Doesn't it always look great in pictures or on the TV when a whole group of people are relaxing beside a beach bonfire? It seems as though this is just for show and that it couldn't actually happen but this simply isn't true. With this guide, you will soon be able to throw your own beach bonfire whether you are looking for a romantic evening or just a place for you and your friends to relax and maybe play some music as the sun sets.
Firstly, it is important to note that not all beaches allow bonfires so be sure to check your local beaches before planning anything else; you don’t want to get in trouble with the authorities just because you didn't read a sign. Furthermore, if you have found a beach that allows bonfires, make sure you check what restrictions are in place. Do they only allow bonfires at certain times? Do they have parking restrictions? Do you need to use a certain type of wood to burn? All this information should be easily obtainable; the best way to ensure a peaceful evening is to do the correct research and check the rules.
The Necessities /The Basics:
Once you have everything planned, you can turn towards the finer details.
- Of course, you will be needing something that will start the bonfire; maybe a lighter, match, or anything that will make a flame. A fire starter like a lighter, matches, or a torch—as long as it makes a flame, just don't forget it!
- In addition to this, you may want to bring some towels or blankets for everyone to sit on; this can be especially useful if you are eating because otherwise sand will get everywhere and can become rather frustrating.Blankets, towels, and sheets to sit on and keep warm
- Finally, to make the evening perfect, bring some food and drink. S'mores are a classic are always a good idea as you can pick up roasting sticks for fairly cheap from a local store but other than that it is all down to preference. All the fixin's for s'mores, Hot dogs, Fire roasting sticks (we snagged ours from the Dollar Store!)
The Good Ideas:
Hot dog buns and condiments
Moist towelettes (they come in especially handy for sticky marshmallow messes)
Cups and plates—plates aren't a necessity, especially if you have paper towels. We personally like to use those paper boats; we bought a bulk pack from Smart & Final and have realized how much we love having them on hand.
Flashlights or a headlamp, if you really want to do it right—I went camping with a good friend who made fun of me for looking silly in my headlamp, but by the end of the trip I couldn’t get it back from her once she realized how nice it is to have your hands free and be able to see what you’re doing!
Bonus Ideas / The Extras:
There are also some things that aren't necessarily necessities but will come in handy and you will be thankful you took them;
- Paper Towels and/or wet wipes will be extremely helpful if you are eating and they will keep the sand at bay.
- Some plastic cutlery could be useful depending on what you choose to eat.
- A plastic trash bag will always be helpful if there is a large group of you.
- Sometimes the firelight just isn't enough so a torch is a good idea and if you want to go the extra mile, why not buy a head torch so you can be hands-free whilst being able to see what you are doing?
Box of wine (Black Box or Vendage are decent options but recently we have discovered Jewel Box) and cups
Glow sticks—they come in especially handy for leaving on the food table to provide a little extra light, and of course just for fun. Use them for some nighttime games like glow stick horse shoes, or wrap them around Solo cups, prop the cups in the sand, get glow in the dark ping pong balls, and voilá! Glow-in-the-dark beer pong.
Tiki torches for lighting and atmosphere
Boxes or bags (and weights to hold them down) to shield food from sandy wind.
Folding chairs and table
Gallon-size water container with spout
So there we have it, the simple guide to beach bonfires. Of course, you should remember to be respectful of the rules put in place and clean up when you are finished but other than that, just have a good time. If you really want to make a night to remember, why not add in glow sticks, a box of wine or beer, folding chairs, huge bottles of water, and more? Beach bonfires, when done right, are simple, enjoyable and memorable!