We independently evaluate everything we suggest. If you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more >

From Hiking to Whittling: 27 Outdoor Activities to Try on Your Camping Trip

27 fun outdoor camping activities to try during your next outdoor adventure including ideas for kids to adults!

Last update:
Family enjoying activity while camping

Many outdoor camping activities can make your trip more fun, adventurous, and rewarding. Whether you’re looking for physical challenges, mental stimulation, or relaxation, there’s an outdoor activity for you.

Here are 27 outdoor camping activities you can enjoy on your next trip. I’ll also give you some tips and popular places for most activities so you should better know how to plan your outdoor recreational activities and make the most of your camping experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Outdoor camping activities can provide health, wellness, and enjoyment benefits, such as improving fitness and reducing stress.
  • There are many outdoor camping activities, such as hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, geocaching, and more.
  • To choose the best outdoor camping activities for your trip, consider your goals, preferences, abilities, and the available resources and facilities at your campsite.


Family of four hiking
Photo: ©Imgorthand via Canva.com

When you hit the trails for a hike, you’re not just treating yourself to an adventure but also engaging in a potent fitness activity that revitalizes your connection with nature. Hiking allows you to explore the great outdoors at your own pace.

Planning is vital before setting out. Start by selecting a trail suited to your hiking skill level. You’ll want to check out local maps and understand the terrain. Pack hiking essentials like water, snacks, a map, and a compass—or a GPS device—to ensure you’re prepared for your journey. Wear comfortable, sturdy footwear and dress in layers to adapt to changing weather conditions.

Remember, safety is paramount:

  • Inform someone about your hiking plan and expected return time.
  • Check the weather forecast before heading out.
  • Be wildlife aware and know what to do in an encounter.

While on the trail, keep a moderate pace and take regular breaks. This is not just a physical activity; it’s a chance to breathe in the scents of the forest, hear the sounds of wildlife, and feel the earth beneath your feet.

Lastly, practice Leave No Trace principles. This means packing out what you pack in, staying on marked trails to protect the surroundings, and being considerate of nature and fellow hikers.


Father and son fishing
Photo: ©Sergey Nivens via Canva.com

Picture yourself by a tranquil lake at sunrise; there’s something exceptional about being surrounded by nature, rod in hand, waiting for that gentle tug. It’s both a peaceful and exhilarating way to start your day.

For the most enjoyable experience, you’ll want to gear up appropriately. Choosing a rod and selecting the right bait is essential. Live bait, such as worms, often works wonders, but artificial bait can be just as effective depending on the fish and conditions. 

After a day of fishing, you might want to build a cooking campfire and roast your catch as one of your delicious camping meals


Family of four swimming together in lake
Photo: ©Lightguard via Canva.com

When camping with family or friends, swimming is a quintessential activity that works wonders for fun, fitness, and cooling off. Your kids will splish-splash their way to joy, and it’s a great way for everyone to bond. 

Swimming Safety Tips:

  • Swim in designated areas.
  • Buddy up, even if you’re a strong swimmer.
  • Wear life jackets for weaker swimmers, especially the young ones.
  • Keep a close eye on the weather and water conditions.
  • Be mindful of local wildlife and water currents
  • Avoid diving unless you know for sure it’s safe.

For the ultimate swimming experience during your trip, seek pristine lakes, gentle rivers, or coastal campgrounds known for their clear waters. However, remember that not all water bodies are safe and clean – make informed choices before jumping in. 


Woman birdwatching with binoculars
Photo: ©Stephane Bidouze via Canva.com

Birdwatching, or birding, is more than just a pastime; it’s a way to connect with nature while sharpening your observational skills. As you tune into the diverse world of birds, you deepen your appreciation for wildlife and contribute to its conservation. Spotting a flash of color in the treetops or listening for a distinctive call can be unexpectedly thrilling and deeply satisfying.

When embarking on a birdwatching adventure during your camping trips, keep these pointers in mind:

  • Equip yourself with a reliable field guide to help identify various bird species.
  • Bring binoculars for a closer look at birds without disturbing them.
  • Keep a birding journal and note behaviors and characteristics like plumage, size, and sounds.

Discovering the best spots and the right season can drastically enhance your birdwatching experience:

Remember, early mornings and late afternoons are prime bird activity hours, so plan your excursions accordingly.


