Everything You Need to Have A Backyard Camping Experience Like No Other

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Cooped-up cranky kids need a little excitement, adventure, and a break from the routine. Pitching a tent in the backyard, singing campfire songs, telling spooky stories, and enjoying pleasant weather- all while in walking distance of the convenience of real plumbing and easy resupplies– is enough to turn even a reluctant camper into a seasoned outdoor explorer this summer. Still, there are some essential backyard camping supplies you shouldn’t skip! Here’s the top items to have for the perfect backyard camping trip with your kids.

Backyard Camping Essentials



Best Backyard Tents

This massive whole-family tent is a car campers paradise, and for backyard camping it’s roomy enough for a crowd, and tall enough for mom or dad to stand comfortably too. The zippered window and vestibule give plenty of options for temperature control, so it’s easy to get cozy and snug in this generously sized tent.

On warm nights, this easy to assemble tent is a stargazers dream, with the rainfly left off you’ll have gorgeous views as you drift off to sleep. Perfect for one parent and child, or as a second tent for older children in a big family.

If you’re committed to really roughing it, picking up the essentials, like a quality cooler, campfire safe percolator, battery operated fan, and an easy to operate portable stove, all help support your outdoorsman bona fides.

Sleeping Bags

The built-in pillows on these cotton sleeping bags make them an instant success; perfect for nights or naps. Bring the wild inside with these woodland themed bags that little children are sure to adore.

Elementary aged kiddos that aren’t tall enough for full-size adult bags don’t have to have their choices limited only to cartoon character bags. These glow in the dark mummy style bags are a cooler, cozier version of adult mummy bags, and the faint glow is perfect for avoiding errant steps on a mid-night bathroom run.

Backyard Camping Activities

Scary, but not too scary, this horror collection is ideal for the independent readers through the double digit crowd, spooky enough to even keep younger teens entertained. Full of horror favorites like ghosts, ghouls, zombies and more, keep the fireside ghost story tradition alive with this fresh collection of frightening tales.

Stargazing is immediately entrancing when you know what you’re looking for, and this field guide helps anyone in the world get immersed in the view. Good for both plain-view and telescope users, you’ll have kids feeling like old-world pioneers, or pirates, in no time.

Kids of all ages can enjoy stargazing with this beginner telescope, an affordable model that balances ease of use with view capabilities. Smooth controls keep navigating simple, and it’s also perfect for daytime birdwatching.

Geocaching in your local park may be on hold for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to explore or discover in your own backyard. Uncover buried treasure, arrowheads, and more with this easy to use beginner metal detector.

Bring the feeling that you’re roughing it by limiting music and news to what’s available on the radio. This NOAA weather radio is amazing to have during dangerous weather, but the long lasting battery life means it also offers a ton of entertainment value.

Tradition may call for finding your own roasting stick and carefully sharpening it, but tradition doesn’t have several small children howling for smores. Skip the whittling and come prepared with this ready to use camp for that makes roasting marshmallows or hot dogs quick and easy. A set of fondue forks accomplish the task for anyone cooking over sterno cans or a gas stove.

Getting into the camping spirit starts before the sun sets, and these lightweight horseshoes make the game accessible even to younger kids. Old school though they may be, they’re still infinitely more portable than the average cornhole set.

Imagination is the destination in any backyard camping adventure, and this plush canoe is the perfect vehicle to take you on your journey—you never know where you’ll end up!

If you’ve got room for a traditional fire pit or mini grill for marshmallow roasting that’s great, but this risk free set is ideal for families with very young children, drought conditions, or a lack of outdoor space and is great for keeping little ones entertained with their imaginations. The set includes 4 logs, 14 stones, hotdog, marshmallow, 2 roasting sticks and 2 plush fire flames

Outdoor Lighting

There aren’t a lot of feelings more heartwarming and cozy than having the whole family together, snuggled down into their sleeping bags and drifting off, but enjoying the gentle flicker of candlelight these little battery nightlights provide with no flame risk is a pretty satisfying feel too.

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