Forget the hotels, go rough it out in the outdoors for your next ‘staycation’ by camping out. Keep up, you’ll need a tent, wireless speakers and camping permits…
Need a staycation… of a different kind? If you love trails and hikes and the great outdoors, you can skip the bathrobes, 800-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, 24-hour air con and rough it out a little by outdoor camping in Singapore’s not-so-wild wilderness.
Firstly, apply for a permit!
In true Singapore style, you’ve got to apply for a permit for an overnight camping stay. Luckily, it’s a simple process that can be done from any AXS station or online on National Parks. Take note, camping permits will be required on both weekdays and weekends, including public and school holidays and the permit counts the number of days your tent is pitched, not the number of nights you stay over. It’s always better to plan ahead so do make a booking at least three days in advance.
Where can you camp?
Land, land everywhere but not a spot to set up tent. It’s true we have many parks and natural reserves, but there’s only three official spots where you can really set up your tent on the Singapore mainland:
East Coast Park
Considered Singapore’s most popular beach, be prepared to share the space with… everyone. Only Area D and Area G are eligible for camping purposes, take note! Great for family outings and events, East Coast is also good for some cycling or rollerblading (plus, there’ are many snack stops you can make along the way.
West Coast Park
We promise you, this journey to the West will be pretty worth it. Book a spot in Area 1 and Area 3 before exploring the park, the nearby marsh garden and many different playgrounds in the park. While you’re at it, book a BBQ pit to make your campstay merrier and more authentic, in a Singapore way.
Pasir Ris Park
Not as busy as the other parks, Pasir Ris Park is a lot more laid-back which makes it a more chill-er camping experience. Check out the enormous mangrove trail where huge monitor lizards have been spotted or enjoy some horse-riding at the nearby stables. Heads up, only the designated area within Area 3 is allowed for overnight camping.
Some other options…
If you take a little offshore trip, camping at the rustic and kampong vibes Pulau Ubin doesn’t require a permit. Camping at Pulau Hantu Besar is also free, but you will need to obtain your permit from Sentosa – with at least seven-days’ notice.
What to bring
It really depends on what you have planned for the trip. If it’s a picnic by-the-beach affair, you best stock up on snacks and drinks or order a food platter (so no cleanup!) to avoid inconvenient grocery runs in the middle of the evening.
Some things you will need are some insect repellent, a tent and some sleeping bags, a portable lamp or flashlight, batteries, a wireless speaker for entertainment purposes, a jacket, blankets or mats, and some trash bags to contain any rubbish and leftovers. Be considerate and the leave the place as pristine as when you found it!
Where to get camping gear in Singapore
Need help with the outdoor prep? Head to one of these stores that specialise on everything to do with sports, the outdoors and various activities. Beware of Decathlon, you’ll never want to leave…
Decathlon, various locations
Campers’ Corner Outdoor Outfitters, 51 Waterloo St #01-01, Singapore 187969
Outdoor Life, various locations
Adventure 21, 6 Eu Tong Sen St, #03-55, The Central, Singapore 059817
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