Mom and dad mountain biking with daughter
Photo: ©Sergey Novikov via Canva.com

Biking as an outdoor activity offers you the perfect blend of transportation, exercise, and the thrill of adventure. On two wheels, you can explore diverse terrains and soak in nature’s splendor at your own pace, from casual trail riding to adrenaline-pumping mountain biking. 

Always bring essential gear like helmets and repair kits. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Mountain Bikes: Ideal for rough terrain
  • Hybrid Bikes: For a bit of everything, roads and light trails
  • Road Bikes: Best on pavement for speed and distance

While exploring, remember to ride responsibly and store your bike securely at night to prevent damage or theft.

Venturing into the wilderness calls for preparedness. Here are some top trails to consider that promise both beauty and challenge:

Make sure your bike is tuned up before hitting the trails, and pack a map or use a GPS to keep track of your routes. 

Scenic Drives

Straight open road
Photo: ©paulbrady via Canva.com

Consider incorporating a scenic drive into the journey when planning your next camping trip. There’s something extraordinary about cruising through the mountains or a national park, where every turn in the road offers a new and breathtaking view. 

Before you head out, make sure your route is mapped and your vehicle is ready for the road. Here’s what I always do before I venture out:

  • Check the weather conditions: Always be prepared for what Mother Nature might throw at you.
  • Plan your stops: Identify campgrounds and lookouts ahead of time, especially if you have kids in tow.
  • Consider daylight: Aim to drive for the most vivid scenery during the day.

If you’re looking to put rubber to the road on some of the most striking drives, then here are a few you absolutely shouldn’t miss:

A scenic drive isn’t just a means to get to your camping destination; it’s an integral part of the adventure, beckoning you to slow down, breathe in the fresh air, and soak up the ever-changing canvas of the natural world.


Mom, dad, and kids walking around farm
Photo: ©AleksandarNakic via Canva.com

Have you ever wondered how you can combine learning with your love for the outdoors? Agrotourism is the answer, blending agriculture and tourism into a family-friendly and educational experience. It’s all about farm-based fun, where you engage with the local way of life, dive into nature’s beauty, and support sustainable practices while having a blast exploring the fields and forests.

Research is vital to find a local farm to visit during your camping trip. Stop by a regional visitor center or search online for “agrotourism near me.” Here’s a quick list of various agrotourism ideas:

  • Orchard Trails: Wander and taste nature’s sweets
  • Farm Markets: Shop for fresh, local produce
  • Petting Zoos: Get up close with farm animals
  • Workshops: Learn traditional farming skills
  • Wagon Rides: Bounce along scenic trails
  • Farm-based Camping: Sleep under the stars within earshot of the countryside
  • Cycling Tours: Pedal through verdant fields

By visiting and supporting local farms, you create memories, contribute to the local economy, and promote environmental stewardship.

Horseback Riding

Mom and kids riding horses
Photo: ©Lana2011 via Canva.com

Horseback riding is an incredible way to soak in the grandeur of nature. 

Your best bet is to seek out local stables or tour operators near your camping destination. They’ll set you up with a horse that matches your riding ability and often guide you through trails tailored to your experience level. Always wear a helmet, follow the guide’s instructions, and treat your horse with the respect it deserves.

Here are a few practical tips for your equestrian adventure:

  • Booking: Reserve your riding slot in advance, especially during peak camping seasons.
  • Riding Gear: Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy footwear; avoid loose, fluttering garments that might spook your horse.
  • Approach: If you’re new to this, don’t worry! The guides will show you the ropes, from mounting to steering.

Looking for an unforgettable horseback trail? Check out the scenic vistas of Yosemite National Park or embrace the historical paths of Gettysburg. You’ll be trotting along routes etched into the history books.

Trail Running

Woman running a mountain ridge
Photo: ©Immagini di Michelangelo Oprandi via Canva.com

Trail running takes your fitness to nature’s domain, turning routine jogs into adventures. Imagine bounding over roots, weaving through trees, and taking in fresh oxygen while pushing your limits. You’ll get a blend of aerobic exercise and mental stimulation as you navigate diverse terrains, from gentle dirt paths to challenging mountain ascents.

Here’s how to gear up and hit those trails:

  • Start with proper footwear: Invest in trail running shoes with good grip and support.
  • Stay safe: Bring your GPS, snacks, and water. Always tell someone your route. 
  • Build your stamina: Begin with short trails, gradually increasing distance and elevation.

