Camping is a great way to bond with your family and de-stress.
Heading to the great outdoors is amazing, but setting up a camping tent closer to home can be as rewarding.
If you’re lucky enough to have access to a sizeable garden, you can make it your very own camping ground.
There are a few advantages to this approach. For one, you don’t have to travel far. It’s possible to enjoy the wonders of a camping life without venturing far from home. Second, there’s no worry about whether or not everything’s been packed. Finally, and this is the most important one – you retain access to proper indoor toilets and a bath.
Well, if you’re ready for a camping trip to the garden, here are some ideas that will make it fun.
1. Stay True To Your Camping Goals
Avoid going into your home for every little thing. It ruins the authenticity of the experience and makes the whole exercise less of a camping trip, and more of a “house with a tent in the garden.”
Everything you need should be with you at the campsite. Resist the urge to stay connected to the WiFi or to watch a game on the telly. Going to the loo is fair game, but everything else needs to be rationed at the very least.
Believe me, a lot of garden camping trips have gone poof because the comfort of the home beckons.
2. Pitch A Big Camping Tent
It absolutely makes better sense to use a big tent for your family. Large tents are more comfortable, there’s usually room to stand up and move around and if necessary, you can create rooms for better privacy. Parents and children can all live in a larger camping tent rather than crawling into smaller tents.
Smaller, separate tents for the family can work too, but they aren’t as comfortable as a larger tent. Small tents definitely aren’t comparable in terms of headroom or available space for storage of your gear and accessories.
3. Cushions, Chairs and More
Rather than going spartan on your garden camping trip, use a comfortable and convenient setup. Get some nice camping chairs and a small table to go along with your camping needs. Or just use your garden furniture – it is right on the campsite, after all.
If you’re so inclined, a few cushions will work magnificently for adding comfort and coziness to the tent. I’m not saying you should drag out the sofa, but it’s okay to go the extra mile for comfort.
4. Build A Fire And Get Cooking
Have a few meals the old-fashioned way by cooking over an open fire like a fire pit. Someone experienced with cooking on an open flame has a wide range of recipes to pick from. If in doubt, stay with the classics. Beans and chili are always a good choice.
Or, just order some food and set up a bonfire. Yes, that’s not an “authentic” camping thing to do, but it’s okay to give into some creature comforts when you’re garden camping.
Roasting marshmallows on the flame for snacks is another popular option. It’s a classic and pretty much a camping tradition. Old-fashioned that I am, I still prefer roasting/baking potatoes by the bonfire. Seriously, nothing beats a bonfire-baked potato (or sweet potato) snack!
5. Barbecue Is On The Menu
What’s always good for camping? A barbecue! Camping without a barbecue is unthinkable – and when you’re garden camping, it’s a must. A BBQ like the Meteor Outback or the Cosmo Grill 6+1 are a nice touch to your camping trip and a way to cook (and eat) a recipe that’s not all that common, and because you are at home you don’t have to worry about transporting it.
Hot dogs are always a good pick. Maybe also get some recipes on skewers and grilled chicken. Also, give grilled kebabs a chance – they’re delicious.
6. Let The Conversation And Stories Flow
The heart and soul of a camping trip are the conversations we have and the stories we tell each other. It’s excellent for family time and a ticket to warm memories.
Roasting marshmallows over the flames is a quintessential exercise. There must also be room for a kettle over the fire (because stoves are passé). While we’re on topic, milk goes into the cup after the tea.
Anyways, conversation and stories are the staple when sitting around a bonfire. Also, that’s the best time to crank out those spooky ghost stories and legends.
7. Prepare Games and Other Fun Activities
Evenings by the bonfire are perfectly fine, but kids will need something to stay busy during the day as well. Get some board games and colouring books for children to enjoy. Playing cards is a pretty good option, too.
One thing that never fails and is a tonne of fun is setting up a treasure hunt. It’s stimulating and can provide hours of entertainment for everyone. You’ll probably need some time to prepare and get everything in order, but it should be a breeze. After all, we’re camping in the garden!
Children (and adults) will very likely want to use their mobile phones and other gadgets. That’s pretty much unavoidable, but try to limit the time you’ll spend on these devices. Everyone laying about and thumbing their phones isn’t very conducive for a fun camping experience.
A cozy camp and the wide open night sky! Looking at the stars and letting imagination fly is memorable. It’s also a learning moment where everyone could marvel at the vastness of the sky. Maybe even try to find a few constellations and stars.
This assumes you’re camping somewhere with clear skies. A city environment is very likely to cover most of the stars in the night sky, so it will look a lot darker and emptier. It’s probably going to be cloudy anyway, so why bother!
9. Put Up Some Lights In Your Garden
Light up your camping tent and your campsite. String lights add a lovely ambiance to any campsite and make things appear livelier. The tent can have brighter LEDs as befitting a living space. Using a torch to create shadow puppets on the tent walls is pretty fun and engaging too.