Camping Tattoo Ideas for People Who Love the Great Outdoors

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A man taking a photo, showing his camping tattoos on his arm

You may have thought about getting a tattoo before, but have you ever thought about getting a camping tattoo? No, that doesn’t mean getting a tattoo in the great outdoors. It means getting a tattoo about the great outdoors. 

Tattoos are works of art. They can be a great way to express emotions, tell stories, and pay tribute to a passion or loved ones. And if you need camping tattoo ideas that depict your love of the outdoors, look no further. 

How Much Does a Tattoo Cost?

Before you start thinking about getting a camping tattoo, you’ll need to have an idea of how much a tattoo can cost. Since tattoos are a form of art, they’re not cheap.

And they shouldn’t be. This permanent piece of art needs to be high quality and created by a reputable artist. Since it will be on your body, it’s personal. You’ll also want to feel comfortable with the artist and their art style.

Pricing will all depend on the level of detail, the line work, the shading, any color you include, and the size of the tattoo. But in general, most tattoo artists will have a basic hourly fee, with an average of around $150 per hour.

However, some artists will charge less, and some will charge more. And yes, you’ll pay more for expertise and experience.

On the other hand, just because a tattoo artist is just starting out and may be charging less doesn’t mean you’ll get less quality. It simply means you need to be comfortable with what they offer.

How Painful Is a Tattoo?

Some people say tattoos aren’t painful. Others say they’re torturous. Both are true. It all depends on your level of pain tolerance and the specifics of your camping tattoo. For example, line work can be more painful than shading. 

Consider how heavy- or light-handed a tattoo artist is. If a tattoo artist is perceived as heavy-handed, this generally means that they apply more pressure when tattooing. This could be more painful than an artist who is considered light-handed.

Being a light-handed artist often comes from years of experience. If you can find a light-handed tattoo artist, you may experience less pain as compared to someone who is heavy-handed.

But regardless of all that, yes, tattoos still hurt, but they really only hurt while the artist is doing the work. Once it’s done, your skin may be a bit sore and sensitive, but that slight pain subsides within a few hours. And as long as you follow the post-care instructions, you’ll have a beautiful work of art that is now a part of your story.

How Long Does a Small Tattoo Take? 

If you’re really worried about pain, the smaller the tattoo, the less the pain. This doesn’t mean the pain is less intense. It simply means the duration of the pain is less.

So, how long does a small tattoo take? If we’re talking really small, like a little compass, it can take as little as 15 minutes. 

But if we’re talking about a 4 x 2-inch tattoo, which is generally considered small, this could take about an hour. It all depends on the design.

There are many factors that go into how long a camping tattoo, or any tattoo for that matter, takes. And while timing and cost are important, the most important thing is finding (or creating) a tattoo that you’ll love forever.

A girl standing by the beach with a floral camping tattoo

Camping Tattoo Ideas 

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you may want a camping tattoo. We’ve got several camping tattoo ideas to help narrow your search.


While most of us may not use compasses very often when heading out on camping adventures, they can still symbolize guidance, protection, and direction. So, for your next camping tattoo, maybe try a compass.

How about a North Star (nautical star) tattoo? This is the elongated four-pointed star with four thinner lines and points also coming from the center of the star.

The shading on this tattoo can give you a creative piece of camping art that will remind you of both your inner direction and where you want to go in the world.

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Mountains are probably some of the most popular tattoos for outdoor and camping lovers, and these can be creatively designed in endless ways. Choose your favorite mountain peak and mountain activity and base a design around that.

Add in a meaningful quote across the mountain base, and you’ve got a gorgeous piece of art that will bring you to your favorite place no matter where you are.

A person getting a camping tattoo


Arrows can symbolize many things, including power or struggle. They can also symbolize a path taken in life or one directing your future. It can be a single arrow or several, representing an intersection.

A popular camping tattoo idea is using four arrows to create an intersection. Within each quadrant of the arrows, you could choose an image or symbol that represents something to you.

A few outdoor ideas are a tent, a camper, a bird, a mountain peak, initials, skis, and hiking boots. Anything that tells your story. 


Creating a forest as a camping tattoo may require a large canvas. If you’re thinking about a larger tattoo, you might want to consider a sleeve tattoo on your arm or one on your back.

Envision your favorite place, one full of evergreens, a mountain lake, and an RV or a tent in the foreground. Or maybe you desire something simpler. If so, a black and white outline of a silhouetted forest along your forearm could be just the art you need.

A girl outside showcasing her camping tattoo of the woods


Do you have a spirit animal? Then maybe the best camping tattoo for you is an animal. You can choose from full body images, pawprints, or simple profiles.

Tigers, wolves, and black panthers are all popular tattoos. But maybe your camping spirit animal is a bear or a deer. Whatever resonates with you and symbolizes your connection to the natural world is the animal you should choose.

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In the crazy world we live in today, we need to find a place that lets us escape from it all. It doesn’t matter if that place is real or fantasy. What matters is that it’s significant to you. And one of the best ways to represent that place as a tattoo is with coordinates.

You could use GPS coordinates such as 39.3867° N 105.2743 W° to represent your favorite camping site. The best thing about this type of tattoo is that it’s small and can go anywhere on your body.

Outdoor Hobbies 

Outdoor hobbies are another idea for a camping tattoo. You could have intricate images of your outdoor hero or a collection of all the tools it takes to explore the outdoors.

Think kerosene lanterns, anchors, paracord, knives, and more. With this type of camping tattoo, you can get as creative or as simple as you’d like.

A couple holding pines with their matching camping tattoos of anchors

Your Camper

Many people with RVs have special connections to their campers. These magnificent vehicles take us to amazing places. They deserve to be recognized and memorialized in ink as much as any other piece of art. Whether it’s a vintage camper or a brand new Class A, if your camper has meaning to you, then it may belong as a piece of art on your body.

Nature Quotes

A quote can be personally significant. You can carry that quote as a reminder of what you need to keep in mind in life. You can even write the quote in your own handwriting to give it more meaning.

Display Your Love for Nature in Ink 

When you’re out in nature, there’s a serene yet amplified feeling that takes over. It’s something that nature lovers seek out in their everyday lives.

So, why not bring that feeling with you into every environment? The best way to do that is with a camping tattoo that will display your love for nature in ink.

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