Backpack Treks: Backyard Camping

I had mentioned before that I was going to start a new series on the blog called “Backpack Treks.” These are just little adventures that I take with the kids that I thought I’d share to possibly inspire you to find some fun activities to do with your children, as well.

We had decided that over Father’s Day weekend, we wanted to have a “backyard camping” night. They were calling for nice weather on Saturday so in the morning, we set up the tent in our yard. We had to visit family in the afternoon but we were back in plenty of time before darkness set in.

The kids were all excited about sleeping outside and they loved the idea that their doggies would be joining them. We got the sleeping bags in the tent and they ran in there giggling and chasing each other around.

As the darkness finally started to set in, we got our Firepit going and made S’mores with them.

I had also bought some Melissa and Doug Sunny Patch Nets (which I really love!) and the kids ran around chasing and catching fireflies.

It all seemed quite perfect. Right up until a swarm of mosquitoes decided that it looked like we were having fun and wanted to join us. After the kids got bit, I decided that was it and we were going inside. So instead, we re-arranged our family room, blew up some air mattresses, put the sleeping bags on top and “camped out” indoors. The kids didn’t seem to mind. I had prepared for this by buying them the latest Max & Ruby DVD
so we spent the rest of the night watching that.

If your kids are a little too young to really enjoy a camping experience, you may want to consider your own backyard. Several of our friends do the same thing and their kids also have a fabulous time. If you are looking for places to camp, though, check reviews online for places in your area. Park districts are great places to look into. Several of them are good at patrolling and keeping “quiet time” rules enforced and they typically don’t charge very much for their sites.

I just found this great article with ideas to do while backyard camping. I wish I had seen it sooner because I think the kids would have loved the flashlight tag game. I’ll have to save that idea for next time!

Once you spend the initial investment on camping equipment that first year, camping can be a fairly inexpensive annual outing with the family. Just keep your eyes open for off-seasonal sales. We’ve found good luck at Target when they reduce their summer aisles and discount a lot of their camping items.

I still have several memories of my camping trips with my parents and siblings from when we were younger. Hopefully my kids will have the same fond memories of ours. And I’m hoping you get the chance to create some fun memories with your kids, as well!