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Had to cancel your camping plans? You don’t need to cancel the fun, instead, how about setting up camp a little closer to home? Backyard camping can be a great experience for the whole family and a great opportunity to ‘escape’ while also staying safe.

Here are our tips for enjoying your next Backyard Camping adventure: 

Decide on the Ground Rules

Are you going to stay outside the whole time, or are there exceptions? Some examples of backyard camping ground rules could be:

  • You can only go into the house to use the bathroom
  • You can only go to the fridge if it is to collect food already prepared for ‘camping’
  • You can only go into the house to get something you forgot to ‘pack’. Like a jacket if you are cold.
  • No phones, tablets or electronic devices allowed (this includes parents too – though it is recommended to keep a phone accessible in case of emergencies)
  • Everyone is responsible for a different form of entertainment. That could include games, music, craft or other activity.

Whatever ground rules you decide on, it is important to get everyone involved in putting these together, so everyone can have an enjoyable experience.

Set the Scene

Treat your backyard like your new campground. If you have a tent, set it up like you normally would. Find a flat section in your yard and get everyone involved in setting it up. If you don’t have a tent, you can put up a makeshift shelter using some ropes, poles/trees and tarp or blanket. Just make sure you have a dry place to sleep if you need it. 

Once you’ve got your tent or shelter set up, make it cosy. Fill the space with yoga mats, sleeping bags, air mattresses, blankets, pillows and whatever else you have on hand. There’s no harm in bringing a few extra thing from inside the house to make it a little more comfortable. 

If you want to create a little more magic, hang up some string lights. Battery operated ones are probably the best option, but whatever you have on hand will do. These will add some soft lighting to the space and create a cosy ambiance to the space. 

Don’t Forget the Campfire

It’s hardly a camping trip if there isn’t a campfire to gather around. If you are fortunate enough to have a fire pit or brazier I your backyard, then you’ve got your campfire ready to go. If you don’t, we do not recommend building an open fire in your backyard. Instead you can get creative. Use some candles grouped together or flashlights pointed up or you can even work together to build your own fake campfire.

Meal Time

Plan your meals ahead of time as best as you can. We’d suggest really committing to the experience and only cook your meals outside. You can use your campfire (if you have one) or use a gas stove to cook up a storm. There are heaps of options when it comes to cooking camping meals. Check out these great ideas.

If you don’t have access to a fire or stove for cooking, prepare meals ahead of time that doesn’t require cooking. Some options could include sandwiches, wraps, salads, fresh fruit and heaps more!

Keep Entertained

Plan out a bunch of activities to do while you are enjoying your ‘escape’. Depending on the ground rules you set up, you could have one person in charge of games or you could have everyone plan out something to do. Some great ideas for staying entertained include:

  • Backyard Games – ring toss, hopscotch, bowling, hula hoops, frisbee, tag
  • Playing Cards
  • Tell Stories or Read Books Aloud
  • Sing Songs or Write Songs Together
  • Nature Crafts
  • Make Bubble Blowers
  • Treasure Hunt – even better to do at night with a flashlight
  • Classic Games – Simon Says, Name That Tune, Telephone Whispers, I Spy
  • Make Shadow Puppets
  • Stargazing

You may not be able to travel to your favourite camping spot, but you don’t have to miss out on the fun. Get the whole family involved, get creative and enjoy the time spend together. 

Want some more great ideas? Check out these posts: 

5 Nifty Backyard Camping Ideas For The Family

25 Backyard Camping Ideas That’ll Make You Feel Like You’re in the Great Outdoors

The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Camping

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