We dream of a weekends spent outdoors, but sometimes we can’t travel farther than our own yards. If finances, full campgrounds, health concerns, or social distancing restrictions are keeping you at home this season, that doesn’t mean you have to give up camping. With some creativity and flexibility, it’s possible to re-create an authentic camping experience right at home. You might not have the lake or the hiking trails, but you’ll still have the fresh air, starry skies, and outdoor fun.
Not convinced? Here are some advantages of backyard camping:
- It’s convenient. No need to spend hours on the road or in traffic to reach your weekend getaway location when it’s right outside your door. Plus, you don’t have to spend time packing and unpacking.
- It’s (relatively) cheap. You’ll save money on gas and camping permits.
- The food is better. Unless you plan to cook outdoors, at home you’ll have an entire kitchen you can use including a stove, oven, refrigerator, and freezer.
- You won’t have weather worries. If it rains, storms, or gets uncomfortably hot, it’s easy to simply head indoors—and crank up the air-conditioning.
- It’s a good trial run. If you’re new to camping or aren’t sure if your kids are old enough to try it, camping at home is a great low-stakes way to test it out. Not to mention, it’ll give you a chance to try out gear such as a new tent or hammock set-up.
- It’s pet-friendly. Have a dog (or cat!) you love but would never take to the campground? See how they do in a backyard camping situation. You’ll be close to everything you need if it turns out they’re more comfortable indoors.
Before you set up camp for the weekend, here are some ideas that will help you plan the perfect camping staycation:
Your backyard camping accommodations will depend on where you live and the gear you have on hand. Here are some options:
- RV or camper: Set it up in the driveway or on a level spot in the yard. Done.
- Tent: Find a flat area in your yard that’s free of tree roots, rocks, or other sharp objects. If you want power for fans or other electronics, make sure the tent is close enough to the house so an extension cord will reach. Line the bottom of the tent with sleeping pads, yoga mats, cushions, air mattresses, bean bag chairs, or anything that will make it comfortable!
- Hammocks: Try sleeping in a hammock for the night. (Here’s how to set one up.) Keep in mind that sleeping in hammocks can get chilly. Make sure you have a pillow and enough blankets and possibly an insulating blanket on the outside. (Unless it’s a balmy summer night in July.) Depending on where you live, you might also want to use a mosquito net.
- Sleeping bags: A minimalist option is to simply roll out some sleeping bags on the ground. Be sure to add pillows, sleeping pads, foam cushions, or an air mattress underneath to make it more comfy. (If you don’t own sleeping bags, blankets will also work just fine.)
- DIY tent: If you don’t have a tent but want some shelter while you sleep, it’s easy enough to make your own pup tent. String a clothesline or paracord between two trees about 4-5 feet off the ground. (Fence posts or deck rails will also work as long as they’re sturdy enough.) Then drape a tarp or sheet over the clothesline. Make sure it’s large enough that the sides reach the ground. If possible, stake the edges of the tarp to the ground or anchor them in place with rocks or other heavy objects.
One advantage of camping at home is personalization. You can set up your camping spot exactly how you want it. (That said, make sure you follow your city ordinances about fire and noise. Different communities have different guidelines and restrictions.) Here are things that’ll make your yard feel more like a real campsite and a few extras that are just nice to have:
- Firepit: If your yard doesn’t already have a firepit, follow these instructions to build your own. (Here’s a cheaper method that uses cinder blocks.) If you’d like something less permanent, try Landmann's Outdoor Fireplace or this extra-large firepit with a moon-and-stars pattern. Make sure to set up your firepit a safe distance away from any homes, buildings, or trees.
- Water: Sure, the kitchen’s probably just a few steps away, but it’s nice to have an outdoor water source too. Set up a garden hose near your eating area or fill a water jug.
- Electricity: Many buildings have outdoor outlets, but whether your electricity source is outdoors or inside, you’ll want an extension cord or two. This outdoor extension cord comes in five lengths and two colors.
- Lights: From headlamps to solar lanterns, there are a lot of options when it comes to outdoor lighting. Check out our guide to outdoor lighting to see which lights you’ll need.
- Dimmable compatible and energy saving patio string lights: G40 backyard lights come with 25 glass bulbs and 1 spare bulb. 1.5 inch light bulbs have E12 or C7 candelabra socket base, 5W per bulb, warm white dimmable string light help you to save more electricity bid.
- Connectable and portable outdoor lights: 25 hanging sockets, 6 inch lead with male plug, 12 inch spacing between bulbs, 6 inch tail with female connector, total length 25 feet. End to end connect up to 3 strands. Portable size for easy carrying and storage
- Safety and durable: UL certified deck lights is built with weatherproof technology, which can withstand extreme temperatures, rain, wind, and damp climates. Safe and durable electric bistro lights either with a built-in spare fuse for easy replacement
- Practical and easy to install: This outdoor decorative light string is very easy to install with a cable tie or cup hook, fix it or place it anywhere as you need. flexible and practical, a light bulb that goes out does not affect other lighting bulbs
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- 1.【Perfect shatterproof Led Bulbs】Baxstel 48ft outdoor string lights for patio is crafted with heavy-duty weathertight technology + SHATTERPROOF PLASTIC 16 hanging LED bulbs. These lights are waterproof and the rubberized, flexible cord is thicker than a traditional rope. Can confidently display these string lights all the year round best choice for outdoor patio lights.
