Activities for camping: 42 fun ways to stay entertained

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Are you planning a camping trip and looking for some fun things to do? You’ve come to the right place – we’ll get you covered with a list of awesome activities for camping.

From outdoor adventures to campfire traditions to group games, there’s something for every camper (or group of campers). Whether you’re camping solo, with a partner, or going out for a family camping trip, these fun camping activities will keep you busy throughout your getaway. 

So pack your bags, grab your camping gear, and get ready to have a blast in the great outdoors!

Outdoor activities to embrace the wild

When it comes to outdoor activities for camping, the possibilities are endless. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Go for a hike

activities for camping: hiking

Pack your hiking boots and hit the trails! There’s sure to be a trail that suits your interests and fitness level – from short, easy hikes for beginners or families with children to longer, more challenging routes for experienced hikers.

Before you set off, do some research and check the distance, elevation gain, and difficulty level. Don’t forget to bring a map, plenty of water, and snacks to keep you fueled. And, of course, always follow the leave no trace principles.

2. Try your luck at fishing

If you’re camping near a lake or stream, bring along your fishing gear – like a fishing rod, reel, line, lures, or bait, and a license if local regulations require – and see what you can catch. A cooler to store your catch, a first-aid kit, and a flashlight or headlamp for evening fishing might come in handy, too.

Once on the water, take your time to scout out a good spot to fish. Look for areas with underwater structures, such as logs or rocks. Then relax, be patient, and have fun!

3. Do some birdwatching

Whether you’re a seasoned birder or just starting out, there’s no better place to spot a wide variety of birds than in the great outdoors. And it’s a great way to get to know the local flora and fauna! 

Bring a pair of binoculars and a bird identification guide, and see how many different species you can spot. If you’re new to birdwatching, download a bird identification app or borrow a guidebook from the library to get you started.

When you’re out birdwatching, keep an eye out for birds native to the area you’re camping in. Look for birds that are flying, perching, or foraging for food. Pay attention to the size, shape, color, and behavior of the birds you see, as these characteristics can help you identify them.

4. Stargaze


Stargazing is a magical and awe-inspiring activity. After the sun goes down, lie on your back and gaze up at the stars for a few minutes.

If you’re an astronomy buff, bring along a star chart or download a stargazing app like SkyView or Stellarium to help you identify constellations and other celestial objects.

You might also want to bring a telescope or binoculars to get a closer look at that amazing night sky. 

Gather round the fire: Campfire activities

Open flames are an absolute tradition of camping trips. For us, real camping begins only when we start a campfire. And here’s how you can spice up your campfire experience:

5. Cook meals over the fire

campfire cooking

Camping is the perfect time to try out new campfire recipes or cook old favorites in a new way.

Whether you’re grilling burgers or boiling water for coffee, cooking over an open flame adds an extra layer of flavor and excitement to your meals and beverages; plus, it’s a great way to bond with your friends and family. 

So grab your favorite campfire cooking kit and experiment! Just be sure to follow safe cooking practices to avoid accidents or injuries. Don’t forget to follow local fire regulations, if any.

Bonus tip

Knowing what campfire temperatures (just click the link to learn that) are best for cooking different types of food and how to measure them can remove lots of hassle from your cooking experience.

6. Have a campfire cook-off

If you’re camping with a group, consider having a campfire cook-off. Each person or team can choose a recipe and cook it over the fire. 

You can choose recipes that are easy to make with just a few ingredients or opt for more complex dishes. You may also want to set a time limit for cooking to keep things fair. 

Once dishes are ready, it’s time for tasting and judging. Vote for your favorites and think of prizes for the winners. It’s great for encouraging creativity and friendly competition.

7. Tell stories or sing songs

A campfire is the perfect setting for sharing stories or singing songs. Whether you’re a natural performer or just enjoy listening, there’s something magical about sitting around a fire and passing the time with good company.

8. Roast marshmallows or make s’mores

roasting marshmallows

A classic campfire activity, roasting marshmallows and making s’mores is a must-do for any camping trip. Just be sure to supervise kids carefully and use long roasting sticks to avoid accidents.

