How Do You Hang String Lights On A Campsite?

by Derrick | Last Updated: July 31, 2023

How many times have you gone out camping with friends or family, but it just didn’t feel quite right?

Maybe you were sitting around the campfire, but there wasn’t enough light for everyone to see.

Maybe you could have used some more light at night when everyone was trying to find their way around the campsite throughout the evening.

Well, string lights are a familiar, easy-to-use solution to this problem.

How do you hang string lights on a campsite?

To hang string lights, you should follow the below recommendations:

  • Select a safe place to hang them
  • Choose an appropriate hanging method
  • Ensure the area is free from cross-traffic where something tall might get stuck on them
  • They are in a spot that lights the appropriate area

Let’s dig into each bullet point in more detail:

Selecting A Safe Place To Hang Them

Find a place that is out of the way where people are not going to get wrapped up in the rope light cord or so low someone may trip over the cord.

There should be a good amount of clearance space around the rope light so that nothing may get caught in them, such as a swaying tree branch.

If you are camping in an area that is prone to storms, then it may be a best practice to ensure you purchase rope lights that are waterproof. If and when storms roll through, you don’t want your rope lights to get ruined.

Choose an appropriate hanging method

In selecting a spot to hang your string lights whilst camping, priority must be given to the wellbeing of your surroundings and fellow campers. Inflicting harm upon a tree by driving hooks or nails into it should be firmly avoided, as it jeopardizes the tree's health and can spoil the natural aesthetic.

String lights can not only provide a sense of warmth and homely charm to your campsite, but also significantly enhance its safety. Particular care should be taken to choose a secure location for hanging the lights to avoid instances of visitors tripping over cords or becoming entangled. Camping equipment like a rope light hanger can be resourceful for this purpose, allowing you to hang the lights without risking any obstructions or causing inadvertent damage to the environment.

For those camping in storm-prone areas, investing in waterproof rope lights could be a clever move. With their inexpensive price tag, the lightweight design, and easy set-up, using string lights is in effect, a popular choice for lighting up campsites but remember, the attributes like power method, cord length, intended usage, and additional features such as dimmers and timers, must be considered at the point of purchase.

Instead, use a rope light hanger. These are specifically designed to be used on trees and come with hooks that can gently hold the lights without harming the tree itself.

Some rope lights come with specialty hanging options designed for those lights; depending on what is provided, these may work too.

Ensure the area is free from cross traffic

Anytime you hang something, you risk having it in a place where it can get stuck on something tall moving through the area. If your campsite is near where vehicles are driving, make sure you do not put the lights in a place where they could get caught.

If you do have to stretch them across a place where a taller vehicle may go, be sure to put some bright-colored markings on the wire so people can see it.

Why Do People Like To Hang String Lights While Camping?

People hang string lights when camping because it is a quick and easy way to light up an area without a lot of hassle, money or fancy equipment. The low hassle factor is essential because when you are camping, you want to spend time hanging out and doing things, not spending a lot of time setting up the campsite.

It can make an activity much more enjoyable if you are able to see what you are doing. Hanging lights while camping will allow you to set up for family game night, play with your children outside or have romantic evenings.

Campsite safety is also another reason why people tend to add supplemental lighting. One of the most common injuries while camping is slips, trips and falls. Having proper lighting can help people avoid obstacles and other things that may become a hazard in the dark.

Where Do People Like To Hang String Lights While Camping?

There are many different places that people like to hang string lights while camping. Let’s cover a few of the most common places to give you some ideas for your next outing.

The first place is actually right at your campsite. You will often see them strung between trees or from a vehicle to another higher contact point. This is often used to help add additional lighting around the campsite at night.

You could also hang string lights inside your tent, dining canopy or awning. It gives some additional light and creates a pleasant atmosphere for you to relax after a long day of hiking, fishing or whatever it is that you do outside when you’re camping.

Another common place where people like to hang string lights is around a campfire. Hanging lights from the trees near the fire creates an enjoyable, inviting environment and also helps light the area so people don’t trip near the fire.

Pros and Cons Of Using String Lights While Camping

Pros: Having string lights on hand make it easy to place them wherever you go; they are inexpensive and lightweight, which makes them perfect for camping; they provide a soft, ambient light that helps set a mood while making it easier to see things at night without blinding yourself with bright white light.

Cons: It can be challenging to find places to hang them at times.

Things To Consider When Purchasing String Lights

1. What is your goal?

String lights come with different power methods and different cord lengths. Take this into consideration when making your purchase. We like to have a variety on hand to ensure we have a few different options.

2. How will you use these lights?

Indoors, outdoors, or a mixture, buy lights that can withstand being outside as needed.

3. Can power be accessed near the site of usage?

If you have power, great. You can use plug-in string lights. If you do not have power, you will need to look into battery string lights or solar-powered string lights. Each has pluses and minuses.

4. Do they have a timer function or the ability to change colors and dimmer settings?

These aren’t necessary items, but people find that they may prefer them over other styles that don’t have these “bonus features.”


Since string lights can be used as a quick and easy way to light up an area without any hassle, minimal cost, or fancy equipment, they are ideal for your camping trips. Having a variety on hand and understanding the different potential configurations will give you many different hanging options.