Indoor Camping Guide
Make the most of a staycation at home.
2 Min. Read | Home & Backyard
Sometimes a camping trip just doesn’t work out. It could be a last-minute work obligation, bad weather coming in, or a tummy ache – and just like that, your carefully-laid plans for a trip to a campground go out the window.
But just because you have to stay at home doesn’t mean your family can’t have a fun camping trip under your own roof. A staycation might be just what you need to keep things easy, fun and relaxed – and bring a little of that outdoor feeling into your own home.
The Most Comfortable Campsite Ever
First things first: just like when you’re camping outside, you have to start by finding the right spot to set up. Clear out a space that’s big enough for your tent, with enough space around the tent flap to get in and out easily. Since you don’t have to worry about wind and rain, you can save yourself some time and skip the stakes (obviously) and the rain fly.
One big benefit of staying at home is that you aren’t limited to the gear you can fit in your car. Use a couple sleeping pads under your sleeping bag instead of one – or, use the air mattress that you normally bring out for guests. Haul out some extra blankets or throws to make the sleeping bags extra cozy. And get ready to drift off on piles of pillows instead of just one.
Help your kids see the house in a whole new way by setting up a scavenger hunt. Create directions or clues to lead them through the rooms – maybe they’re collecting ingredients for an after dinner treat, or finding mementos from past camping trips to win a prize at the end.
Turn out the lights, get out the lanterns and headlamps, and have some old-fashioned fun. Get out your board games and card games and get ready to laugh together. Because in the end, it’s not about where you go – it’s about who you’re with.
Camp Cuisine in the Kitchen
One of our favorite parts of camping out is the food: marshmallows toasted over the fire, smoky burgers and hot dogs, flame-licked bread. Why give up on that delicious camp cuisine just because you’re not at the campsite?
If you have a grill, it’s easy to prepare food just like you would over the camp grill or campfire. If not, you can get pretty close with your kitchen stove. Toast marshmallows right over the gas range. Sip hot cocoa and coffee from travel mugs right in your living room. And if you’re craving some real backcountry food, there’s no reason you can’t prepare a freeze-dried lightweight backpacking meal right at your kitchen table.
You can make s’mores in your microwave! Place a graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow on a paper towel, then zap it for 10-15 seconds. Top with another graham cracker and enjoy!
Fun and Games – No Screen Required
We don’t go camping just to spend time outside – we also do it to reconnect with family and friends. When we spend time together away from modern distractions, the connections are stronger, the laughs deeper and the stories better. So even when you’re indoors, surrounded by the temptations of modernity, use your “staycation” to have some fun together.