Your Backyard Camping Playbook | Tips for Memorable Nights under the Stars

by Major League Mommy
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Spending time with friends and family helps you create precious memories, and it’s been proven to improve your mental health. For times you want to be frugal or just have a nice night at home, try camping in your backyard. This staple can be a pretty fun activity for kids and adults alike, so here are some tips for making the best of your night outside.

kids helping dad set up tent | LOUISE BEAUMONT from Getty Images Signature via Canva.com
Photo credit: LOUISE BEAUMONT from Getty Images Signature via Canva.com

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1. Stay Outside

Maybe one of the biggest elements of a camping trip is being outside. Prepare for your backyard adventure beforehand and bring everything you need with you such as insect repellant and other camping essentials—only go inside if you need to, like using the restroom, or you’ll break the illusion.

2. Use a Tent (or Not)

You might think you need to have a full-on camping tent to go on a backyard camping trip, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Tying a clothesline between a few trees to hang a blanket or sheet over can be a handy substitute, especially with a waterproof tarp beneath. If you happen to have a pop-up canopy, you can use that, too!

You may want to use air mattresses instead of just sleeping in sleeping bags, though, as even the most well-manicured lawns can be a little uneven beneath your shelter. Alternatively, if you have rubber surfacing in your backyard, it can provide a heat-resistant, softer base for your temporary outdoor home.

3. Consider a Movie Night

When it comes to activities for your backyard adventure, you can’t go wrong with watching a movie under the stars. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is by investing in a projector you can connect to your WiFi to stream your favorite movies. Instead of buying a formal screen, you can hang a sheet somewhere instead. Watching on an iPad or other tablet inside a tent can also bring the camping-trip vibes!

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4. Do Dinner Outside

When we think of camping, we usually think of roaring campfires (which you can still do with proper equipment!) and grilled classics. That doesn’t mean you have to have a grill or fireplace, though—instead, start your adventure out by taking your normal dinner outside. Using disposable dinnerware (like these biodegradable ones here!) can make you feel more like you’re roughing it, but you can also just take everything inside and wash it later if you use normal tableware.

5. Look Up

This tip works best if overall pollution is low in your area but try stargazing. Light pollution can make it harder to see some stars, but the ones left behind are usually major constellations, so you can still familiarize yourself with some of the iconic formations.

Some phone apps will map out the night sky for you, simplifying the learning process. Alternately, use a telescope to get a closer look, though that’s by no means required. Orienting yourself with the North Star, you can find the Big Dipper just fine without one!

Not Just for Families

Backyard camping is a child-friendly activity, but you don’t have to be a family with young ones to do it. Fight the effects of stress by inviting friends over for a staycation under the stars no matter your age. No matter if you’re five, 35, or 55, these tips can help you have a great time outside.

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