9. Play music

If you play an instrument, bring it along and serenade your fellow campers. But if you don’t play an instrument, that’s okay too! You can still enjoy some tunes by bringing along a portable speaker. 

Just be sure to respect your fellow campers by keeping the volume low. If you’re camping in a more secluded area – consider using headphones to avoid disturbing wildlife or neighboring campers. 

10. Play campfire games

Bring along some simple games that you can play by the fire. You can go for simple classic games like charades and 20 questions, or play something more modern and interactive like “never have I ever” or “truth or dare.” Depending on your play, you might need a deck of cards, a notepad, a pen, or a timer. 

Consider adding some prizes or small gifts as an element of the competition. Campfire games are absolutely great for getting to know your fellow campers and creating lasting memories.

Bonus tip

A splash of colors in your campfire can add extra magic to any activity. Use fire color changers to create this one-of-a-kind experience.

Group activities to bond with your crew

Camping games are a go-to for keeping your group entertained if you’re up to bonding with friends and family. Here are a few ideas:

11. Play card games

Bring a deck of cards and make a little space around the campfire. You can play many card games while camping, ranging from simple and easy-to-learn games like go fish or snap to more strategic and challenging games like poker or hearts. 

Trick-taking games like spades or euchre are also a lot of fun, and they require a bit more strategy and skill to play well.

12. Play board games

Pack a few of your favorite board games and spend an evening huddled around the campfire playing Monopoly, Scrabble, or Clue. Think about what you like the most: strategy, party games, or something in between. There’s surely a board game for everyone.

13. Play lawn games

If you have a little extra space and the weather is nice, bring along some lawn games like cornhole, horseshoes, or bocce ball.

For cornhole, you’ll need a pair of cornhole boards and a set of beanbags. Players take turns tossing the beanbags at the boards, trying to get them to land on the board or in the hole. 

Horseshoes involve tossing metal horseshoes at stake, where they should land as close to the stake as possible. And in a bocce ball, you roll metal balls toward a small target ball to get them as near as you can. 

These fun games are perfect for a little friendly competition, and you’ll get some exercise, too.

14. Do some group sports

If you’re feeling energetic and camping in the area with a field or open space, bring along a ball and some other sports equipment and play a fun game of catch, frisbee, soccer, or basketball. 

15. Play capture the flag

Capture the flag is a super fun outdoor game for groups! It’s all about two teams trying to get the other team’s flag while protecting their own. To play, you’ll need two flags and a big playing area. Split into two teams and hide your flag. Then, try to sneak over to the other team’s side, grab their flag, and bring it back to your base. 

If you get caught by the other team, you’re out, but a teammate can rescue you by touching you while you’re being held. The first team to grab the other team’s flag and bring it back to their base wins!

This game is a great way to have fun and get moving while camping. If you haven’t tried it yet, definitely add this game to the plan of your next family camping trip!

16. Play scavenger hunt

A scavenger hunt is a fun group game that involves finding a list of items or solving clues to locate a hidden “treasure.” You can create your own list of items or clues based on the local area and your group’s interests or use a premade scavenger hunt kit. 

Scavenger hunts are fantastic for encouraging teamwork, problem-solving, and exploration.

17. Play a murder mystery game

If you enjoy puzzles and mystery, consider playing a murder mystery game by the fire. In this game, players typically work together to solve a crime or mystery by using clues and deduction. For that, you’ll need a script that outlines the crime and clues. 

You can either buy a pre-made murder mystery game or create your own by coming up with your scenario and clues. 

These games are great for using and mastering your problem-solving skills. They can be as simple or as complex as you like and give you lots of fun. 

18. Play glow in the dark bowling

This one is especially fun at nighttime. All you need are glow sticks and small objects to use as “bowling pins” (like plastic water bottles or cans). 

Set the “bowling pins” in a triangle shape like a typical bowling alley. Roll a ball and try to knock down as many pins as you can.

19. Test your knowledge in trivia

Gather a group of friends and test your knowledge with a trivia night. It’s a great activity to test your knowledge and learn new things. You can create your own categories and questions or use a premade trivia game.

Different types of trivia exist, from general knowledge categories like history, science, and pop culture, to more specialized topics like sports, literature, or movies. You can mix and match categories to suit your group’s interests and skill levels. 

