A good book and a comfortable camping chair will make for a very happy camping trip, but you need some camping activities to keep you entertained and help you make the most of your time in nature.
To help you organize your next family camping trip, we have compiled a list of ideas to try out. Keep in mind, we tried to avoid the run-of-the-mill activities such as fishing (not that it is not fun!) and give you a few unique activity ideas.
Get Competitive with Outdoor Games
Whether you have kids or not, outdoor camping games are always a hit. Afterall, there’s a big kid in all of us, right?
There is an entire industry dedicated to these outdoor entertainment kits. Sure, you’re familiar with the classic horseshoes or a game of catch with a couple gloves and a ball, but these games are a great competition between anyone of any age.
One of the best games out there is Ladder Toss. It packs up nicely, doesn’t take a lot of brute and muscle, and can be played by anyone. Ladder Toss, a very common camping game, is a simple game of skill.
Explore with a Scavenger Hunt
Yet another fun, fair-weather, outdoor camping activity is a family scavenger hunt. You can either make your own or print some out online.
If you want to take the scavenger hunt to the next level and add another layer of competition, you can even modify it to be camping bingo. Each place on the bingo sheet is a different thing you have to find, such as an Airstream camper or a specific animal.
One of the best things about a scavenger hunt or camping bingo is that it is an ongoing game that can last throughout your entire camping trip.
Enjoying a Hike by Geocaching
Typically camping is a time to disconnect and turn off your phone; however, geocaching is one exception because it’s the technology that gets you hiking around and into your surrounding area. Geocaching is a lot like a scavenger hunt but leveraging GPS technology to walk you right onto the cache.
Simply install one of the many geocaching apps, create an account, and start finding caches near you. Soon you will be crawling through shrubs or wading through a creek to find your next cache!
Be sure to bring a pen with you to log your visit in the cache, and an extra small container in case the one you find is in disrepair. The geocaching community maintains the caches so everyone else can enjoy the activity.
Crafting with Painted Rocks
Another fun game of hide-and-seek while bringing out your crafty side, the painted rocks game has been around for a few years. The concept is simple, paint fun and cute artwork on rocks and hide them for the next campers to find. If you’re lucky, you’ll find painted rocks someone else left for you to find.
There are countless Facebook groups that allow you to post your finds. In fact, if you come across a painted rock, they may have the name of a Facebook group painted on the back so you can snap a pic and post it.
Explore the Cosmos by Stargazing
The other activities are great during the daylight hours, but why does the fun have to stop simply because the sun goes down? Stargazing is a great activity for the entire family when you’re away from the city lights.
To get started, take a look at the stars in the sky and try to find and name the constellations and planets. Then download the Google Sky Map app to verify what you are seeing. There are several planets that you can see fairly regularly on a clear night, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter, just to name a few.
Now try upping your game and bring a portable telescope with you. You will be amazed on what you can see in the tranquil skies of an isolated campground free of light pollution.
Find Treasures with a Metal Detector
Every day people lose items when hanging out on a beach shore or at a campground. This is your chance to shine with a metal detector.
Power up your metal detector and venture off to where people typically go to relax. Start scouring the earth and you may be able to find valuable treasures.
Another fun follow-on activity is to try to find who the treasures belong to. For example a wedding ring that slipped off during a swim – try to find it’s rightful owner by doing some research and reaching out on social media.
Build a Memorable Scrapbook
There will undoubtedly be a time when your plans don’t line up with nature’s plans and you get rained out. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty to do inside the camper, start a scrapbook!
Youll need to purchase a notebook or a special scrapbook and some glue, but after that it’s up to your imagination.
Throw in some photos you’ve taken with your Polaroid, cut out interesting tid bits from the campground brochure, and decorate with leaves from the campground and you’ll have memories you can revisit for the rest of your life.
A fun option is to leave some blank pages throughout the scrapbook so you can pass it onto your kids or grandkids so they can add their own memories. It’s a generational activity and keeps the love of camping going.
Have you done any of these activities or have any other fun activities that you would recommend? We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!