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When you love camping it is part of who you are.  The starry nights, the road getting there, the family time around the campfire… OK well maybe not always “the road getting there”, but a fun camping adventure holds many a fond memory.

camping in your own backyard

Lately if might not be possible for you to go camping.  But who says you cannot bring the fun to your own backyard:  Go camping in your own backyard!  No it’s not ridiculous – Read the rest of the article and you’ll see how much fun it can be.  Especially young children love the experience of camping in the backyard, but it can also be a fun weekend friends-getting-together idea for adults.

Here is how it works

Each family brings their own tent and what they think they need for a night under the stars.  The host only arranges for enough firewood and a safe place to make the fire.  The rest is up to the people around the campfire.    

Dinner is sorted with hotdogs made over the open fire and for desert nothing beats marshmallows on an open fire with a good cup of coffee or hot chocolate.  Easy hosting with no fuss and the hostess can also enjoy the fun without the need to run around and trying to keep everyone happy.  (There is one rule to the event and that is that the house is out of bounds for the night.  No-one may quickly run back in to get something – especially something that would be a luxury when out camping.  If you don’t have it with your at the beginning of the event, you must make do without it.  After all it is only for one night and it is all the more fun.)

Camping in your own backyard is a fun school holiday activity for kids, a perfect lockdown fun event at home and a perfectly safe get together event for a family or few close friends where possible.  And if you think “this is not for adults” think again:  So many times you hear the words “if only I could be a kid again”.  Well leave all your sorrows for one night, forget the adult world and enjoy a night as a young kid with the starts as your ceiling and the grass as your carpet. 

5 Fun Things to do around the Campfire / Campfire Games / Fun Group Games

You cannot go camping in your own backyard without a few awesome games that everyone will enjoy.  Here are 5 games guaranteed to bring the fun to your camping event:

Telephone

Many of you might remember playing this game as child.  One person whispers a short message in the ear of the next person and so on down the telephone line it goes.  The fun starts as someone may not hear the message correctly down the line but you are not allowed to repeat or help someone.  So the last person in the line announces what he/she heard to the whole group and often it is not at all remotely what the phrase was in the beginning.  Hilarious and great fun.

Name that song or “Noot vir Noot” (In Afrikaans)

A fun musical game.  Have a few famous songs ready (group appropriate so everyone has a fair chance) and only play the first 2 or 3 seconds of a song on your cell phone.  The first person, who can name the song correctly, wins. If you have someone in the crowd that can play guitar, it is actually more fun as you can give them only the “first 4 notes”….if no one has the answer, then give them the “first 5 notes” and so on (it kind of build the suspense).

Two truths and a lie

An old game…that never gets old, if you know what I mean.  The person gives three facts about themselves.  Two facts must be the truth and one a lie, but the lie must be something that will make the audience thinks that “it might be a fact”.  So then everyone must guess which one was the lie.

Silly yarn spinning and story telling

This game can be fun especially with younger kids in the group. Around a campfire the best stories are spooky, ghost stories, but fun-ghost-stories.  Silly stories.   One person begins the story by saying something like:  “It was a dark scary night and the clouds were rolling in…”  (And then stops right there mid-sentence).  Then the next person must continue the story.  For example:  “…from behind a tree in the forest you could only see the eyes.”  And so the story continues, until you might end up with something like:  “It was a dark scary night and the clouds were rolling in.  From behind a tree in the forest you could only see the eyes of a donkey wearing a straw hat…..  If you keep to suspense and funny changes here and there the laughs will roll out automatically.

(Don’t make the story too scary or else you will have kids to afraid to camp for the rest of the night.  It must be funny spooky stories.)

Change your tune

A game teaching children and adults alike to think on their feet.  The first person starts by giving a ‘category’ like “Cities”.  The next person starts by naming a City (for example New York) and so the link continues… “Cape Town”,  “Johannesburg”, ….etc.  The only rule is you may not repeat anything that was already said, because then you’re out.  When a person cannot think quickly enough of a city name, he/she may change the category to anything they like (for example:  TV Shows) and then the link continues down from person to person.  Many times people will fall out because they did not pay attention and repeat something un-knowingly, or they simply cannot think fast enough and then they’re out of the game.  Last man standing, wins.  (Each person has 3 seconds to give an answer.  To build suspense and a bit of pressure, the group members my start counting out loud when someone thinks….one….two….and this might un-nerve the person to start panicking and so they fall out sooner.)

Some Cool Camping "Equipment"

Cool Camping Gifts for someone who loves camping

Comfy camping chairs, camping lights (especially if they are re-chargeable) and Smores.  Who would not love gifts like this.

Also read our article on “Travel Your Own Backyard.”