HIKING BASICS

Cool Camping Ideas: Guarantee the Ultimate Camping Experience

cool camping activities

Going out camping with a group of friends and family can be so much fun. There are a lot of fun things to do, and being in a group presents an excellent opportunity for bonding and playing together.

When you are in the outdoors, you feel much more relaxed than you normally would be because you are now disconnected from the regular day-to-day hustle and bustle of the city. You have a lot more quiet space and a lot more time on your hands for leisure activities. This can be a great opportunity to implement some cool camping ideas.

What’s cool about camping is that you get to experience a life without power, electricity, showers and all of the luxuries that you are accustomed to, and if you do it right, it’s an excellent opportunity for you and your group to jump headfirst into nature and hopefully learn some new skills.

There are a ton of activities you can all engage in that will ensure that you have a pleasurable trip. This article cannot do justice to every single fun camping idea out there, but it will highlight some of the very best ideas that you and your group can easily adopt and have the best time together.

camping activities near the campfire

The kinds of activities you can engage in will almost always be dependent on the terrain you are camping in. If your camp site is close to a body of water, for instance, there are certain water-related activities you can try out. There are also activities you can try out around a camp fire, on a plain field, and activities you can enjoy in the comfort of your tent.

Activities Around Water

If you are camping around a body of water such as a lake or river, there are a couple of fun ideas to be had, some of them exhilarating and others quite relaxing. These activities are fresh and very much enjoyable. The best and most engaging ones will be highlighted below.

Water zorbing

This is one of the more elaborate water activities you can engage in as it requires that you have a specific kind of gear to make it happen. The zorb, as it is called, is very similar to the ‘hamster ball’ and it is made of flexible plastic that fully encapsulates the individual thus allowing him or her float and navigate on water.

water zorbing on camping

The most recent ones are double-sectioned in their structure with a ball inside another ball and a layer of air between them. This makes for excellent shock absorption. With a few of these balls, you and your company can engage in races and different kinds of water tournaments. You can also decide to just use it for rest and relaxation on water if you wish.

Skipping Rocks

This is another fun idea to be had when there is water around you. Quite simply, it involves finding rocks and pebbles of the right size and weight and throwing them at the water in a way that it keeps bouncing off its surface. You can try this in different ways and see how well you do.

Learn skipping rocks

It sounds very easy but it does take some getting used to and it can be quite fun. It is great because all you need is a body of water and a bunch of rocks. Find rocks that are flat, even, and fit in your hands well. If you pick a rock that is too heavy, it will sink right through the surface and one that is too light will be difficult to throw very far.

Place the rock between your middle finger and your thumb, and use your index finger for guidance. Use a side arm throw and flick your wrist while launching the stone. With a little practice, you’ll figure out the best way to launch the stones and you will get more hops or bounces off the water. Any activity no matter how mundane can be made more exciting by adding a little competition.

So you and your company can do this together and see who does best. You might not know this but there is actually a world record for stone-skipping set by Russell Byars in 2007 at 51 skips. See how close to that you can get.

Swimming and Diving activities

This is an obvious choice for you if you have water around you. Swimming has always been a fun activity that everybody loves and you can swim around, relax in the water, have a race, or play a bit of water volleyball. Diving is also very exciting and there are so many ways you can make this happen. If you are lucky enough to have an elevated area with a clear line of sight to the water, you can make your dives from there.

If there are trees with very strong branches, you can install a make shift swing with which you can launch yourself into the water. Proper care and precaution must however be taken when diving. Make sure the water is deep enough and it doesn’t have any rocks in it that a diver can hit his head on.

Make sure you have the proper footwear by reading our piece on the leading water shoes for males to give you more insight.

Fishing

Fishing is actually an activity that can stand on its own but it also makes for an excellent avenue for fun and bonding during camping trips. This is great particularly because you get to cook whatever you catch and this can be your dinner. There is always that bit of excitement attached to catching your own meal.

fishing on camping

There are a couple of other stuff you can do near water such as:

  • Building sand castles
  • Kayaking
  • Tubing
  • Snorkeling and water skiing.

Also if you are not camping close to water bodies, you can still have some fun with water and water related activities such as

  • Balloon fights
  • Squirt gun fights
  • Make shift pools with inflatable wading pools.

Sport Related Activities

Most of all the regular sporting activities that you are already familiar with can make for fun ideas in camp. They help you to get up and move your body which can be very good exercise. There are so many physical activities you can have fun with, some of which require a lot of movement and others not so much.

You pick whichever suits your style and carry on. There are a few activities you can participate in such as:

  • Football
  • Bike riding
  • Geocaching
  • Horseshoe
  • Frisbee throwing
  • Baseball
  • Spelunking
  • Rock and tree climbing

A good number of these activities you are already aware of but we will be shedding more light on geocaching and spelunking which you might not have heard of before now. For the finest hiking shoe brands, see our list on our previous article to help you.

Geocaching

Not very many people have heard of geocaching, but it’s a lot simpler than you think. If you’re equipped with a device that has GPS, that’s all you really need. It’s sort of like a treasure hunt, only there isn’t going to be a chest of gold buried somewhere.

geocaching activities on camping

Instead, you’ll likely find a plastic container with an assortment of items and a tiny book of dates, people’s names, and items that they’ve added and taken over the years. It’s like a time capsule that everyone gets to partake in.

