Bringing a Guitar Camping – Everything You Need to Know

There’s nothing like bringing a guitar camping, and playing music for your friends around a campfire. But bringing a guitar camping can also be nerve wracking. Many guitarists wonder: Is it safe to bring my guitar camping? Will my guitar be stolen? Will the heat and humidity outside damage my guitar?

In this post, I’ll be answering all of the nitty gritty details you need to know about bringing your guitar on a camping trip. You’ll learn how to take care of your guitar while camping, and whether or not playing a guitar outside in the humidity is safe for your instrument. Let’s dive right in and answer your questions.

Taking Care of Your Guitar While Camping

There are a few things you need to know about taking care of your guitar if you’re going to take it camping with you. Firstly, guitars do get stolen rather frequently. This doesn’t mean you need to be paranoid about your guitar getting stolen at all times, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind.

To avoid any chances of your guitar getting stolen at the campground, it’s best to keep it in its case in your tent when you’re not playing it. This will prevent any chance of theft. If you’re also camping rather close to your car, you could keep your guitar in its case and then lock it inside of your trunk. This way there’s no chance of thieves “window shopping” and your guitar is safe inside your car.

If you’re camping very remotely, or backpacking, then it’s less likely you’ll have other people around you or at the campground. In this case you can be a bit less cautious. You may not even see another human being, let alone have to worry about them taking your guitar.

Lastly, it’s best to keep your guitar in its case at all times when it isn’t being played. Don’t leave it sitting unprotected in a chair, on the campground, or on the picnic table. If you aren’t playing it, it should be in a hard shell case, and preferably in your tent or in a car if possible.

What about playing a guitar outside if it’s humid?

Many guitarists worry about humidity levels affecting their guitars. As long as temperature and humidity levels aren’t too extreme, it’s safe to play your guitar outside even if it’s quite warm. To be extra safe though, try to avoid direct sunlight and play in the shade.

Limit your time playing outside to an hour or so if the temperature and sunlight is really intense. Also, if there are people around you it’s always best to keep your guitar in its hard shell case to avoid it getting bumped into or knocked over.

Lastly, give your guitar a good wipe down after doing any playing outside. If it’s hot out, we tend to sweat more, both on the body of the guitar and onto the strings. Sweat contains salt which is known to be slightly corrosive, and it’s best to wipe this off the guitar if possible.

Consider a travel guitar or budget guitar

If you’re going backpacking or have a lot of ground to cover with your guitar, it’s probably not a great idea to pack a full-size instrument. Weight is the hiker and camper’s enemy, and you want to free yourself up from carrying any more load than you need to. This is where travel guitars come in handy.

Travel guitars pack the tone and playability of upscale instruments into a much smaller and convenient size. They’re ideal for camping, backpacking, and even air travel. They take up way less space, whether that space is in your trunk, or your pack.

Martin actually makes a steel string travel guitar specifically for backpacking (on Amazon). Or if you want a small guitar with a traditional shape, the Little Martin fits the bill. There are many affordable yet high-quality travel / backpacking guitars available on Amazon as well.

If you often have your car close to your campsite and care less about the size and weight of a guitar weighing you down, it’s still good to choose a budget guitar for camping. You’ll be less concerned about it getting stolen or damaged. I wrote a whole guide post of my 10 favorite budget acoustic guitars, ranging in price from the mid $100s to under $500.

These guitars play as good as many premier models, but come with less anxiety of them getting damaged or stolen.

Bottom Line

If you want to take your guitar camping, there are a bunch of ways to do so. Just make sure you keep your guitar in its case if you’re not playing it. Try to store it in your tent or your locked car to prevent it from being stolen.

If you’re going to be hiking or backing, consider a travel guitar. Or pick up one of my favorite budget guitars to sleep easier at night even if damage or theft does happen.

Try to limit your guitar’s time in direct heat and sunlight, just to be safe, as excessive humidity might cause some issues.

If you do these things, you’ll be able to jam out around the campfire free of worry! Have fun taking your acoustic guitar camping with you. It’s a blast.

Thanks for reading, and as always, happy picking.

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Corbin Buff

Corbin has played guitar for over a decade, and started writing about it on Acoustic World in an effort to help others. He lives and writes in western Montana.

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