If you and your family love the great outdoors, chances are you’re a little despondent right now. With the current global pandemic, trailer parks and other camping sites temporarily closed, it might seem harder than ever to get your camping fix.
It might sound counterintuitive, but consider camping in your backyard. It can be a whole lot of fun for the family. Breaking your regular routine to spend a night under the stars right outside your home can be surprisingly refreshing, not to mention the many activities you can enjoy.
Creating your own camping tents
Your local camping stores are likely to be shut down at the moment, so it is the perfect opportunity for your family to have a go at doing some DIY tents!
Here are some ideas you can use to get creative with your DIY tents:
Use PVC pipes and sheets of fabric to make an outdoor ‘playhouse’ for your kids.
Grab some bamboo, thread and fabric to create a more robust tepee. This serves as a fun alternative to a traditional camping tent, and you can easily add windows and a front entrance with vinyl and a great mesh material.
Ultimately, creating your own camping tent is going to come down to careful planning and consideration of your individual needs. Good quality poles, fabric and zippers are going to be important.
Consider the climate of your backyard. Will mosquitos pose a problem? If they do, buying a mosquito net for your tent is essential. Also, if you live in a particularly rainy area, you should try to plan for this with some durable, water resistant fabrics for your tent.
Other essentials for backyard camping
Along with a tent, you are going to need a few other things for a cozy night under the stars! Take a look at this list and see how many you need:
Comfortable sleeping bags
Warm pajamas and thermal clothes, depending on where you live
Snacks and games
Optional campfire, if you’re going to really get into the camping vibe!
Your tent will need kitting out with the appropriate camping accessories. Think along the lines of flashlights and toys. The fun really begins once the sun goes down.
Backyard camping activities
Need some inspiration for games and activities you can do with your family while you camp in the backyard?
Spend some time hanging fairy lights or lamps around the tent - they will create a really cozy atmosphere and help anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable with the total darkness!
Stage a treasure hunt for everyone to take part in. You could take some time before it gets dark to hide a very small item somewhere in the backyard. Once it gets dark, everyone can take a break from the tent and race to find the item first.
Cook some s’mores on a campfire. (Sometimes the classics are the best)
Do some backyard bingo. Get your kids interested in all the different kinds of insects and plants they can learn about in your backyard. Write up a bingo card for each family member - the winner is whoever spots all the wildlife on their card first! This is great for teaching your kids more about nature, and maybe even inspiring them to explore on their own.
If you are an outdoorsy family, there is no doubt that the social distancing measures imposed by COVID-19 have affected your ability to enjoy nature.
Hopefully you feel excited by the idea of setting up (or building) a tent in your own backyard. Perhaps a simple change in atmosphere will give you the break you need from cabin fever.