1. Go for a hike
Lace up your trail runners and go for a hike (of a walk). If you are at a state park, grab a map for all the trails near your camp. Explore the area. You just might discover nearby swimming holes or waterfalls. Make sure to track where you and allow ample time to return to your camp before dark.
2. Plan a scavenger hunt
You can either send your family on a scavenger hunt to retrieve a list of items or just have them take a picture of the items on your list. Who doesn’t like a scavenger hunt?!
3. Brush up on your ornithology.
Bird watching is a popular past time. Grab a bird guide and check off the ones you spot. You just might return from your camping trip a little smarter.
4. Climb a tree
When was the last time you climbed a tree? Well, camping can be the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with your tree climbing skills.
5. String up a hammock
If climbing a tree is out of the question, how about stringing up your hammock for a little kip. Take a nap or read a book. The gentle rocking of your hammock just might be the stress reliever you have been looking for. Check out my hammock.
6. Go foraging
Grab a local foraging guide and pick yourself some berries. Make sure you read and research thoroughly before popping anything into your mouth, but making a meal out of foraged mushrooms, berries and other edibles can be rewarding and fun.
7. Stick tic-tac-toe
Use sticks and stones to create your own outside version of the tic-tac-toe game.
8. Build a fort
My brothers and I used to build all kinds of elaborate forts in the woods when we were kids. Now building a fort in the woods gives us an opportunity to be creative and show off our adult fort building skills.
9. Race your rafts
Create rafts from sticks and other raw materials around your campsite. Race your rafts down a nearby stream.
10. Try your hand at rubbings
Bring along some paper, pencils, chalk or crayons. Rub leaves to create some interesting rubbings.
11. Play folf or catch
Set up a folf (frisbee-golf) course or toss around a football. Camping is a great time to toss a ball around with your friends or family.
12. Stack a cairn
Build that Instagram worthy cairn. Stacking and balancing stones is not only fun, but it’s cool to leave as a surprise for the next camper.
13. Find the perfect walking stick
While you are on your hike keep an eye out for the perfect walking stick. You can always whittle out a design or carve your name into it back at camp.
14. Read a book
Read a book around a campfire. If you are brave enough, read some classic ghost stories, while you are cozied up.
15. Ride your bike
Check out the local bike trails around your campsite. Enjoy the new vistas you discover.
16. Gather firewood
Check whether firewood gathering is permitted where you are camping. Picking up pinecones, sticks and dead wood in the forest can be fun. Bring a big shopping bag (think Costco) to gather the small bits into.
17. Practice your campfire skills.
Who doesn’t love a good campfire? Make sure to bring along some great campfire starters.
18. Cook over your campfire.
Gather around, roast hotdogs or smores. There are even great grilled sandwich makers for campfires. We have a cast iron dutch oven we can make chilli, stews, cinnamon rolls and other yummy things in. We also like to make “hobo” meals. Add your choice of veggies and meat into a tinfoil packet and throw it on the fire. A hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate made over the fire seems even more delicious than usual!
19. Go fishing
Grab yourself a fishing permit and a pole and spend some quality time on the water. Fish caught fresh always tastes better over a campfire.
20. Play a game
Board, dice, and card games are a fun way to spend some family or friend time. It’s also a good way to pass the time if it should rain. Travel versions of your favorite family games are usually available.
Away from the lights of the cities, you can see so many more stars! Download a constellation app to navigate the skies.
So there you have it, 21 activities for your next camping trip. What activities do you enjoy when you camp? Share with us in the comments below.