5 Reasons To Pick Up A Ukulele For Camping

5 Reasons To Pick Up A Ukulele For Camping

I’ve been plucking stringed instruments for over twenty years now, and more often than not, I find myself grabbing the ukulele for the campsite. I’ve always liked playing music in the outdoors. Nothing beats strumming your favorite tune in the fresh air surrounded by beautiful scenery. The ukulele often gets stereotyped as a happy little instrument that only plays silly songs. Of course, the truth is that you can play anything you want. If you can play it on the guitar, you can play a version of it on the ukulele.

Here are five reasons I travel with the ukulele more than any other instrument. 

  1. Small size – You can ALWAYS fit a ukulele into the car with the rest of your gear. The same isn’t true for a full-size guitar in a case. The small size also means that it’s easy to play quietly so that you won’t bother other campers. On that note, if you do pick one up, I don’t recommend a soprano ukulele. That’s the smallest size, and it limits your options. Pick up a tenor ukulele, and you’ll find that it’s more comfortable to play and has a fuller sound. It’s my favorite thing about the ukulele for camping. 
  2. They’re light – You can easily strap a ukulele to a backpack for strumming under the stars. Mine only weighs 1.5 lbs, and if you’re not hiking too far, it’s a manageable weight. 
  3. Low cost – You can buy a good tenor ukulele for about $100 that will provide years of enjoyment. If you love music, it’s well worth the cost. 
  4. Easy to play – Ukuleles, like classical guitars, have nylon strings. They’re easy to press down, and you can play for hours without hurting your fingers. The smaller neck also makes it easier to learn chords. 
  5. Good for your brain – Research has shown that playing a musical instrument stimulates your mind in a way that few activities can. You’re using both sides of the brain and manipulating your fingers in complex ways, all while trying to carry the tune. It’s a useful and enjoyable way to stay sharp. The more songs you learn, the more your musical ear and appreciation of the music itself will grow. 

I do hope that you pick a ukulele for camping. It’s so satisfying to start playing songs that you know. We’ve all been around a campfire where someone is strumming away. If you stick with it, you’ll be able to join in before you know it. 

playing ukulele in a camping chairOn our last 50 Campfire Field Trip I did all of my strumming in the GCI Outdoor Freeform Zero Gravity Lounger. I can honestly say that it’s the most comfortable strumming chair I’ve ever used, primarily because I have have my legs up while the back is ALSO up. This meant that the ukulele could rest comfortably in my lap, making for effortless strumming sessions. Tons of fun!