4 Ways to Make Backyard Camping An Adventure

Backyard Camping

The Great American Backyard Campout ® is set to take place on June 27th this year. For those who aren't familiar, the campout is an NWF tradition that encourages friends and families to camp in their backyard or at a close by camping spot. This may sound like a rather tame way to experience the outdoors, but the point of the whole thing is to explore the wonder of nature in your area. If you need ideas to make this campout fun and interesting visit the campout website and Flickr group. Here are just a few ideas that may liven up the night–if you are at all concerned about it not being enough of an adventure!

1) Night Watch for Wildlife
After the sun goes down, and the fire is burning–it may be a good idea to go on a night-time explore and quietly look for nocturnal animals. A whole new cast of characters comes out after dark and it may just be the best time to see a new set of eyes.

2) Experiment with Night Photography

If you have a camera, check out our tips on night photography: Once your eyes adjust to the dark, there are some amazing sights to be seen. So whether you hand over the camera to the kids or you take on the challenge yourself, keep your eyes peeled for unique sights. Night photography is a great adventure!

3) Make your own Tent or Fort!
Lying around your house are all the materials you need to make a homemade tent–we just know it! And we want to see the results! Make your homemade tent or fort outside–snap some pictures and upload it to our Great American Backyard Campout Flickr site. Make sure to tag it correctly: NWF_campout_tent. We'll be picking our favorites to feature on the Campout website.

4) Play Some Flashlight Tag
How to play: First decide on the boundaries of the game–using trees or
existing structures in a park or backyard. Whoever is "it" waits at home base
and counts to 20, then keeps the flashlight on while hunting for the others.
"It" tags a player by shining the light on them and identifying them (calling
out their name). Once "tagged," players return to the starting point until all
are caught. The first person caught is "it" in the next round.

I know these tips seem relatively meek compared to the potential your backyard can hold, but these tips are EXACTLY what I plan to do in my new yard. I am very excited to leave the technology behind (except I may live-tweet my campout) and enjoy the sounds and the lights of nature! I encourage anyone who thinks of great ways to make backyard camping an adventure to share ideas below! 

Published: June 15, 2009