Training for trail running is different from training for the streets. Uncertain terrain makes flexibility and balance crucial. Include exercises like lunging and side-stepping to avoid tripping over nature’s hurdles. Don’t forget to rehydrate yourself properly after a great trail run!

Rock Climbing

Man helping woman climbing
Photo: ©Pancaketom via Canva.com

Rock climbing is a formidable test of strength and skill, often described as a vertical dance with nature. As you grip and search for footholds, you engage in a full-body workout that builds muscle, enhances coordination, and provides an adrenaline rush. Bouldering, its less height-focused sibling, offers similar benefits without needing ropes or harnesses.

If you’re keen to integrate rock climbing into your camping escapades:

  • Start Small: Find a local climbing gym or attend a beginner’s class. It’s vital to grasp the basics of technique and safety first.
  • Gear Up: Essential equipment includes a sturdy climbing harness, reliable shoes, a safety helmet, and a belay device.
  • Safety is Paramount: Always climb with a partner and check your gear before each ascent.

The United States has a bounty of rock climbing sites in its natural landscapes, offering climbers of all levels a chance to connect with nature while challenging their bodies. Some of the top destinations include:


Mom and child with dog on boat
Photo: ©blueorangestudio via Canva.com

Whether you’re guiding a sailboat across a gentle breeze or throttling a powerboat over waves, boating offers a fantastic mode for appreciating and exploring nature. The rhythmic sounds of water lapping against the hull can be incredibly soothing, making these experiences ideal for families looking to bond in the great outdoors.

When you’re planning a camping trip that includes boating, remember these tips:

  • Select a Suitable Watercraft: Marinas often provide rentals. Choose one that fits your group’s size and experience level.
  • Safety First: Always wear life jackets, and if you need clarification on operating a boat, feel free to ask for a quick tutorial.
  • Minimize Impact: If you opt for powerboating, be conscious that it utilizes fossil fuels, which can have environmental drawbacks. Whenever possible, consider eco-friendly alternatives such as sailing.

Here’s some quick guidance for your boating-themed camping escapade:

  • Family Fun: Look for calm lakes where water sports like tubing and waterskiing are popular.
  • Nature Immersion: For a tranquil retreat, paddle quietly in a canoe or kayak to observe wildlife.
  • Top Spots: Seek out renowned boating destinations like Lake Powell or the Finger Lakes, where 

OHV Trail Riding

ATV tour on gravel road in mountains
Photo: ©FS-Stock via Canva.com

Off-highway vehicles (OHVs), such as ATVs, motorcycles, and UTVs, bring unparalleled adventure to outdoor enthusiasts like yourself. Imagine the thrill of exploring rugged terrains, accessing remote campgrounds, or simply basking in the freedom of the wide-open trails.

Before you ride:

  • Safety first: Gear up with helmets, eye protection, and appropriate clothing.
  • Get trained: Educate yourself on OHV operation, trail etiquette, and environmental respect.
  • Rent smartly: Look for reputable rental programs, like Polaris Adventures, for high-quality equipment.

Despite the adrenaline rush, OHVs can be loud and disrupt wildlife. Always ride responsibly, stick to the trails, and minimize your environmental impact to preserve the great outdoors we love. Learn about Tread Lightly!

Top Spots for Thrills & Chills:

When camping with OHVs, balance the rush of adrenaline with moments of tranquility. Enjoy activities like fishing or hiking to appreciate nature fully. While OHVs can add adrenaline to your outdoor adventures, they’re not for everyone. Judge the risks, rent if you’re a newbie, and always put safety and nature care at the forefront. Happy trail riding!


Dad kayaking with his three kids
Photo: ©emholk via Canva.com

Kayaking is a marvelous way to engage in outdoor activities near a lake. It can grant you access to areas off the beaten path. Consider kayak or canoe camping. 

Choosing the right kayak is critical when gearing up for kayak camping. You want stability, storage space, and comfort for those long stretches on the water. Opt for kayaks designed for touring if you’re planning longer trips—these typically have ample storage for camping gear. Clean, drain, and dry your kayak thoroughly after your day on the water. 

Here are a few tips to enhance your kayaking outings:

  • For Families: Opt for tandem kayaks, which are great for bonding and sharing the paddling.
  • For Solo Paddlers: A single kayak offers agility and the chance to connect with nature one-on-one.
  • Paddleboarding: If you’re looking for a full-body workout, try stand-up paddleboarding, another fantastic way to explore the waterways.

