Romantic Camping Ideas

Catch some quiet time alone while camping with friends.
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Roughing it in the great outdoors isn't all dirt, bugs and sleepless nights spent with a tree root wrenching a knot in your back. Camping is an inexpensive activity that makes for a romantic weekend getaway. Whether it is just you and your girl or you are going on a group trip with a gang of friends, you can turn your camping vacation into a spectacularly sweet surprise.

1 Backyard Getaway

You don't have to pack up the car and head out into the woods to have a romantic camping getaway. If you are looking for a low-priced way to spend a sweethearts' night together, try a backyard camping trip. Think back to your younger years when mom or dad set up camp under the swing set. Instead of a raging campfire, strike up a fire pit or light a few thick candles to add a spark of romance. While you can choose the typical camp food feast of hot dogs or burgers, a backyard adventure also allows you to opt for a more romantic meal. Get takeout from a fancy French restaurant and eat under the stars.

2 Star Light, Star Bright

As if a night under the stars wasn't romantic enough, prep for your camping trip by having a star named for your sweetie. While you are not actually buying a real star, visiting one of the many "star naming" websites offers you the opportunity to create a special gift for that special someone in your life. You can name a star for your love and receive a certificate and a map to the star's place in the sky. Take these items on your trip, bring along a telescope and treat your partner to her very own nighttime sky surprise.

3 Tricked Out Tent

Even though your tent serves a purpose -- providing you shelter during your trip outdoors -- you can also turn it into a romantic space. Choose an easy-to-assemble tent and don't waste your romantic time setting it up. While lighting real candles inside a tent is a no-no -- you don't want to burn the place down -- you can create a romantic flicker with battery operated LED candle bulbs. Set a few of the mock candles in the center of the tent and sprinkle rose petals on the floor for a romance-filled atmosphere.

4 Sunrise, Sunset

Make the most of the outdoor experience and take in a romantic sunrise or sunset. Trek to a clear spot -- the top of a hill or a space with no tall trees -- to make sure that you don't miss the magical moment. Before you head out to the picturesque place, check out a weather app, website or consult a local newspaper for the precise sunrise or sunset times. Bring a blanket to spread out on the ground, cuddle up to one another and watch nature's beauty.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.