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If you have been searching for that perfect campsite, look no further than that piece of land you call “the backyard”. When everyday life happens, it’s not always feasible to just drop everything for that epic camping trip. We get busy and sometimes forget the things that matter most, spending time with our loved ones. Sometimes it just seems impossible to get away, even for a night. Let your worries fade away because in this post we are going to cover everything you need to know about backyard camping.
Let’s jump in…
Benefits Of Backyard Camping
While most people go camping to escape the city and get some much-needed R&R, camping in your backyard offers many of the same benefits as camping at a public campground or camping off-grid.
In addition, camping at home gives you the opportunity to break away from your everyday routine. Some other main benefits of backyard camping are:
Test New Gear
Whether you’re new to the camping scene or a veteran of outdoor adventures, camping in your backyard is the best place to test new gear. You can practice setting up camp in a more controlled environment before you get to the woods.
Backyard camping can save you money. You won’t be spending money on campground fees, gas, or any essentials you might have left behind.
Take the stress out of planning, packing, and driving for a weekend camping trip by setting up camp right outside your back door.
Ultimate Backyard Camping Tips
When your family is need of a mini-vacation and you just can’t seem to get away, camping in your backyard may be the answer. You get the adventure of sleeping outside, without leaving home.
Turning your backyard into a camping haven can be easily accomplished with a bit of imagination and creativity.
If you already have a tent, get the kids involved with setting it up. Find a flat, smooth area that is free from rocks, sticks, etc., to set it up.
If you do not have a tent, check out our article Ultimate Tent Buyers Guide, or get creative. Do you remember building forts in your room when you were young? You can do the same thing when camping in your backyard.
Build a frame from sticks or pieces of PVC pipe then drape sheets or blankets over it for cover. Our nieces and nephews would use anything at their disposal for building a shelter. From pallets and plywood for walls, to cardboard for roofs. They used whatever they could find around the yard.
Rachel Seis, of tasteofhome.com, suggests tying a rope between two trees and hanging a tarp or blankets over it to create your shelter for the night.
Break Out The Sleeping Bags
Now that you have your shelter figured out, it’s time for the sleeping bags. Make the floor of the tent comfortable by laying out blankets or comforters first. Throw pillows or seat cushions work as well.
If you prefer not to sleep on the ground, consider setting up a small cot, or air mattress.
Just because you are backyard camping doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a few creature comforts of home.
And, if it’s just you and your sweetheart, consider snuggling up in one of these 5 Best Sleeping Bags For Couples.
Backyard Camping Games
Now to the fun parts of backyard camping, playing games. Here is another way you can get super creative and just have fun with the family.
Not only is pitching washers one of our favorite backyard activities, but it is also a camping favorite. The game is simple, but not as easy as it looks.
Start by placing the washer boxes 20 feet apart. Of course, the distance can be changed based on the players. For instance, younger players may need the targets closer than adults.
Each player, or team of players, will take turns pitching their washers toward the target in hopes of scoring points.
When a washer lands in the hole, the player or team will receive 3 points, a washer inside the box is 1 point, and if the washer doesn’t come close to the box, zero points are awarded.
The team whose washer is the closest gets the points for that round.
The first person, or team, to score 21 points, wins.
Ladder golf is another classic backyard camping game. Basically, players take turns throwing two balls tied together with a rope, or string, onto a ladder.
The ladders are placed 15 feet apart, but can be closer or farther, depending on your situation.
Points are scored by landing your bola (golf balls tied together), onto a ladder rung.
At the end of each round, the players tally their points based on whose bola is still on the ladder. The top rung of the ladder scores 3 points, middle rung scores 2 points, and the bottom rung scores 1 point.
Like washer toss, the person, or team to score 21 points first, wins.
Arts and crafts projects, like painting rocks, is a great way to spend quality time as a family. While it may not be classified as a backyard camping game, it is an activity that can be enjoyed by everyone.
The concept is simple. Gather rocks of various sizes and shapes. As a family, sit down and paint your favorite design, or inspirational quote on each rock.
When you have finished painting your rocks, hide them throughout your community where others can find them. There has been a growing trend where people leave their rocks for others to find and post pictures of them to Facebook or other social media platforms.
If you need a fun way to keep the kids, and adults, entertained during your backyard camping adventure, try a scavenger hunt.
I recently came across an article by Stacey of thesoccermomblog.com where she outlines everything needed for an insect scavenger hunt.
In the article she describes coming up with her very own “bug hunt” to “keep track of all the different insects we found around our property.” In her free printable bug scavenger hunt, she added insects that are common to most areas in the U.S.
Her reason for bugs? It helps children “become less afraid of them, learn which insects to avoid, and to grow an appreciation for beneficial insects”. For more info, you can check out the article here.
Build A Campfire
No backyard camping retreat is complete without building a perfect campfire. If you have a fire pit, you’re one step ahead. If not, you can use a propane firepit or build your own fire ring.
Building a fire on the ground in your backyard may cause damage to your lawn, so a designated campfire area is ideal.
Here is a simple way to build a perfect DIY fire pit. If DIY isn’t in your wheelhouse, a small charcoal grill will do the trick.
Set The Scene
Set the scene for after dark. Set out Tiki torches, lanterns, or even glowsticks to give your backyard camping oasis that feel of tribal council on the game show Survivor.
String lights draped across areas of the backyard will also give your lawn a comfortable ambience when the sun goes down. In addition, they will help the kiddos feel more comfortable to sleep outside all night.
Easy Campfire Snacks
One of our favorite parts of camping is sitting around the campfire. What’s even better is the snacks you can make while you’re doing it. You don’t need anything extravagant for a backyard camping trip. Think simple, like toasted marshmallows, hotdogs, and of course, S’mores.
Backyard Camping Conclusion
Having an adventurous weekend doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go to some far-off exotic land. You have everything you need for a mini vacation right in your very own backyard. The best part about it is you have clean restrooms to use and a nice, clean, shower you can use in the morning.
What are your thoughts on camping in the backyard? Do you have any suggestions to add to the list? If so, please leave a comment below and let us know.
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