Camping with a girlfriend

My non-catholic girlfriend wants to go camping with me. Although something doesn’t feel quite right, I can’t see that there is any sin involved with this (so long as we are in different sleeping bags!). Am I missing something? It just seems ridiculous to take two tents or something like that… seeing as we would be on bikes!!

I would imagine that you do not want to be intimate with her…have you made this clear to her and does she respect this boundary? If you have made it clear and she respects your decision, I don’t see anything wrong with it.

A word of caution. Be careful of what used to be a well known concept, occasion for sin.

If there is any doubt of the will, or ability, to maintain the virtue of chastity in the situation, then don’t go there. And make no mistake about the power of temptations in this area when making your assessment.

Why not pray about it?



Pitch your own tent…err…:eek:

It’s my opinion that if you have your own sleeping bags and most importantly, your own moral judgment, you have nothing to worry about. Go ahead and go camping with your girl friend and take confidence in your own ability to control your actions :knight1:

If you trust yourself and her, knock yourself out.

It may not be the best idea if you get tempted eaisly though. As someone who virtually lives outdoors in the summer, I know the romantic aura of the outdoors can be tough to ignore

If you guys were just camping I’d be a little weary of it but because ya’ll are going bike riding ya’ll may be very tired and worn out so I wouldn’t be as worried. I think ya’ll are just going to want to go to sleep. So God bless and stay safe.

I lol’d at this…it isn’t too often someone cracks me up on these forums!

Camping? Hey, why not. It’s the rest of what you said that you might want to think about.

I know lots of chaste young adults in their 30s who date and don’t let that stop them from doing things like camping and even sharing the same hotel room (otherwise their wonderful trips would nearly double in cost). I know! You’re in shock! I believe my friends, though, when they say that they hunker down in separate beds and that’s that. Two Catholics in a relationship, both determined to make it to the altar chastely, can manage themselves. If they can manage to spend quality romantic time alone in their houses, I think they can be trusted anywhere.

Someone who’s not interested in chastity, though - that really throws a kink in the works, no pun intended. You sort of outed yourself when you said that something doesn’t feel right, not to mention that she’s the one who suggested this trip. You know more than you can write in a post, and more than we ever will. You’re the one who can foresee if she’s going to try to talk you out of your convictions or not - in a place where you can’t get away, or even wander off for a calming think, really. Not in the dead of night in the woods - that’s how horror movies start. We don’t know your history with her, nor the talks you’ve had. If you haven’t had a real talk - if your relationship isn’t that serious yet - it’s probably not serious enough to go camping.


Also, this type of thing brings scandal to yourselves and others. It’s an occasion of sin. If you and your parents and she and her parents were in different tents, it wouldn’t be evil. If it’s just you two, you are creating scandal. It’s the same as you sleeping overnight at your girlfriend’s house in her room.

I suggest you don’t go there. Period.

Excellent answer. Pray. Consider making this a group event with a few other friends–but not just another couple. What you want is a girls tent and a guys tent. Or perhaps just do some day trips.

This, and the fact that you asked about it here at all, tells me that you do have doubts. I know I would.

I think that you should skip the camping.

Go for a long bike ride together. Pack a picnic lunch. And be home before dark.

Pitch your own tent, indeed :slight_smile:

As long as you are able to resist temptation it is fine. If you would however be tempted (and this is where you need to examine yourself) then you should refrain from sleeping in the same tent.

You’re joking - of course you shouldn’t shack up for a night in a tent w/ her, the nature of boy-girl relationships being what they are. You’re attracted to one another already or you wouldn’t be together. Looks innocent enough in the light of day, yet you know it’s suspicious - it’s an occasion of sin. Avoid it. There are other ways to enjoy the outdoors w/out a sleep over. Have you had other similar invitations? Look what happened to Adam, man.

I have gone camping with women I have been dating. Separate tents are an absolute requirement. I mean, come on, you are going to change clothes, partially undress, etc.

However, depending on where you both are in your spiritual life and overall maturity, even that may not be good enough.

I would give this careful thought and prayer. You should not be asking if it is okay from the assumption you won’t go if something is not “right”. Rather you should assume it is not right then go about trying to prove it is okay.

In either case, this will be a near occasion for very grave sin. If you care for this woman prove it by helping to take care of her immortal soul by not tempting her, or yourself, with grave sin.

Thanks, these are all useful thoughts. I’d just like to add a few things to my original post as this might help resolve some issues. Although my girlfriend is non-catholic (strictly speaking a lapsed catholic…) she completely respects my beliefs and would never ask me to do anything she knows I’m not ok with.

The reason I said I had misgivings about going is not because I fear we won’t be able to resist temptations but because camping with a girlfriend might appear to others to involve sex and raise a few eybrows. I guess what I’m really asking then is how scandalous is it to go camping with a girlfriend. (considering that most people know I’m “no sex before marriage” anyway)

The degree of scandal is an important consideration. Separate tents would go a certain way in helping to address that. However, only you know your friends and acquaintances. Even with separate tents, it is not unreasonable, in this day and age, to anticipate that some or many would assume the worst.

The scandal issue is part of why going as a group is a good idea. Then folks know that nothing is going on because there are others there to witness that. And of course, it is much less likely that something will happen. Sounds like the best bet here would be to figure out what would come closest to camping without actually camping. Do you want to just be outdoors? Then day hikes or bike rides would be enough. Cook out? How about a bonfire at a local hayride place?

You have a conscience for a purpose. If your well-formed conscience is telling you something doesn’t feel right, then listen to your ‘spidy-sense’.

I think this would not be good…

neither camping in the same tent or in tents or in hotel rooms…

not a good for a guy and gal who are not married…

yes… scandal is the second reason to not go.

Take a hike…go for a picnic…

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit