Learning how to camp in your backyard can have a lot of advantages. It’s easy to go back to your house for forgotten items, running water, electricity, and Internet connections are likely to be available.
If this is a supervised practice activity for children, the house and adult oversight is only a few steps away. In case it’s an event for adults, it can be a way to get out of the house without traveling, to bond with family or friends, or to try out new camping gear.
If this isn’t a practice campout, there are other reasons to camp in your backyard. Perhaps you’re renovating your home, or doing one of those 24-hour fumigation jobs or the air conditioning has gone out and the backyard is a lot cooler than the inside of your house. Or it can simply be something you do for fun.
Camping in your backyard can be a lot more secure than camping in the forest or even at a supervised commercial campsite. Therefore, it can be as simple as laying out a sleeping bag on the lawn or as complex as pitching a tent, setting out citronella candles, and carrying out all the parts of camping as if you were a thousand miles from civilization.
Even if this is a practice event, you can enjoy the convenience of using your patio furniture, such as your gas grill or fire table, as part of your “camp” gear. The level of “camping” is up to you and to your available equipment, but it’s a lot easier when running water, electricity, and stores are close at hand.
Things you’ll need to camp in your backyard:
● Ground Cloth
● Sleeping bag or bedroll
● Picnic blanket or table
● Sit Upons
● Food for one or two meals
● Campfire, grill, or camp stove
● Cooking utensils
● Secure cooler
● Access to sanitary facilities
Steps to Camp in Your Backyard
Here are the steps you need to take for a comfortable experience:
- Plan a private place to sleep. A tent is nice for this, but if you have a privacy fence or a tall hedge, that might be sufficient. It’s a good idea to have a dedicated structure to conceal a port-a-potty or camp shower if indoor facilities will be inaccessible.
- If possible, select an area that’s uphill from the rest of the area for your sleeping space to set up your bed. In the event of rain or other inclement weather, this will allow water to flow away from your sleeping area.
- Spread a ground cloth under your sleeping area, or pitch a tent that has a cloth floor. Wooden pallets or a layer of criss cross branches can help elevate your sleeping facilities off the ground, just in case of rain.
- Place your bed rolls on the ground cloth or in the tent, but don’t unroll them. Keeping them rolled up will help prevent unwanted insect or animal visitors. If the humidity is high, it will also help keep your sleeping bag or blankets dry. You can even roll your spare clothes in your sleeping bag to help keep them dry and bug-free as well.
- Set up your kitchen area. A plastic cooler can double as food storage and as a work surface for food preparation. Even in your backyard, it’s a good idea to pay close attention to keeping foodstuff secure so as not to attract vermin.
- Set up your cooker or campfire on a secure, fireproof surface. NOTE: if you’re in a red flag area, you might want to use a camp stove rather than a campfire or other open flame device.
- While your food is cooking, spread your picnic cloth, place your sit upons, and set out the tableware, condiments, and snacks. If your area has an ant problem, use Ziploc bags or Tupperware with tightfitting lids to combat insect invaders.
- When your meal is prepared, set out the food on the picnic blanket, and gather everyone to sit around its edges for the meal. You might still want to keep lids on the containers, even while the meal is served. Ants do like to invite themselves to picnics.
- Spend some social time with friends or family. Sing songs, play word games or tell stories. While modern technology is such that you could watch a movie or listen to recorded music, you will have a more authentic experience by leaving the tech toys turned off. There is something special about homemade fun.
- After the meal, pick up the leftovers, secure all foodstuffs so they do not attract insects or foraging animals.
- Scrape and wash dishes.
- Properly dispose of any waste or trash.
- Secure your campfire or cooker so that it doesn’t accidentally cause an out-of-control fire.
- Undo your bedrolls, make up your sleeping spaces.
- Stretch out and enjoy looking at the stars. Listen to the night sounds, and let them lull you off to sleep.
Learning how to camp in your backyard can be a lot of fun. It’s a good time for social bonding with family and friends.
It also provides a way to try out your camping gear, make sure you understand how it works, and to ascertain whether you need something else to go with it before you head off into the mountains or the desert.
This is especially important if you want to attempt what’s known as “gray” camping, or winter camping.
It’s no fun at all to be caught out in a rainstorm with a tent that you have no idea how to set up or to try to cook a meal on a camp stove that’s missing an essential part.
Learning how to camp in your backyard can sometimes be a life-saving experience. It can cover home accidents such as leaky roofs, pest control, or failed air conditioners.
It can be a fun way to bond with family and friends. But most importantly, camping in your backyard is a great way to practice your outdoor skills before you hike into the wilderness to truly rough it.