Let’s talk camping. More specifically, the songs to soundtrack your next camping trip. Because music is always a big part of our camping excursions in some way or another. We’re always singing along to something while sitting around the campfire. Even the songs we listen to in the car on the way there to get us amped for the adventure are integral to the experience.
You know how you instantly hear a song and you are immediately transported back to a specific time and place? It’s like reliving the trip all over again. Every one of your adventures has a soundtrack, intentionally or unintentionally.
So, this is our very intentional attempt to soundtrack your next camping adventure. Just make sure you bring something besides your phone to listen to it on. Those speakers aren’t gonna be loud enough for everyone to enjoy it. We always have at least one DemerBox with us for that very reason. And so many others.
But enough buildup, let’s get into it. This playlist is handcrafted to get you in the mood for adventure and hopefully enhance your camping experience. There’s a little something for everyone here – so whether you’re heading out for a solo trek in the backcountry or you and your friends just listened to the new Taylor Swift album and are feeling woodsy, you’ll find something that speaks to you.
Check out the songs below and listen along with our Gone Campin’ playlist on Spotify.
Cults – Go Outside
We think the lyric “I think it’s good to go out / ‘cause if you don’t you’ll never make a memory that will stay” says it all. Go. Get out there. Make memories.
The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset
Because, sometimes, when you’re way out there, the only friend you need is a good sunset. It’s amazing how in that moment it can make your problems go away. We kind of think it should be a crime to miss a sunset when you’re camping, honestly.
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Fishin’ In The Dark
This song is less about fishing and more (basically all) about sneaking away for a romantic night out in nature with that special someone. It’s also just a really fun song to sing along to around the campfire. Seriously, try it.
John Denver – Rocky Mountain High
Leave it to Mr. Sunshine On My Shoulders himself to pen a twangy love letter to the euphoric effects of getting out in nature. But we’re not totally convinced that high of his was all natural. Either way, it’s a fun little ditty about the great outdoors.
Frankie Cosmos – Outside With The Cuties
Let’s face it, sometimes the people you’re outside with are gonna be cute. That’s just the way it is. And sometimes you might be the 3rd/5th wheel on a camping trip. Just enjoy it. At least you’re outside.
Woody Guthrie – This Land Is Your Land
Preach, Woody! This land was made for us and it’s up to us to enjoy it. And respect it. But definitely enjoy it. This classic homage to America’s vast natural splendor will make you appreciate being out in the middle of it.
The Beatles – Mother Nature’s Son
This doot dootin’ little Beatles number just sounds like a happy spring day spent sitting in the grass under a shade tree, doesn’t it? Well, we think so at least. Listen to it and get back with us on that.
Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
We chose this one because mountains beyond mountains sounds like a weekend well spent. Plus, it perfectly encapsulates the feeling of being trapped in an urban sprawl and wanting to get away from it all. Which is why we go camping. So, yeah.
The Head and The Heart – Down In The Valley
You don’t have to be camping in a valley with a bottle of whisky by your side to enjoy this one. But it does make for a fun listen when that is the case. Regardless, it’s a great little woodsy folk song.
Owl City – Fireflies
Fireflies are a given when you’re going camping. But don’t worry, the ones you encounter in the wild aren’t nearly as infectious as this synthpop smash. Well, we sure hope not anyway. But after murder hornets, who knows.
Coldplay – A Sky Full Of Stars
Is there anything better than lying on your back looking up at the stars with no light pollution in sight? It’s such a pure experience. And even better if you can somehow see your soulmate’s face in the sky. Most of the time we can only make out the big dipper.
Lord Huron – Ghost On The Shore
Sitting around the campfire telling ghost stories is basically Camping 101. Right up there with pitching a tent and making s’mores. Well, this is basically an indie campfire ghost story. Hauntingly beautiful? That sounds about right.
Marvin Gaye – Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)
Even Marv knew back in the 70s that climate change was a huge problem facing. If nothing else, this song will serve to remind you that our planet is precious and you should treat it as such.
Lil Dicky – Earth
A playful poem about Planet Earth like only Lil Dicky could do, this eco-friendly ear worm is silly, but full of heart. It’s a fun one to break out after a few beers around the fire. If you have service, you should check out the video too. But, then again, if you have service you probably didn’t go far enough.
U2 – Beautiful Day
When Bono sings “It’s a beautiful day / Don’t let it get away” we feel it. Everyone’s days are numbered, so don’t let them pass you by. Get out there and take advantage of your time here. Because any day that you’re out in the wild taking it all in is a Beautiful Day. Even if you get rained on.
Explosions In The Sky – Wilderness
There might not be any words to this song, but the song title says it all. Listening to this feels likes a nighttime hike through the unknown. It’s also a pretty good song to get lost in your own head to while staring up at the night sky.
Frank Ocean – Moon River
Key lyric: “Life is just around the bend, my friend.” If that’s not adventure, we don’t know what is. Go live a little and get outside your comfort zone. Or at least your time zone. Because the best parts of life are just around the bend, friends. Plus, it’s Frank Ocean covering Audrey Hepburn. It belongs on every playlist.
Woodes – Bonfire
A good fire is an essential part of the camping experience. And, according to this song, sometimes it can even help make you less afraid of monsters. We must admit, there is a certain fearlessness that comes with sitting around a bonfire with friends.
Henry McClintock – Big Rock Candy Mountain
As much as we want to paddle around lakes of stew and whiskey, Big Rock Candy Mountain isn’t an actual place. But listening to it always makes us want to get away from the bustle of modern life and go enjoy the simple pleasures this world has to offer. If nothing else, it’s just a really fun song.
Phoebe Bridgers – Smoke Signals
The lyrics “We spent a week in the cold / Just long enough to Walden it with you / Any longer, it would’ve got old” speak to all us weekend warriors out here getting our Walden on for a few days at a time. Because sometimes all you need is a little taste of adventure to keep you going.
Fleet Foxes – Blue Ridge Mountains
The Fleet Foxes make music that sounds like it should be listened to in the woods. So, that’s what we’re suggesting you do. This song especially makes us want to get out in the “quivering forest where the yellow moon glows bright ‘til morning light.”
Louis Armstrong – What A Wonderful World
It’s safe to say that sometimes we forget what a wonderful, awesome world we live in. Even when things aren’t going great, it’s important to acknowledge the beauty around you. This classic song serves as a simple reminder to stop to take it all in and truly appreciate what we’ve got.