Have you ever heard someone say that camping is boring? If you have then I bet whoever said that was not partaking in any of the fun activities that you can do while camping. You can be as active or as lazy as you want to be while camping. The number of things that you can do or can not do is one of the best attributes of camping.
So, is camping boring? Camping is not boring because there are so many activities that you can do while camping. Here are 71 activities you can do to ensure that your camping experience is not boring:
By the way, If you are in the market for a new tent, then you should click here to see the one I recommend on Amazon.
Intellectual / Creative
There are many things that you can try to learn while you are camping. Camping can be a great time to learn a new language if you have some materials that can be used offline. You could bring a book or other types of learning materials with you.
Reading is one of the ultimate intellectual activities that you can partake in. Unfortunately, it seems like there is never enough time in the day to get some reading in. However, if you are camping and you get bored then try occupying your mind with a good book. You are bound to find something worth reading at your local library.
Writing is an activity that I never thought I could enjoy until I got into blogging. Whatever kind of writing you are doing, if it occupies your mind and keeps you entertained then do it. A lot of people like writing stories, poems, novels, etc. Whatever may pique your interest, give writing a try whether it be by hand or typing on a computer.
Journaling is a form of writing that is more personal to the person writing it. It is a way to document experiences, thoughts, feelings, and reactions. Lots of successful people in history have kept a journal, and now with the digital resources, we have today it is easier than ever to keep some kind of recollection of our personal affairs.
Drawing is a really simple creative activity that doesn’t require many materials. It doesn’t require much skill to get started either and it can be done just about anywhere, including when you are camping. If drawing is an activity that you enjoy then take some materials with you when you go camping.
They say that you can do meditation pretty much anywhere, however, I personally find it easier to do somewhere that is relatively quiet. It just so happens that camping in remote areas tends to be relatively quiet. Camping can be a great time to meditate, or just give meditation a try. There are numerous mental and health benefits that meditation offers, so take advantage of it and keep your mind and body happy while camping.
Everyone can be a photographer these days with the modern advancements that smartphone cameras have made. To the untrained eye (like mine), it can be difficult to distinguish between a picture taken with a fancy camera and a nice smartphone. There are plenty of sights to see and photograph when you are camping such as landscapes, plants, animals, bodies of water, etc. If you are bored then challenge yourself to go out and take some really good pictures.
Painting is said to be a really relaxing and fulfilling activity for creative types. If you are a creative type then bring some of your painting gear with you on your camping trip and paint something you see. Whether it be a tree, a squirrel, a mountain, a lake, etc. There is bound to be something of beauty for you to try and replicate on your canvas.
If you are musically inclined then bring your instrument with you. If the instrument is loud and you are camping in a regular campground with other people then you might want to reconsider so that you are not rude. However, the guitar and harmonica are very popular instruments that are tied to camping and sitting around a campfire, and for good reason.
Listening to Music
If you are not so musically inclined enough to create music (like me) then your next best bet is to just listen to music that other musically inclined people have created for you. It’s easy to download music for offline use now. If you are camping near other people then you should keep your music down low, or better yet just use headphones. If you are curious about the official rules on listening to music while camping then read this post that I wrote.
You don’t see very many people using puzzles anymore. More specifically, jigsaw puzzles. In fact, I checked Google Trends and confirmed that interest in jigsaw puzzles has definitely gone down over time. I think it is because we like everything to be so fast-paced nowadays. However, puzzles can be a really time-consuming and brain-building activity to do while camping.
Adults have coloring books too. Coloring is a creative activity that can be really relaxing of the mind because it can lower stress and help you focus on something. All it takes is some colored pencils and a coloring book, so there’s no excuse not to do it while you are camping if you need something to keep you occupied. Especially if you are trapped inside your tent or RV because it’s raining outside.
