Are you a camper or a glamper? Do you love the woods or have you never been? Regardless of how you may feel about camping, are you thinking about getting your littles out of the house for a week, weekend or night and loving the outdoors? Worried how that first trip will turn out…? Don’t. We’re here to help.
Whether you were dying to go camping yet again this summer or haven’t gone before no need to fret. You can still go on that idyllic trip you were dreaming of. Just do it right in your own backyard! Here are our top nine tips for backyard camping.
Don’t wait until dark to start setting up the tent! Dusk is the perfect time for games, cooking, and having all the fun that comes along with camping…so get the grunt work out of the way first (and get the littles to help!).
Evanston 8 Screened Modified Dome Tent, $349.99. Available at ColemanCanada.ca.
One of the greatest things about camping in your backyard is that things can be done on your own terms. Sure, you’re close to the conveniences of home, but come on, how much more fun is it to fire up the ol’ grill than to cook inside? It’s one of the best things about camping: food cooked on fire (and camping at home means no hunting for firewood or worrying about wet matches).
The Canadian Family Grill Guide. Check it out for tips, tricks, recipes and inspiration!
Playing games outdoors that are fun and active tires the littles out and they’ll sleep better. It’s also a lot of fun—especially if they’re physical games like horseshoes, bocce ball, washer toss, bean bag toss or even lawn darts. Just watch the difference in your kids after an hour of these games as compared to an hour of iPad time…
There are some things that are much more convenient about camping in the yard than heading out into the real wilderness, but iPhones and laptops shouldn’t be among them. Make sure everyone leaves their phones, iPods, and computers inside. Camping should be about connecting with nature — and connecting with each other.
If you have a fire pit (or always wanted one) this is a great excuse to use it. Sure, cook dinner on the grill but make some seriously delicious s’mores (with these awesome s’more recipes) on the open flames of a backyard fire pit.
Kids love playing with new things, so bring out your camping gear—headlamp, lanterns, compass, maps—and teach them how to use everything. Before exploring, let the kids fill their backpacks with the gear they like so they can use it out on the trail.
Coleman 250L Divide™ Headlamp, $29.97. Available at Walmart.
Consider forgoing bedtime for just one night. Kids will likely not easily fall asleep while lying in close quarters with the excitement of camping outside anyway. Instead of getting irritated and enforcing a “quiet/no talking” rule, let the kids giggle and wear themselves out. They’ll get tired eventually, and no doubt they’ll remember the fun of staying up late for a long time to come! Who knows, you might be happy when you overhear some of the secrets they share with each other!
Don’t pull your tent and gear out for just one night of backyard camping. Instead, make it a weekend event—start on Friday night and end on Sunday afternoon. Plan a hike or nature walk for Saturday morning and play games in the afternoon. You can even make breakfast on the barbecue or fire pit…get yourself a camp toaster and assign toasting duties out to the bigger littles.
Coleman Camp Stove Toaster – Round, $5.97. Available at Walmart.
‘Nuff said. Backyard camping is kind of awesome, isn’t it?