Whether you’re on a 12-hour road trip or sitting by the campfire with a drink in hand, music simply makes life better. Whatever music you like or the mood you’re in, we’ve got 10 songs that should be on your camping playlist and a few reasons you’ll love them.
Why Playlists Make Camping Awesome
Camping can quickly become a dance party, a karaoke party, or just a good-ole fashioned sing-along. If you’re lucky enough to camp with musically talented people, start singing while somebody’s strumming. A night of making music together will be one you won’t forget soon.
Music brings people together. It also scares away the bears.
But more importantly, a camping playlist will get your feet moving and bring you closer to the people you love. If you’re alone, it can evoke emotions in you that deepen your personal experience in nature. Plus, when you hear the songs on your playlist while you’re not camping, it will take you to that happy place around the campfire.
The 10 Best Songs for Your Camping Playlist
The best songs for your camping playlist don’t have to be from a single genre. Make it personal. Choose pieces that speak to you and that feel natural when you’re in your camping element.
Some of our top-10 recommendations are upbeat dance numbers, while others are slow ballads. You’ll sing along with some and turn introspective with others. Variety is the spice of life, and the same holds true when it comes to listening to music around a campfire.
Without further ado, here are a few songs you should seriously consider adding to your playlist.
#1. Old Pine – Ben Howard
Add It to Your Playlist Because: Old Pine will immediately relax your worn-out and tired soul. With lyrics such as “hot sand on toes, cold sand in sleeping bags,” and “we slept like dogs down by the fireside,” you’ll immediately relate.
Starting slow and gradually progressing to just the right amount of a foot-tapping rhythm, Old Pine will make your soul sing. Ben Howard seems to know exactly how it feels to camp with those close to you.
#2. Blowin’ in the Wind – Bob Dylan
Add It to Your Playlist Because: Every camping playlist needs a few classics, and Blowin’ in the Wind by Bob Dylan is definitely that. When the answers to life’s important questions blow in the wind, you’ll sing along whenever and wherever this song plays.
Written in 1962, it quickly became an anthem of the civil rights movement and continues to address critical issues today. Unfortunately, questions like, “How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry?” may never receive an answer. But it will undoubtedly make you think as you commune with nature.
#3. Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
Add It to Your Playlist Because: Yet another classic is Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash. Can’t you hear the deep bass timbre of Cash’s voice as he belts, “I went down, down, down, and the flames went higher?” While you’ll probably karaoke this number with friends, no one could ever do it justice like Cash himself.
With an almost polka-style beginning, this song immediately captures your feet and keeps them tapping. This 1963 Johnny Cash song will forever hold a special spot in any camper’s playlist. It draws you in and keeps you singing.
#4. Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
Add It to Your Playlist Because: Whatever your style of music, every camper’s playlist must include this John Denver classic. How can you not play this the second you hit the road for your camping trip?
Regardless of where you’re camping when this 1971 song plays, it’ll feel like you’re on a country road in the Blue Ridge Mountains. With John Denver by your side, you’ll be wishing you’d set up camp in West Virginia rather than wherever you are!
#5. Superposition – Young the Giant
Add It to Your Playlist Because: The beginning influx of music immediately portrays a rainbow-filled highway ahead of you. Its mellow rhythm will match dancing flames and crackling coals. You’ll be twirling your friends around the fire in a carefree moment that you can only get under a star-lit sky.
Superposition portrays a compelling image of humans wanting all things to fall into place. Of relying on that instant chemistry, we often feel when meeting someone for the first time. The lyrics, “Why don’t we rely on chemistry? Why don’t we collide the spaces that divide us?” evoke emotions that match the melancholy that often surrounds a quiet evening campfire.
#6. Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac
Add It to Your Playlist Because: With a good beat, this song seems upbeat and fun at first. Combine the beat with the easy and repeatable lyrics of “You can go your own way,” and it makes for a great addition to any camping playlist.
However, if you take the time to listen to the lyrics with intention, this upbeat song could seem a bit melancholy as it is a breakup song. So, depending on what you need from Mother Nature and camping, this song could be the perfect song to get you over somebody or something.
Regardless, it has a rhythm that keeps you moving and will still bring people together over the shared love of a beautiful Fleetwood Mac song.
#7. Down in the Valley – The Head and the Heart
Add It to Your Playlist Because: Opening with the strumming of an acoustic guitar, Down in the Valley immediately creates a stress-free environment. Either hiding from his ways or reveling in them, the lyrics will make you think just enough about your own life but still keep you humming along.
This indie folk song culminates into a powerful piano ending, providing the perfect ambiance for an evening campfire. The lyrics seem to lull you into that moment of why we love to camp. “I’m on my way back to where I started. These are the places I will always go.” I don’t know about you, but those words create an alluring image of relaxation and wonder. Isn’t that what camping is all about?
#8. I Will Wait – Mumford and Sons
Add It to Your Playlist Because: Mumford and Sons has a knack for getting your heart racing, whether because of the compelling lyrics or the motivational beats. And “I Will Wait” is a song that energizes you right from the first note.
The banjo will get your feet stomping like no other instrument. Their powerful lyrics, such as, “Well, I came home like a stone, and I fell heavy into your arms…But I’ll kneel down, wait for now,” will not only want to make you sing along but also contemplate their meaning. There’s just nothing out there similar to how they play. They create emotion and passion within both lyrics and music.
#9. Monsters Calling Home – Run River North
Add It to Your Playlist Because: The drums will immediately draw you into a world of music. Run River North has created a song full of mystery, wondering if one should run from the monsters or embrace them. The lyrics say it all. “Oh, hear the monsters calling home. No, they don’t wanna be alone.” And what exactly are the monsters? It may be that only the artists will ever know.
Regardless of how you interpret Monsters Calling Home, it’s the drums and the rest of the music that will keep you playing this around any campfire. You’ll find yourself moving to the beat of this drum.
#10. Ends Of The Earth – Lord Huron
Add It to Your Playlist Because: Starting with hints of flute-like sounds in the background and mellow voices, Ends of Earth picks up shortly thereafter with a calming effect. Lord Huron does a beautiful job of creating a musical piece that accompanies the calm of a campfire.
I’ll leave you with the lyrics from the song to ponder: “What good is livin’ a life you’ve been given if all you do is stand in one place?” This piece is an optimal ending for your camping playlist. It creates an unspoiled image of what the world can be like when pondered through the flames of a campfire.
Take Your Camping Playlist on the Road
Now that you’ve pondered the meaning of life and all of its monsters while dancing to the beat of your own drum, you’re ready to take on the world. And if that’s how you’re feeling after listening to this camping playlist, then we’ve done our job right!
But don’t stop there. Take that camping playlist on the road with you anywhere you go. Then, when you need some thought-provoking, foot-stomping music, it’ll be with you wherever you are.