10 Camping Games to Play With Family and Friends
Pelican Flyer | June 22, 2020
Heading out for a weekend camping trip means disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with family and friends. The best way to do that? Some friendly competition, of course! Bring along a few games to help pass the time and connect with your crew.
Good camping games should be engaging and fun, but they should also be portable, easy to set up and inclusive enough for your whole group to play. They may even involve tools you already plan to pack. For example, there are a ton of camping games that use only a flashlight and your imagination.
Here are a few that meet all of these criteria and more for your next outing!
1. Card Games
Card games are about as simple as it gets. All you need is a deck of cards and a picnic table. Try easy-to-learn card games like slapjack, crazy eights or (if you’ve got kids) go fish.
2. Grave Keeper
Be sure to pack an LED flashlight or your favorite headlamp for this one! Grave keeper requires participants to lie perfectly still — no blinking or visible breathing allowed — while the grave keeper monitors. Those who move are required to join the grave keeper until the last player on the ground moves.
You may know this super-popular lawn game as Spikeball. It involves up to six players surrounding a round net. Each team’s objective is to spike a bouncy ball into the net without letting it hit the ground. While you will need to buy a set, they’re usually designed to break down and fit neatly into a small bag for easy transport.
Why complicate things? The frisbee brings endless campsite entertainment for small and large groups alike. Other simple tossing games perfect for the campground include Hacky Sack or a good, old-fashioned football.
5. Scavenger Hunts
Entertain the kids for hours during the day by sending them on scavenger hunts to find specific plants, mushrooms, animals or rocks. Send them out with heavy-duty backpacks to fill with treasures and a local field guide.
This classic game involves tossing bags of beans into holes within a raised platform. It goes by many regional names, including bean bag toss and sacks. For a smaller, more portable option, consider the variation known as washers, which packs better than standard cornhole and is easy to DIY.
Another endlessly fun lawn game, this Swedish staple is a combo between horseshoes and bowling, so you know it’s gotta be fun. It involves knocking over wooden blocks (kubbs) by tossing wooden batons. You can purchase a set or make one yourself relatively easily.
8. Catch Phrase
This popular party game involves passing around a plastic disc that displays a word or phrase. Players must use clues to help their team members guess the word. We love it for camping because it’s small, easy to learn and great for passing around a campfire or picnic table. Make sure you bring some backup batteries and test the game to make sure the screen is bright enough to play at night.
Everyone loves charades, and the best part about it is that it requires zero special equipment or supplies. Simply have your whole crew write down fun ideas to act out and then throw them in a hat. Have each person draw an idea and perform it for the group. The person who gets the most right wins.
10. 20 Questions
Another all-ages game requiring no gear, this classic always spurs laughter and conversation. To play, one friend selects a secret person, place or thing and then the group asks ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions until they can guess who or what it is.
Every family or group of friends has their own favorite game to play while camping, whether it be something active like tossing the frisbee or something to keep the kids occupied before dinner. Try some of these games the next time you head out for a camping trip and discover your group’s new go-to game!