Camping is a favorite activity enjoyed by millions of enthusiasts each year. About 40 million people go camping each year with many of them claiming that the experience helped them eliminate stress and build focus. It’s a great way to spend time together as a family.
Psychologists have spoken and published visibly about how disconnecting from our mobile devices can reduce stress, stimulate our awareness of our surroundings, and improve our relationships with loved ones—all benefits that one can expect from a camping trip.
Are you ready to plan your trip? Before you go, read about these fun camping activities and tips that you can use to make your experience memorable. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to add some new things to do just by tapping into everyone’s imagination.
Tips For Camping Games
A successful camping trip requires extensive planning. That means choosing your location (mountainside, valley, lakeside or forest), and then, reserving your campsite, building an inventory and a selection of activities.
By planning your family activities early, you can enjoy the morning, evening, and nighttime specific entertainment. There’s something for everyone.
Start With Popular Games
Board games are a favorite for camp outings—and they can bring families together. Some popular choices are:
- Apples to Apples
- The Game of Life
Most of these games are small enough to be transported to a campsite in a bin or backpack. Once unpacked, they make great activity starters and are good for initial gatherings or downtime on the picnic table. The goal here is to set the pace for the rest of your trip with a fun, simple family icebreaker.
You’re in the great outdoors, so it’s a perfect opportunity for a truly active experience. You and your family can find a meadow or clear for space and opportunity. Here, children can play tag, hide-and-seek, flag football or capture the flag. Younger children can group together to play Duck Duck Goose, catch with a baseball, or Eye Spy.
Go For a Hike
Hiking has some excellent benefits for everyone, like stress relief or exercise. It’s also a great shared activity with lots of versatile applications for all involved. Hikes can be great learning opportunities for children, plus the walk can tire them out.
You and your family can take in the view or study the smaller details of the forest as you march. Make sure to visit any well-known locations on your excursion. Or make your hike into a moving scavenger hunt with the use of digital cameras. All of which can be spontaneous fun.
Make a Compass Course
Orienting can engage the whole family while also making use of some essential camping equipment, namely, a compass and map. You can teach your children how to use these tools as they have fun following directions. It’s also easy to create a compass course. For ideas, visit the US Orienting Site for simple ways to create a memorable orienteering course.
Geocaching is a popular adventure game played by GPS users across the globe. This activity can create bonds within the camping community across the world and help teach your kids how to use GPS technology.
Here’s how you play the game:
- Players create hiding places known as caches and then place the coordinates on the internet.
- GPS users discover the coordinates and then search for them.
- Once the cache is located, you can sign a guest book or examine the cache deposits. Users are encouraged to take an item and leave something in return.
Tell Shared Stories
Telling stories is a permanent staple of camping trips, especially when the sun has set and the campfire is blazing. Most parents or adults will opt for a familiar ghost story that they may have heard when they were children, or share fun family anecdotes that children may not know.
Families can also try to tell chain stories where one person begins, creates the plot and the opening incident, and then pass the next part of the story on to the next person. He or she would build on the story with their own ideas and continue passing it around. That can create endless opportunities and a lot of fun.
Share the Burden and Cook Together
Everyone has to eat. But with camping, meal preparation can be fun. Whether you are using grills or portable Dutch ovens or preparing sweet desserts over the campfire like roasted marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate, everyone can get involved.
Build a Family Campfire
It can be exhilarating to set up a campfire as a group activity. In many ways, campfires are symbolic of the entire camping experience. What better way can you come together as a family?
There are some safety measures you should take with campfires, though, such as keeping fires in designated areas and using dry fuel. It’s essential to know how to smolder out the flames completely when you’re finished too. Remember to always keep an eye on the children whenever they are near the fire.
Perform Funny Skits For Each Other
Skits may become the runaway activity for your camping trip, and for a good reason: these can feature humor, award-winning to corny acting, and chemistry among members of the family. It’s a recipe for great memories. If you want some free ideas, visit the Ultimate Camp Resource for a treasure trove of plays that are perfect for around the campfire.
Glow Stick Ring Toss
Kids love anything that glows in the dark. That’s why ring toss games can shine a light on the nighttime for unique fun. You and the family can toss around a large glow stick or a few bracelet-sized sticks to one another. But of all, you all can without rules to add to the enjoyment.
Or, if you want to make the game a challenge, set up a ringing structure at various distances or heights. Then create a point system to decide who’ll win the match.
Start Your Own Olympic Camp Games
Here’s something for a group with a lot kids. The Camping Olympics are as diverse as you can imagine. They can include any or all of the games listed in this guide. This event may require additional planning, scoring, coordination and camp prizes for group success.
Safe options are a tug-of-war, three-legged race or a water balloon race. But literally, you can make any game a part of it. The best part is that you can set your own rules. Tweak anything and everything to fit the age group of your children, as well as the level of competition.
Play Park Rangers
This game reinforces the listening skills of your kids and is a lot like freeze tag. The goal is to arrange everyone in an open space. Then have them all pick an animal for themselves. No one should reveal their choice. Select one participant to be the Park Ranger to guess the identity of the wildlife in their forest.
Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts can become the most memorable activity you do while at a campsite. Not only are these games great for keeping everyone’s interest, but searching for common objects while outdoors is easy and requires little to no planning to organize.
Here are some tips to help you create your own scavenger hunt:
- Safety is important. Consider bringing in another adult to help you organize the game, if necessary.
- Split adults into groups and place them with a small group of kids. Their task will be to guide the youth, provide hints, and supervise them.
- If playing with older kids, add in some friendly competition. Present a prize for the team that can locate the most items on the scavenger hunt list.
Scavenger hunts can range in completion time, which depends on the list you’ve assembled. One thing for certain. Your party is sure to enjoy the game. Besides, after you’ve finished with your hunt, all players will walk away with a sense of accomplishment and bonding.
Make a Robust Scavenger Hunt List
How extensive should your scavenger hunts be? That is entirely up to you. If you are looking for ideas, then explore your campsite and its surrounding area before you begin. Try to focus on things that are unusual or eye-catching. Make a running list of items that would be suitable for participants to find. Be creative.
Here are a few suggestions from Love Outdoors:
- Dead Trees
- Holes in a Trees
- Rocks or agates of different colors
- Animal tracks
- SpiderwebsNow You’re Ready. Camp On!
Camping can be the perfect opportunity for you to take a fun dive into nature with those you care about the most. With these camping games and activities, your time spent in the woods is sure to be engaging and entertaining. And if you find this guide helpful, share it with a friend or loved one to give the gift of camping with someone else.