Campers generally do not have a problem keeping busy in the great outdoors. Activities at the camp are numerous. There is all the setting up to do, and at the
end, all the pulling down. Wandering about the bush and poking the fire with a stick takes up surprisingly large amounts of time. Then there’s the cooking, trying to keep clean, beer drinking and mosquito wars.
Now and then, however, a camper finds he or she must come up with a diversion; either the kids or the newbie camper is bored, or one needs to get the others the heck away from one’s self so one can enjoy the book one is reading.
Below are a few suggestions you might want to try, should the need arise:
I am aware that this is a camping and hiking website, so this first suggestion might seem like a cheat; but people sometimes forget that hiking doesn’t have to be a formal activity. a leisurely walk can be (and often is) more enjoyable than a steep climb up a hillside. Never go alone; always take a partner with you, and don’t wander so far off you can’t find your way back again. Take your backpack with you and stuff a camera, a couple of oranges, a bottle of water, maybe a bird book and binoculars if you’re into bird watching. Don’t forget a whistle and bear repellent. Great cameras for camping
Get a disposable camera for the kids. You would be amazed at the photos they take, and when you get them developed at home it can be a revelation to see the trip through the eyes of your children. Even kids as young as six love to use a camera. If you want some great tips for taking great pictures of wildlife, check out Beartooth Anthony’s excellent article on the subject of wildlife photography by clicking here.
Get ’em involved.
Drawing, rock collecting, identifying plants and bugs and little critters are all activities anyone can do no matter what their age. Teach the kids to skip rocks in the river (or have them teach you). If the kids get whiny and say they’re bored, give them an easy chore or two to do. That will accomplish two things–a chore will get done and you will be amazed at how quickly they find something to amuse themselves after that.
Bird watching is an activity that is always enjoyable and can combine hiking and photography, depending on how serious you want to get about it. Bring a long a good birding book for birds in the area you are hiking in, and even a small notebook to keep a record of the kinds of birds you’ve spotted. It’s a great hobby to get the kids involved with. It can be addictive!
Treasure map with buried treasure.
We started this for the kids but I have to tell you, everybody loves to look for buried treasure. This takes some planning at home, but have one for the kids and one for the adults. Put chocolate gold coins, fake jewelry, plastic gold or silver goblets from the dollar store in the kids; and do something more sophisticated for the adults–a camping tool such as a magnesium block and striker, or tickets to an upcoming event at home, a gift card–the sky’s the limit. Prepare the look of the map at home, and when you get to the site secretly select the spot to bury the treasure (wrap it against dirt and water), and then draw the map when no one’s looking.
Use brown paper lunch bags and write the list on the bag so they don’t lose it and also have something handy to put their treasures in. An oval rock, three leaves from different plants, a mushroom–whatever your surroundings might hold. You can have individuals or teams, grownups or kids or any combination. First one back with all the items wins a prize.
Remember, though, that not everyone likes to supplement their camping trip with extra activities. Make it a rule that the only ones who participate are the ones that want to. The whole point of camping is to enjoy yourself, and that can be difficult if someone is trying to coax you into climbing a tree when all you want to do is sit in your camping chair with your feet in the river.
Need activities for a rainy day at camp? Click here.