What to Take on a Camping Trip – The Fun Backyard Camping Ideas!

What to Take on a Camping Trip – The Fun Backyard Camping Ideas!


Summer is in the air!

With school out, and summer holidays around the corner, everyone knows what that means!

The juices of those DIY outdoor party ideas start flowing and begin to be put to the test.

How exciting! The backyard parties are about to be in full swing!

Looking back, I can still smell the barbeque grill sizzling, and smelling the roasting all of those delicious foods just waiting to be devoured. I can hear the family bursting with laughter in the backyard, and watching the kids play in the old garden sprinkler and getting covered with grass clippings from a freshly mowed lawn.

As the night sky starts creeping in, everyone begins to wind down. The picnic is cleared, everything’s put away, and the kids are curled up by the fire, waiting for the camping to begin.

Sleeping bags and lawn chairs are lined up in rows, and the big movie screen sits, staring at the crowd, patiently waiting to bring forth more excitement to our backyard.

I can also remember the sound of the wood, crackle in the roaring fire, and it always brings back warm, wonderful memories of past times with family and friends.

Now, once again, it’s time to plan that backyard camping trip, and put all those fun backyard camping ideas in to action!


When’s a good time?


My family and I just love planning our outdoor events, especially when there’s a holiday. We can invite family and friends that are close by.

If you want a more private, small backyard camping event with just you; your spouse and kids, camping in the backyard could be anytime! Weekends, for the most part, are the best because you have more time to relax and enjoy the fun, and you don’t really have to worry about whether or not you’ve forgotten this or that!

You need to keep check on the weather until you see a clear pattern of no rain, heavy wind or coldness. Remember, the kids will want to sleep outdoors. After all, that’s the whole idea of having this activity planned!

Once you have the “when” figured out, it’s time to kick it into high gear – giving everyone a job and checking off those lists!


Here’s how we do it…


Typically, as a family, we get together and decide what each person will do to make our backyard camping successful.

Usually, being the mom, I take charge of all the food ideas; make the list and do most of the preparing. I always try to think about foods that work nicely when going on a real camping trip – away from home. I try to keep it as real as I can, because it makes the actual planning more fun, as well as the event!!

My oldest son, who happens to be a grown adult with children of his own, takes care of getting our outdoor movie theater set up for when everyone nestles into their sleeping bags. He plans ahead, making sure where all the extension cords will go for all the electronics, and sets up the big movie screen. Your movie screen can be just about anything. It can be the side of your house, an old shower curtain, or you can purchase an actual movie screen ahead of time.

My son also takes care of all the grill needs – making sure the grill is clean, and getting the foil, gas and charcoal if needed, while my daughter in-law, who likes to bake, typically bakes us something sweet for dessert and helps prepare the simple sides we need to go with our main meal.

My daughter, still at home, gets so excited about having family events in the back yard! She takes care of making the list for movie snacks, as well as getting things together and getting them out back.

She helps with getting the yard mowed and groomed, so we don’t have to worry about stepping on little bees or wading through any weeds. She also organizes any games we may play – badminton, cornhole, and we may even have a water balloon fight. These are outdoor games that even the little ones can play,  and they’re are lots of fun.

Sometimes, my daughter likes to use the trampoline for her campsite. If she has a friend over, they toss their blankets inside the net wall, and can really have space to stretch out, relax and watch the movies too!

Now the grandbabies – their job is to pick a movie for everyone to watch as a family, and just play until they’re so tired, they fall asleep. :o)

The grandbabies like getting this little old plastic kiddie pool that I have, out. They put their pillows and sleeping bags inside the little pool, and use it like a little nest. It’s so cute!

Once everyone has their position on what they’re in charge of, it’s then time to make our lists, collaborate, and put it all in to action.


The camping check off list…


Since this backyard camping get together is going to be a holiday weekender, we will need our normal supplies plus some additional items such as – FIREWORKS!!!

Banner Fireworks and backyard camping


  1. First, you pick the food you and your family enjoy. Sometimes our family will grill veggie burgers and load them with the works; having chips on the side with beans, salad and fruit. Sometimes we make veggie kabobs and do foil wrapped garlic potatoes, grilled corn, a salad loaded with with all the fixin’s, and a large fresh fruit tray. We can’t forget the dessert that my daughter in-law makes. She likes to make cakes, so we either get cupcakes or some other kind of sugary treat. And last, something to drink. Personally, I always buy the little, individual, bottled waters. They’re a huge hit, and are much easier than cups – if they get left sitting around, I use them to water my flowers. :o)
  2. Then, if you’re lucky enough to own, or are able to purchase a projector, you can plan on using this outside, making your camping event into a movie night too! We find this to be super exciting, and the little ones absolutely love it. Because they get to pick the movies, it makes them feel like they are doing their part as well!
  3. We roast marshmallows over the fire pit too! So, for this you will need a big bag of marshmallows, some sticks for roasting them, and if you are thinking like me – you’re saying SMORES! So add in the chocolate and the graham crackers!! Also, at times we choose to do banana boats. For banana boats you need foil, bananas, chocolate, and marshmallows – split the banana down the center lengthwise, load it with your ingredients, wrap in foil, sit in or close to fire for a super good treat!Popcorn Movie Tickets For Small Backyard Party Ideas
  4. For the fire pit, you will need quite a few sticks of wood. We always try to have some hard wood ready for the summer because it tends to burn a little slower.
  5. Are you savvy when it comes to starting a fire? Not me. At the end of winter, I purchase those fire starter logs when they are put on the clearance sale. They make an awesome addition to your camping supplies! Also, you don’t have to carry around the liquid fuel and a bunch of paper. It makes it easy and less to worry about.
  6. Lots of treats! Kids love snacking on candies, popcorn, and water bottles! For this we try to make sure and have either the popcorn bags or boxes,Camping Twizzler Candy For Small Backyard Party Ideas or we pre-make cones out of construction paper to fill with popcorn. We take a cardboard box and cut holes in the bottom, flip it upside down, and it makes a great popcorn cone holder! We get theater boxed candies, along with small packs of Twizzlers – making sure to get everyone’s favorites.
  7. You will need to gather outdoor gameslawn chairs, some blankets, a few sleeping bags, and enough wood to burn while your sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying your movie while drifting off into slumber.
  8. Last, if it is appropriate for the theme, you can entertain your family and friends with a fireworks display. This is always fun! Sometimes, we have leftovers from the year prior. Backyard events make a awesome time to use them up. It’s just another way of topping off an already great day.



