Well, who doesn’t love camping? Everyone deserves to break away from the daily grind and head out into nature.
There is something incredibly soothing and soulful about spending a night under the open sky with your loved ones, and, camping is just the way to do it.
In fact, camping is one of the healthiest and exciting outdoor activities you can bond over with your family.
A key study recently revealed that outdoor camping can help your child’s brain development and improve metabolism.
Owing to its practical benefits, camping also helps people who are battling with diabetes and obesity.
But, here’s the thing – yes, camping has plenty of health and mental benefits but it isn’t always an affordable option.
The best thing about outdoor camping is that there isn’t just one way to do it. Inspired by unique tastes and preferences, you can turn camping into a family party, an intimate occasion, Your kids birthday party or even a lively night with your folks.
Camping places are usually far away from the metropolis because the main idea is to get close to nature. Being a long drive away, it can be hard for people to afford it in their busy schedules.
And before you know it, spending some quality time with your kids just becomes a distant dream.
It’s also very hard to find a camping spot! Paying for a venue, arranging the equipment, and most of all, travelling to a faraway place are some reasons why most people simply drop the plan.
So why not enjoy the Star-lit Sky with your family by travelling no further than your backyard.
Go Camping in the Backyard!
Indeed, the remarkable benefits of camping are waiting for you in your own backyard. Instead of spending a hefty amount of money on a full-fledged trip, you can set up backyard camping.
Your garden is an amazing place to connect with nature. It is just as peaceful and calming as the faraway woods. Why would you want to drive endlessly if you could have the same fun back home?
Here’s how to get started.
What You’ll Need:
The main idea behind camping is to spend a good few hours in getting close to nature. If you keep running out of supplies and are continuously heading back in the house, you’re defeating the point.
Make a check-list of essentials like food items, clothes, barbecue tools, and maybe some kind of backyard heating to keep you cosy and warm plus anything else that you deem necessary.
Setting Up a Camping Tent
A camping tent is the most essential aspect of backyard camping. Set up a tent big enough to accommodate your entire family, and tall enough for you to be able to stand up in.
The best time to set up your tent is usually in the evening before dark falls. Most tents are set up pretty much in the same way, and here’s a helpful step-by-step guide to get you through.
Here’s How You Can Set Up Your Tent
Lay a tarp (ground sheet) over the grass to prevent any moisture getting in to your tent. Vinyl or plastic are durable choices.
The tarp should be a few inches smaller than the size of your actual tent so that it fits inside your tent when it’s set-up.
Some modern tents come with the ground sheet built in.
After gathering all the equipment for your tent, lay it over the tarp. Look at the tent carefully and lay the bottom part on the flat ground. Set the windows and door in the direction you want them to face.
Now move on to the tent poles. Assemble all the tent poles over the flat tent. Most poles can be connected on their own while some may require bungee ropes to fix them.
Your tent will have flaps where you’ll be inserting the tent poles. Start by inserting two tent poles crossing each other to form an ‘X’ which is what will serve as the base.
To properly fit them in, fix the pole’s end into the opening on each corner of the tent, and then slide it down through the small flap.
While this is how most tents are fixed, you should always study the instructions that come with your tent.
Now, it’s time to raise the tent – the fun part! This will require a couple of extra pairs of hands help you out, so call your kids to help out,they’ll love it.
After you’ve slotted in the poles, your tent will automatically bend a bit, never fear. Simply straighten it up.
By pulling the corners apart into a square, and making sure the poles are secure. Check the manual and if your tent has plastic hooks, fix them onto the tent poles appropriately.
Now that you have a tent square laid out over the tarp, grab the metal tent stakes and fix them through the flaps on each corner.
Push them deep into the ground, or if the garden is rocky or hard, use a hammer to drive the stakes in.
To avoid any accidents, or your children bumping into or tripping over the stakes, tie colorful ribbons over them so they’re visible.
Cover the tent with a rain guard if you have one. And, you’re basically done!
Where Should I Set Up My Tent?
Your tent has to be erected over a flat ground. Pick a section of your backyard that is relatively flat and free of any rocks or pebbles.
You want to be able to erect the tent on a smooth surface to allow a comfortable sleep.
The area where you’ll be sleeping should be as comfy as possible. Bolster it with cushions, bean bags, or a soft mattress.
Layer with more padding if you think the ground is still too hard, or if you think you’ll be camping out on a regular basis you could invest in camp beds ,
that way you and your kids will be off the ground, this will make for a more pleasant experience.
Backyard camping is a great way to celebrate a birthday party a family get-together or some teenage fun nights.
Mini Torches and Lanterns – Your Kids Will Love these
Lighting up your camp area and tent makes it more fun and realistic for your kids. Camping is a night-time sport and therefore, you’ll need a good source of light.
This may be a new experience for your kids so get some flashlights for the night. You can play shadow puppet games with them and flash lights into the star-lit sky as well as other backyard games for kids.
Light is just as important for safety as it will help you navigate through the dark. You don’t want to trip or fall over a tent stake or a cushion.
Keep a supply of mini torches for each tent, or simply hang a bright lantern overhead. As long as you have some light to move around your surroundings, your camping night will be wonderful.
Grab a Bunch of Cozy Sleeping Bags
When it’s time to sleep, you will definitely want a comfy surface. Get some comfortable and snug sleeping bags for your family and a tarp sleeping pad or air mattress.
This will add insulation and comfort underneath you, this can make a big difference on your night out and the next morning.
What are My Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings?
Each bag has a temperature rating to suit the outdoor conditions. Depending on the weather and the climate forecasts, you can choose any of the following to keep you nice and warm.
- Summer sleeping bags – 32 deg. F and above
- Cold weather Winter Sleeping bags – 20 deg. F and below
- Three Season sleeping bags – 20-32 deg. F
How Do I Choose a Sleeping Bag that’s Warm Enough?
Choose backpacking sleeping bags as they have the best insulation, are compressible, and will keep you warm.
If the temperature is around 20 deg. F, choose a 3 season bag as it is incredibly versatile. And, lastly, pick a size that is 6 -7 inches more than your actually height. Here are the sleeping bag measurements:
- Men’s Regular – 78-80 inches
- Women’s Regular – 70-72 inches
- Men’s Long – 85 inches
- Women’s Long – 78 inches
All these bags can fit both men and women up to 6 feet. You can even use additional blankets or a quilt to keep you warm.
Food and Water
Your backyard camping is incomplete without some grilled meat and tasty snacks to munch on for the night.
You can grill pork chops, rib-eye steaks, and smoky kebabs over the stove. And, while you’re at it, set up a zesty punch bowl, give it some steam, and enjoy the drink.
If you’re a tea or coffee-lover, this is a good time to prepare a hot cuppa over the barbecue. With the smoky aroma of the coal, this may just be the best coffee/tea you ever have.
Marshmallows, roasted nuts, chocolate bars, pastries, and fruits are great snacking options to spend the night.
Keep a few bags of chips and light snacks for your kids. Get a plentiful supply of water and ice. You can set up a cooler or use multiple thermoses to keep the water cold for the night.
While backyard living does give you the option to fetch water anytime you’re thirsty, you should restrain from that during camping to make it as realistic as possible.
Building a Fire Pit
A portable fire pit is a lovely addition to add to your list, it will create a glowing ambiance to your camping experience as well as keep you and the kids cozy and warm. If you’re feeling adventuress you can make your own firepit
Or, follow the instructions below for a simple in-ground fire pit.
How to Build Your Own In-Ground Campfire!
Here’s What You’ll Need
- Tinder, stones, wall-blocks, rocks, and pebbles
- Sand and Gravel
- Steel pit rings and a metal grate
Pick a spot 15-20 feet away from your tent and the house. Once you’ve chosen a pit, clean the area, and remove any flammable or toxic items. Any branches, shrubs, or plants that are likely to catch fire should be immediately cleared up.
Start digging a 10-inch pit into the soil and 2 feet wider than the actual fire pit. Smooth out the hole and make sure it’s a perfect round by using a stake in the centre to guide you.
Fill in sand gravel, rocks, and pebbles up to 7-8 inches and smooth it down. Throw in more gravel around the pit to secure the firebase.
Now place the steel pit ring in the centre of the pit and assemble wall-blocks around it. The pit will help you fix every block in a perfect circle. The middle of the pit should ideally measure 30-32 inches.
Add additional wall blocks to erect the structure. Make sure to leave a few gaps randomly between the wall-blocks to allow the fire to draw in some air. Now, set the steel pit ring in the centre and add two final layers of stones.
It’s time to kindle the fire. Use sticks or logs that have been well dried. You can also add some pine cones to the campfire to give off a nice scent around your backyard. Make sure your kids (especially little ones) and any pets are kept well away from the fire pit
Putting out the fire pit
Once the fire is out, you can spritz some water over it to prevent it from flaring. Surround the area with more dirt, grime, and soil to prevent any possible fire emergencies.
Cozy up Your Campsite – 3 Ideas
Now, that we’re through the essentials, it’s time to get down to the fun part. Your backyard camp night isn’t complete without some exciting activities and entertainment. Especially, if you have small kids, you’ll certainly need something to keep them entertained.
1) Plan a Night of Stargazing
Stargazing is an incredible learning and fun activity. Your kids will love the galactic observation. Make sure to prepare a few answers beforehand as there will be lots of curious questions coming your way!
Lighten up the ambience by making shadow puppets against the walls of your backyard. Whether it’s a dog, a cat, or a rabbit running off to the edge of the wall, your camp night is going to light up with chuckles and laughter.
3) Campfire Stories
And, if you want to keep the backyard camping night simple and modest, just pick a few campfire stories to tell. It could be a bunch of horror stories, funny pet antics, or an embarrassing throwback to your childhood.
4) A Word of Safety
Whether you’re camping out in the wilderness or in the comfort of your backyard, safety is non-negotiable.
Set up your camp close to the house and keep the fire pit well away from any combustible material in the backyard.
Remove any backdoor living equipment that looks or feels dangerous. If you can’t afford camping equipment, you can use your outdoor furniture.
Camping Safety and Rules for Kids
- Make sure not to bring any candles or fire-lit objects inside the tent.
- Always keep your kids at least 20 feet away from the fire pit.
- Ask your kids to wear footwear if they step out of the tent. You don’t want any critters crawling over their feet.
- Put on a mosquito repellent.
- Keep horseplay to a minimum, especially in the night.
The whole idea of backyard camping is to create a home-like camping experience. using your tables, lamps, or chairs is always a good idea. Enjoy the great outdoors in the comfort of your own backyard.
Your backyard living can become a huge advantage for you to learn how to set up and survive camping.
Of course, backyard camping is incredibly thrilling, fun and unique experience. It is a great way for all the family to have fun, and create unforgettable memories.
A family that plays together stays together!