Camping is one of our great pastimes, but after you have arrived at your campground and set up your campsite, you might find yourself thinking of ways to pass the time. Here are five camp-friendly activities you might want to try:
Who said camping food had to be boring? While many campers bring dehydrated foods and pre-packed items, you can impress your family with a gourmet meal made right on the campfire.
What You Will Need:
- Over-the-fire cooking grill
- Stock pot set
- Stainless steel cooking utensils
- Sporks for the entire family
- Camp dishes
Try cooking up a one-pot, Dutch-oven-style meal of braised beef and summer veggies. Here is how:
- Set up your campfire and use a 4- to 6-quart pot for cooking. Add in two tablespoons of butter, melt, and add in about two pounds of beef. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until it is browned. Turn the beef over and add two cups of chicken broth to the pot. Cook for an hour.
- Turn the meat over again and add one more cup of broth. Add in vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, corn and potatoes. Again, cook for one hour.
- Turn the meat, add additional vegetables, such as zucchini and green beans. Add more broth if necessary. Continue to cook until the beef is tender and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Before cooking, check on any fire restrictions with the campground staff. If the campground you are visiting does not allow wood-burning fires, use a propane burner, if allowed, to cook instead. For more camp-friendly recipes, check out our camping cookbooks.
If you are camping with small children, host a scavenger hunt. A nature-inspired scavenger hunt can help kids learn about the outdoors and have fun.
Make a list of items (use pictures for smaller children), including things like a pine needle, green leaf, wildflower, pine cone, tree bark, stones and other items that can be found around your camping spot. Take along enough brown paper bags for the kids to collect their treasures.
After they have found everything, spread the items on a picnic blanket or table and discuss each one. This simple outdoor activity can help your kids learn to identify the things they encounter while camping.
Identify Animal Tracks
Part of the excitement of camping is being close to the wildlife. For campers in remote areas, animal spotting or tracking is a great way to pass the time. Novice animal trackers can take along a resource to help, such as a tracking book with illustrations and tracking tips to help identify scat signs, trails, feeding areas and dens.
For campers in more populated areas or highly trafficked campgrounds where wildlife might not be as present, bird watching is a great alternative. Take along a guidebook for birds in the area you will be camping and keep a list of all the different species you see. Just remember to take a set of quality binoculars.
Camp activities such as tossing around a football or playing Frisbee are popular, but why not add a little competition to your camping experience by setting up a game of horseshoes? Create a court that is 40-feet long and place your stakes at each end. You could use fallen wood to create a box around the stake to keep the horseshoes from rolling away. Ultra-competitive campers who really want to play by the book can use the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association rules.