So, now that you have ideas of what to take on a camping trip – in your own backyard – you can start getting your plans together, and putting them into action too!

I hope you’ve enjoyed our family ideas and plans as much as we do. I hope you will be able to put your own ideas into you and your family’s backyard soon!

Share Thoughts Comments QuestionsIf you want to share your ideas and the experience of your own backyard camping event, leave me a message below. I would LOVE to hear about your family campout.

Lots of luck, and have loads of fun creating your memories!!! :o)

– Paula

10 thoughts on “What to Take on a Camping Trip – The Fun Backyard Camping Ideas!”

  • Hi Paula!

    That’s a really nice post! Thank you for the check list. Sometimes I am just to shuffled in my head to remember everything. Except this Candy (I am against Sugar — Fruits are natural sweets and much better in my opinion) stuff I will copy this list.

    I can really picture you having your grandchildren around and hear the laughing voices in your backyard. Thank you for sharing this and giving motivation to plan such activities more often.
    Actually I want a tent for the trampoline. We were just talking about it the other day.

    All the best

    • Welcome Uta! Thank you for the lovely comment! The checklist is a must for me too. It keeps me organized. It’s a basic guide that can be changed up for any needs. Fresh fruit is a great option to replacing candy; I agree. We certainly have our share of fruits and veggies at our home, haha. However, since it’s not an every weekend thing for us to camp out, we do have candy for everyone that wants it. It keeps it real, as though we are at a drive-in or open air theater, camping out! Again, thank you for sharing your ideas and thoughts. Let me know if you get the trampoline tent, and how you and your family like it. I’d love to hear about your backyard campout experience, so I look forward to seeing you back here, at the garden to share those memories :o) – Paula

  • What great ideas! I love the camping on top of the trampoline! It adds an extra level of fun and keeps them up off the ground if youre one of those unfortunate people like me who don’t have a very level yard. I can’t wait to do this with my daughter! Thanks for the great post.

    • Hi Jessica! Thanks for finding this article helpful! It’s exciting to camp in your own backyard, honestly. The trampoline does make a great campsite! Hope you and your daughter have a great time. Come on back and share your experience here at the garden. Can’t wait to read about it!!!! :o) – Paula

  • Hi Paula, this is fantastic. I like how you described everything. I imagined it visually in my head. Living abroad away from my own first family, it just made me miss them. I suddenly missed my childhood, camping out with them and being carefree. Oh and your checklist, I love it. Soon, this Christmas, on my annual homecoming vacation holidays, I’ll definitely note all the things you mentioned and will incorporate it. I really appreciate this and it reminded me how I miss my family =) Thanks again =)

    • Thank you JR! Memories are a wonderful and valuable asset we carry throughout our lives. I am so happy that this article could bring back fond memories of your own and that you could visualize some of mine as well! :o) Making memories with my children and grandchildren is important to me and they give my family foundations in which they can use to build some of their own family traditions! I am also excited that you will be able to incorporate these ideas into your future vacation holiday. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop in at the garden and sharing your thoughts! We hope to see you again and to read about how your plans turned out! Thanks again :o) – Paula

  • This is great! It has really got me into the summertime mood 🙂 I will have to share this with my mother! She’ll love it. Great list, too! I love to look at and make lists myself. Is an awesome way to keep everything and everyone in order! Thank you for the fantastic post 🙂

    • Thank you Jillian! I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I’m a list kind of lady myself, haha. It’s definitely a way to keep yourself in check when lots of things are going on. Thanks again and hope to see you here at the garden again soon. :o) – Paula

  • Thanks, now I have an idea of how to entertain my grandchildren when I visit them. They have a nice big backyard with a great lawn to set up the tent upon. He does not have a fire pit, because it never occurred to us to use a portable one. This is an idea I will share with him, and hope he agrees!

    • Judy, thank you for stopping by! Getting a fire pit has been a great addition to our yard. We use often, even if we just want to roast marshmallows or sit in the night air. We ALWAYS use it on camping out nights along with our movie projector and big screen. It truly is a really good time for the whole family and even friends and neighbors. Block parties are also a great hit with movies too. I’m so happy that you are able to share these ideas and get your family into having a great time with you. Thanks again for coming to the garden and sharing your thoughts and ideas. I sure look forward to seeing you again soon!!! – Paula

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