Scrapbooking is another activity that allows you to release your creativity and express yourself in a unique way. Scrapbooking can be done with a variety of images from magazines, family photos, or other printed pictures. If you do it at home, then why not do it while camping to help make yourself feel more at home.
Knitting isn’t just for your grandma. Anyone can do it and anyone can create useful items to bring home or use while you are camping. Depending on how many supplies you are going to need will probably determine what kind of items you can create. If you are cold then why not knit yourself a scarf, right?
Taking advantage of all the slow time you have while camping can help you create some nice jewelry to give away to friends and family or maybe even sell for a profit on a unique goods marketplace. Just like knitting, the size and complexity of your project are correlated to the amount of gear and items you need to bring with you, so just keep that in mind. When someone asks where “where did you get that?” you can proudly say “I made it”.
Origami is an ancient traditional art form of folding paper. It is fun, easy, and inexpensive to get into. It can be done just about anywhere because most of the time you only need paper and your hands. No one knows for sure if it was created in China or Japan, but it is collectively agreed that Japan is the country that made this creative activity popular.
Relaxing / Calm
It’s amazing how many games you can play with a basic 52 card deck. The possibilities are nearly endless if you have someone else or a group to play with. If not, there is always a game of Solitaire you can play. There are also many other card games besides the 52 card deck. One of my favorites is Uno!
Board games are another great option for hours of entertainment if you are bored. Board games can provide hours of entertainment for only a one time purchase. My favorite is Monopoly, and we all know that Monopoly can really take a lot of time to finish.
Paper and Pencil Games
Even if you don’t have any specific board games or a deck of cards, you still have options. There are a plethora of games that can be played with just paper and a pencil (or pen). Three of my favorites are Tic-Tac-Toe, Hangman (even though it has dark origins, and Dots. There are a ton more games to learn and play of course.
Group games are simply games you play that don’t require anything. No pencils, no paper, no board, nothing. Probably the most popular example of this is charades, but there are hundreds of creative ideas for these types of games. I guess you could categorize drinking games into this as well.
Darts outdoors can be a really fun alternative to darts in a dark and gloomy bar. All you need to do is find an adequate way to hang a dartboard up. If you are planning on using a tree then please figure out a way to do so without damaging the tree (no nails, screws, etc.)
Creative cooking is cooking an art form in itself that you can eat afterward. Unlike regular cooking. if you do creative cooking then you are presenting somewhat of a challenge to yourself. Most of the time all you need to do is bring a camping recipe with you that you have never tried before and then do it!
Taking a boring piece of raw wood and turning into something useful and/or beautiful. It can be a good way to occupy your time if you’re into that kind of thing. This is another hobby that you don’t hear too much about, but you can create artwork that is beautiful or you can create something useful that can aid you in other tasks.
Watching Shows / Movies
Although excessive use of electronics is generally frowned upon while camping if you need to keep yourself busy and entertained then they can present an easy way to do so. It is easy to download your favorite movies and shows and bring them along with you while camping to watch offline on your laptop, tablet, or phone.
Some people heavily associate camping with drinking alcohol, especially when you are camping with a group of people like family or friends. Crack open a cold one so that you can relax and possibly open up to those around you.
Balancing rocks are traditionally made for navigational purposes in backcountry hikes within National Parks and National Forests. Balancing rocks can be a fun way to test your patience. Rock balancing can also be a friendly competitive event with friends and family. Always return rocks to where you found them if you are not directly within a developed area because by leaving balanced rocks in the backcountry you would not be following proper “leave no trace” principles.
Rocks can be a lot of fun as you may know. If you are camping near a large body of water then you are in luck because that is the best place to skip rocks. The key is to find the smoothest and somewhat thin rock. The next key to skipping rocks is having proper technique with the angle that you toss your rock. Again this can be a friendly competitive event with family and friends.
You can’t be bored when you are sharing stories among friends and family or even complete strangers for that matter. Sharing your stories around a campfire can bring anyone to be closer to each other. They can be real-life experiences or just made up fun stories.
