It looks like returning to camp in the woods for some fresh air will take some time. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has put a hold on all our outdoor activities and plans, so we have to make do with all kinds of alternatives. Don’t let coronavirus dull your mood for pitching tents and building campfires. With backyard camping, you don’t have to go too far from home and still get to immerse yourself in the outdoors, without any of the hassle of packing, planning, gear-buying, and travelling associated with traditional camping. Plus, you will have access to a clean washroom nearby that you can use whenever— now that is a BIG perk! So, here are some best ideas of how to pull off some backyard camping! While this is for people who have the luxury of having a backyard, those who don’t, can try doing this on a decent-sized balcony or just throw together a tent in one of your rooms to create your own camp. 

Take A Look At These Basic Tips To Make Your Backyard Camping An Absolute Hit

1. Set Up A Cozy Campsite

Family camping

The first step towards this is by creating a backyard camp by pitching your tent in your backyard. If you already have a tent, go ahead and pull it out of storage. If you don’t, you can also easily create a makeshift one by tying a rope or clothesline between two trees and hanging a large tarp, blanket or canvas over it. Make sure you have a dry place to sleep by laying sleeping bags; then make it comfy by layering lots of blankets and cushy pillows on top. If you don’t have sleeping bags, you can create a makeshift camping mattress using a waterproof tarp or some yoga mats. Do up the interiors; you can also get crafty by setting up fairy lights and glamping up your experience of  backyard camping.

2. Cook Up A CampFire

Campfire in the yard

Is a camping adventure complete without a campfire? Swapping stories and songs across a campfire is one of the backyard camping essentials that simply cannot be missed. Even if your backyard campsite is only a few feet away from your kitchen, it’s so much more fun to roast marshmallows on a little bonfire. To keep the campfire contained safely, use a sturdy flagstone fire pit that will keep everyone warm and on a sugar high all night long during your backyard camping. And, if this is planned as backyard camping for adults, you can also try your hand at making refreshing cocktails. For those hacking it indoors, prepare a menu of hotdogs and smores (roasted and cooked on your stove) and chomp away while one of you narrates the campfire special—ghost stories. 

If you plan to break tradition by heading indoors for a traditional meal, try to keep the magic intact and avoid electronic distractions. Since you’re not very far from your own kitchen, stick to your own dishes and utensils, instead of plastic forks and plates that are harmful to the environment and add unnecessarily to your local landfill. You can also illuminate your meal by creating a “campfire effect” with candles or flashlights. No matter how or where you eat, remember that dinner should be bonding time with friends and family.

3. Plan Activities

Father and daughter sitting in their backyard, watching movies on an improvised home theatre, Backyard Camping
Father and daughter sitting in their backyard, watching movies on an improvised home theatre

There’s so much adventure to be had outside! From playing classic backyard games to exploring nature in a microcosm, your backyard camping checklist should have a few of these activities to keep the whole gang entertained all day—and night. 

  • Board Games and Card Games: Bring out your favourite board games and playing cards—they’re an excellent way to bond via competition. Pick the best ones, from the quick and easy to the long and strategic. 
  • Scavenger Hunt: An opportunity for active fun, a scavenger hunt will allow you (and your kids) explore your backyard and be imaginative. Be sure to plan a hunt around your interests that isn’t frustrating (especially for kids). Additionally, a well-thought-out set-up will give you the opportunity to learn, and teach your children, about the outdoors. 
  • Stories Around The Campfire: Telling stories—scary or not—around the campfire is a staple of any good camping trip. So read up, gather around, and find out who is the best storyteller. You can also get creative by making up your own stories as you go along, or take turns stringing together a tale that winds its way toward a terrifying (or lame) conclusion.
  • Watch A Movie: Yes, your usual camping experience involves a break from the digital world and the constant connectivity to entertainment and social media. But this way you can take an occasional break from the constant noise and activity during camping. All you need is an outdoor movie screen—which can be rustled up with an old white bedsheet or a canvas drop cloth, with blankets spread out, throw pillows in front of the screen, and a camping projector. Start the movie and enjoy the show with your s’mores!
  • Stargazing: A popular camping activity, stargazing is also a great family activity. While you might have to make do with city skies, you also just might get lucky. Split your family into teams and with the help of stargazing printables, see who can find the most constellations first.
  • Nature Rubbing: If you have toddlers or young children (below 13), you should bring out their toys, and some crayons and paper too. As an activity, pick out an interesting leaf, lay it on a flat surface (or tape down the edges), turn your crayon lengthwise and gently colour on the paper over the leaf in large strokes. Continue until you have rubbed over the whole leaf. You’ll notice little veins and the shape of the leaf coming through onto your paper. You can repeat this with other types of leaves and colours. It is a unique way to learn about nature and at the same time personalise your experience.
  • Nature Collage: During the exploration of the yard and neighbourhood, it is a good idea to collect attractive and odd things in a bag or bucket. Involve yourself (and the kids) with this collection after the exploration is over. You can either stick all of these items to a piece of paper or cardboard as a memento of your backyard camping adventure, or you can just press leaves or flowers into a book to remember.

4. A Real Campout

Children playing in tents, Backyard Camping

Even if you aren’t technically getting out of your house, set aside the items you need for a  scheduled backyard camping. Make sure it feels like a real campout, so prep your supplies beforehand. You shouldn’t be running in and out of the house every two minutes. Pack everything that you will need such as a tent or tents, sleeping bags, pillows, flashlights, games, books, bug spray and your cooler packed with foods (and drinks). There isn’t any need to enforce a curfew, but be strict about saying no to anything digital. Try and make it feel like a real rustic getaway. So, everyone should only go inside for emergencies or bathroom breaks. Aim to stay out for as long as possible, if it doesn’t work that’s okay—a good night’s sleep trumps the outdoor experience. 

So Plan A Memorable, Fun, Family Campout With These Backyard Camping Tips

As we have all cancelled our vacations and camping days due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have learnt to improvise. Camping in the backyard can be almost the same as camping in nature, except that we have the luxury of being within walking distance of a bathroom, and still enjoy a wonderful family bonding experience. With backyard camping, you can unplug from your daily routine and relax with housemates or family. And this way, you can host a fun family getaway without leaving the safety of your home. Also, a backyard camping party is perfect as a sleepover or birthday party. Take these fun backyard camping ideas mentioned above to make your camping experience memorable, and tell us all about it in the comments below!

Also Read: The Best Places To Go Glamping In India

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