it happens to be super buggy, or your partner simply isn’t feeling it, you know you won’t be out there forever.
Tips and advice on how to successfully introduce your partner to camping for the first time.

Pack What You Need to Be Comfortable

This goes for your partner too. If they’ve never been camping before, they’ll likely need your help to make sure they bring what they need to be comfortable and have a good time. Take the lead on this and make a list of what you’ll need to bring on your first camping trip together so you don’t forget anything. Car camping gives you the flexibility to bring those extra creature comforts, so don’t be afraid to throw in real pillows, an air mattress or a double sleeping pad, and a cozy blanket. Other things you’ll likely want for a comfortable camping trip:

Tips and advice on how to successfully introduce your partner to camping for the first time.

Read our ultimate packing checklist for road trips and camping

Pick a Scenic Spot

Show them all the reasons why you love being outside; beginning with the natural beauty of the outdoors. Go somewhere scenic when you take your partner camping for the first time to start things off with a bang. Whether you have to hike there or you get to soak in the vistas from the comfort of your campsite, a beautiful spot does all the convincing for you. You can even buy a guide book or a map and do the research together beforehand to make it more collaborative. If you’re going to a popular campground, be sure to reserve your spot in advance so you can get a nice site.
Our tips and advice on how to successfully introduce your partner to camping for the first time.

Go When the Weather Is Nice

A scenic spot is even better when the when the weather is nice. Don’t plan on taking your partner camping for the first time when the bugs are at their worst, or when it drops below 40 degrees at night. Instead, plan your camping trip when the weather is more likely to cooperate. For instance, the late summer won’t be as hot or crowded (if you’re on the East Coast, it won’t be as muggy either) and if you go camping for the first time during the fall season you might even see some nice colors. Be sure to check the weather before heading out on your camping trip so you can plan accordingly and check that you’ve packed the proper clothes and essentials.

Rally a Group of Friends

Make things fun by rallying a group of friends to join in on your first camping trip with your partner. Not only will this take some of the pressure off of you as you introduce them to camping for the first time, but hanging out at the campsite with friends will hopefully show your partner what a good time you can have outside. While you’re at it, ask your friends for some suggestions and ideas, or their favorite tips for making camping fun and try them out. If all else fails, you’ll have a blast just being together.
Tips and advice on how to successfully introduce your partner to camping for the first time.

Plan Fun Activities for the Day

Plan out some fun outdoor activities that are easily accessible from your campsite. Look for an easy hike with great views or waterfalls, check out the area to see if there are any beaches, lakes, rivers, or other waterfront areas nearby for a picnic lunch or for sunset. Or even scope out some cool destinations for a quick excursion nearby that you know they’ll love. Introducing your partner to camping can also be a great way to introduce them to more outdoor activities, so keep it light and enjoyable.

Read our tips for taking your friends hiking for the first time

Make it Fun and Romantic

Even if you’re a hardcore camper who likes to go ultra lightweight, don’t be above bringing plenty of creature comforts to enhance your partner’s trip, and, let’s be honest, yours too. These are some of our favorite ideas for how to go on a romantic camping trip, and introduce your partner to camping, at the same time.

  • Get a comfortable two-person sleeping bag so you can snuggle.
  • Pick up a double sleeping pad that you can both fit on or even bring an air mattress if you think it would make your partner more comfortable.
  • Bring their favorite drink (alcoholic or not) or snack as a surprise treat.
  • Cook a delicious camp dinner, al fresco! It’s easy to go all out when you’re car camping, so string up some solar lights, and eat dinner together under the stars.
  • Bring warm blankets, camp chairs, and comfy footwear for hanging around the campsite at night.
  • Pack a deck of cards or a game to enjoy outside or in your tent together.

Tips and advice on how to successfully introduce your partner to camping for the first time.

Check out our favorite camping games

Have you ever taken a friend or partner camping for the first time? What was your experience and what recommendations would you add? Leave a comment below or join the conversation in the Bearfoot Theory Outdoor Adventurers Facebook group.

Written by Kristen Bor

Hey there! My name is Kristen, and this is my outdoor blog. I discovered the power of the outdoors in my 20s, at the time I needed it most. Now 15 years later, prioritizing that critical connection with nature continues to improve my life. My goal at Bearfoot Theory is to empower you with the tools and advice you need to responsibly get outside.

4 comments on “How to Introduce your Partner to Camping for the First Time

    1. Hi Bruce, one thing it worked for me as an entry point for my wife, was to go to a hotel or rented cabin close to camping locations. Then, we “try out” the camping for just one night, or day. That way I “reassured” her of the “comforts” of our own bathroom and bed. That was a good insurance that I got, and what made possible for her to start experiencing and liking the outdoors. If you can afford that extra bucks a few times, it might be worth to try it. Hope it helps!

  1. Hello Kristen,
    Awesome post, and great tips. I love outdoors and do a lot of camping and paddling in the Patagonian Lakes area (South America). I can confirm most of your tips here, as my wife is… let’s just say, not as a fan as me to outdoors activities, LOL! What worked like a charm for me was, as you mentioned, starting small and piking scenic locations. She really loves Patagonia and its views! Another thing that worked well when starting small was continue doing more of what she liked. I introduced her to paddling, she liked it, and bit by bit we started going out on longer and longer kayaking sessions…
    On the paddling topic… if you wouldn’t mind, I wrote an article about canoes and kayaks, for beginners, as an intro to the activity and help them through that last step and start paddling: . I think it might be a good fit for your readers, those who are thinking on including a bit of paddling to their outdoor time.
    Thanks a lot, and keep it up! Great website!

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