How to Plan the Perfect Backyard Camping Trip
Camping. You either love it or hate it. Some of us just aren't cut out to spend our nights with Mother Nature in a tent. We would rather be sleeping in the comfort of our beds. Others love the peace and quiet camping can bring and the simple life it brings.
Whether you are for or against camping, backyard camping can bring the best of both worlds. You could sleep in a tent or watch your children from the comfort of your own bed. But what exactly makes a backyard camping trip successful?
What You Need
If you want a truly authentic camping experience, then a tent is a must. Making your camping trip as legitimate as possible means you need all the camping basics. Next on the list is the perfect sleeping bag. Depending on the weather, make sure the sleeping bag won't make the kids too hot or leave them shivering all night. Most sleeping bags tell you the best temperature range.
Other things to add to your list are:
- "Can't-live-without" toys
- Change of clothes
- Favorite BBQ foods
Now that your bags are packed, it's time to plan your activities. Since you are literally in your backyard, make sure certain rooms of your home are off limits during your camping excursion. Let the kids know there is no TV, computer or phones allowed.
Create a Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are always a fun idea. If you can, hide some things around the neighborhood and write up clues for your kids to find them. You'll have fun creating the hunt as well as seeing how your kids find all their new treasures.
Explore Your 'hood
So what is allowed? During the day, why not go exploring? Instead of exploring a forest, take the time to check out parts of your neighborhood. Parents magazine suggests, "Are there nearby roads you've never walked down or a park you've never visited? Now is the time to explore them. If you have a compass or a map (or even a GPS on your phone) plot a course and see if your kids can navigate it."
When it gets dark enough, flashlight tag is a fun activity. This classic game is a combination of hide-and-seek and tag. The person who is "it" counts to 50 while all the other players go and hide. Once the person who is "it" finishes counting, he or she goes looking for everyone. When someone is found, the "it" player flashes his or her light on the pursued and that person is now "it."
Once dinnertime hits, plan out some fun campfire classics like burgers, hotdogs and grilled cheese. While you are eating, ask everyone what their favorite part of camping has been. What new things did they discover about their neighborhood?
You might not have a real campfire in your backyard, but that doesn't mean you can't share campfire stories. Flashlights do just as well as the real thing, plus your kids might have fun playing with the flashlights too. You can tell ghostly tales or share fun family memories.
Backyard camping is a fun way to bond with your family without all the chaos of a real camping trip. Planning your camping trip is half the battle. Whether you go to a camping ground or just the backyard, many of these tips hold true.
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