We think you should buy your Valentine camping gear instead of flowers so much that we’ve updated (and are re-sharing) this post from February 2016. We think there’s nothing better than sharing the places you love with the people you love!
Valentine’s Day is just a week away. If you haven’t decided what to get your special someone this year, it’s time you thought about camping. Skip the flowers, forget the chocolates. Here are 9 reasons we think you should buy camping gear instead:
1. Wilderness is the original aphrodisiac.
We all know the stories about asparagus, chocolates, and oysters. But what you may not know is how powerful spending time outdoors can be for your relationship.
Couples that camp together report that the extra physical activity involved in camping, combined with the fewer distractions, help us forget about the stress and anxiety that can take a toll on relationships. 9 out of 10 couples reported camping improved their love life dramatically and the improvements lasted long after their trip.
Some couples claimed it was the ‘close-proximity.’ Others said it was the time away from work. Either way, just make sure you choose an extra roomy tent.
2. It’s a cheap getaway.
By the time you add up the cost of a romantic dinner, a movie and a nice gift, Valentine’s Day puts a dent in the wallet. Even a long weekend in a cozy Bed and Breakfast could set you back $500 or more on the most romantic weekend of the year. One of the reasons we started camping together when we first got married is because it was all we could afford!
Most campsites cost between $10 and $30 per night. Add in firewood and the gas to get there and camping can be one of the most affordable getaways possible. If you have to borrow or rent gear to get started on the cheap, go for it. Your significant other will appreciate you’re doing something to boost your relationship WITHOUT adding financial stress.
3. Being outdoors is just as good as couples counseling.
Maybe this Valentine’s Day you’re hoping to start fresh on a new year. For some couples, being outdoors is the best place to start. Hundreds of studies demonstrate that we’re all nature deprived which can put a serious drain on our mental health.
Maybe this Valentine’s Day you and your partner pack up your backpacks and set out to resolve some of those nagging issues that don’t seem to go away. Getting out on the trail helps you leave a hostile environment behind and ‘walk and talk’ can be much more helpful than just straight talk.
Think your Valentine would rather see a professional? In the past few years, adventure-based therapy has come on the scene as an effective option for couples and families who need a boost. Putting your bodies and minds together on some fun and sometimes challenging physical tasks is at the heart of adventure-based therapy.
4. It’s a way to unplug from your devices and plug into each other.
Sometimes our romantic relationships get set aside when the noise of social media and the 24-hour news cycle take over. We’ve shared before what a difference it made when we started regularly doing “Screentime Sabbaticals.”
Tell your Valentine that instead of buying flowers or candies this year,
5. Nothing says snuggle like a double sleeping bag.
When we set out to buy camping gear the first time, one of the first pieces we bought together as a married couple was a double sleeping bag. We were tired of wrestling the mismatched zippers on our old bags together, and one of us inevitably would end up freezing in the middle of the night.
At the time we looked, REI had only one model in stock. Now they carry 8. It’s definitely a sign there’s more of us that think “Couples that Camp Together, Stay Together.”
While it may mean a little extra weight and a little more space in your backpack, we promise you won’t go back to your own mummy bag. Your Valentine will appreciate having someone to warm up those chilly toes next to.
6. Get the double hammock too.
Spend your nights in the double sleeping bag and spend your afternoons lounging around the campsite in a double hammock.
You may get a few laughs or a good YouTube clip trying to safely climb in
7. Dinner for Two is Way More Romantic if You Cook It Under the Stars
Don’t get us wrong, we love white linen, five-course dinners every now and again. But some of our most memorable meals have been eaten at a picnic table or on the side of the road.
We have great memories of watching the sunset and snacking on the hood of our car in Grand Teton National Park. Or having biscuits and gravy for breakfast while listening to the elk bugle in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Valentine’s Day generally means restaurants are over-crowded, over-priced, and loud. We’re pretty confident your closest campground won’t be in February.
Skip tradition. Buy your Valentine a new camp stove and cook set and plan a one-of-a-kind dinner for two.
8. Bring a bottle of wine too. It will taste just as good in a collapsible cup.
We’ve definitely been known to sacrifice a little extra weight in our backpacks for a good bottle of Merlot. Surprise your Valentine at the top of your mountain climb with a blanket, a mountain view, and a favorite vintage.
He or she will be impressed you even remembered to pack the glasses. We recommend the GSI Outdoors Stainless Steel Glacier Nesting Wine Glass.
If wine isn’t your thing but you still want to buy your valentine camping gear for the bar? We recommend Adventure Dining Guide’s Backcountry Bartender Hacks for the best lightweight cocktails and gear to pack them.
In the past few years, adventure-based therapy has come on the scene as an effective option for couples and families who need a boost in conflict resolution skills.
9. Those reasons are great, but what if my Valentine refuses to sleep in a tent?
If you want to buy your Valentine camping gear that says “this is going to be the best trip ever!”, make sure it’s the most romantic option on the market.
A few years ago when LED-equipped tents hit the market, romance got a whole lot easier in the backcountry. We’ve had our Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL 2 man with mtnGLOTM for a year and will promise you there’s nothing better than crawling in after a long day of hiking to a set of twinkling Christmas lights overhead. The performance of these tents is exceptional and will make even the most anti-camping Valentine wonder why they’ve been holding out all this time.
Also, consider that the tent might not be the real reason your Valentine is not so excited about camping. It might be the bugs, using an outdoor toilet, or fear about going on challenging hikes. Dig a little deeper and find out how you might be able to help make the trip more enjoyable.
Here are some other gear ideas that can make couple’s camping weekend a bit more appealing (and romantic):
- A HOT portable shower.
- The Exped MegaMat Duo Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad
- Cozy flannel camping pillow
- Battery operated LED fairy lights for the tent
- S’Mores Kit for two
- 50 Things to Know About Tent Camping: A Beginner’s Guide to Planning Your First Trip
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