5 Ways To Workout While Camping

So you’re going camping and don’t want to skimp on your fitness routine: here’s my guide on how to workout while camping.

There’s a surprising amount of different exercises you can do, with none of them requiring any weights!

Let’s start with a staple of how to stay fit while camping: go for a jog

Camping offers one of the most unique ways to get your running fix in by allowing you to do it in nature! Jogging in unfamiliar terrain, surrounded by nature and fresh air is such a refreshing experience that you have to try if you haven’t before.

Even if the trails themselves don’t lend well to running (which they usually do, but a little research can go a long way.) You can usually jog alongside the roads around the campground. Obviously make sure this is allowed where you’re staying first! If it is, these roads are perfect since traffic is never crazy and in the early mornings, practically non existent.

Next up, tried and true calisthenic exercises

If you need a refresher, calisthenic exercises just means using your body weight to provide resistance.

They’re one of my favorite examples of how to exercise while camping because they can be done virtually anywhere.

  1. Pushups
  2. Crunches
  3. Squats
  4. Lunges
  5. Burpees
  6. Jumping jacks
  7. Tree branch pull ups (if nature allows)
  8. Dips off of stumps / logs

You really can hit almost every part of your body if you’re creative enough with your surroundings! I recommend not relying on any part of nature outside of what’s immediately around you – we don’t want to disturb it or ruin the experience for future campers down the line!

As far as routine goes, it really depends on your level of fitness and what you’re trying to do. For beginners, I’d recommend doing three sets of ten for each exercise (barring burpees and pullups) Feel free to adjust that number to what feels right for you. Exercise while camping should be fun, not punishing!

Teenager diving into a lake

Really want to up your cardio? Go for a swim

Swimming is a fantastic way to workout while camping. I love to get in the water after a day on the trails just to give my feet a break and wash the sweat off.

Not to mention, some campgrounds are known for their water attractions and rock faces to jump off of! What’s not to like about that?

Be sure to make sure the water you’re swimming in is allowed by the park and otherwise safe before jumping in. There’s plenty of other ways to scratch the exercise itch.

Don’t overlook resistance bands for an easy tool to bring on a workout

Resistance bands can be a great way to get a workout in while you camp. What I like about them is the ability to isolate smaller muscles that calisthenics lack.

For example: bicep curls are very easy to do by standing on the middle of them. You can also work your triceps by pulling them behind you as well. (This is of course assuming it’s a longer band! Shorter ones will use different techniques for these exercises.)

They can even be used to amplify the resistance on an exercise like squats, for example. The sky really is the limit when it comes to what you can do with a good resistance band.

Three people hiking with large backpacks

What about hiking for exercise?

Absolutely! There’s a lot of different ways you can get a workout while hiking if you want to make it even more intense. Just don’t make your friends miserable in the process with these tips.

For starters, with no extra gear you could simply go on additional trails. More hiking = more calories burned, simple as that. Picking longer trails is also an easy way to increase difficulty.

And since no one brings weights like ankle weights / dumbbells with them to go camping, try wearing a heavy backpack while you hike for some extra challenge. (If you already hike like this often, you can skip this one. Or just make your backpack even heavier.)

Now you have a ton of ways to exercise in the wild

Hopefully by now your head is full of ways to answer the question “How to workout while camping?”

Jogging is one of my personal favorites because it really only requires a pair of running shoes and you’re off. It’s a great way to sneak out of camp in the morning to get a little extra workout in before most people are even awake! I can say that it does help to bring extra socks if you plan on doing this one though.

Calisthenic exercises are an easy fit for working out while camping because they require nothing but willpower. (And a little willingness to look silly while doing them.) They really work though and beat doing nothing. If I’ve got the down time and I’m bored, why not do some pushups or dips?

Two people jogging

Swimming can be a difficult exercise to fit in on a hiking trip, usually because the weather isn’t great for it. It definitely takes some courage to get in colder water and do your thing – not to mention it can be a hassle to deal with dressing and what not. But when it works out? Amazing.

Resistance bands, while requiring you to pack an additional thing really don’t take up much space and can round out the experience. Since they aren’t the hardest workout by themselves, that makes them great for camping. Why? Because you’re probably going to be tired from all the hiking itself! Easy motivation knowing they won’t drain you like doing burpees will.

Obviously though one of the best (and most inconspicuous) ways of exercising while camping is just flat out hiking more. Every now and then even with my experience, I’ll go on a longer trail thinking “Oh 6 miles isn’t THAT far…” and on the way back to camp realize the error of my ways. I love the extra time in nature, but it can hit HARD! Add a weighted backpack to the equation and you’ve got even more challenge on your hands.




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