As for the best spots for kayak camping, consider the calm waters of a nearby lake for a serene getaway or the meandering paths of a gentle river for a bit of exploration. Look for established campsites along the shores that cater to water adventurers. The Boundary Waters offers an epic adventure for kayak and canoe camping. 


Mom tubing with her daughter on her lap
Photo: ©Odua Images via Canva.com

Imagine yourself drifting down a serene river, surrounded by nature, as you bask in the sun with your family and friends. Not only is it a fantastic way to cool off, but it also offers an opportunity for socialization as you float along.

When you select a tube, consider the size and durability suited to your needs. It should comfortably support your weight and withstand the river’s challenges. Before hitting the water, properly inflate your tube to the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure safety and performance.

Here’s a pro tip: learn the basics of riding a tube, such as steering with your hands and feet or linking up with other tubers to create a flotilla. Always wear a life jacket, regardless of your swimming skills, and watch river conditions for a safe experience.

For a memorable tubing outing, consider rivers known for their gentle flow and picturesque surroundings. Some favorite spots among campers include the Guadalupe River in Texas, the Saco River in Maine, and the Shenandoah River in Virginia. These locations are renowned for their clear waters and family-friendly atmospheres.

Treasure Hunt

Friend looking at a treasure map
Photo: ©Robert Kneschke via Canva.com

Treasure hunting isn’t just for the kids; it’s an all-ages, engaging activity that encourages creativity, fosters teamwork, and injects excitement into your camping experience.

Designing a treasure hunt might seem daunting, but it’s all about themed clues and hiding spots reflective of your natural surroundings. Start by crafting a narrative—maybe you’re pirates searching for buried gold or explorers on the trail of a lost artifact. Your clues can be riddles tied to the environment, leading campers from an ancient tree to a hidden stream.

Tips for Organizing Your Treasure Hunt:

  • Create a Map: Sketch out your campsite and mark potential hiding spots.
  • Safety First: Ensure all locations are safe, especially for kids.
  • Be Resourceful: Use natural elements like rocks or leaves to mark spots.

For the best themes, blend the location’s features with imaginative tales. A forest, for example, is ripe for an enchanted woodland quest or a Robin Hood-style caper. Here’s a simple clue to get you started: “Walk to where the water bends. The next clue hides where the river ends.”

Remember, the real treasure is the fun and bonding along the way. So grab your map and compass, round up your crew, and set off on a camping treasure hunt. 


Woman finding a geocache
Photo: ©SimpleFoto via Canva.com

Geocaching is a game that leads you through nature’s nooks, encourages learning through navigation, and fosters a sense of community as you share experiences with fellow geocachers.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Find a Geocache: Use your GPS or a smartphone with a geocaching app to locate hidden caches. You’ll find these by following specific coordinates.
  • Hide a Geocache: After finding a few, you might want to hide one. Choose a durable container and a non-invasive spot that won’t disturb the local wildlife or environment.
  • Log Your Experience: Inside each cache, there’s a logbook. Write down your geocaching handle and the date. Share your experience online and a cleaver hint or two for the next adventurer.

Tips for Successful Geocaching:

  • Respect nature: Leave no trace and be mindful of the environment.
  • Be prepared: Carry essentials like water, snacks, and a first aid kit.
  • Stay safe: Inform someone about your geocaching plans and location.


Woman stamping a letterbox log
Photo: ©Leung Cho Pan via Canva.com

Letterboxing is an intriguing fusion of art, adventure, and collection, perfect for those who enjoy exploring the great outdoors with a creative twist. As you set up camp amid nature’s tranquility, consider adding a dash of mystery and treasure hunting to your experience. You’ll imbibe the wonders of your natural surroundings and connect with an age-old pastime that sparks creativity and a sense of discovery.

To begin your letterboxing quest, you’ll need to carve a personal stamp—it reflects your identity in this adventurous hobby. Once equipped, you must seek out hidden letterboxes by following clues that often lead you through scenic trails and seldom-visited wilderness corners. Here’s the crux of it:

  • Prepare: Craft your unique stamp and secure an inkpad and a notepad, which will serve as your logbook.
  • Discover: Use resources like Atlas Quest to find clues for letterbox locations in your camping area.
  • Collect: Upon discovering a box, stamp your logbook with the letterbox’s stamp and imprint your stamp in the letterbox’s logbook, a record of your presence there.


