Camping, Backpacking & Hiking

11 Camping Games to Stave Off Boredom in the Outdoors

camping games
Bertie
Written by Bertie

Camping is a great way to reconnect with your friends and family, and an even better way to get out there and enjoy the beauty and tranquility of nature. Unfortunately, sometimes this tranquility can be a bit overwhelming, and you may need to find a way to fill your time when you aren’t roasting marshmallows or enjoying a nature hike. Consider these eleven camping games to help stave off boredom in the outdoors.

1. Squirt Gun Races 

Make a line out of drinking cups on a camp or picnic table. You can spray the cups until they fall off the table, playing with multiple people to see who can eliminate the most cups.

2. Scavenger Hunts 

Create a list of objects to find in nature, and then pair up into teams to head out on a hunt. You can make your own list ahead of time or come up with one as you go.

3. Limbo 

Grab a hiking stick or a long branch and take turns trying to do the limbo underneath it. Don’t forget to add music!

4. Hopscotch 

Using a stick, draw a hopscotch grid in the dirt. You can hop through the course, either skipping certain squares or aiming for a certain time. This is a great game for energetic families!

5. Red Light, Green Light 

This quintessential game is best for playing in an open field or grassy area. It will keep your kids busy for hours as they race about the campground!

6. Simon Says 

This game is a playground classic, and it’s a great choice for family camping, too. All you have to do is appoint a person to be “Simon.” Simon will tell other players what to do, and then players must do that action - but only if the command starts with “Simon Says.” You can upgrade this game for camping by adding only wilderness-specific actions, like picking up sticks or tossing pebbles into the water.

7. Flashlight Tag 

Get your game on in the dark by giving a “tagger” a flashlight. Then, simply play tag as you normally would!

8. Water Relay

This is a great game for beachfront camping. Each player will get a drinking cup, and stand in a single file line. The person who is standing at the front gets a full cup of water, and then must dump his water behind him into the next player’s cup. This goes until the cup at the end of the line is filled - if there’s any water left!

9. Shadow Hand Puppets 

This one’s an easy game that only requires a flashlight, a big tent, and a little bit of creativity - something you probably already have if you’re camping with your family! This kid-friendly game is fun to enjoy with the little ones. Have a competition by seeing who can create the most unique critters, or simply explore all of the opportunities together.

10. Ring Toss / Horseshoes 

Play with glow bracelets for kids, or with horseshoes for adults. This game is best suited for car camping or when you don’t have to pack all of your gear deep into the woods, but the rules are easy. Simply place a stick into the dirt so that it is protruding out of the ground, and then try to toss your horseshoes or rings onto or near the stick.

11. Pong

You can adapt this family-friendly game for adults - simply with the addition of alcohol! Start by separating players into two groups. Each group will stand on opposite ends of a picnic table and be tasked with tossing ping pong balls into cups full of water (or beer, for the grownups!). When one team makes a shot, the other will have to take a drink.

About the author

Bertie

Bertie

I’m Bertie and I’ve been enjoying the wilderness for as long as I can remember. I get out camping, hiking and backpacking whenever I can. And when I can’t, I enjoy writing about outdoor-related stuff!

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