Backyard Camping

Camping is fun, and it won’t be any less fun if it is done somewhere near home like at your back yard. As a matter of fact, backyard camping saves you money and time you would have spent trying to reach a camping destination. You do not have to deal with the hassle that comes with loading camping gear, games and foods into your car for a five-hour drive. No trekking for miles to remote locations and all you really need is to carry a few things and set up your camp site. The best part is that you can always go back to get things you have forgotten. Here are tips of easy, inexpensive and fun ways of having a camping trip in the comfort of your own compound.

Prepare for Your Backyard Camping

Shelter

Tent and accessories you may need to pitch your tent.

Sleeping Things

Sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, camping mattress (to avoid back pains).

Food

Cutlery and plates, water jugs, glasses, drinks, cheese, fruits, sandwiches, hotdogs, baked beans, sweet corn, marshmallow and long sticks.   

Things for Campfire

Fire starter, twigs, logs and matches.

Others

Trash bags, games, laptop (just in case you want to watch a movie), paper/notepad, songbook, bug repellant, picnic mat, flashlight, wet wipes, paper towels.  

Fun Backyard Camping Activities

1. Scavenger Hunt

Create a list of things people can find in your backyard. Give each child a list and ask them to race to see who can collect the most or all items. Some ideas include marshmallow roasting sticks, pine cones, bees, white rocks, beetles, green leaves, and a yellow flower.  

2. Squirrel Scramble

One person is the one catching the ‘squirrel’. Take some lawn chairs so that everyone could have one but make sure there is one less chair. For example, if there are five members in the family and one is the squirrel catcher, get three lawn chairs. The catcher should randomly shout “Squirrel scramble” and then everyone should run around but avoid getting caught before reaching a chair (which acts as the tree).   

3. Boogy Mania

This is a dance game where the smallest member of the family stands up and starts dancing. The young one then dances towards the second youngest member of the family (who is sitting down) and taps his/her head. That member wakes up and starts dancing fast when the youngest one cries “Dance-off”. Then, the youngest one cries “Dance over” and the youngest member sits down. The person standing continues the trend.

4. Campfire Stories

Light a bonfire (if possible) and have everyone sit in a circle. Start telling campfire stories. They can be moral stories, legends, scary or funny stories. This is also the best time to roast those marshmallows.   

5. Capture the Bunny

Get a small ball made of rubber and call it the bunny. Sit in a circle and start passing it round. One person is standing up (the farmer) and following the ball as it gets passed around. That person should try to catch the ball before it gets tossed to other people. When the one standing catches it, the last person to be passed the ball gets in.

6. Graveyard Ghost

This game is like tag but with a slightly spooky twist. Get everyone to wait in the tents and then, be the ghost. The ghost should hide in the backyard then call out for the rest to come out and hunt for you by saying “Midnight! I hope I didn’t see a ghost tonight!” The ghost comes out and starts tugging runners until someone is caught. Then that person is the ghost. Do this until everyone has played.       

7. Flashlight Searchers

Take a plastic bag, hide a prize in it and label it. Challenge the kids to look for it in the backyard. If they are not finding it, keep telling them “getting lighter” whenever they are near it. Say “it’s getting darker” when they go far from it. 

8. Winking Murder

All people should sit in a circle. Take some cards and pass them around telling people to hide them. The person who ends up having Ace of Spades is the murderer. When that person is ready, she/he should wink at people and anyone who notices that he has winked at them lets out a scream and dies. If anyone starts thinking they know who the murderer is, they ask people to spread their hands to the circle’s center. All people close their eyes and put out their hands and the person guessing touches the hand of the person they suspect to be the murderer. If that person is wrong, they are out. This goes on until the murderer has been found.   

9. Two Truths and a Lie

Each person takes some time to tell 3 different statements about themselves. Two out of the three statements should be true, and one of the statements should be a lie. Every other person starts trying to guess which statement is the truth and which one is not. When playing this game, you should be as creative as possible to keep people guessing longer. To make it more interesting, each person should have about four or five statements to say about themselves. For example, “Hi. I am Lucy. I once had waist length hair. I’ve been to Spain and I ate two whole pizzas by myself once.” People should then meditate on the things you have said, and they could even talk amongst themselves. When they have an answer on which statement is not true, one person should speak. The winner is the person people are unable to guess what is true and what is not.

10. Press Leaves and Flowers

Make your backyard campout memento together by taking flowers and leaves from the scavenger hunt and press them into books. This will be a good memory for the whole family. Besides, kids learn some crafts too. 

Watch this video to get some advice on how to go camping in your backyard: