As with all occasions, the music you choose for sitting around the campfire can have a big impact on the kid of atmosphere you create. Picture it. You and your mates sitting under the violet moon and sipping on red wine and beers while the firepit crackles away, spitting embers up into the night sky. Someone suggests throwing a bit of music on and a few moments later, the blissful ambience of the shared campfire experience is pierced by some dreadful techno dance song that could trigger a seizure at any moment. No, just no.
With all the music streaming platforms out there these days, it’s never been easier to curate a great playlist for any occasion. Individual music tastes vary greatly, so how do you choose something that will keep everyone (or at least most people) happy and also not kill the vibe of sitting around the campfire?
Here are my tips for creating the best camping playlist:
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Camping Playlist:
First things first – it’s not just about you. If you’re going with a bunch of others, why not send out a message the week before you leave such as “Hey guys, I’m downloading some tracks on to my phone so we can have some music while we’re away…are there any requests?” This will allow you to get a gauge on what everyone’s taste in music is like.
I personally create two playlists, which means I can separate really high energy, upbeat songs from chilled out, mellow ones. This will allow you to read the vibe at the time and select the more appropriate playlist. When sitting around the campfire, I usually find a relaxed, acoustic based soundtrack fits best. There might be a stage where you all want to sing along and get some camping karaoke on (Check out my other article with my favorite camping songs to sing along to), but for the most part of the evening, some chilled out tunes ticking away in the background while you hang out with your friends tends to go down well. Those more energetic tracks might be handy to get cranking while you’re setting up or packing up tents, doing the washing up or playing some fun camping games!
Chilled Out Music for the Campfire:
Here are a list of my favourite artists who lend themselves to creating a great relaxed vibe while camping with their folk/indie genre of music:
- Jack Johnson
- Boy & Bear
- The Teskey Brothers
- Xavier Rudd
- Nathaniel Rateliffe & the Night Sweats
- Angus & Julia Stone
- Ingrid Michaelson
- Of Monsters and Men
- Vance Joy
- The Lumineers
- Joni Mitchell
- Meg Mac
- Bon Iver
A special mention should go to these artists, who I wouldn’t normally put in this category, but have released an album that fits perfectly with the relaxed, camping experience. I highly recommend looking up some Acoustic Covers on Spotify (or wherever you get your music as you might find some brilliant versions of rock and pop artists done in a different style). I’ve got a friend who loves her pop music, and simply playing some of her favorite songs in an acoustic version makes them so much easier to chill out to! The “Triple J – Like a Version” albums are terrific.
- Thirsty Merc “Acoustic Anniversay Album”
- “Revamp” (Elton John covers done by other legends such as Lady Gaga and Mumford & Sons)
- Taylor Swift “folklore”
Upbeat Camping Songs for Setting up The Tent:
It’s all well and good to have a cruisy playlist for when you’re sitting around and doing nothing, but what about when there’s work to be done? Get a good portable speaker and pump whatever music you know gets you feeling excited. Setting up camp is often hot and sweaty work so some awesome music might be what you need to get the job done and bring you closer to the bit where you get to ut your feet up! Not sure what to start with? Try these feel-good tracks to get spirits high as you set up camp!
- 28 Days “What’s the Deal?”
- Pez “Festival Song”
- George Ezra “Shotgun”
- Little Talks “Of Monsters and Men”
- Prince “Rasberry Beret”
- The Killers “Mr Brightside”
- Miley Cyrus “Party in the USA”
- Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling”
- Flo Rida “Good Feeling”
- Macklemore “Thrift Shop”
- Little Lion Man “Mumford and Sons
Just one thing to note when it comes to music and camping:
I personally love the silence of the great outdoors and while I find a little music really enjoyable, there are also times when I really just want to feel unplugged and have a break from all of that. It’s important to respect the feeling of your fellow campers and if you think you might be the only one that feels in the mood for music, simply pop a pair of good headphones on and enjoy it without forcing it upon everyone else. It’s especially important to consider others if you’re camping in close proximity to people you don’t know.