21 camping activities everyone can enjoy

No matter where you’re headed for your next camping adventure, there are certain must-do activities that every camping trip should include. Here are some of our favorites:

1. Dine al fresco.

Whether it’s a picnic in the woods, a breezy lunch under the awning or dinner around the campfire, there’s nothing quite like dining outdoors.

2. Make s’mores.

Photo: Shubert Ciencia/Flickr

Melty marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate bars. Put them together and you have a requisite activity for every camping trip.

3. Family game night.

Photo: Aaron Najera/Flickr

Raining outside? Break out the board games for a cozy afternoon of quality time with the family.

4. Take a hike.

Nearly all campgrounds have hiking trails, and hiking is one of the best ways for families to spend time together while exploring their surroundings.

5. Go for a swim.

Photo: Kevin Mims

Whether you’re at the beach or the lake, if there’s water around, you’ve got to take a dip at least once.

6. Go tubing.

Photo: Amanda Mims

Speaking of water, summertime is perfect for a tube trip down a lazy river.

7.  Relax in a hammock.

Photo: Garry Knight/Flickr

Put up the hammock and relax — read a book, take a nap or just enjoy the sounds of nature.

8. Go on a photo excursion.

Explore nature and take photos of what you see.

9. Tell stories by the campfire.

Whether they’re scary, funny or sentimental, stories are always better told by a glowing fire.

10. Play outdoor games.

Photo: {Just Jennifer}/Flickr

Corn hole, hacky sack, horseshoes or just a game of catch — any of these can mean hours of entertainment at camp.

11. Go geocaching.

Photo: Johan Larsson/Flickr

Sharpen your navigational skills with this activity that involves finding hidden treasures deep in the woods using GPS coordinates.

12. Make pancakes.


Photo: Mike Burns/Flickr

This favorite breakfast food becomes even better when made at camp. Cook them up in the RV, on an outdoor griddle or even over a fire.

13. Cook dinner over a campfire.

Campfires aren’t just for staying warm and toasting marshmallows. Cooking dinner over a fire can be as much fun as eating it, and the possibilities are endless.

14. Catch fireflies.

Photo: Jessica Lucia/Flickr

It’s an age-old pastime for the young and young at heart. Be sure to release the fireflies when you’re done — this website explains the proper way to handle them.

15. Watch the clouds.

If you love to look up at the sky and study clouds on a lazy afternoon, you’re not alone. And why shouldn’t you? It’s one of those fun, relaxing pastimes that goes great with a camping trip.

16. Go for a bike ride.

Photo: Seth Vidal/Flickr

Whether you bring your own or rent, whether you go for a ride on the beach in a vintage Schwinn or take to the off-road trails on a mountain bike, be sure you camping adventure includes some two-wheel fun.

17. Do some stargazing.

Photo: Shawn Harquail/Flickr

On a nice, clear night, spend some time outside discovering constellations and watch for falling stars.

18. Become acquainted with your animal neighbors.

Photo: Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge/Flickr

Every good camping trip includes wildlife watching. Prepare ahead of time by researching some of the common animals in the area where you’ll be staying and make a list of them. While you’re there spend some time in nature and try to find the birds and other animals on your list.

19. Get on the water.

Photo: Kevin Mims

Kayaking, canoeing, boating, stand-up paddleboarding — if there’s a body of water near your campground, you’ll want to do at least one of these.

20. Make some music.

Photo: Rob Lee/Flickr

Maybe your group has a skilled guitarist or vocalist. Maybe you all just like to sing campfire songs together. Either way, camping and music go hand in hand.

21. Read an outdoor classic.

Photo: Julie Falk/Flickr

Want ideas? Try one of these 25 Essential Books for the Well-Read Explorer.

What are some of your favorite things to do while camping? Let us know in the comments or on FacebookTwitter or Instagram!