Welcome to July! This month is perfect for all kinds of things: going to the beach, having cookouts, and eating ice cream outside with friends are just some of the activities perfect for July's warm weather.
But one thing that often gets overlooked is camping. This is the time of year many brave pillagers will pack their bags, head out to the woods with friends or family, set up tents, and live in the forest for a few days. While camping is all about being one with nature, it's still possible to have serene music experiences while living in the wilderness. Maybe you need some songs to listen to while fishing, biking, or having a bonfire. Or maybe you need some campfire songs to sing with your friends!
We've got you covered. Below are 15 woodsy tunes that will keep you occupied during the slower moments of camping. Most of them are slow acoustic numbers, while others have a bit more pep and energy to them for when you're engaging in lively activities.
1. "Woods" - Bon Iver
As the title of this Bon Iver track suggests, this song is perfect to listen to while wandering through the woods. It's slow and quiet at first, but builds up into something as majestic as mother nature herself. Despite the heavy autotune, there's something so natural about this tune. It feels like a flowing river, or a tree growing up. Essentially "Woods" is just a paragraph of verse repeated 11 times, but the experience is so much more than that.
2. "The Wild Hunt" - The Tallest Man On Earth
A hidden gem of a song we've been holding on to forever and are so happy to share. "The Wild Hunt" is a 2010 track created by Kristian Matsson, AKA The Tallest Man On Earth. The lyrics are poignant and poetic, telling the listener a folkloric myth of raging gods and birds. However, the fast pace of the acoustic song makes the story feel jovial and flowing. In essence, "The Wild Hunt" is about Matsson wishing for better times. It's outdoorsy, charming, and soothing to the soul.
3. "God's Whisper" - Raury
Ever since we've heard this in Andrea Arnold's American Honey, we've been wanting to blast this song around a bonfire. Perfect for a wild party with friends (or as much of a party you can have while camping), "God's Whisper" will make you feel like a wolf howling at the moon. It will get you in touch with your intuitive side, or maybe your "animal instincts." We recommend this one for nighttime adventures.
4. "I Will Wait" - Mumford & Sons
Want to go for a jog or a bicycle ride down a trail? Mumford & Sons' 2012 hit "I Will Wait" is perfect for the occasion. This is also a good one to sing out loud during a campfire if someone has a guitar and everyone knows the lyrics. Despite the upbeat pace, "I Will Wait" is a melancholy song that tells the story of a man fighting through troubled times to be with the person he loves. If you take a closer look at the lyrics, it could even be interpreted as a man dying first, getting to heaven, and waiting for his lover to join him.
5. "Blowin' In the Wind" - Bob Dylan
It only feels right to listen to Bob Dylan when you're in the wilderness. "Blowin' In the Wind" is Dylan's most well-known song, and also the best for camping. With lyrics that reference seas, mountains, the sky, and even roads a man walks down, this feels extra appropriate for a day in the woods. Since this song is also an acoustic jam, "Blowin' In the Wind" is a good song to sing in a group if everyone knows the lyrics.
6. "Ring of Fire" - Johnny Cash
What is a campfire? It's a fire lit from a circle – or square – of logs all arranged in a certain way so that the fire is a contained. So if you were Johnny Cash...what would you call a campfire out in the woods? A ring of fire!
Yet another fun song to yell out with friends. But also just a classic bop perfect to listen to any time during your camping experience. Maybe something to help you wake up, or keep you entertained while waiting for a big catch when you're fishing on the lake.
7. "Wagon Wheel" - Old Crow Medicine Show
If you know this song, you know how much of a crowd pleaser it is. "Wagon Wheel" is the perfect mix of pine-y allure, succulent strings, and earwormy goodness. While this is probably the best on our list to perform around a bonfire (it's popular yet obscure enough to really put your singing leader in the spotlight), we also think it's a good one to blast out during other occasions – like while everyone's enjoying dinner. This is one you can't listen to alone: only when it's the end of the day and while you're in good company. Oh, and did you know Bob Dylan wrote the chorus to this song?
8. "Norwegian Wood (The Bird Has Flown)" - The Beatles
If you're looking for a good camping song with more of a psychedelic edge, we recommend "Norwegian Wood" by The Beatles. Why this makes us think of running rivers and waterfalls? We're not sure. But this folksy tune will bring out a freeing part of you. Maybe it's because of the sitar sounds or because John Lennon had most of the influence in this track. Whatever it is, it's pure beauty.
9. "A Forest" - The Cure
This beloved Cure song is perfect to play, well...when you're in a forest. This song was the Cure’s first charting single in the UK, reaching #31. It was their second to chart in New Zealand, peaking at #38. It's got a slightly spooky edge to it, and many people first believed it was about band member Robert Smith getting lost in the woods. However, he later clarified it's just about a forest. Maybe a good one to play before building up to a scary story session?
10. "Willow" - Taylor Swift
Like peanut butter and jelly, camping and cottagecore songs go together. And we all know the mainstream queen of cottagecore is Taylor Swift. There are so many Taylor tracks – especially off Folklore and evermore – that work for camping. For this list, we're sticking with the can't-go-wrong bop "Willow."
It's heartwarming, enchanting, and will bring out your romantic side. Which is important because sometimes camping can be dirty, stressful, and scary. (Hey, it's not all fun and games! But it's also the challenges of camping that make it so rewarding.) "Willow" just reminds you that when the camping gets rough, you gotta be like a willow and bend right to the wind.
11. "Moon Song" - Phoebe Bridgers
Every camping trip needs stargazing music, and "Moon Song" by Phoebe Bridgers is a tune we know will do the trick. A beloved track off Punisher, "Moon Song" is slow, relaxing, deep, and dark. Even a little emotional between the edges. It's the soundtrack to your next shooting star encounter.
12. "Can I Call You Tonight?" - Dayglow
A fizzy, youthful jam that makes us nostalgically think back to our summer camp days. Perfect to blast while everyone's taking a swim in the lake, or while having a lunch break. "Can I Call You Tonight?" is equally parts energizing, shy, and hopelessly romantic. If you feel like falling in love during your camping trip, maybe this is one you'll want to keep on your playlist.
13. "Flowers In Your Hair" - The Lumineers
We love to play "Flowers In Your Hair" when going on a road trip through the country. We also think this is one you should play while driving to your camping site. Or while setting up your campfire. Or while walking down a trail. Hey, did we mention that literally any Lumineers song is perfect for the art of camping? Because they are. "Flowers In Your Hair" is pretty short, so you may want to pack extra Lumineers songs onto your playlist...y'know, just in case you need more.
14. "Wolf" - First Aid Kit
Listening to any First Aid Kit song makes us want to run through a field of wildflowers while wearing a flowy dress. For this list, we're saying "hey ya hey ya!" to this catchy track off their album The Lion's Roar. "Wolf" definitely has all the woodsy, camping vibes you need, plus a witchy feel added in. We just know you'll want to bark along to the lyrics on this banger.
15. "The Campfire Song Song" - Spongebob Squarepants
"After a long day of camping, it's nice to unwind with a nice relaxing campfire song."
Yes...we had to throw this one in before we close the list. Not only because we're avid lovers of Spongebob Squarepants over here at Live365, but because "The Campfire Song Song" is a really fun tune to chant around the flames. It's sort of become a classic in its own right. It all starts with spelling out C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G and eventually increasing in speed. If you don't think that you can sing it faster, then you're wrong.
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Article Image: A photo from the POV of inside a tent. A lush forest landscape awaits outside. (Scott Goodwill via Unsplash.)