Person carrying mushrooms and herbs they foraged
Photo: ©ClarkandCompany via Canva.com

When surrounded by nature’s bounty, foraging is a delightful activity that taps into your primal survival skills and offers a nutritious boost to your camping meals. I’m talking about the art of identifying and gathering wild foods—think of it as a treasure hunt, where the bounty is deliciously edible plants and mushrooms.

If you’re gearing up to forage, remember these essentials:

  • Safety First: Always carry a reliable guide to edible plants and mushrooms specific to your region. Some plants and mushrooms can be toxic, and mistakes can be dangerous.
  • Respect the Environment: Take only what you need without harming the ecosystem. For example, when harvesting berries, leave enough for wildlife and the continued health of the plant.

Here’s a simple way to get started on your foraging adventure:

  1. Identify: Start with easily recognizable foods like wild berries or dandelion greens.
  2. Gather: Use a gentle touch to avoid damaging the plant or its surroundings.
  3. Prepare: Wash your finds and prepare them as you would store-bought equivalents—many wild greens can be added to salads, while certain mushrooms are great in stir-fries.

Grab your bag and head to locales known for their abundance, like forest floors for mushrooms or riverbanks for wild herbs. Also, consider dehydrating your foraged food for other meals over the next few months. Try these quick recipes next time you camp:

  • Pine needle tea: Rich in vitamin C, it’s as simple as steeping cleaned needles in hot water.
  • Wildberry compote: Heat berries over a fire with honey for a sweet treat.


Man shining flashlight towards Milky Way galaxy next to his green tent
Photo: ©ferrantraite via Canva.com

Stargazing, the simple act of looking up at the stars, offers a blend of wonder, knowledge, and a timeless romantic backdrop to any camping trip. From a family bonding experience to a serene moment of self-reflection, there’s something truly magnificent about the tranquility of the stars.

When you’re planning for a night of stargazing, keep these tips in mind:

  • Find a Dark Spot: Steer clear of light pollution. Nature reserves or national parks often offer the clearest views. Death Valley and the area just south of Grand Canyon National Park are prime examples.
  • Know When to Go: New moon phases and clear skies provide optimal conditions. Aim for times when the Milky Way’s glow is at its peak.
  • Gear Up: A telescope or binoculars can enhance the experience, but even the naked eye can catch constellations and shooting stars.
  • Capture the Moment: For photography enthusiasts, a tripod and a camera with manual settings can help you photograph the night sky. Use long exposures to capture the stars’ trails.


Woman taking photos outside with DSLR
Photo: ©Vadmary via Canva.com

When we talk about photography in the great outdoors, it’s not just about clicking the shutter—it’s about capturing the essence of those spontaneous family adventures and the beauty of nature surrounding us. It’s the art of holding onto those fleeting moments, whether basking in the golden hour or witnessing wildlife in action. Let’s take a journey through the lens.

Choosing Your Subjects

  • Landscapes: Find a vantage point that offers a vast perspective of nature’s splendor.
  • Wildlife: Be patient and consider a telephoto lens. 
  • Family and Friends: Capture candid and posed moments while exploring the wilderness.

Photography Techniques

  • Steady your camera with a tripod for sharp, high-quality images, especially in low light.
  • Master your camera’s manual settings to adapt to dynamic outdoor conditions.

Enhancing Your Photos

  • Edit photos to highlight the beauty you’ve captured but keep it authentic to the moment.
  • Share your experiences online or create a photo album to keep those memories alive.


Woman sketching flowers outside
Photo: ©Spiritartist via Canva.com

Sketching in the great outdoors can be a remarkable way to connect with nature and unleash your creativity. You’re not just capturing the scene before you but interpreting the vibrant hues and dynamic light that only the wilderness can provide. It’s a practice that offers serenity and hones your artistic skills – all you need is a pencil and paper.

Begin by selecting a focal point in the natural landscape. Let this be the heart of your sketch: the rugged mountain outline, the intricate pattern of leaves, or a flowing stream. Here are a few pointers to guide your hand:

  • Outline your subject with gentle, loose strokes to capture the basic shape.
  • Shade lightly at first, building up layers to create depth.
  • Add color sparingly; sometimes, a touch of hues can bring a sketch to life.

