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Making camping fun for everyone with s’mores, games and more

Camping is an ideal trip for some and a nightmare for others. 

For those who love the outdoors, camping is an opportunity to unwind and unplug.

Others see it as a surefire way to get mosquito bites and poison ivy. 

Planning and preparation may cause camping’s toughest critics to reconsider their stance, though.

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Here are ways to add an extra level of fun to camping.

  1. General tips
    Keep food secure to avoid unwanted visitors
    Bring air mattresses
    Cook what you can on the fire
    Create a shared camping playlist for the ultimate jam session
    Look for dog-friendly campgrounds
    Stay close to the restroom
    Find a campground with activities
    Go “glamping”
  2. Keep food secure to avoid unwanted visitors
  3. Bring air mattresses
  4. Cook what you can on the fire
  5. Create a shared camping playlist for the ultimate jam session
  6. Look for dog-friendly campgrounds
  7. Stay close to the restroom
  8. Find a campground with activities
  9. Go “glamping”
  10. Tips for camping with kids
    Get kids involved
    Bring games
    Have a backpack full of toys
    Give kids a bug catcher
    Spice up your s’mores
    Have popcorn for dessert
  11. Get kids involved
  12. Bring games
  13. Have a backpack full of toys
  14. Give kids a bug catcher
  15. Spice up your s’mores
  16. Have popcorn for dessert
  17. Tips for camping with a significant other whose not outdoorsy
    Make it a group thing
    Make a sleeping space comfortable
    Consider cabin or RV camping
  18. Make it a group thing
  19. Make a sleeping space comfortable
  20. Consider cabin or RV camping

Those who do not like camping may change their view with these tips. (Vincenzo Izzo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

1. General tips

Keep food secure to avoid unwanted visitors 

Camping is more enjoyable when you have taken the proper safety precautions. 

To keep bears away, secure food and coolers out of sight in your car or in food lockers. Don’t eat inside the tent to avoid bugs as much as possible and toss trash often. Bring your garbage to wildlife-resistant trash containers. 

All of these little things will lessen your chances of attracting unwanted animals during your camping trip.

Bring air mattresses 

Bring an air mattress if you are worried about sleeping on the hard ground.

Sleeping arrangements can get tricky when camping, and it can be uncomfortable if you are sleeping on the ground for a long period of time. 

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Air mattresses will make sleeping arrangements much more comfortable. 

Two people inflating an air mattress outside of a tent

Put an air mattress right inside your tent for a more comfortable night’s sleep. (Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Cook what you can on the fire 

Cooking over a fire is a fun aspect of camping. Get everyone involved by making meals like hot dogs or s’mores that can be toasted right on a stick.

Create a shared camping playlist for the ultimate jam session

Ahead of your trip, create a playlist on a service like Spotify that allows you to share it with others. 

When you create a shared playlist, other people can collaborate and add songs. 

This way, everyone on the trip can add preferred songs to share.

Look for dog-friendly campgrounds 

If you want to bring your furry friend along on your camping trip, keep an eye out for pet-friendly campgrounds to visit.

A man camping with two dogs

Dogs are welcome at a lot of campgrounds. (Thomas Frey/picture alliance via Getty ImagesThomas Frey/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Stay close to the restroom 

Be mindful of where the restrooms are located at your campground. You may want to choose a site close to the bathrooms to avoid long walks throughout your stay. 

Find a campground with activities 

Campgrounds are unique and include varying activities to participate in. These include crafts for kids or different hangout opportunities for adults. 

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If you want many options for fun while you’re camping, look for campgrounds that provide a number of activities for campers. 

Go ‘glamping’ 

Bring your five-star hotel and amenities along with you and ditch your air mattress for a feather bed. 

GLAMPING: A GETAWAY FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T LIKE CAMPING, BUT LIKE THE IDEA OF IT

Glamping, or glamorous camping, can range from nights in climate-controlled tents to the cuisine of a personal chef.

The inside of a tent at a glamping resort

“Glamping” is a more upscale way to camp. (Andrea Sachs/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

2. Tips for camping with kids

Get kids involved 

Involve your kids in the planning process. Ask them what they want to see or experience on your trip. 

Offer different options for things to do on the trip and allow them to choose.

Bring games 

Bring along a deck of cards or board games. Your camping expedition might be a great opportunity to actually finish a game of Monopoly. 

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Also, see camping as an opportunity for physical activity for the whole family. Organize a relay competition that involves a potato sack or water balloon race.

Have a backpack full of toys

Along with games, bring a backpack filled with toys for your kids while camping. Include a couple of new surprise toys to keep them occupied.

Give kids a bug catcher  

You can get a bug holder and net for cheap. You’re likely going to encounter insects on your camping adventure, and it may be fun for your little one to catch bugs. 

Just be sure to put them back into nature after viewing. 

Marshmallows cooking over a campfire

S’mores can easily be made with chocolate, marshmallows and crackers. (William Gottlieb/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Spice up your s’mores 

S’mores are the perfect camping dessert. While they are delicious when made the classic way, there are a few ways to mix up the recipe.

You can start by changing the chocolate. While Hershey’s are the classic chocolate in a s’more, you can use Reese’s, York Peppermint Patties or even a Kit Kat. 

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Instead of using a graham cracker, use Chips Ahoy, fudge stripe cookies or Eggo’s cinnamon toast minis.

Have popcorn for dessert

Another snack that kids will love is the Jiffy Pop popcorn that comes in the pan shape. This can be made over the fire. 

A close up of popcorn

Popcorn made over a fire is a great camping activity. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)

3. Tips for camping with a significant other who is not outdoorsy 

Make it a group thing 

It’s not always the wife or the girlfriend who is leery about pitching a tent in the woods; this can apply to men, too! Make your camping trip an event and invite a group. 

Good company can make all the difference.

Make a sleeping space comfortable 

If you’re tent camping with your significant other, make sure the sleeping arrangements are as comfortable as possible for them. 

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Bring an air mattress, cozy blankets, pillows and a source of light for the tent. 

A log cabin

Cabin camping is a good option for beginners. (Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics via Getty Images)

Consider cabin or RV camping

If you’re bringing a first-time camper (or a significant other who is not a fan) to a campground, renting a cabin or an RV may be a good compromise for you both. 

With these options, you can still enjoy the outdoors while also having amenities.

About author

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Hudson, the travel scribe, paints the world with his words. His tales are a passport to unseen places, his passion, the compass guiding his journeys. From the rhythm of city life to the tranquility of nature, he weaves narratives that are not just travelogues, but love letters to exploration and storytelling.
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