Fair weather or foul – Entertaining yourselves on a camping trip
In recent years, camping holidays have become increasingly popular due to the freedom, flexibility and cost savings that they offer. As most of us are faced with travel restrictions due to COVID-19 this year, online retailers have seen a surge in tents and camping equipment . Whether you are camping at home or abroad, it is inevitable that you are going to have a certain amount of downtime. Freedom is one thing, being unprepared is a totally different matter.
Although it’s great to be able to take some time to relax, bad weather or a distinct lack of on-site activities can leave you struggling to fill your days so, as we enter the summer months, we’ve put together our guide to making the most of your camping trip (and not spending your entire budget at the bar).
If you are lucky enough to have great weather on your camping trip, there is lots that you can do – even if on-site facilities are limited:
Thanks to the Gods of the internet, outdoor games can now be picked up quickly, easily and affordably. Games such as Yard Dice, Spray Paint Twister and, traditional ones like beach volleyball and Giant Jenga are really cheap (or, you can even make your own if you’re feeling crafty) and this can help pass a sunny afternoon.
Perfect for after lunch or dinner, Mafia is a great game to play if there are seven or more people in your group (if not, why not invite your camping neighbours over). A twist on the traditional ‘whodunnit’, all you need is a pack of cards. You can find full instructions on how to play the game HERE. Playing Mafia does depend on whether ‘social distancing. is still in effect.
If your campsite is in a rural area, there is a good chance that there will be edible berries to be found. Use the internet to identify the kinds of berries you are likely to find in the area and then go hunting. Not only is this a fun thing to do but, it has the bonus of providing a free dessert for your trip (as well as a fruity addition to your Pimms!)
If your campsite’s evening activities are on the far side of limited, flashlight tag is the perfect after dinner activity – and, all you need is a few cheap torches and some batteries.
In an ideal world the sun will be joining you on your camping holiday, however, sadly, for many campers, daily plans will be scuppered by the weather. All is not lost, however, there are still some really great things to do while you are confined to your tent or camper, here are some suggestions:
Everyone loves a good story and, this is a brilliant way of passing a couple of rainy hours. Take turns telling a story and challenge the others to guess the ending. Alternatively, task one person to begin a story – with the others taking turns in adding the next chapter. Who knows, you may just discover that one of you is the next J.K Rowling or Stephen King!
A touch of magic
Buy a book of magic tricks before your holiday or harness the power of the internet to find tutorials for simple magic tricks. This is a great way to pass the time and as a bonus, you will be able to show off your new skills when you get home.
Reach for the stars
An evening indoors is the perfect opportunity for educating yourself on the wonders of the sky above. Take along a book and a pair of binoculars and see how many constellations you can identify.
As with many things in life, making the most of a camping trip is all about the planning. Before you set off, make sure that you have enough tricks and games to keep you occupied whatever the weather throws at you. Unless you know that there will be shops readily available on your trip, it is a good idea to bring along lots of spare batteries, card packs and power packs to avoid turning your fun trip into a flop.
For the more sedentary!
Not everyone needs other company when on a camping holiday – some just want to chill out, relax and have their own space and time. Books are obviously a good choice, whether you enjoy a good thriller (do not scare yourself in the dark!) or maybe a bit of chick-lit and romance – the choice is always yours. Take a few with you – depending where you are, you may not be able to get a good choice locally. Maybe you can catch up on those birthday or Christmas book gifts that you have not had a chance to read! Reading books in the evening can often make you drop off to sleep and have a peaceful night.
So many to choose from. Games such as dominoes, backgammon, draughts and chess need a bit of thought, whereas other more fun games such as Cluedo, Risk and Monopoly bring out a competitive spirit. Bag up your pieces in plastic bags so that you do not lose any!
Doesn’t matter where you go, or where you are staying, a pack or two of cards should be part of your luggage. You can go for the standard pack and play rummy, poker or pontoon, and if you know how to, bridge is another option (depending how many people and how much patience you have!). Cribbage is another game – you don’t need a crib board, you can play it with paper and a scorer. In your alone moments, if everyone else is asleep, have a game on your own of ‘pairs’ or solitaire – it always takes up time. If you really want to be ‘silly’, get yourself some ‘Animal Sixes’ – its all about the throw of a dice.
Quiz games are a great addition to a holiday if everyone is still feeling lively. Trivial Pursuit is an obvious one, but you can make you own ones as well, if you have plenty of paper and pens. Try Battleships, make a grid from A-Z downwards and 1-15 across, (find where your opponents have hidden their ships so you can sink them!.
Alternatively, get someone to set questions during the day for the rest of you to answer – a bit like a pub quiz, but the question master must know the correct answers.
Silly games are great after a meal and a few glasses of wine or beer! Take some ‘post it’ notes with you, write down the name of a famous person, a book title or a well-known quote, and stick it on the front of a person’s head for them to guess after you do a set of question and answer clues – it can get very silly. Rotate the game around every member of your fun night.
The amount of games you can play depends very much on whether you are travelling as a backpacker, or taking the car or motorhome. Entertainment can be quite a vital and fun part of your holiday, you just need to be resourceful!
Of course, you can resort to charades if need be! Share ideas amongst your camping comrades before you go, and once you get there – it’s quite amazing what ‘daft’ things you can get up to. Make it a creative challenge and have fun!
Ready, Steady, Cook!
If you can get out and around, and have nearby markets or shops, create a challenge for someone to cook on a certain day, whether lunch or dinner. The other members of the trip can pick a cost (i.e £5 or £10, to feed everyone) and pick items within that budget. The unsuspecting chef can then make up a delicious meal for the camp, and get a score. Don’t be harsh, you could be your turn the next day! Make sure everyone keeps to the budget, otherwise there is no point – no sneaking extra ingredients in! At the end of the trip, reward the winning chef with a prize.