Assign points or prizes for correct answers, or simply play for fun.

20. Have a dance party

Dancing is fun and healthy, so if you love to dance – bring along a portable speaker and just have a dance party! Of course, keep the noise levels down and don’t turn your campsite into a nightclub. 

Solo activities for me time

Camping is a great time to relax and recharge, and solo activities are a great way to do it. Here are a few ideas:

21. Write in a journal

Bring along a journal and take some time to introspect and reflect on your trip. Capture your experiences, thoughts, and feelings, or just the beauty of the natural surroundings. Writing in a journal can be a very therapeutic activity and a great way to document your memories. 

If you’re not sure what to write about, consider setting a theme or goal for your writing. Focus on a specific aspect of your trip, such as the people you met, activities you did, or challenges you faced. 

You can also use your journal as a creative outlet, experimenting with various writing styles and formats.

22. Read a book

camping relaxation essentials

If you love to read, bring along a book (or a few!) and find a quiet spot to curl up with it. Whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction, there’s nothing quite like getting lost in a good book.

23. Take some photos

If you enjoy photography, bring your camera and spend some time capturing the beauty of the natural surroundings. Whether you’re a professional photographer or just like taking pictures for fun, there’s something special about capturing memories through the lens of a camera.

24. Try some crafts

Bring along some simple craft supplies, like yarn and sticks, and make some campfire crafts. You could try making a dreamcatcher, a woven bracelet, or a wooden spoon. It’s a good chance to create something to take home as a souvenir. 

25. Do coloring

Coloring is a great way to relax, unwind, and tap into your creativity and inner calm. Bring along a coloring book and some colored pencils or markers, and let your creativity flow. 

Try to focus on the present moment and let your mind wander wherever it wants to go – you might be surprised what ideas and insights emerge as you work!

Make a splash: Water-based activities

If you’re lucky enough to be camping near a body of water, there are plenty of fun activities to enjoy. Here are a few ideas:

26. Go swimming

Whether you prefer to splash around in the shallows or dive into the deep end, swimming is a great way to cool off on a hot day. And it’s a fantastic form of exercise, so pack your swimsuit and towel, and get ready to dive in!

Just be cautious. Especially if you’re not a strong swimmer or not sure about the conditions, consider using a flotation device or staying in shallow water.

27. Go kayaking

If you have a little more experience in the water, try your hand at kayaking. Whether you’re paddling solo or with a partner, kayaking is fun to explore the waterways and get some exercise.

28. Try stand-up paddleboarding


For a unique water-based activity, try stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), which combines elements of surfing and kayaking. It’s a great full-body workout that does lots of good for balance and coordination and is a fun way to explore the waterways. 

You’ll need a board and a paddle. You can usually rent or borrow these items from a local outfitter or beach shop. 

Wear a life jacket and follow proper safety guidelines, such as staying away from boat traffic and avoiding hazardous areas.

29. Surf the waves

Surfing is a challenging and rewarding sport that improves physical fitness, balance, and coordination. If you’re an experienced surfer and camping near the ocean, bring your surfboard and hit the waves to catch some exciting rides and improve your skills.

Pack your surfboard and wetsuit, and get to know local surfing conditions and regulations. Always avoid dangerous areas and use a leash to keep your board close.

Learn something new: Educational activities

Camping is an excellent opportunity to learn something new, expand your horizons, and teach kids about what nature has to offer. Here are a few ideas:

30. Go on a guided nature walk or talk

Many campsites and national parks offer guided nature walks or talks led by trained naturalists or park rangers. These activities are a great way to learn about the local flora, fauna, and history of the area.

31. Try geocaching

geocaching logbook

For a fun way to learn about your surroundings, try geocaching. You’ll need a GPS device or a smartphone with a geocaching app. With these tools, you’ll be able to search for hidden “caches” placed in the area by other geocachers. 

Cachers can be small containers or items hidden in plain sight or off the beaten path, and they usually contain a logbook for you to sign and a few small trinkets or items to trade. 

Navigate to the cache’s coordinates with your app and search for the cache using clues and hints provided by the owner. Once you find a cache, you can hide it again or move on to the next one. 

