Taking a camping trip with family and friends can end up feeling more like work than fun. By the time you’ve traveled to your destination and set up camp, you are likely to have had more than a few meltdowns and more stress than you can handle. Take the stress out of your excursion by having your own camping adventure at home! Use these tips and you will never have to leave the comfort of your own backyard.
For the ultimate backyard adventure, you will need to think like a Girl (or Boy) Scout. Tents, sleeping bags, and flashlights are a must, as are chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows. After all, what is a campout without s’mores? If your campout is a sleepover with friends, have your guests bring over tents ahead of time so you can have them all set up and ready to go when everyone arrives. Failing that, hold a tent erecting competition where the winners get the first sweet treats!
Pitch your tents in a clear, flat spot in your backyard, or on the deck or porch if you don’t have enough room on the grass. For an even more rugged outdoor experience, simply set up sleeping bags on a tarp and lie together under the stars. Just remember that you’re likely to get wet when the dew sets in or the weather takes a turn, so no one will judge you if you need to take your campout into the living room!
For homes with little open yard space, a deck like this works just as well for your campout (an added bonus: no wet grass or tree roots under your sleeping bags!):
If your backyard already has a fire pit, then you’re halfway towards a perfect campsite. If your outdoor space isn’t flat or large enough for an inbuilt fire pit, why not buy a portable fire pit or chimney to create the same effect. As long as you have a place to roast marshmallows and tell ghost stories, everyone will be happy!
This beautiful inbuilt fire pit is ideal for campouts at home, but if your space doesn’t allow for something like this, an iron fire pit set in the grass would work just as well:
Any good Scout knows that a campout is only fun if it’s safe as well. Though your backyard is likely far from lots of large wildlife, make sure to take any leftover food inside at the end of the night (or tie it up in a tree to keep the bears away!) or you will wake up to discover the raccoons have been enjoying your graham crackers and hot dogs. Keep little hands far away from fire, and make sure to have fire extinguishers or blankets handy should anything get out of control. Finally, know where everyone is at all times. Nothing brings a party to a crashing halt like discovering someone is missing in the dark.
Now that you know how to plan the perfect backyard campout, it’s time to get outside and explore the great outdoors. Your yard will never feel the same again!
Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas where she currently works as an Editor for Modernize and nurtures her HGTV obsession. In addition to regularly contributing to Home Decor and Design websites around the web, her writing can be found on Lifehacker, About.com and on her personal blog Her Own Wings.