Backyard camping for the whole family

May 8, 2020

Photo: Kelly Sikkema for Unsplash

We cannot wait for provincial park camping to re-open! That's not an exaggeration. We seriously can't wait.

To get our fix, we’re spending the May long weekend camping in our yard. (PS if you haven’t heard yet, camping is set to resume on June 1, with Discover Camping opening for reservations on May 25.)

If you’re fortunate enough to have some green space around your home, round up the family and join us! If not, get your fresh air outside during the day, then have some camping-inspired fun inside during the evening.

Show us your backyard or indoor “campground” by tagging #athomecamp and @bcparksfdn on social media.

Here’s how we're camping at home in 7 easy steps. 

Photo: David Vilches for Unsplash

Step 1: Set up a tent in your yard

We’re using our front yard (it’s juuuuuuuust big enough for the tent!) – a back yard will be perfect, too. If you don’t have any greenspace but still feel like tenting, move some furniture out of the way and set up a tent in your living room, like these guys, or build a blanket fort!

And we get it, this photo shows an extravagent set up. We're just using our regular ol' Woods-brand tent. But hey, if you have the time and aesthetic, we'd love to see your glamping set-ups, too!

Step 2: Prep your flame-free campfire

The perfect pre-camping activity for the kids: campfire crafts! Depending on the age & craftiness of your kids, here are a few different options:

We’re planning on taking the easy way out and putting our chairs around an electric lamp, but a campfire hand-crafted by your littles will make the at-home camping adventure that much more fun. 

Step 3: Cook your camping-inspired food

Check out this list of over 30 kid-friendly, campfire recipes for camping and backyard fun. Instead of cooking over the fire, you can throw these camping-inspired recipes on the barbeque or in the oven (and save some tinfoil).

Photo: Mi Pham for Unsplash

Step 4: Take a post-dinner “hike” 

Venture around the block, wave hello to your neighbours, play some Eye Spy, run through a sprinkler (maybe) and burn off some energy!

Step 5: S’MORES

Yep this deserved its own section. Here are a few campfire-free s’mores options that you can also make in the oven or on a grill.

Photo: David Vilches for Unsplash

Step 6: Set up around the "campfire"

This is our favourite part of the day. Put your campfire craft or electric lamp on the ground and circle some chairs around it.

In our house, once we’re done hoovering down our s’mores, we like telling ghost stories, using our flashlights for extra emphasis and scare-factor. 

If you need something less ghoulish, here are 45 great campfire songs that everyone will love.

Step 7: Hunker down, it’s time for bed

Get cozy in the tent or fort, snuggled in your sleeping bag as if you were in your favourite BC Park campground. But here, you get the extra benefit of being able to run back inside and using a flush toilet or quickly bailing if it rains.

While it’s not the May long weekend we might have originally planned, we’re very excited for our front yard campground, and we hope you’ll join us! Head to our Facebook or Instagram page to let us know your at-home camping tips.

Looking for more at-home activities? Check out these blog posts:



About the author

Colleen Dunbar's first time camping in a provincial park (Nairn Falls) was at six weeks old and from there, she grew up telling ghost stories around the campfire. She's now turned that love of parks and storytelling into a career as the Communications & Marketing Manager at the BC Parks Foundation. Say hi to her on the Foundation's Instagram, Facebook and Twitter channels.