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Camping is one of America’s favorite pastimes. And for good reason! There are so many reasons to enjoy camping: the peace and quiet, the beautiful scenery, sleeping under the stars, fresh air. It’s no wonder that 62% of Americans have gone camping within a year.
The truth is that there is a lot more to camping than just sitting around in your tent all day. That would get pretty boring after awhile! Luckily, there are plenty of fun activities that you can do while you’re out enjoying nature. In this blog post we will discuss 20 different ways to enjoy yourself while camping: from cooking outdoors to playing games with friends or family members! So grab your gear and head outside today – it won’t be long before the campfire is roaring and you’re enjoying your time in nature!
These Are the Best 7 Camping Activities
By Cortney Edwards of Tin Can Living
Geocaching is a super fun activity to do while camping. It’s a game in which participants navigate to hidden targets using GPS coordinates. You can usually find these types of caches near water sources or trails that people may have taken before – so make sure you bring some extra clothes with you!
Items that you need to bring when geocaching are :
- a GPS device
- an extra set of clothes
- flashlight or headlamp (if you plan to search for caches at night)
This activity is great for all ages and fitness levels. It incorporates hiking, mental skills, and cooperation. This is a great way to explore your surroundings while also getting some exercise and having fun.
It’s perfect if you’re the type of person who loves being active, but doesn’t want to spend all day in nature alone.
You might want also bring food and water, too. Geocaching is fun because it integrates technology AND nature! If you’re looking for more information about geocaching, check out this article.
2. Cinnamon Rolls Over a Fire
By Karen at Outdoor Adventure Sampler
My favorite camping activity is cooking over a campfire. After many years of practice I’m able to make baked cinnamon rolls over the coals. Having a warm gooey baked pastry with a hot drink in the morning makes getting out of the tent very easy.
To make the cinnamon rolls I use a flat based steel pan or cast iron skillet with a lid that is flat on top. Sometimes I make the dough from scratch if I have the patience and time to wait for it to rise. Otherwise, I use the prepared cinnamon rolls that come in a tube. First, grease the pan and lay out the individual cinnamon roll rounds next to each other in the pan.
Next, the baking begins. The campfire should have burned down and have lots of glowing coals. Use hardwoods for the fire as they make the best coals for cooking. Drag about 10 coals off to the side and place the covered pan on them. Use a fireplace shovel to put more coals on the top. As the coals die out, replace them with new hot coals.
Check the progress of the baking by lifting the lid with a pair of pliers to make sure it’s not burning. Adjust the coals accordingly. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Take the pan off the fire and frost the rolls with a glaze. Hope for leftovers but don’t be surprised if they are gone in a minute.
3. Making S’mores Over a Campfire
Christina | Live A Wilder Life
For us, the ultimate camping activity is making S’mores on an evening campfire. Whether you’re camping with a toddler, kids, friends, or your partner, it’s the classic camping activity that never goes out of style.
While searching for sticks from the campsite can do the job, we use long roasting sticks from Jolly Green Products. We like that it can extend up to 34” long and has a rotating handle. Overall, it’s easier, cleaner, and safer for young kids. We also like that you can use the sticks for hot dogs and sausages.
While most people do the standard Smore’s recipe of graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate, we like to mix it up with different varieties of S’mores. Some of our favorites have been substituting the chocolate with peppermint patties, peanut butter cups, or interesting chocolate flavors like chocolate with chili peppers.
We’ve also added bacon to the original S’mores recipe. If you’re a fan of bacon, be warned that you might never want regular S’mores again. We also like to use marshmallows from Smashmallow. They have excellent flavored marshmallows, like cinnamon churro, toasted vanilla, and cookie dough.
4. Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow
Lara – The Best Travel Gifts
Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow is the perfect game for friends, families, and strangers to play over a campfire. It involves a bit of role-playing, bluffing, collaborating, logical thinking, and a lot of talking.
So how to play it?
At the start of the game each player gets dealt a card that tells them which role they will be playing during the game. There are two sides competing against each other, the werewolves and the civilians. At night when every civilian of Miller’s Hollow is asleep, the werewolves wake up and decide who they will kill that night.
The next “day”, all players will wake up, except for the one person that was killed by the werewolves. Next, the civilians try to find out who the werewolves are. Of course, the clever werewolves pretend to be civilians too! Through discussions, civilians may decide to take a vote on who to kill that day. Though, if they are not sure, they can also go the sleep without killing anyone and keep their ears open when the werewolves come back to life at night again.
