What better way to relax and spend some time outdoors than jet ski camping?
In today’s guide, we run through the key things to prepare to get the most out of your next jet ski trip away.
Camping trips are perfect for the family. Time together with nature is really hard to beat!
But, what beats a camping trip? A jet ski camping trip, that’s what!
With the freedom to explore and find your own perfect spot, camping with the aid of a jet ski is the ultimate getaway.
If there’s a private island out there for you and your family to have the camping trip of a lifetime then the only way you’re going to find it is with your own PWC or boat.
In today’s guide, we explain all the details that you need to consider o get the most out of your next jet ski camping expedition.
We explain how to find the perfect spot, what essentials you’ll need to bring, and most importantly, how to have the perfect camping trip.
Finding the Perfect Location
Finding the perfect place to pitch your tent is the single most important decision to make. Get this wrong and you run the risk of having a nightmare of a trip. However, take the time to get it right and it could be the camping trip of your dreams.
It’s a great idea to scout a place out beforehand. Make sure it’s not private land or get the “all clear” from the owner.
There are also online tools that can be a great help Google Earth is pretty amazing for exploring from the comfort of your own home. You can also check out local National Park websites for ideas.
The best part about camping using a jet ski is the freedom it affords. If you’re desperate for a secluded spot then it’s best to scout out the shortlisted destinations first. Especially on the weekend if that’s when you plan to go. You might not be the first person to take a fancy to that beautiful beach you saw recently.
Staying closer to the bright lights of civilization doesn’t need to be as bad as it sounds though. There are quiet, secluded spots to be found. You’ve just got to be more imaginative. The big bonus with camping closer to home is that it’s much easier to plan. You can always visit the local shop to restock on supplies or visit a local bar for a quick refreshment!
Finding the perfect camping spot
Assuming you want to stay dry all night then you want to make sure you’re camping spot is high enough above sea level and far enough inland that you won’t get soaked at high tide.
You’ll also want to make sure there’s a place to safely keep your jet ski. Is there a sandy beach to keep it on?
The shade is also an important factor to consider. We all love the sun but it’s also great to be able to escape it at times too. So tree cover is always a bonus. Besides keeping you cool, it will also give your tents some shade which means they won’t be like saunas when you retire at night and when the sun comes up in the morning.
Are fires allowed? I know some national parks prohibit them completely so be sure to check this out. It could be a hefty fine if you’re not careful!
Jet Ski Camping Supplies
The supplies needed to go jet ski camping can vary depending on weather, your location, and what you’re personally dependent on. We’ve got an awesome guide to jet ski accessories if you’re stuck for ideas.
The drawback of jet ski camping is the limited storage space available on jet skis. Try to only bring what you need, and once the essentials are on board, then you can try bringing extra luxuries.
The gear that you bring needs to be compact, lightweight, and easy to assemble.
This kind of goes without saying, but you’re going to want to bring a tent.
Sleeping under the stars with just a sleeping bag or on a hammock always sounds like a great idea. But once the bugs start biting you quickly regret it!
You can get some amazing small tents these days that are very lightweight but are still durable enough to put up with whatever mother nature has to offer.
These tents from NatureHike are the perfect fit. They’re lightweight, waterproof, and windproof. They come in 1, 2, and 3 person sizes. Their also really easy to put up.
Sleeping bag and sleeping pad
Depending on the location, a sleeping bag and pad might not be essential. Well, a sleeping pad is a luxury choice for any place really.
It just depends on how you sleep really. Do you mind a hard uneven surface beneath you? A sleeping pad definitely helps those less experienced campers that don’t sleep so well. But it’s also extra bulk that you need to get on your jet ski. The same can be said for pillows.
Personally, I always take them if I can. Getting a solid night’s sleep makes such a difference to my energy and enthusiasm levels the next day!
If the extra gear is worth it to you, then I’d suggest getting an Outdoor Vitals sleeping bag.
The top half can be left unzipped to stay cool in warmer climates which is preferable because most jet ski camping trips take place during the summer. A cool feature this sleeping bag offers is the ability to zip two of them together to create a two person sleeping bag. It weighs just over 2 pounds and takes up very little space.
The Klymit Static V lightweight sleeping pad has some great reviews and takes up very little room.
Probably the most often overlooked detail of a camping trip is the firewood. You’d think that it would be available wherever you go but it’s less common than you’d think.
Remember, in some places fires are prohibited completely, so be sure to do your homework. Some national parks also prohibit collecting wood (and deadwood) because it’s part of the local ecosystem.
There’s also the chance that recent rain has left the wood damp and useless for fire-starting anyway.
The easy way around this is to bring your own firewood. It saves leaving things to chance and means you don’t have to go cutting down any trees. Who wants to spend their camping trip cutting firewood anyway? I’d much rather spend my time with a beer on the beach!
Yes, it’s heavy and bulky and a pain to carry but it just makes life so much easier.
Here is a good video on how to start a campfire. Remember to be responsible when starting a fire. Make sure it is completely our before you abandon the campsite.
If you have some Bear Grylls style survival talents and actually enjoy eating what you find then you can skip this section. If not there are a few things to take note of.
Stick to packing the classic camping foods. Canned foods and anything that’s easy to cook is great. If you want to feel extra outdoorsy, get some granola and beef jerky too. There’s a reason all of these cliche foods are continuously brought on camping trips. They’re cheap, easy to prepare, and taste great!
A cooler is a great idea if you plan on bringing any meat and also if you plan on catching some fish of your own.
Yeti makes high-quality coolers in several different sizes. The Yeti Roadie cooler is one of their better models. Its PermaFrost Insulation and extra-thick FatWall design keeps your food cool for longer.
A grill is a good idea as it makes cooking on an open fire so much easier. Now, they’re not exactly lightweight but it’s worth the hassle of carrying. Some come with foldable legs that make them more portable.
The Texsport camp grill should be able to handle anything you intend on cooking.
If you plan on making coffee the morning after camping, I’d suggest getting a french press. They’re really easy to use and make great tasting coffee.
X-Chef makes a really good stainless steel french press that can make 8 cups at a time.
One of the most important aspects of any jet ski camping trip is respecting the environment and leaving everything exactly as you found it. That means removing every single piece of trash. You should bring trash bags with you as it becomes very difficult if you don’t have them.
Even biodegradable food scraps should be removed as they will attract animals, which can become pests for the next people to camp there.
Leave your campsite exactly as you found it. You shouldn’t be able to tell that anyone has even been there.
Having a fun time
Going jet ski camping is a great way to make boating and jet skiing fun for kids.
By keeping in mind some simple tips it’s easy to have a successful trip that will live long in the memory of all the family.
There are tons of different activities you can do to enjoy the outdoors. Here are a few of our favorites:
Bring a couple of rods along and use the mobility of your jet ski to get to good fishing spots other watercraft cant reach! If you decide to keep your catches you can head back to your campsite and cook up dinner.
All you need is some tow rope and an inflatable tube to keep the whole family busy for hours. Tubing with a jet ski is a lot of fun because PWC can maneuver sharply and accelerate quickly.
Got any other advice to share about ensuring a successful trip? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments section.