4 Best Instruments to Take on a Camping Trip

Getting out into nature is something we'd encourage everyone to do more of. [...]

Getting out into nature is something we’d encourage everyone to do more of. We’d also recommend that you think about what you’d like to have with you when you’re camping! Going full minimalist is fine for some, but remember:

  • Not everyone can light a fire without matches
  • You can’t always forage a full evening meal
  • Beer doesn’t occur in the wild
  • Sometimes you need a bit more entertainment than whittling sticks!
  • Camping Hammocks for easy setup and comfortable as your camping tent

Bearing this in mind, we’d like to talk about some of the best musical instruments for camping trips. A sing-a-long can be a great social activity and source of entertainment. Meanwhile, strumming a guitar under the stars is a soothing way to pass the time if you’re camping alone.

Some of these instruments are heavier than others, so we’ll point out if you’re going to need a car.

1. Steel Tongue Drum

A steel tongue drum is highly portable, easy to get the hang of, and has a unique, joyful sound. It’s a great choice for campfire entertainment, and it’s a case of the more, the merrier: if there are a few of you driving out into nature, these instruments are cheap and work so well in a group.

Settle in around the fire and challenge your friends to send us your favorite renditions of popular classics like Disney songs as best they can! Otherwise, you can get creative and opt for a steel jam. However you choose to enjoy it, a steel tongue drum is a cheap and cheerful choice for a fun night out in the woods.

Car required? Yes.

Steel drums are also more cold-resistant than wooden instruments

2. Harmonica

Back in the 60s and 70s, harmonicas were everywhere. If Bob Dylan asked if anyone had an E flat harmonica in the audience he was literally putting himself at risk of personal injury from projectiles. While you don’t see them around as much anymore, they’re still a fantastic and incredibly portable source of entertainment.

You can carry a harmonica in your pocket and evoke the spirit of a sleepy town from the Old West in your lean-to. An atmospheric addition to any camping trip.

Car required? No.

3. Accordion

We debated whether to include this one for the following reasons:

  1. Not a lot of people can play the accordion.
  2. If you’ve invited someone who plays the accordion on a camping trip, there is a 100% chance they are already planning to bring it with them.

That said, it’s a fantastic instrument for a sing-a-long or a jam. The only issue is that it’s on the chunkier side, so if space is an issue in the car… well, you’ll have to fight your accordionist friend on that one.

Car required? Yes.

4. Guitars

The ultimate classic, a campfire guitar is always delightful. Usually delightful. Depends on whose bringing it.

Snarky jokes about your friend Jeff and his version of Wonderwall aside, guitars, banjos, ukuleles, and similar stringed instruments are a joy to have on a camping trip. They’re easy to play and pass around, and they form a great backing for a sing-along.

Smaller instruments such as ukuleles are also easily portable, so you can take them with you if you’re planning to walk for a bit.

Car required? Depends on size.

Conclusion: Camping Trip Instruments

This list is far from exhaustive, although we’ve tried to focus on instruments that work well with sing-a-longs. Violins are also great choices, as are flutes: the more instruments you have, the bigger your campfire band!

The important thing is to make the most of your time in nature with good company and great entertainment. Check your trunk space: it’s time for the band to hit the road.

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Laura Bartlett

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