32. Learn some survival skills

Camping is an excellent opportunity to learn basic survival skills like building a shelter, starting a fire, and finding food and water in the wilderness. Whether you’re a seasoned outdoors person or just starting, there’s always something new to learn.

You might want to consider taking a workshop from a local outdoor education center or a qualified instructor. Here, you’d learn the fundamentals and get hands-on experience practicing different techniques.

Or you can just learn from books, videos, or online resources. In any case, survival skills will increase your confidence and independence outdoors.

Take a break with these relaxation activities

Camping is a great time to relax and unwind, and plenty of activities can help you do just that. Here are a few ideas:

33. Practice yoga

yoga in nature

Yoga is both relaxing and rejuvenating. It has so many benefits, from improving flexibility, strength, and balance, to helping your mind and body relax and restart. In fresh air surrounded by nature, it’s just double awesome.

Bring along a yoga mat and find a quiet spot. Practice on your own or follow a pre-recorded yoga class using a book or online resource as a guide.

34. Meditate

Try meditation if you’re looking for a quiet, more inward-focused activity. Whether you prefer guided meditation or just a few minutes of quiet contemplation, we’re sure you’ll love the feeling of inner peace that comes with meditating in nature.

35. Give (or get) a massage

If you’re camping with a partner or friend, try giving each other massages. A good massage can do miracles as it improves blood circulation and reduces stress. Just imagine it combined with beautiful natural surroundings in the wild.

36. Do some deep breathing


Deep breathing is a simple yet effective way to relax and calm your mind, thus reducing stress, improving mood, and higher energy levels. It’s a great activity to do on its own or as a prelude to meditation or yoga.

You’ll need to find a quiet and comfortable spot to sit or lie down. Either close your eyes or keep them open, whichever feels more comfortable for you. 

Take a few minutes to focus on your breath and take slow, deep breaths through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to let go of any thoughts or distractions and focus on the present moment as you breathe. 

37. Practice some mindful breathing

Similar to deep breathing, mindful breathing involves focusing on your breath and paying attention to your present moment experience. This is beneficial to relaxation and reduces stress.

38. Take a nature walk

Go for a leisurely walk through the surrounding area and take in the sights and sounds of nature. This is a great way to get some exercise and clear your mind.

Adventure activities for thrill seekers

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, there are plenty of camping adventure activities to try while camping. Here are a few ideas:

39. Climb rocks

rock climbing

If you’re camping in an area with cliffs or rock formations, bring along your climbing gear and give rock climbing a try. 

Whether you’re an experienced climber or just a newbie, it’s worth feeling exhilarated about tackling a new route. Again, be sure to follow proper safety guidelines and get a climbing partner.

40. Go zip lining

If you’re looking for a bird’s-eye view, try zip lining. Many campsites and adventure parks offer zip lining as an activity, and it’s a great way to get your heart racing. 

To go zip lining, you’ll need to find a location that offers this activity. Wear appropriate protective gear, such as a helmet and harness. Some zip lining locations might have age and weight restrictions, so check before your trip. 

41. Try white water rafting

If you’re camping near a river with rapids, try white water rafting. You’ll need a reputable guide service offering this activity and protective gear. White rafting is an excellent activity for those who love real adventure and testing their limits.

42. Go mountain biking

mountain biking

If you’re an experienced mountain biker or just love to ride, bring your bike and hit the trails. Whether you’re tackling a steep incline or cruising through a scenic forest, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of being out on the trails. 

Of course, bring appropriate protective gear – such as a helmet, gloves, and padding – and don’t forget to take plenty of water and snacks to fuel your ride!

Bottom line

There are endless rewarding camping activities that can give you so much fun when camping, whether you prefer outdoor adventures, campfire fun, group games, solo relaxation, water-based activities, educational pursuits, or adrenaline-pumping adventures. 

The key is to find what suits your interests and comfort level and is appropriate for the location and camping conditions. Remember: whatever you do, camping safety should always be at the top of your head.

By planning your next camping trip ahead, you can have a fun and memorable experience while respecting the natural surroundings and the needs of your fellow campers. 

So get out there and explore all that nature has to offer!

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