Some things are synonymous with camping: making smores, campfire songs, ghost stories, and good old-fashioned camping games. Thanks to the ever-extending reach of cell service, there may be a temptation to pass time scrolling social media on your phone or tablet…but why? The whole point of camping is connection—with nature, yourself, and the people you care about.
So, on your next trip, put up the phone, pack away the tablet, and try your hand at these fun camping games.
Flashlight Capture the Flag
Equipment needed: flashlights, glow sticks, 2 cones (optional)
- Separate participants into two teams and send them to opposite sides of the playing field (you determine how large you want your field to be). Teams choose a landmark (large boulder, tree) as their home base (you could use the cones for this if you brought them).
- Each team is given a glow stick to use as their flag and every team member should have a flashlight (team members can also pair up and share one flashlight).
- Each team hides their glow stick on their side of the playing field with at least 1 inch of glowstick visible.
- The object is for players to sneak into the territory of the opposing team, steal their flag, and return to home base without getting tagged by a flashlight.
- If someone from the opposite teams tags you with a flashlight and calls out your name, you are out.
If you are looking for a high-quality flashlight, we love the Guardian 1300 XL Tactical Flashlight. Not only will it smoke the competition during Capture the Flag, it will quickly become your light of choice for any outdoor camping on hiking adventure.
React and Act
For this game, all you need are a few scraps of paper, a pen or pencil, and a container.
Have everyone in camp write down as many camping or hiking scenarios as they can think of. Fun examples include setting up your tent, trying to build a fire, getting sprayed by a skunk, walking up on a bear, losing your bathroom trowel…you get the idea.
Players take turns drawing a paper scrap from the scenario then acting out the scene while everyone else tries to guess. This game is fun for kids and adults alike.
We’re giving you fair warning—if you are camping with highly competitive personalities, you may want to skip playing Spoons (though it’s one of the most fun and fast-paced card games we’ve tried). All you need to play is a deck of cards and a few spoons (pinecones or rocks work, too).
Place one less spoon on the table than the number of people playing (ie – if you have 4 players, there should be 3 spoons). Deal each player four cards. Each player simultaneously removes one card from their hand and discards to their left, then picks up the card that has been placed on their right. The motion continues until a player has collected four of a kind. The first person to collect four of a kind picks up a spoon as sneakily as possible. As other players notice, they begin picking up the remaining spoons. The last person left without a spoon is out and the winner is the last person standing.
If you’ve never played Bananagrams, think Scrabble without the board. Letter tiles are tucked into a banana-shaped bag, making this game lightweight and easy to carry on the trail in a backpack.
On your next camping trip, we hope you ditch the electronics for a few of these fun-filled games that are sure to offer hours of entertainment.
Charge devices if you must…but make connections with the people and natural beauty around you.