Summer Family Moments

5 Tips for the Perfect Camping Trip ... in Your Own Backyard!

tentIf you were dying to go camping this summer, but never got around to it, no need to fret. You can still go on that idyllic trip you were dreaming of ... right in your own backyard!

In a lot of ways, a camping trip in the yard is a lot more fun than the "real thing" -- and let's face it, there couldn't be an easier (or cheaper) trip.

Here are 5 ways to have the ultimate camping trip in your yard. And if you're skeptical about things, two words for you: No bears.

1. Set everything up during the day. Don't wait until dusk to start pitching the tent, as sundown is the perfect time for games, cooking, and having a good ol' fashioned sing-along. The goal is to really feel like you and your family are on a trip. And nothing feels less like a vacation than running in and out of your house at the last second to tie up loose ends.

2. Use the grill instead of the barbecue. One of the greatest things about camping in your backyard is that things can be done on your own terms. Sure, it's kind of fun to rough it when you're out in the real wilderness, but come on, how much easier is it to fire up the ol' grill than to start an actual fire? It's one of the best things about camping at home: Convenience.

3. Tell a "group story". Instead of having each person tell their own ghost story, why not make one up together? While sitting in a circle, have each person say a few lines of a story before the person next to them takes over. The story will probably wind up being more funny than scary, but hey, isn't that more fun, anyway?

4. Set up a mini scavenger hunt in the yard. If you're camping with your little ones, they'll love it if you prepared a scavenger hunt for them in advance. During the day, hide a few things in the backyard and write down clues as to where they are. When it starts to get dark out, hand the kiddos flashlights and let them go wild.

5. Ditch any and all electronics. There are some things that are much more convenient about camping in the yard than heading out into the real wilderness, but iPhones and laptops shouldn't be among them. Make sure everyone leaves their phones, iPods, and computers inside. Camping should be about connecting with nature -- and connecting with each other.

Have you ever camped in your backyard?


Image via Photo Monkey/Flickr

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godde... goddess99

When I was a kid I did. I can't sleep on the ground now, or outside.

johnn... johnny4ever

No but thats a great idea!

sukainah sukainah

No, we have never camped in our backyard, but the kids would love it.  Great ideas!

la_be... la_bella_vita

No, but we did real camping, but this is a good idea, we've talked about doing this.

kellynh kellynh

I have not gone camping in 15yrs 

arpazia arpazia

We camped in the backyard, back in the day! Lol

pitty... pittymama

last time i camped in my backyard i was like.. 5? haha :)

dusky... dusky_rose

We backyard camp at my brother's house because he lives out in the country. We have no backyard to speak of and a highway runs right behind what we do have. It can be fun to take it easy, hang out around the firepit and play games and go to the local lake during the day for a boat ride.

Leele... Leelee1008

when we were younger yes, I wouldnt dream of letting my kids do it now though... times are totally different

Kmakk... Kmakksmom

The last time I went camping I was in Girl Scouts.  I am just not a camper, lol.


My girls have each gone to camp, and they like it.  We've never tried camping in the backyard.  We could do it, we have a fenced backyard, but it's just not something they've shown interest in doing.


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