Texas Living

The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Camping

By Jillian Kring 9.30.20

It may be hard to go anywhere right now, but sometimes all you need is a change of perspective! Here’s how to take a camping trip right in your backyard. This fun guide help you make the occasion special, from roasting marshmallows to telling ghost stories.

Pitch a Tent

Pitching a tent is a camping essential and should be the first priority while setting up your backyard camp. Use a tent that’s large enough for your family (or a miniature one just for the kids). Once you have the tent standing upright, add sleeping bags, large comfy floor pillows, and fairy lighting for ambience.

Play Yard Games

While the adults are setting up the tent, the kids can play outdoor yard games. Use shells and rocks your family has collected over the summer to play tic-tac-toe. When the sun sets, pull out the flashlights for classic evening games, like Flashlight Tag or Ghost in the Graveyard.

Start a Campfire

It would not be a proper backyard camping experience without a campfire! If you want to really get into the spirit, use our instructional guide on safely building a fire pit. After setting up the campsite, everyone will have worked up quite an appetite. Teach your kids to heat up hot dogs on sticks, then finish it off with some campfire-classic s’mores. You can also use the grill if you don’t feel like building.

Watch a Movie

A unique backyard camping activity is having a family movie night. If you have a projector, cast the movie of your choice onto a white bedsheet strung from the exterior wall of your house. Don’t forget a speaker — and the popcorn! If your yard has a pool, you can follow our guide for a dive-in movie theater.

Tell Ghost Stories

Telling ghost stories is a campfire tradition, and the autumn breeze will add the perfect mood to any spooky tale. If you are a skilled storyteller, try telling a scary Texas ghost story or a tale about one of these haunted sites in Texas. Roasting some homemade marshmallows will comfort anyone who gets too scared!

Sleep Tight

After a night of fun family time, settle in for an easy sleep under the stars. Make sure you have a comfortable night by using bug repellent and placing yoga mats under the sleeping bags for some extra cushion.

Follow this stargazing guide so you can count stars before falling asleep.

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