Meet Someone New
Believe it or not, camping is a great opportunity to talk to someone you don’t know. If you are in a regular campground then there are probably many people around you that you have never met or seen before. Depending on where you go you could end up meeting people from around the state, the country, or even the world.
If it’s just you and your partner camping together and the weather is good then keep yourselves occupied with this classic activity. If you are staying in a tent then try to be quiet because they don’t exactly block noise very well…
Staring at the campfire
Okay not really a hobby or activity, but you have to admit that there is just something about some wood burning into ashes that is just mesmerizing. You can get lost for several minutes at a time just deeply focused on the crackling wood of a campfire. I think it’s just our human nature of being fascinated by fire since as far as I know, humans are the only species to ever master the flame (sometimes).
Hammocking is a very strenuous and arduous activity of laying or sitting in a hammock. Just kidding about the strenuous stuff but it is extremely relaxing and soothing. There isn’t any other kind of surface that I have found that has the same effect as a hammock. I never take naps, but ever since I got a hammock for my camping adventures I have been known to take a quick snooze during the day from time to time. If you want to see what kind of hammocks I have then click here to visit my hammock review page.
Some of the best stargazing opportunities take place in the most remote regions where luckily campgrounds are located or where camping is allowed. The reason the stars are so much better while camping is mainly because there is less light pollution to brighten up the sky and block the star’s natural light. Often you need to stay up late to see the most stars, but it’s totally worth it!
Some of the best sunsets can be seen while you are camping. Everyone knows about sunsets at the beach, but they can be just as beautiful in the mountains, and in the desert. No matter where you are camping, there is bound to be a beautiful sunset nearby. Personally, I think the best sunset I have personally seen so far has actually been in the desert in Death Valley National Park.
Sunrise can be a rewarding experience just like the sunset (you just have to get up really early, depending on the time of year). They say that shortly after sunset is one of the best times for photography as well.
Outdoor / Exercise
Some people like running. I am not one of those people, but if you are then don’t let camping stop you. If you are staying at a regular campground then you could run around the campground itself. Better yet, if there is a suitable trail then trail running could be even more fun then running around in circles at the campground.
Calisthenics simply refers to bodyweight exercises that you can do petty much anywhere, including while you are camping. Bodyweight exercises include (but are not limited to) pushups, pullups, squats, lunges, and situps. Calisthenics can be a great way to work out while away from your regular gym.
Take it a step further from bodyweight exercises and actually lift some weights when you are camping. If you have room in the car then bringing some weights from home can help you maintain your fitness while you are camping. Probably the easiest way to do this is to bring adjustable dumbbells from home.
Okay “cleaning up” is a pretty broad term, but when you are camping, the best way to clean up is to pick up any mess that is deteriorating the natural environment. Unfortunately, some people that go camping are not as respectful as they should be. We need to rise above sometimes and make up for other people’s unresponsible actions.
Mountain biking is a more intense activity that pairs well with camping. Some people are so passionate about it that the only reason they are camping is for a good location to ride. All you need to get started is a bike and some basic safety gear like a helmet. You could find yourself really getting into it if you try it.
Just as with mountain biking, you can road bike in many places where you go camping. I have seen many people going up and down mountain roads on road bikes. While I could never see myself doing this, it might interest you. If you have a road bike at home then at least bring it along with you and give it a try.
There are many sports or variations of sports that you can play just about anywhere. Some sports you can partake in while camping includes (but is certainly not limited to) football, baseball, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, etc. If you like playing sports at home then wait till you organize a game while you are out camping!
Toss A Ball
You can bring various balls from various sports and just play toss. Perfect for two or three people and it can be done with many different types of balls. Football, baseball, softball, etc. Sometimes just tossing a ball back and forth can be a good therapeutic activity.
