Backyard Camping: Budget Family Fun For Summer

October 11th, 2013

Nothing says ‘summer’ like camping.

The smell of sausages sizzling on the BBQ, coconut sunscreen and toasted marshmallows all bring back fond childhood memories for me of summers spent playing cards with my sister in a tent and having some quality time with my family.

Spending time outdoors together is a great way for a family to relax and unwind to forget about the doldrums of daily life.

The problem for many families is that camping can often mean spending lots of money. Although it’s on the cheaper end of the holiday scale, it’s still not always affordable (especially if you’re going during school holidays when caravan parks hike up their prices). Budgeting for school holidays is important and we know how hard it can be!

If you’ve got the camping gear sitting in the garage picking up dust, but can’t afford to take the family away for a real trip – why not try backyard camping?

You might be thinking – “camping in the backyard, whoop-de-doo”. But it’s actually pretty cool if you do it right. And the whole family will enjoy getting outside and spending some time together.

Here are a few things you can do to make your backyard adventure a little extra special.

Camping Tips for Families

Sleep under the stars

Don’t be tempted to sneak back into the house and spend the night in your bed. Commit to a night outside – under the stars if you can! If you’ve got a tent you can sleep in that, or if it’s a warm night, why not lay out your sleeping bags on a matt and get the full experience.

Toast some marshmallows

If you’ve got a backyard fire grate that you’re permitted to light up in your area, go for it! Otherwise, you can toast marshmallows over a portable camping gas stove. Pile them up on sticks to keep it authentic and then enjoy those little blobs of charred, sweet, sticky goodness.

Play backyard bingo

Draw up some bingo sheets and see who can tick off all of their items first. Some things you can use on your sheet include a twig that looks like a ‘Y’, a smooth rock, a black rock, a bird, a beetle, a seed, something that belongs inside, etc.

BBQ your dinner

Do not go inside to cook. Cook up a BBQ for dinner or see what you can whip up on a gas stove or over the fire. Let the smell of your delicious outdoor cooking infiltrate over the fence into your neighbour’s yard and maybe they’ll come and join you for some card games or ghost stories.

Leave the technology inside

Don’t ruin a perfectly good backyard camping trip by sitting around on your mobile phone or playing on the Nintendo DS. Leave the gadgets inside and see what fun you can have in the yard.

Project a movie onto your house

Ok, I know I just said to leave the gadgets inside but this is a great idea if you’ve got the equipment. String up a sheet on the side of your house and use a laptop and projector to watch an outdoor movie. Popcorn is essential.

There you have it. All the makings for an awesome night out on a backyard camping adventure.

Do you have any other fun sleep-out activities that you do with your family? Leave me a comment below!

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