Summer break is almost over now but there is still plenty of time for one last family summer adventure by turning your own backyard into a mini family camping trip. It’s a money and time-saving way to have some fun, spend time with your family and have one last summer hurrah!
Backyard camping affords all the fun of camping with easy access to your bathroom and in case of emergency, your own beds. If you don’t have a backyard suitable for setting up a tent, just get creative and use your living room instead.
I have gone camping since I was little and it is still a favourite summer activity of mine. With little ones though, it’s not something I can just do without the help of Grandparents and unfortunately this summer their schedule just didn’t allow for a summer camping trip. The girls were a bit down about no camping this year so, much to their excitement, I decided last weekend that we could do some backyard camping instead.
I’m sure most Canadians can agree that summer just isn’t long enough, and if we could, we would all power more summer. Here is how you can do just that.
How to Plan a Fun Family Backyard Camping Adventure
If you own a tent and a tarp then you are all set. If not you may want to borrow or buy a tent (in the hopes of more backyard campouts or a real camping trip.) If you never plan on leaving your backyard then a basic dome tent will do. When setting up, look for a flat, rock-free area to lay your tarp down on. Set up your tent over the tarp to protect the bottom of the tent from moisture.
Set-up your sleeping bags and pillows inside the tent on top of yoga mat’s or an air mattress for a comfortable night’s rest.
Make it Festive
I have friends and family in England and one thing that has really rubbed off on me is how festive their camping sites tend to be. I figure it is to distract everyone from the fact that they are setting up a tent in a giant open field instead of in the woods, so why not employ this tactic when backyard camping too?
Try tying a garland to your tent to make it a little more fun looking. I used a rag garland I found on clearance, but they are also a super easy DIY project. Simply tie strips of cloth material to a length of twine and tie off both ends to keep the “rags” on the garland.
You can also light up your “camp site” and decorate it at the same time by using string lights. I found these adorable Coleman lantern string lights – they are in the shape of Coleman’s classic lantern in miniature form featuring LED lights. These string lights are perfect as they are portable and battery-powered. Simply pop in 3 Duracell Quantum AAA Batteries and you are ready to power your backyard adventure.
Backyard camping is a great time to bring out the outdoor cooking appliances. This might be an outdoor fireplace, a firepit, a camping stove or if all else fails, your barbecue. Cooking outdoors is an integral part of camping so plan ahead for a backyard camping style cook-out if you can.
Our city has bi-laws about firepits and open flame in outdoor urban areas so we don’t own a firepit, although we live in the suburbs surrounded by a rural environment. Instead I setup our camping table so we could be ready to cook on our little Coleman butane stove.
I cooked up a Blueberry Grunt for us but there are so many other camping recipes that you can easily pull off at home or simply stick hamburgers, hotdogs and ‘Smores.
If you do plan on setting up an open fire please use common sense and stay safe. Keep an extinguisher and hose nearby – just in case.
It’s time to unplug and enjoy the great outdoors! Ditch your phone, tablet, game systems and other technology in favour of some outdoor fun.
Here are some ideas:
- Go on a nature walk around your neighbourhood.
- Build a fake fire with sticks and a flashligh beaming up!
- Sit around your “campfire” and sing camping songs.
- Get cozy in your tent and enjoy some good old fashioned story-telling.
- Stargazing may be difficult if you live in an urban area but we are rural enough that we are able to lay down on a blanket in our yard and gaze up at the constellations in the sky.
- Try some classic games like Telephone, Red Light Green Light, or Simon Says.
- Setup a scavenger hunt.
Check out some of my favourite backyard activities for more ideas on my Fun Backyard Activities board on Pinterest.
Bring on the Night
When darkness falls you will want to light up the night for at least a little bit with a Coleman camping lantern. My dad swears by his old Coleman lantern that is lit with mantles and naphtha but personally I prefer the quick and easy LED camping lantern route. There is no fooling around setting up the mantle and fuel and then dealing with the mission that is lighting the thing. I’ll leave that to dad.
I love the LED lanterns because you can simply pop in your Duracell Quantum Batteries and you are ready for hours of bright light at the flick of a switch – in and out of your tent. We actually have a few of these as they are great for power outages too since they are safe for indoor use as they do not burn fuel.
Make sure your little ones bring along a favourite stuffed friend and a book to read by lantern light before shutting it all off and going to sleep under the stars.
You may also want to think about bringing along a flashlight for bathroom trips in the middle of the night.
Most of our camping essentials are battery powered – the lantern, the string lights, the flash-light and we even usually bring along an old battery-powered radio too. The beauty of using battery powered outdoor devices is that you don’t have to worry about plugging anything in so that no matter where your adventure takes you, you are ready to go. Even if it is just to your backyard.
Remember when packing your essentials for your backyard adventure that you will want to pack Duracell Quantum batteries – they allow you to #PowerMoreSummer by powering your devices for longer. The Duracell Quantum Hi-Density Core stores more power boosters to provide longer lasting performance than ever before. You don’t have to worry about your batteries running low either and leaving you in the dark as Duracell is the only battery brand with PowerCheck on the cell for accurate reading of remaining power. That, of course, translates to way more outdoor and summer fun!
Duracell Quantum helped us to #PowerMoreSummer and will help you power yours too with the giveaway below.
One Canadian FrugalMomEh reader will win their own Coleman Rugged Camping Lantern to help them #PowerMoreSummer. Giveaway is open to residents of Canada only. Giveaway closes for entry on September 11th at 11:59 pm EST. See Givaway Tools form for entry and T&C.
Disclosure: This post has been brought to you in part by Duracell. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!