Ways I Made Camping Friends (And You Can Too)


There are many, many benefits of camping. The fresh air increases your oxygen intake, which can improve your mood, reduce stress levels, and even help you sleep better. The absence of screens lets you truly relax and be present, forgetting (at least temporarily) about the constant go-go-go and stress in your daily life. Plus, of course, we all know that you sleep better under the stars and camping food just tastes better. 

One way to make camping even better and more enjoyable is to go with friends. Whether you’re going on an organized camping meetup or you just plan a quick trip with camping friends, there’s nothing quite like good company around a campfire. 

Why You Need Camping Friends

Maybe you’re a diehard solo camper or you’re fortunate enough to have a significant other who loves camping as much as you do. Even in those scenarios, it’s good to have at least a few go-to camping friends. Here are just a few reasons why camping friends are essential. 

Shared experiences

Doing something you enjoy is always a positive experience. However, it turns out that sharing that experience with others makes it significantly better. In fact, studies have proven that shared experiences have a major (positive) impact on our well-being. Plus, it’s always great to connect with others who have similar interests!

Form deeper friendships 

Taking a break from daily stresses, being unplugged, and enjoying the benefits of fresh, unpolluted air allow you to relax and truly be present. In turn, you’ll be less distracted and be able to fully concentrate on getting to know your new camping friends.

Safety in numbers

There’s a reason the term “safety in numbers” exists — people really are inherently safer in a group. That’s not to say that camping solo is unsafe by any means, but there’s no question that being out in nature with friends offers a little extra protection. 

Split the expenses of camping

Camping can quickly become expensive. Between the cost of food and drinks, fuel to get there, and gear, even a short weekend trip really adds up. If you have a solid group of camping friends, though, you can split the cost of everything and lessen that burden on everyone. 

Similarly, if you’re camping on your own or with just your family and you forget something, you’re pretty much out of luck. But if you’re with a group, there’s a good chance one of your camping friends has what you need.

How To Find Camping Friends

Ready to form your own crew of camping friends? Before I share my best tips on where to find them, here’s a quick (but important!) tip: Be respectful of the fact that everyone has a different camping style. That’s one of the most appealing things about camping; there’s no one correct way to do it. If you’re outside under the stars, enjoying a beverage by a campfire with good company, you’re doing it right!

Local camping meetup groups

One of the best ways to make new camping friends is to seek out local meetup groups. Meetup.com is a great place to start, because the site offers various ways to search including by location, specific interests (“women who camp” and “camping trips for families,” for example), and frequency of meetups.

Social media 

Your existing social media network is also a great place to make new camping friends. Like Meetup.com, Facebook has several groups focused on in-person camping meetups in specific areas. And if there isn’t a group in your community or one that fits a specific niche you’re looking for, create one! Other people may be in the exact same boat as you, wanting to get out and connect with other camping friends but unsure of exactly where to start.

On Instagram, you can follow hashtags relevant to your location and interests in order to connect with local camping enthusiasts. For example, I follow #azcampers and #campaz. Don’t just follow them, though — engage with their posts!

While you’re camping

One of my absolute favorite ways to make new camping friends is to strike up conversation while I’m actually camping. Think about it: you already know everyone at the campground is not just interested in camping, but actually gets out there. You’re already starting out on common ground!

Once you’re set up, walk around the grounds and ask neighbors about their gear or if they know of any good hiking trails nearby. If you have children or pets with you, offer to set up a “playdate” for them while the adults get to know one another. You can also invite other campers over to your site after dinner to make s’mores or share an adult beverage or two.

Please be mindful when you use this strategy, and chat with neighbors from a safe distance. 

Understandably, some people are wary of strangers (especially while they’re out in nature!) and not everyone will come across as super friendly right off the bat. 

Taking an RV Trip With Camping Friends

Now that you know the benefits of making camping friends and where to find them, it’s time to get out there and organize your own camping meetup! Cruise America offers a variety of RV rentals for everyone, with long lists of amenities and convenient pickup locations across the country. Who knows, maybe you’ll spot another Cruiser on a future trip that you’ll become camping friends with!