Invest in a sturdy sketchbook and drawing pencils for your toolkit. A foldable stool and a lightweight easel can also enhance your comfort and stability as you draw.

Look for scenes that speak to you, those little moments of wilderness that stand out. The dappled light through a canopy of leaves, for example, or the way the sun sets the horizon ablaze, can be magic for your sketchpad. And remember, it’s about the experience, not just the outcome. So find your spot, take a deep breath of fresh air, and let nature guide your hand. It’s all about the fun of creating something unique and personal as you relish the tranquility of the outdoors.


Man carving a wood horse
Photo: ©sercansamanci via Canva.com

Whittling is more than just slicing away at a piece of wood; it’s a craft that requires concentration and precision, often leading to a meditative state. When camping, having a knife and a simple block of wood can transform idle time into a session of creative expression. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Choose your tools wisely: A sharp pocket knife with a locking blade for safety or a specialized whittling knife will do. Keeping your blade sharp is crucial, as a dull knife is unsafe and makes for rough work.
  • Selecting your wood: Softwoods like pine or basswood are ideal for beginners due to their softer composition. Ensure the wood is dry; though fresh green wood is smoother and easier to cut, it’s prone to cracking as it dries.

Here’s a couple of whittling ideas that are perfect for the campsite:

  • Whittle a cooking utensil, like a simple spatula or spoon. They’re not just handy but also a fantastic reminder of your trip.
  • Craft an animal that makes a great camping souvenir.

Remember always to carve away from your body and use a glove to protect your holding hand. Whittling isn’t a race; take your time and enjoy the process. It’s a rewarding craft where the journey is just as enjoyable as the destination—a carved piece you can call your own.


Woman slacklining in forest
Photo: ©Gewitterkind via Canva.com

Slacklining, an activity that tests balance and agility, is a fantastic addition to camping activities. Initially conjured up by climbers in Yosemite to sharpen their balancing skills on rest days, it has since evolved into a fun pastime perfect for outdoor enthusiasts like you. You only need flat webbing, two sturdy points like trees or posts, and a sense of adventure.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Find the perfect spot: Look for two strong trees about 20 to 30 feet apart and with no obstacles in between.
  • Set up your slackline: Tie the webbing around each tree at a comfortable height. Use a ratchet or similar tensioning system to get the right amount of slack – not too tight or loose.
  • Walk the line: Begin by stepping onto the slackline with one foot while holding onto a friend or a tree for support. Focus your gaze on a fixed point ahead and walk slowly, placing one foot in front of the other.
  • Perform tricks: Once you’re comfortable walking, try sitting, turning, and even jumping on the line to add some fun tricks to your balance work.

Slacklines vary in length and tension, and they are suitable for different difficulty levels and fun. For beginners, a shorter and more low-lying line would be ideal. At the same time, seasoned slackliners might enjoy a longer and higher setup. Beyond the physical benefits, slacklining at a camp is a delightful way to bond with friends and family and share a few laughs — you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can progress from wobbly steps to confident strides.

Water Wars

Girls using water guns
Photo: ©torwai via Canva.com

When camping with family and friends, there’s no better way to add excitement to your day than with a good old-fashioned Water War. Picture this: you’re armed with water balloons in one hand and a water gun in the other. Laughter echos around you as everyone dashes and dodges, soaking wet but cool from the heat, the competition as intense as the midday sun.

Here are a few tips to get your Water War battle-ready:

  • Prepare Your Arsenal: Stock up on water balloons and reliable water guns. Aim for easy-to-fill balloons and guns with a good range and capacity.
  • Safety First: To avoid accidents, choose a spacious outdoor area away from camping gear and ensure the ground isn’t slippery.
  • Keep It Friendly: Remember, it’s all about fun. Set some basic rules to ensure no one gets hurt and everyone enjoys the game.

Outdoor Games

Cornhole board with bean bags
Photo: ©DavidPrahl via Canva.com

Outdoor games are a great way to add excitement and camaraderie to any camping trip. They’re not just for kids; games can also foster a sense of family and togetherness, making your outdoor experience memorable. 

When selecting games, consider your group’s age range and interests. Look for games that require minimal equipment and setup. Classics like Tag need nothing but open space and are perfect for getting everyone moving. 