Toss A Frisbee
Frisbees are cheap and easy to find, and yet they present countless hours of entertainment. Instead of playing a frisbee sport like ultimate frisbee or frisbee golf, you could just leisurely toss a frisbee back and forth. Your dog might also want to play this game.
How can camping be boring when you are in close proximity to wildlife? Depending on where you are camping at you could see so many different unique species of animals from large to small. Some of my favorites are watching deer and squirrels. In some areas of the country, bears, wolves, and moose are commonly sought after for wildlife viewing.
Just like with wildlife viewing, bird watching is a really relaxing hobby that also gets you a good deal of exercise because you have to track down different bird species. It can be amazing to know how many species of birds live in just one small area. Bring a good pair of binoculars and maybe a guide on what kind of bird species to be on the lookout for.
Hiking is by far my favorite pastime while camping. Hiking is an excellent way to get some heart-healthy exercise and discover something new and exciting in the outdoors. Many campgrounds have hiking trails that start within the campground itself. Others have networks of trails that are within walking distance (see what I did there?). No matter where you go camping, there is probably a really good trail for you to hike and explore nearby.
Fishing is another activity that is synonymous with camping. Especially because some of the most sought after camping excursions take place near bodies of water where fishing is plentiful. Fishing can also be very passive or very active depending on the style of fishing you decide to do. So if you need something to do when you are camping, bust out the old reel and rod! Don’t forget a license too!
Fly fishing is a style of fishing that involves using a fly as bait. It is a more technical method of fishing that requires some specialized skill to get right. Many fly fishers take pride in their catch because they have to persuade the fish to bite since the fly fisher needs to make their “fly” act like the real thing.
Spearfishing is another style of fishing that is definitely more active since it involves “hunting down” the fish with a spear underwater. It is mostly done in the ocean, but some limited spearfishing is done in freshwater. If you are a good swimmer and like to actively chase and stock your prey then spearfishing may be right for you.
A lot of people go camping when they go hunting. Some people are so serious about hunting that the only reason they are camping is because of hunting trips. You don’t have to be that serious if you don’t want to, but you do need a license. There are also many rules and regulations you will need to learn if you want to try out hunting.
Archery takes us back to our roots. It allows us to develop a skill that many of us no longer possess. If shooting a bow and arrow at various targets sounds fun to you then get started! Seriously, I have done it a few times and I really want to get back into it. There is something about improving this skill and actually getting to see your shots get better that is really exciting.
Geocaching is an activity where you search for hidden objects using GPS coordination. Some geocaches can be done using just your phone’s GPS system. It’s very similar to a treasure hunt and can contain riddles, clues, and many other things. It really is a lot of fun, especially when you are camping.
Yoga can be really relaxing or intense. Yoga has been said to be a mixture of breathing control, meditation and exercise all in one. Camping can offer you some of the most beautiful places in the world to practice Yoga. Another great benefit of Yoga is that it doesn’t really require much equipment besides the mat.
If you are camping somewhere with a body of water like a lake, river, ocean, etc. Then why not take a swim if it is safe to do so. If you are staying in an upscale campground then there might even be a swimming pool. Camping, swimming, and summer all go hand in hand together and swimming is a great low impact way to exercise and keep yourself occupied.
If you are camping at the ocean then you have access to something that most other bodies of water do not; consistent waves. It was pretty difficult for me to stand for the first time while learning to surf. Some people fall in love with it and want to spend every waking hour out “on the waves” Maybe you are one of those people, just give it a try.
Floating is a beginner-friendly activity because all the work is usually done for you by the rushing water. River floating is a popular pastime for many people, and if you are camping near a river then you too can partake in this activity. A nice single person doughnut float tube is cheap and yet it can provide for many hours of memories. Floating can also be done leisurely on still bodies of water like lakes and be just as fun.
Kayaking / Canoeing
Another really fun activity that you can do outside when you are camping near a large body of water is kayaking. Of course, you are going to need a vehicle large enough to carry one if you are bringing your own, but there are often vendors in popular camping areas that rent out kayaks and canoes to campers. Kayak fishing is another on the water activity you can combine.
