| Odds & Ends
family camping in their backyard at night

The smell of a crackling fire, the sound of chirping crickets, and that wonderful feeling of being together—camping is the perfect recipe for some good old-fashioned family fun! Maybe you’ve always wanted to try a camping trip with your family, but you’re not ready to commit the time and money to traveling to a faraway campsite. The solution? Follow these easy steps to create family memories and bring the joy of camping to your own backyard!

5 Steps to Create Your Backyard Campsite

1. Prep your food and gear.

Just like with a real camping trip, you’ll want to pack food and essentials. Sure, you could just go back into the house to get your pajamas after dinner, but that wouldn’t give you the true camping experience! Pack a duffel or backpack with all your camping gear as if you’ll be miles away from home sweet home. Use a cooler to pack food for meals and plenty of snacks. Don’t forget flashlights!

Basic backyard camping supplies can include:

  • Outdoor tarp and tent
  • Overhead shade or umbrella
  • Kitchen camping gear and eating utensils
  • Barbeque or fire pit
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Flashlight
  • Nonperishable food and snacks
  • Water
  • Clothing
  • Books
  • Hygiene essentials
  • Outdoor games and toys
  • Pillow and cozy blanket or sleeping bag

2. Set up your campsite.

You’re packed and ready, and you’ve made the long trek to your backyard. First things first, you’ll want to set up your campsite. Lay down a tarp to prevent any moisture from getting into your tent, then pitch the tent! If you don’t own a tent, you can DIY one between two trees with a bedsheet, a few meters of rope, a few heavy rocks, and some creature comforts from the house. Have the kids help you with this one, and you’ll have your shelter ready in no time. 

3. Enjoy dinner together.

Whether you’ve packed sandwiches for a simple picnic or ingredients for a hot, camp-friendly dinner made over the fire, have everyone pitch in to help prepare the meal! Set up camp chairs in a circle, pass out lemonade and paper plates loaded with food, and enjoy each other’s company while you eat your delicious creations.

4. Play a few games.

Charades, anyone? Once dinner is finished, have some fun with your family! Twenty questions is a great game to play together, and telephone can make for some laughs as a secret message gets passed around the campfire circle. If you brought a deck of cards, now’s the time to break them out!

5. Make dessert under the stars.

Roast as many marshmallows as your heart desires and laugh at each other’s messy (but oh-so-yummy!) creations. If backyard fires are allowed in your area and you already have a fire pit — great! Here come the s’mores. If not, you can use a terracotta pot, can of Sterno, and small rocks to build a s’mores maker! No fire pit or firewood required.

Ready to venture a little further from home? Find cheap or free campsites in your area and load up the family. Make sure that road troubles like a flat tire or dead battery don’t get in your way with affordable Roadside Assistance from Direct Auto & Life Insurance. The plan pays for itself after just one use and can help keep your family’s outdoor adventure right on track. You make sure your family is protected with bug spray and plenty of snacks, and let us take care of protection on the road with 24-hour Roadside Assistance. Visit your local agent to learn more today!

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