5 Under 5: Add (Lightweight) Fun To Your Campout

Now that Great American Campout season is underway, I’ve got outdoor fun on my mind! As much as I love to unplug and relax when I’m out on the trail, when I take a trek with my niece and nephew, I have to be on my toes (and light on my feet!) with entertainment ideas to keep up with their boundless energy.

These 5 additions to my backpack add less than 5 pounds, but endless possibilities for camping fun:

Exploration Fundanas

Left: Track Quest and Nature Quest; Right: Wild Bird and Bug Bingo. Photo via ShopNWF.org










Weight: less than 1 oz each

Why: The great outdoors are filled with so many sights, sounds and species that it isn’t always easy to see everything around you. Fundanas, which are games and activities printed on cotton cloth, help turn natural exploration into a game and teach you something along the way. Plus they’re washable and you can always repurpose a bandana for headwear or a towel in a pinch!

Where Can You Find It: ShopNWF.org has two sets available for nature adventures: “Wild Bird and Bug Bingo” and “Track Quest and Nature Quest


A Good Book

Scholastic Booklist
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge Booklist, Ages 6-7














Weight: paperback: approximately 15 oz; hardback: 1-2 lbs

Why: Since hopefully you’re leaving your technology behind, you can replace your screen with a good ol’ fashioned book. Our friends at Scholastic have a Summer Reading Challenge booklist that are great summer reading companions, or you could even take the chance to get ahead on school reading projects without stress.

Where You Can Find It: Your local bookstore, library, or online shop of choice


A Deck of Cards

A deck of playing cards
A deck of playing cards. Photo by Asim Bijarani via Flickr














Weight: 3.3 oz

Why: The possibilities are endless with a deck of cards. You can use them to play traditional games, make up your own, try out card tricks, or even use them to delegate chores at the campsite or hiking trail.

Where You Can Find It: Grocery stores, drug stores, gas stations (or maybe even your junk drawer)


A Flashlight

Flashlight tag
Flashlight tag in action. NWF Photo by Carla Brown









Weight: Varies.  A heavy-duty flashlight with those large batteries can weight upwards of 2.5 lb, but there are many options that are less than 1 lb (and some are even solar powered)

Why: In addition to being a handy safety tool to have when the sun goes down, who doesn’t love a good game of flashlight tag, or spooky stories? You can also spot wildlife on the move or track the constellations under the night sky.

Where You Can Find It: Your local hardware store, outdoor equipment store, or drugstore


Masking Tape

Nature Bracelet
A completed Nature Bracelet









Weight: 6-10 oz

Why: I like multipurpose items, and you can’t get much more multipurpose than tape. It’s great to have around in case something rips, springs a hole, or needs reinforcement, but it also makes quite the handy surface for a Nature Bracelet craft that can be a memento of your outdoor adventure. You could even wrap the tape around your waist instead of your wrist and create a belt!

Where You Can Find It: Grocery store, drugstore, around the house


Don’t forget to add your imagination; it’s the key ingredient to making memorable outdoors moments no matter where you go. Happy camping!

Button_Pledge-to-CampIf you’re getting outdoors this summer, don’t forget to take the pledge to camp! When you do, $1 for each camper will be donated to protect the great outdoors for all Americans, up to $100,000.