This circle of day and night will continue until either all werewolves are killed by the civilians or the other way around. The game is lead by a storyteller, usually, a person who is familiar with the game. And it’s even better if that person is great at making up great stories. Either way, you will have a fun night full of mind tricks!
5. Telling Stories Around The Campfire
By Cortney Edwards of Tin Can Living
Campfire story time is a great time to connect with the family. Get the kids in front of a roaring fire with some marshmallows, make sure to tell them ghost stories or spooky tales.
You can also use these nights as an opportunity for bonding between couples by relating your own scary story that happened to you and seeing how they react. Give it a try!
From camping activities go beyond just sitting and casual chat, these are creative and fun games that will make the camping experience much more enjoyable.
How To Play: You can play this game in a group of any size, telling stories one at a time is an easy way to get started with storytelling! The storyteller starts by saying “once upon a time” or “very long ago” and then makes up a story about any topic.
The next player has to make it their turn by saying “and so what happened?” or “then what did the character do?” If they want, they can add another sentence to the previous storyteller’s tale and continue playing from there. Have some fun and see who can keep the creativity of the day going.
6. Shadow Puppets
By Tiffany Smith of Pennies Places and Paws
Making shadow puppets are a great camping activity because it takes little to no equipment and is an easy activity for everybody to have fun, interact and spend quality time with each other. It is great for all ages because some puppets are very easy to make like birds and dogs and there are more intricate and detailed puppets like old women that will truly test your finger dexterity.
This activity only requires a light source after dark and your whole group can attempt to amaze each other by leveling up their shadow puppet skills for hours.
You can easily use the light from a campfire, flashlight, or lantern to make shadows. For smaller children, you can even turn it into a puppet show if there is a decent storyteller in the group.
If you do not know how to make shadow puppets beyond the simple dog and bird, don’t worry; there are several great shadow puppet books that can easily fit into your travel bag when you are ready to up your game.
Have fun in the evening, trying to impress each other with your great skills, and laugh good-naturedly at everyone’s attempts to contort their fingers and hands in new and different ways. If you are looking for a great place to camp, Custer State Park in South Dakota is one of my favorites!
6. Senses Hike
By Monica Champagne of Champagne on Deck
Why not try a different kind of hike? Bring mindfulness and a multi-sensory experience to your hike with blindfold hiking! In this game, hikers take turns wearing a handkerchief as a blindfold while being guided by a partner.
The blindfolded hiker observes the beauty of nature using her senses other than sight. She listens to hear water movement, the rustle of leaves under her feet, wind in the trees, or the songs of various birds.
She smells flowers or pine bark and feels the texture of rocks, the forest floor, or fuzzy moss on a tree. The great beauty we see with our eyes when hiking can be an overwhelming sense.
This game brings awareness to the other sensory experiences the forest has to offer and gives players a whole new perspective to the world around them.
Game Variations: Using a flashlight or lantern for safety, go on a night hike. Notice how you use your senses differently at night. Consider making it a scavenger hunt. Players can try to identify the sounds of crickets, insects, frogs, owls or other animals.
Important Note: Be sure to coach the guide on how to carefully lead the blindfolded through the forest. The guide should take the blindfolded player by the arm or hand and also describe obstacles to keep their friend safe.
By Debbie Fettback of World Adventurists
A deck of cards is one of the easiest activities to bring along for entertainment on a camping trip. Card games can be great for a variety of ages, and the games you can play are endless. For this reason, a deck of cards is one of the camping essentials for entertainment!
For the young ones, Go Fish is always a huge hit. UNOis also another great one but requires a special deck of cards to be brought along.
A card game we love to play camping is WAR (also known as Battle). It is best for older kids to adults. The deck is divided evenly between two or more players. Each player keeps their deck face down and does not look at what cards they have.
Players turn over the top card at the same time to reveal it. The player with the highest card wins all cards and adds them face down at the bottom of their deck. Cards are ranked with 2 being the lowest and the Ace being the highest.
If players flip over cards of the same rank, then it is WAR! Each player involved will lay out three cards face down and will flip the fourth face up. Whoever has the higher fourth card wins all the cards.
It is also possible that the fourth cards may again be of the same rank. The process is repeated until someone wins the battle and takes all the cards from all rounds. The game is finished when a player has the entire deck of cards.
Whether you’re looking for a new camping activity or want to try something different this year, we hope our list of the best outdoor activities will give you some ideas. If you have any favorite camp-related memories or stories that are not on this list, let us know in the comments! What’s your all time favorite camping activity?
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