Here are some all-time favorites perfect for campers of all stripes:

  • Tag: Always a hit, it’s simple and lively, and you can add variations to keep it fresh.
  • Capture the Flag: This team game combines stealth and strategy and is a hit with kids and adults alike.
  • Cornhole: Toss the bean bag into the hole, which is popular with teens and adults. 
  • Horseshoes: Popular game with older adults, although kids and young adults enjoy the challenge. 
  • Volleyball: Hang a net and mark the boundaries; you’ve got the recipe for a fun time. 
  • Bocce Ball: Classic beach game that is just as fun while camping.
  • Spike ball: Combine volleyball with four square and a circular net for a fast-paced game for teens and young adults. 


Woman doing yoga outside her tent
Photo: ©miljko via Canva.com

Yoga is a practice that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation to foster harmony between your mind, body, and nature. When you’re camping, incorporating yoga can enhance your outdoor experience, promising relaxation and a chance to meditate amidst the tranquility of the natural world. 

When considering yoga styles for camping, opt for Hatha or Yin yoga. These styles focus on longer-held poses and are perfect for practicing with the serene backdrop of the outdoors. Yoga while camping isn’t about perfection; it’s about embracing the moment and your unique setting. 


Friend enjoying a picnic in the woods
Photo: ©Oneinchpunch via Canva.com

Picnicking is a delightful way to combine your love for the outdoors with the simple pleasure of dining al fresco. There’s something inherently comforting about spreading a blanket and unpacking a food basket amidst nature. It’s a casual yet intimate setting that invites relaxation and provides a scenic backdrop for your meal. Whether with family or friends, picnicking enhances your connection with nature and each other.

For the best experience, prepare by choosing foods that are easy to pack and serve. Items like sandwiches, fruits, salads, and cold cuts are perfect for a picnic. Pack utensils, napkins, and trash bags for an easy cleanup. Keep your food fresh and safe using a cooler with ice packs, especially if your picnic includes perishables.

When you’re camping, seek spots known for their views and tranquility. Lakeshores, streams, park meadows, and forest clearings are prime picnicking locations.

My favorite picnic was beside a beautiful river in Yellowstone National Park. Remember to respect the wildlife and environment; leave no trace after your meal.

Key Tips for Your Next Picnic:

  • Prepare: Opt for portable, non-perishable food items when possible.
  • Pack: Use a cooler to keep your food at a safe temperature.
  • Pick a Spot: Choose locations with beautiful views and minimal disturbance.
  • Protect Nature: Always clean up after yourself to preserve the outdoors.

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a beginner, there’s always something new to try and discover in the great outdoors. Outdoor camping activities can enrich your trip and make it more memorable and satisfying. 

What outdoor camping activities do you enjoy? Leave a comment below! 


What are outdoor camping activities?

Outdoor camping activities are any recreational or educational activities that can be done outside while staying in a tent, cabin, or RV. Some outdoor camping activities include hiking, fishing, biking, kayaking, birdwatching, and stargazing.

What are the benefits of outdoor camping activities?

Outdoor camping activities can provide many benefits for physical and mental health, such as reducing stress, improving mood, boosting immunity, enhancing creativity, and strengthening relationships. Outdoor camping activities can also help you appreciate nature and learn new skills. They also help your kids get all that energy out in a creative and fun way.

What are some fun camping activities for kids and families?

There are many fun camping activities for kids and families that can keep them entertained and engaged. Some examples are nature scavenger hunts, attending outdoor programs, completing junior ranger activities, playing games like tag, swimming, biking around camp, hiking, and making s’mores.

What are some camping activities for couples?

Camping can be a romantic and adventurous way to spend time with your partner. Some camping activities for couples are cooking a special meal, watching the sunset or sunrise, cuddling by the fire, reading or listening to music together, and playing card or board games. If you and your partner are feeling adventurous, you can also try some more challenging activities like rock climbing, kayaking, or zip-lining.

Photo of author
Daniel Borkert is the founder and editor-in-chief of Outdoor Footprints, a website that tells you everything you need to know about camping and hiking. He is an avid outdoorsman with almost four decades of experience in hiking, camping, caving, and fishing. Daniel loves to involve his wife and kids in his outdoor pursuits and inspire other families to do the same. He lives in Seattle, Washington with his family and an energetic Boston Terrier named Zion.

Leave a Comment