There are plenty of websites dedicated to geocaching, as well as plenty of national parks and camping sites that cater to the activity. Simply search for the area you’re going to be in and record the coordinates of any geocache spot that is close to your camping area. Then fire up your GPS, and start hunting! Not all of these geocache spots are the easiest to find, so keep your eyes peeled on your search. To start the fun, check out our list of the top GPS handheld devices that can make the experience more meaningful.

Spelunking

Spelunking is basically cave exploration or caving as it is called today. Caves are always an exciting place to see with their mazy passages, chambers, crevices and water falls. There is a lot to see in caves and just like any other form of exploration such as scuba diving and rock climbing, spelunking is an adventurous activity that you and your group can engage in together.

spelunking on camping

So if you have caves that are known to be safe around your camping area and preferably in the company of a cave expert, you can indulge yourself in this fun activity.

There are some other sport like activities that you can indulge in especially if you have a lot of people around. Some of them are

  • Hide and seek
  • Capture the flag
  • Tag

Activities in The Tent

If you are more into indoor activities and you don’t want to be in the open all the time, there are also a couple of fun ideas for rest and relaxation in the tent. These activities don’t require you to move around and you can all just be in the comfort of your tent. This is especially useful when it’s raining outside or it’s too late at night to be in the open. Some examples are:

  • Reading books aloud to each other
  • Playing card and board games
  • Arts and crafts
  • Watching movies on handheld devices
  • Outdoor activities at night

Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean that the fun has to end.

activities inside the tent

There are plenty of activities you can do at night, if the weather is conducive enough. You can take advantage of the darkness and the thrills that come with it:

  • Stare at the stars and find constellations
  • Use your campfire and hands to make shadow puppets
  • Go for night walks (with flashlights, of course)
  • Play a game of charades
  • Play games with glow-in-the-dark toys

You have to be very careful when engaging in activities at night though. Don’t go out wandering alone in the woods when it’s dark and don’t be reckless with any activity that involves fire, as things can easily get out of hand.

Activities Around The Campfire

Gathering around a campfire is a one of the most pleasurable activities to do while camping. One cannot even say you have gone camping if you don’t all sit around a fire and tell stories and roast marshmallows if you’re into that. Be sure you read our piece on how to safely build a campfire so you can enjoy those stories and food to the hilt.

Closeup of a multitude of marshmallows being roasted around a fire pit.

It has become a tradition that many campers indulge in and you will be missing out if you don’t partake yourself. There are many other activities to do around a fire, including:

  • Telling ghost stories. This works most when you have a group of kids around and an expert storyteller who can narrate fiction and use all the necessary gestures and articulations to spook the audience.
  • Singing campfire songs
  • Dancing by the fire. It’s always fun when the group dances around the fire and sing songs together.
  • Playing a guitar to an audience. If you are good with the guitar, this is also an excellent activity around a campfire. You get to play to an eager to listen audience and the audience sit back and enjoy the melodies, or you can all make up songs together.
  • Playing truth or dare. The campfire is also a great place to play this game because there are no distractions and everybody is involved and focused on the game. So whether its truth or its dare, you get the maximum attention of the participants.
  • Play Chinese telephone. Start by whispering a phrase to the person next to you, who then passes it on to the next person. See how much the phrase has changed by the time it gets to the last person.

All of the above mentioned are various categories of fun stuff to do when camping.

There are so many other ideas that you can experiment with and see which suits you the most. For instance, you can go camping with your pets and they can also join in some of the activities and have fun with you.

Many camping activities

You can seek out other campers around you and socialize as a group.  It all depends on what you want to get out of your camping trip. You get to meet a lot of interesting people and hopefully make new friends. Whatever you do, try to let loose and have the most possible fun you can. Don’t be afraid to try new stuff and do your best to be in a relaxed mood to enjoy the moments as much as you can.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca J. Crawford
Rebecca J. Crawford

Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favourite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another passion of Rebecca is ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy.

  • Dawson

    These look great. When we were in high school, we were introduced to snipe hunting, which might not be the safest idea, but it sure made for memorable camping trips.
    I prefer the variations that don’t require bringing too much extra gear, but my group likes Cards Against Humanity for a bring along.
    Frisbee golf is another variation we like, and lots of times we improvise with golf type games and obstacles or hazards we make up with objects we have or find around camp.

  • Rebecca J. Crawford

    Oh yeah, snipe hunting *grin*… I fully remember that! I love your ideas on the Cards Against Humanity stuff – good one.
    Usually when my camping buddies and I go on some camping trips, we just gather around the fire and talk till we drop! There’s nothing like a good conversation around the campfire, right? After some time, we’ve run out of good ghost stories to tell so it’s just our own ordinary lives that we talk about, LOL!

  • Deb Summers

    By all means, conversation is great, but games often bring a lot of laughter that can be memorable in itself. A charades type game is always a great idea. “Make me laugh” kinds of games, staring contests, or two truths and a lie. (You can look these up to find the general idea. ) Word games are always fun, and depending on the age of your campers, can be tailored to be drinking or points-based. When we were kids, we played a word game where the winner would get a crown made out of something crafty we’d made in camp, or a “medal” to wear for the day/take home.
    Am I the only one who doesn’t know what Snipe Hunting is?

  • Rebecca J. Crawford

    Aside from the usual campfire ghost stories that everyone is waiting to hear, there are other creative activities that can be done. This is a great bonding time for everyone especially after a long day.
    Snipe Hunting is not that popular anymore, I guess. Or does it have something to do with the age factor? 🙂

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