Camping is an adventure for the senses. From the first breath of fresh, pine-infused air to a cool afternoon dip in a nearby lake, just being alive in the great outdoors is invigorating.
But sometimes, lazing around without cell service, Netflix or scheduled activities can get—dare I say it—a little boring. When the weather turns to rain and the sun dips below the horizon, outdoor exploring can be put on hold, leaving you and your fellow campers with little to do.
Here are five games to keep you occupied by the light of a campfire or lantern in your tent. All you need is a friend or two and a little imagination.
1. Two Truths and a Lie
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How well do you really know your fellow campers? This ice-breaker game will reveal who knows you best.
The Rules: Player A makes three statements about themselves: two true and one false. The rest of the players then take turns guessing which statement is false. Once everyone guesses, the player reveals the truth. Every player takes a turn.
Example: I’ve had three surgeries, I’ve been skydiving in Australia, and I’ve been bungee jumping in New Zealand. (The lie: I’ve never been skydiving in Australia.)
2. Make Me Laugh
Who had the last laugh doesn’t matter in this game: it’s all about not laughing first.
The Rules: Player A goes into the middle of the circle and tried to make another player laugh. Player A can do just about anything they want to get a giggle—but no touching or tickling. When another player laughs, they replace Player A in the middle of the circle.
Example: Crack puns, tell funny stories, sing a song, dance around, etc.
3. I’m Going on a Camping Trip
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This game of wits shows how closely you can listen and pay attention to signals. It’s absolutely infuriating when you don’t understand, and euphoric once you get it.
The Rules: Player A starts the game by saying “I’m going on a camping trip, and I’m going to bring…” and listing two items. The items follow a grammatical rule, such as both have double letters, both start and end with the same letters, the items start with the initials of your name, etc.
Player B then tries to guess the grammatical rule during their turn. Player B says “I’m going on a camping trip, and I’m going to bring…” and lists two items that haven’t been said yet. If they get it right and their two items follow Player A’s rule, Player A tells them that they can come. If not, they’re not invited. Players take turns saying their two items, without revealing the rule when/if they figure it out. The game ends when everyone lists two items correctly and are allowed to come camping.
Example: I’m going on a camping trip, and I’m going to bring sheets and socks.
4. The Winking Assassin
Similar to my favourite road trip game “Mafia,” this rogue murder-mystery game is more deceptive than flirtatious.
The Rules: One player is chosen to play the Godfather. Everyone else sits in a circle and closes their eyes, except for the Godfather, who quietly taps one person on their shoulder. That person is now the Assassin. The Godfather tells everyone to open their eyes. The Assassin can begin sneakily winking at people to kill them (awards for best fake death scene here). If another player witnesses the murder, they can call out the Assassin to the Godfather. If they’re right, they win the game. But if they’re wrong, they die, too. The game ends once the Assassin has been properly identified.
5. Never Have I Ever
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You might think this classic game belongs at a booze-fueled college party, but it can be played on a family friendly camping trip, too.
The Rules: All players put up three fingers. Player A starts the game by saying “Never have I ever…” and listing one thing they haven’t done. If any of the other players have done that thing, they put down one finger. Each player takes turns saying things they’ve never done. Once a player puts all three fingers down, they’re out. The last player with one finger up wins.
Example: Never have I ever been bored on a camping trip because of these awesome games!
What’s your favourite camping game?
Do you play by different rules?
Let us know in a comment below!