Those stretched for cash, up for the thrill of it, and especially those with a taste for it, love to camp. Camping brings you out of your comfort zone and slap bang into the middle of nature, with as little or as many necessities as you deem fit, to aid you in harnessing the outdoors. This vacation pass time is best suited like most things; bettered with more people involved and when there are camping games for couples included, it becomes even more interesting.
In the past decade, camping has become a vacation style of choice for people in the United Kingdom, the United States, and globally for its ease of planning, cheap destinations, and an accessibility to the outdoors not many other styles of travel can boast. The freedom of camping has made exploration of a new destination that much easier. Experiencing the great outdoors with a partner and/or a friend is a sure fire way to strengthen any bond. Plan ahead by reading our piece on the best places to hike in America and enjoy your trip.
In this article, we will discuss a variety of different camping games and activities that require little to no preparation or props, all designed to make sure that you are never left bored with nothing to do. Because let’s face it, there are always some quiet moments in any relationship and after reading this, we hope that there are less.
Before actually making it to where you are vacationing – be it a campsite or a camp friendly area – you are going to have to journey to get there. Extensively or not, now is an excellent chance to start your gaming rapport with your partner.
A couple of these you would have already played, perhaps as a child or parent, but it is safe to say that none of these games lose their charm when played in the company of just you and your partner.
- Punch-Buggy: If you have yet to play this game, let alone hear of it, your childhood was pretty good. The premise is this; any time a Volkswagen Beetle passes you by on the road, and you see it first, you get to take a jab at the person sat next to you whilst stating the name of the game. Though, if you live in an area void of Beetles, just change the name of the game.
- License Plate Possibility: Taking the license plate numbers of the passer by vehicles and attempting to decode them into their actual meanings. For example; making ‘SYT 041’, ‘Send Your Thoughts, Only For $1’. Thankfully, this game takes a lot of imagination and offers the players artistic leniency in its playing.
- Would You Rather: This game is a real gem of creative genius. Would your rather pits your imagination and nerves against your partners by giving them the choice between two options and which they would rather pick. ‘Would you rather have a learn a foreign language, or learn how to play the trombone?’. The questions do not have to stay tame. Sometimes the weirder the options, the more laughs and difficulty choosing you will have.
- 20 Questions: A game that should go without saying, but there we feel the need to provide you with its addition. 20 questions, is a spoken word game where you and your partner take it in turns to think of an object (subject) and your opponent has to figure out what it is using twenty questions or less. The catch is you can only answer using yes or no. Really keeps the gears turning.
- Buzz Word: Though this is a game better suited for more than two participants, it is still an extremely fun game as you get deeper into its playing. Pick a word, any word, as long as it is commonly used in your vocabulary, and assign it as the Buzz Word. From now on, neither of you can use that word. This will keep you creative, with your eyes on the prize of winning. Though this may prove difficult for the driver the entire trip as they have to focus on the road as well. Tough break. Taking a vacation away from your ordinary lives is in part to relieve yourself from the stress that everyday life involves. So now that you have made it to the camping grounds and assembled your gear, let’s look into games and activities that will keep you on your feet and active.
Activities that will bring You Together and Active
All the games that we have spoken about above are little activities to keep silences shortened and to maximize your vacation time with your partner. These games and activities are to help form a stronger bond with each other, connect on different levels, and perhaps learn new things about both of you as a pair.
Don’t forget sustenance. Read our article on the basic camping food guide to ensure that both of you will have happy tummies for any activities.
Building a Hammock
Yes, this is less a game and more of a woodcraft activity, but nevertheless, it is fun to do and provides you with a romantic seating area for your stay. This does demand a little home-prep by way of a sewing machine. If you have one handy, then this activity is definitely for you.
|Items needed||How much you will need|
|Drop Cloth (thick cloth material)||‘9 x 6’ foot|
|Grommets||36. Preferably metallic.|
|Rope||30+ feet. Preferably nylon.|
|O Rings||2 Metallic.|
The quickest and easiest way to build a hammock is by taking a nine foot long, six feet wide piece of material (anything from a thick blanket, netting, or even a tarp). Make sure to reinforce the ends of the material by folding the lengthway edges by two inches.
After making good on the edges, set 18 grommets into the reinforced lining. When all the grommets have been laid into the material, take your 30+ rope and start to tie it through the grommets in an over and under style. All the while, pulling every second loop through the O ring. Now that the hammock has been finished, take two lengths of rope and tie them around two parallel running trees and their other ends through the O rings. This whole project will be an extremely fun addition to your DIY camping vacation. Make sure you secure your hammock well. Read our useful guide in using the best knots for your hammocks.