If you have a boat then you can bring it camping with you, or sometimes in popular destinations, there are boats that you can rent. With a boat, you can fish, float tube, water ski, or just drive around because it is fun.
Cliff jumping is really fun to do when it is deep enough and safe enough to do so. This activity takes a bit of courage (and recklessness) but its really fun. I always swim in the area I am going to be jumping into first so that I can make sure that it is deep enough and there are no surprises under the water that could lead to an injury. Be safe!
Rock climbing is a challenging and fun activity to do while camping. Some people go camping in some locations exclusively because they are rock climbing there. I have seen a ton of rock climbers in Joshua Tree National Park and at Yosemite National Park. It looks really fun, but there is a lot to learn. You need to have a good amount of strength for this activity as well.
Bouldering is like rock climbing’s little sibling. You generally use a lot less equipment and do it on smaller rocks. The three main things you need for bouldering are a crash pad, good shoes, and some chalk. If you aren’t that serious, then just climbing some rocks can be really fun.
Mountaineering can really mean a lot of different things, but to me, it simply means climbing a mountain. How you get to the top of that mountain is up to you. You can hike up it, you can rock climb up it, or some kind of combination. Conquering mountains is a lot of fun! Well, it at least gives you a lot of bragging rights to your friends. For example, I can tell my friends that I have climbed the tallest mountain in the lower 48 (Mt. Whitney).
Scuba diving is amazing because you get to see life from a different perspective. A large majority of our earth is water, and scuba allows you to explore it since it is otherwise impossible. I am glad that I got my scuba license because it is good for life and recognized around the world. There are many more exotic locations where I would someday like to explore by scuba diving.
Snorkeling is the beginner-friendly version of scuba diving. All you need in many cases is just a snorkel, mask, and fins. It’s fun to explore underwater whether you are swimming in the ocean, a lake, or a river. Snorkeling doesn’t require much gear or preparation so its perfect for many people that like swimming.
Play with the kids
Kids can be entertained by the most random things. If you are camping with your kids then you can keep your self entertained by entertaining them! Whether it be just walking around, playing with rocks, or playing a game with them, they will probably appreciate the time together. You will too because it gives you something to do.
Just because you are camping does not mean you have to stay in one place. Camping can be an amazing opportunity for travel and exploration on the cheap. There are many campgrounds located near popular and unique sights for you to see. For example, many people go camping when they are visiting Mount Rushmore.
Scavenger hunts are a fun game where you must collect certain objects. It works really good when you are camping because nature has many options for unique objects to collect. Kids really love playing this game, but its fun for adults too. The game can get really competitive if the first person or team to collect all of the objects wins!
Collecting firewood can save you a lot of money from having to buy your firewood. Many places have restrictions against the collection of firewood so be sure to know the rules of the area you are camping in. However, it can be a rewarding experience to go out and gather downed wood in order to keep warm at night.
There are so many events in National Parks, National Forests, and State Parks that a lot of people do not take advantage of. Rangers of these locales often host events where they guide you on hikes and the history of the area you are visiting. It can be a really entertaining way to learn more about an area that you are camping in.
Playing fetch with your dog (or cat?)
Perhaps not much exercise for you, but it is a lot of exercise for your dog. They certainly will enjoy it and their happiness often correlates to our own. Just make sure that you are in an area where your dog is off of a leash will not cause any problems with other campers or wild animals. There is often a rule against allowing your dog to be off of a leash, but it is seldom followed or enforced.
My Favorite Camping Gear
- Air Mattress: click here to check out my favorite on Amazon.
- Tent: click here to see my favorite tent available on Amazon.
- Sleeping Pad: click here to check out the one I love on Amazon.
- Sleeping Bag: click here to see the one I recommend on Amazon.
- Camping Stove: click here to see the best camping stove on Amazon.