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- 4.【Connectable & Easy to install】Equipped with 15pcs E26 socket and 16pcs 1W S14 LED bulbs,the designed waterproof end connector allows link up to 40 strands. Built-in hanging loop is easier for you to set up and transform your outdoor space within a few minutes.
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- Bathroom: Since you’re camping at home, this is one thing you don’t need to worry about! Just make sure the house is unlocked for everyone’s middle-of-the-night trips and you’re stocked up on TP.
- Grill: You can cook over the campfire if you want, but for more dependable backyard camping results, just fire up the grill. If it’s summer, chances are it’s all ready to go. Stick to camping basics like burgers and brats or take the opportunity for fancier camping fare.
- Festive lights: Decorate your yard with LED torches, string lights, or paper lanterns.
- Decorations: For a celebratory feel, now’s the time to break out party decorations like streamers or pennant garlands. Decorations aren’t usually on most campers’ packing lists, but you don’t have to pack for this camp-out anyway.
- Yard games: Break out the badminton, ladder toss, bags, bocce, or any other outdoor game.
- Got to love kids outdoor games that are easy to set up and take down; nothing like outdoor yard games that can be set up or packed away in literally 2-3 minutes; nothing beats traditional outdoor games for family and friends
- Classic kids party games, a big hit every time; have a hilarious time with our birthday party games for kids; lawn games are so much fun; ring toss games for kids or adults can be played anywhere; fun camping games or beach games
- Timeless backyard games helping to develop kids skills, helps to improve your child's eye-hand coordination as well as fine motor skills; It will also help young children with their counting while playing some fun kids games
- Fun family games for kids and adults; great family game where together, the kids can learn a valuable lesson about working together and team spirit. a child can learn that healthy competition rather than only winning, is most important
- Great gift; Perfect for ages 3 and up and makes a great holiday gift for friends and family of all ages!
- Very Popular Outdoor Games for Family, highly popular sports gifts for boys or girls, sports games for some kids outdoor play. a fun game for all ages, perfect lawn games for adults and kids outdoor games, bringing families together. this outdoor game can be for kids as young as 6 or as teen boy gifts age 14 and up. great kids games or teen boys gift ideas
- Quality outdoor games for kids 8-12 or gifts for 13 year old boy and above, the kids will have a blast, if you need teenage boys gifts ideas, gift for boys or need a girls gift, its a winner. play some yard games for kids and adults
- Included in our outdoor sport games is 1 flying disc 2 bottle stands and a storage carry bag for ease of packing up. targets not Included, you can use whatever you have available for the targets like plastic bottles, cans, cups or toys to make it much more fun. at GiggleNGo we have a number of gifts for teen boys gift ideas, please check out our range of outdoor yard games
- At Giggle N GO, customer satisfaction is our number 1 priority. All Giggle N GO products come with a FULL 1 year warranty
- FUN FOR EVERYONE: Get the whole family involved in a super fun game! The Jumbo Wooden Blocks Game provides hours of entertainment for everyone of all ages. Children and adults will love the thrill and excitement! Block measures 6.4" L x 2.1" W x 1.2 ".
- HIGH-QUALITY & DURABLE: Each block piece is made from 100% pine wood that provides long-lasting durability. The premium quality wood withstands wear and tear and won’t receive damage after each tumble of the tower.
- CARRYING CASE: A super convenient carrying case makes it easy to transport and store all the pieces of the puzzle. Each block piece fits perfectly stacked in the zippered bag and it features two handles that make it easy to hold.
- OUTDOOR & INDOOR USE: Take the fun from the house to the lawn. This classic game is perfect for outdoor and indoor events like birthdays, BBQs, tailgating, frat parties, picnics, camping, baby showers and so much more!
- PLAY IT YOUR WAY: 20 blocks are numbered so that you can create your own rules or bonus rules like reverse direction, skip player or go again. Customize the game and make it appropriate for kids or adults.
- A GAME FOR YOU & YOUR KIDS: Spend some quality with your children, go outside and play a game of darts! There’s no better way to improve your aim and have a blast at the same time.
- TIPS THAT GLOW IN THE DARK: As long as there is a light on the dart tips, they will glow in the dark, making them perfect for a late-night game of darts with your family!
- HAVE A DOSE OF OUTDOORSY FUN: Perfect for the beach, the lawn or your backyard, these glow-in-the-dark darts are perfect for all soft surfaces but not so much for harder surfaces since they would bounce.
- EXCELLENT CRAFTSMANSHIP: Our darts are made with rubbery soft, plastic materials that are durable enough to last you for years to come! Make a game out of them and see who gets the highest score!
- LOVE THEM OR YOUR MONEY BACK: Make our lawn dart game yours today and if you or your children are not fascinated with it, let us know and we’ll send your money back!
- BATTLECHIP: An exciting new hybrid between golf and corn hole for the ultimate outdoor game; easy to learn and fun for all skill levels – includes 3’x2’ target, hitting mat, 16 color foam balls and carry case
- TOURNAMENT PLAY: Dynamic gameplay over the course of 9 holes; Players move the included chipping mat around the play area and aim for the target main hole to score the most points just watch for the water and sand hazards
- CHIPPING IRON NOT INCLUDED: We made this game affordable so B.Y.O.C – bring your own club; we recommend using a wedge, sand wedge or lob wedge for maximum enjoyment of battle chip
- KIDS AND ADULTS: You don’t need to be a pro golfer to become a battle chip champ, it’s a hole in one for all skill levels
- U.S. Patented Product