A game that has made the rounds at weddings, parties, fun filled family evenings, and can be played whilst camping, is the ever hilarious jousting match that is Pantyhose Bowling. Taking a pair of pantyhose and wearing the band as a hat, whilst placing a water bottle in the end of it, may sound stark raving mad. It is, but it is the apparatus necessary to knock down the line of water bottles (bowling pins) in front of you.
Knock the pins down before your partner and claim victory in this crazed game of wits, cunning, and knocking things over!
Junk in the Trunk
All that is needed for this game are ping-pong balls, an empty kleenex tissue box, a roll of tape, and the dancing moves of a belly dancer. Tape the empty kleenex box to lower area of your back and have your partner place ping-pong balls through the boxes slit. Using a timer, the game is on to try and shake out all of the ping-pong balls.
Player with the shortest shake-to-escape time is the winner.
Board Games that Stave the Boredom away
At the beginning of the article we mentioned the fact that little to no props or prep will be needed, but with the introduction of this section there is a little bit of both involved. Use the camping trip as a double thread to learn chess, introduce your partner to your favorite board game as a child, spool through the seemingly endless selection of travel-ready kits there are available to you. Just remember to keep your cool and maintain focus. No one likes a sore loser or an arrogant winner.
Though when you are camping, we would suggest attempting games that you have made yourself so that they follow the DIY stylings of a camping vacation. But we all know how hard a game of monopoly is to turn down.
Bring a Splash of Vegas with you
A forever steady rival to that of the board game is the incredibly versatile and exciting opportunities brought by a simple pack of cards. Make sure to always leave one in your glove compartment. Never know when you will want to kill a bit of time with a deck of cards at your disposal.
Here, we will look into a few simple card games to while away the nights after dinner, wait for the rain to stop, or just to see if you can beat one another with a spectacular hand. No camping excursion is complete without a good old game of snap, and there are many other variations of card games that can be enjoyed on your trip. Such as:
- Gin Rummy: Easily the most popular version of the card game rummy. Remember that card values, often change depending on the card game. Gin Rummy runs the Ace as 1 and Face Cards as 10. Each player is given 10 cards, and the 21st card starts the discard pile in the middle of the players. Attempt to acquire a set or a run of three cards or more (i.e. 4 though to 6 of Diamonds, or cards of the same ranks like three or four numerative valued cards. Three 5’s of diamonds, spades, and hearts). At your turn, you can take a card from either the stock pile or the discard pile. As the discard pile is constantly upright, it is easier to know what you are working with. The goal is to gain a set or a run, so whichever pile you take a card from has to be strategic. When you pick up a card, you must then discard a card into the discard pile face up. Knock on the playing surface to finish your turn. Beat your opponent by attaining the first set or run.
- Texas Hold’Em: A poker game that all card players need know of. Obviously, this is a game designed to gamble over so remember to bring your small change (or if you fancy your luck, your big money) to the table with you. As Texas Hold’Em is a game with many rules dependent on the size of the cards in your hand and those in the river (the five cards laid out), it is best taking a rule book or a comprehensive list of hand sizes with you. Half of the game is all about the bluff and your ability to be able to lie well and strategically to your opponent. When your opponent is your partner, this skill is seldom warranted anywhere else, but necessary whilst playing poker.
- Strip Poker: And last but not least, the tumultuous game of strip poker. Always a treat to play with a deck of cards. Sink your competitive side into this game and reap the rewards. Or you could instead end your card games with a fun little set of ‘52 Card Pick-up’, where you throw the cards to the ground and run away. Leaving your opponent to pick them up. Funny up till the fourth time you do it.
Games of Truth or of Dares
Truth or Dare is an age old game, for all ages. Its simplicity and versatility allows it to be played anywhere by anyone. There are few games that offer this kind of gleaming insight into your partner’s past, present, future, and mindset.
There are other games like it that make the players feel more mature. Such as a game of would you rather (previously spoken about in Pre-Camping Games), or:
- Drunk or Child: This is an extremely entertaining game set to see how much you know about your other half’s life and personality, as they regale you with stories of their least perfect and most embarrassing moments, and then you must ascertain whether they were drunk or an adolescent during this time.
- Never Have I Ever: A drinking game, turned parlor game where the aim is to start small and end up being as outlandish as possible to win. Never Have I Ever is played by stating something you have done in efforts to one up your opponent. If they drink, they have done this thing too. Example, “never have I ever… read a novel to impress someone”. And so on, and so forth, until it becomes as cringy or as hilarious as you want it to end up.
For some quiet moments together after the games, have some coffee time. Check out our piece on ways to enjoy coffee while backpacking to learn more.
Wrapping It Up
All of these little games and activities have all been created to maximize any camping trip taken with your significant other. From no props or preparation, to the most being some pre-vacation prep for added comfort, this article has provided you with an ample supply of fun and games to occupy the time that could have been spent in silence and boredom. For more activities, our article on romantic camping ideas for couples is a must-read, so check it out.
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