Photo courtesy of Chelsea Causer
This is a guest post by Mom, Environmental Educator and Nature Lover Melynda Coble Harrison @YourWildChild
Camping in your own backyard is an easy way for newbies to try out camping and veteran campers to sneak a quick fix when there isn’t time to get into the woods.
The following tips can help your family have a real camping experience right out your back door. When the fun’s over, you’ll have worked out the kinks and be ready for a camping adventure a little further from home.
- Set up your tent. Sure you can sleep on a tarp and watch the stars (that’s fun, too), but sleeping in the tent makes it feel real. Plus, practicing tent set-up makes it a snap the next time you are out camping.
- Have a fire. Whether in a fire bowl or in the sandbox, nothing says camp out like a campfire. Hike over here for directions on how to light a fire.
- Cook out. Roast weenies on the fire or set up a camping stove and cook up something yummy. Here’s what we like to eat when we are camping. Of course, you’ll want to roast marshmallows and make s’mores when you’re done.
- Play games. Enjoy a game of charades around the campfire or tell ghost stories. Gaze at the stars and learn a few constellations—or make up your own. Keep eating those s’mores.
- Bedtime. We usually let our kids stay up a little later than usual while camping and when it’s time to hit the sack, they are ready to sleep. Unless you have really soft grass, you’ll want a sleeping pad under your sleeping bag. Make sure the sleeping bag is rated warm enough for whatever temperatures you are expecting. (For example, a 20-degree bag will keep the average person warm to 20 degrees. It will keep me warm to 30 degrees.)
- The facilities. Here’s where I draw the line between real camping and backyard camping: feel free to head into the house to use the restroom.
Now you know what to do, let us know about your backyard camping experience.
Melynda Harrison writes about activities and inspiration for connecting kids and nature at YourWildChild.