For some people, swimming is the epitome of summertime fun, but for me and the kids, backyard camping is what does it.
When I was younger, I definitely enjoy going to campgrounds and camping out with my family, but when we can’t get away for a few days, we bring the campground to our backyard. Becky’s brother and I will set up tents and take the kids into the backyard for a night. (All 6 cousins love it!)
Backyard camping is not only an economical way to enjoy this summer ritual, it’s also a lot of fun. When you’re considering setting up camp in your backyard, there are definitely some things to keep in mind. We’ve learned a lot about braving the wilds of the backyard, so here are our best tips for making sure your backyard camping adventure is a positive one for the whole family.
Backyard Camping Tips
- Start Early in the Day…But Not Too Early
The first time we planned to camp in the backyard, I thought it would be great to start setting up the tent mid-morning. We’d have more time to enjoy it, more time to relax, and more fun would be had. What we discovered though was that, because we were at home vs. at a campground, the kids had a harder time staying excited about the whole camping in the backyard adventure.
By dinnertime, we were a cranky group of people who wanted to stay inside much more than we wanted to stay outside. After that, we learned that setting up around 4pm gave us plenty of time to keep the camping excitement alive until bedtime and made things go much more smoothly.
- Check the Weather Beforehand
Just like you’d check the weather before heading out for a weekend camping trip at the campground, check the weather before planning your backyard camping night. Despite what your phone’s weather app might say, the sky above you is going to tell a much better story of what’s really happening and the potential for rain. Pay attention and if rain is in the forecast, have an indoor, sleeping bags in the living room, family fun night instead.
- Bring Your Keys
A friend once told me how his family had had a backyard camping adventure that ended in the locksmith being called. It wasn’t that anyone had broken in, the youngest had just accidentally locked the backdoor when she closed it that night. The next morning, when one of them tried to get in to use the bathroom, they discovered that all of the doors and windows were locked up tight. The neighbors, who had a spare key for the house, were out of town for the weekend, so they had to call a locksmith to come open the house for them on a Sunday morning.
Since then, I always make sure I have a set of house keys in the tent with me at all times. Better to be safe than sorry!
This summer, save on campground and camping fees by turning your backyard into a staycation delight. Have the hose out and near the fire pit, because it’s the perfect time to bring plenty of marshmallows and chocolate, and build those family memories one s’more at a time.
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