Whether you’re not able to make it to the great outdoors, or you’re looking to introduce younger children to camping and test the waters, backyard and indoor camping are great choices to consider. We’ve spoken before about the benefits of planning outdoor trips with kids, and the benefits of heading outdoors for your relationship—and a lot of those same principles apply here too.

Many of us have fond memories of our own camping experiences as children. While backyard camping may not be the real thing, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t equally enjoyable memories to be made. Ultimately any time spent outside is beneficial and it’s a great break from the stress of our everyday lives. For those who don’t have the space or ability to camp in their backyard, indoor camping offers a night of fun as well.

As an adult, a bit of faux-camping is something to switch up your routine, reminisce in that childhood bliss, and even be a little silly. Regardless of age, camping is a great way to bond as a family or as a couple, you may be surprised how much older kids enjoy it too. The benefit of backyard camping is that if you, your partner, or your kids aren’t having fun, the weather isn’t cooperating, or the mosquitos are having a feeding frenzy, you can pack up and head indoors! It’s also a perfect opportunity for younger children to build confidence and become more comfortable with outdoor activities in a familiar space. During all of this, you’ll certainly be looking towards the future with bigger adventures and outdoor fun to come.

Setting Up “Camp”

Pitch a Tent

A tent is an essential part of camping! Head outside, get things started and set up your own mini campground and pitch your tent in your backyard, get out your sleeping bags and flashlights for a lively evening. For indoor camping utilize your living room, den, or even your bedroom and re-arrange the chairs and couches to create a fort with an overhead blanket or bedsheet. Make sure to fill your tent or fort with comfy pillows. This is the perfect space to relax, catch up, giggle, and cuddle up with your kids or loved one. For a bit of extra ambiance string some lights across your tent or fort, or use glow sticks.

Always Room For S’mores

No outdoor or faux-outdoor experience would be complete without the proper accompanying treats. If you’re able to make a fire in your backyard, take advantage and get roasting! Get out your lawn chairs and set them up around the fire as you settle in. Nothing says camping like hot dogs cooked on a stick or a gooey, delicious s’more. Switch things up from the classic recipe and consider the delicious possibilities. If you’re not able to build your own fire, don’t worry, you’re not out of luck! Assemble your s’more, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds and enjoy. No matter your age, s’mores are one of camping’s greatest creations.

Tons Of Activities To Choose From

A Break From Technology

A day of backyard camping is a great opportunity to unplug and enjoy the simpler things. Catch up and chat, tell stories, sing songs, play backyard games (with a dash of friendly competition of course!), try to catch fireflies, play tag and run around, or just relax and maybe enjoy a summer cocktail. Another activity that is a great way to get kids excited about being outdoors is a scavenger hunt. You can either hide items around your yard or house or make it nature-themed and have them look for particular items like rocks, sticks, insects, things that smell good, or interesting textures. The possibilities are endless and customizable to your tastes. For an adult twist, hide thoughtful notes or treats for your partner to find. Your backyard camping experience can be whatever you’d like it to be.

A Bit of Tech: Backyard Movies and Stargazing

Create your own personal “drive-in theatre” by watching a backyard movie. Drape a white sheet and set up your projector for a unique outdoor viewing experience. If you don’t have a projector, try your hand at making a DIY projector with your cell phone. If you’re outdoors, enjoy a peaceful moment, look up at the sky, and take in the tranquility of stargazing. If you’re inside, you’ll have to use a bit more imagination. Whether you’re inside or outside there are a variety of stargazing apps you can try out.

Plan For Your Next Adventure

Now that you’re thoroughly inspired and possibly a bit more connected with nature, it’s time to plan your next great outdoor feat. If you decide to head out for a full-on camping experience, there are a wide variety of options in the Chattanooga region, for you to consider. There are a ton of great outdoor activities in and around the area for you to take advantage of as well. Or consider spending the day with us here at Cascade Outdoors for a day of excitement and exhilaration during either our half-day or full-day whitewater rafting trips! Just remember you need to be at least 12 to participate. Now get outside and enjoy the outdoors!