Outbound Collective logo

Tent Sex: 5 Tips For Outdoor Loving

If you're going to do it, do it right.

By: Corinne White + Save to a List

Having sex outside can scare people. Think: bugs going places that no bugs should go, sticks digging into your skin while you’re trying to enjoy yourself, and no hot shower to clean off that evening’s fun. But done right, sex in the woods has the potential to be one of the most romantic and memorable experiences you’ll ever have. After all: spooning under a starry sky is infinitely better than a ceiling.

Photo: Matt Clark

1. Invest in the double-person sleeping bag.

Have you ever heard that the single-most deterrent for a female’s sex drive is her feet being cold? It’s true, and it’s even truer when you’re outside. Unless you’re in the rare locale where the temperature doesn’t drop drastically at night, you’ll probably need the double bag to ensure tent sex success. And gentlemen: start putting on the moves at home during the packing process and offer to carry the double bag for the both of you. Who said chivalry was dead?

2. Choose your campsite wisely.

Please folks, don’t scare the children. If you’re at a highly populated campsite—particularly one with families present—save it for another night. No parent wants to have the talk with their 7 year old because of a harrowing night of their tent neighbor’s moans and screams. If you’re planning on tent sex, do your homework and choose a campsite where you’ll be alone. Just remember: if you thought the walls in your apartment were thin, they are like concrete compared to the flimsy nylon of your tent.

3. Look out for poison ivy.

I had a friend who, after an ostensibly romantic evening in the woods with his girlfriend, woke up to bright red and itchy balls. Forget lightning storms or charging bears: this is definitely the most terrifying thing that could happen in the backcountry. He had to trek out 5 miles back to their car and drive to a doctor immediately. Let’s just say those 5 miles were the worst hike of his life. Poison oak, poison ivy, or any other type of allergy-ridden plant can quickly ruin any outdoor escapade. Do your homework ahead of time and research which flora could potentially give you and your partner trouble. Even better? Make sure there’s always a layer of something protecting you from the ground.

Photo: Jason Zabriskie

4. Padding or stamina. One or the other.

This is not a time to skimp on your sleeping pad. Just think about the time you tried having sex on your kitchen floor: sounds great in theory, but then ouch. In addition to your regular sleeping pad, try putting together a little nest of dry clothes (especially down jackets and vests) on top of it as an extra comfort layer. We know you're in great shape, but trust us: sex without padding might be more physically challenging than your hike up to your campsite.

5. Bring cleaning supplies—without adding weight to your pack.

Use classic camping necessities for cleanup. You don’t have to bring huge bath towels that are going take up half the space in your pack, but you also don’t want to have “an accident” on the bag you’re going to have to sleep in. The solution? A humble bandana. This multi-purpose tool is likely already in your gear arsenal, serving as a water filter, sun protection, or an emergency tourniquet. Well, now it can serve as a rag for…other things. Bandanas add no weight, don’t cost a thing, and can be cleaned easily with soap and water. Bonus points for tie dye prints!

Photo: Christin Healey

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Do you love the outdoors?

Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.


10 Things you need to do in Baja

wyld honeys

Hiking in comfort: a review of Danner Mountain 600 Evo boots

Meghan White

A peek through God's window

Heather Arnold

A golden happy hour on the California coast

Hannah Sibley