Camping games are a MUST for any trip – unlike at home, there’s way more free time… and boredom can easily creep in! But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Say goodbye to those long, drawn-out hours and say hello to fun, laughter, and unforgettable memories with our list of the 37 best camping games.
Whether you’re huddled by the campfire or exploring the wild, these games are sure to bring out the fun, excitement, and camaraderie that make camping trips truly special. Let’s dive right in and I’ll share some of our family’s favorite camping games!
Table of Contents
Active Camp Games
All of these games involve getting up and doing something – whether it’s looking for something special or running around and getting energy out.
These are some of the most common games and activities we do at camp, but if you’re looking for something more specific to “Summer Camp” style with large groups of people, here is a great article full of relay and team camp games.
Capture the Flag
This traditional outdoor game involves two teams, each with a territory where their flag is hidden. The objective is to navigate into the opposing team’s territory, capture their flag and bring it safely back to your territory. For extra fun, try making your own unique camp flag!
A simple yet exciting game where one player, deemed ‘it’, chases others in an attempt to touch, or tag them, with the person tagged then becoming ‘it’. Nothing needed to play, but somehow one of the top games ever!
This is a fun and exciting outdoor activity where you use a GPS to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, at specific locations marked by coordinates. Some of them are quite challenging, which makes it fun even for the adults. For example, the one my son is holding below was *inside* a bridge!
A timeless outdoor game where one person hides while the others try to find them. The first one to find the hider becomes the next “it.”
This simple yet entertaining game involves one player being the “statue” while others try to make them laugh or move without getting caught. The first person to get the statue to break loses. If you’ve seen Bluey, you are especially familiar with this game!
Kick the Can
A variation of hide-and-seek, where one person guards a can while others hide. When someone is found, they must race to kick the can before being tagged by the guard.
Blind Man’s Bluff
A game of trust and navigation where one player is blindfolded and tries to tag others while they give directions. If the blinded player tags someone, that person becomes the next blinded player. I personally know it from watching tons of Survivor when they have to navigate each other through those mazes!
Grab your binoculars and field guide! This activity involves observing and identifying different species of birds in their natural habitats. It’s relaxing and educational!
A fun nighttime game where “it” tries to spot players with their flashlight. When you’re tagged by the light, you’re “it!”
Find a smooth, flat stone and see how many times you can make it skip across the water. A tranquil and surprisingly addictive pastime!
Start a Camping Journal
Record your camping experiences, observations, sketches, and memories in a dedicated journal. A keepsake to remind you of your adventures!
Set up some stakes and see who can toss a ring around them from a distance. Simple, competitive, and loads of fun! Ring Toss Sets like this are easy to pack and usable just about anywhere.
Go On a Hike (And Journal It!)
Explore nature trails while documenting your discoveries and thoughts in a journal. The hike itself is fun of course, but journaling about it saves the memory for years to come!
Play Camp Charades
This classic game of acting and guessing gets a camping twist. Act out camping-related words and let others guess!
Go Star Gazing
On a clear night, look up to the stars. You might catch a meteor shower or spot a constellation!
Try Nature Sketching/Journal
Capture the beauty of nature in your sketches and jot down your thoughts. Even if you don’t have time to peacefully sketch on the spot, you can snap a picture and draw it later. I love drawing one picture for each place we go (like Picacho Peak State Park below)
Have a Water Gun Fight/Target Practice
Cool off with a water gun battle or practice your aim by shooting at targets. Guaranteed to bring out loads of laughter! We love setting up various empty cans and jars, then assigning points for each one based on difficulty.
Pass the Water
One of the best games for a hot day, you only need a couple cups and some water for a fun challenge!
Each person gets a cup and gets in line – the first person in line gets their cup filled with water, then they try to pour it behind them for the next person to catch it with their cup! Make sure to use bigger cups for younger kids so it’s easier to catch!
No camping trip is complete without roasting marshmallows over the fire and sandwiching them with chocolate between graham crackers. Here’s a master s’more tip to get the chocolate melty – set it on the rock (or edge of the firepit) while you’re cooking the marshmallow. By the time the marshmallow is done, your chocolate piece will be perfectly melty!
Photo Camping Scavenger Hunt
Snap pictures of specific things or scenes around the campground. You can either just convert your normal scavenger hunt to photo only (which is great for Leave No Trace principles admittedly) OR use something picture specific like this campground selfie hunt.
Tic Tac Toe
It sounds simple enough, but there’s so many ways to do it! Draw it, buy a cool set, or my favorite… DIY your own nature tic tac toe! I think part of the reason it’s my favorite, especially with my kids, is that finding the sticks and stones to make it is equally fun (and time consuming =P)
Host a Nature Show and Tell
Each camper gathers an interesting object from nature and shares about it. Great for learning and sharing! One of the favorites so far was a wasp nest that my daughter filled with flowers!
Make a Map of Camp to Practice Map Symbols and Usage
Draw a detailed map of your campsite and surrounding areas. A fun exercise in cartography! This website has tons of fun ways to learn and practice some map making skills.
Play Camping Bingo
Mark off camping-related items on your bingo card as you spot them. The BINGO cards can double as matching cards for younger kids (we used to just print extra and cut out one set, then ask them to glue the correct matches together)
Make an Obstacle Course Out of Things Around Camp
Create a fun and challenging course using natural and camping gear. This is especially fun if you happen to be camping somewhere near a forest – downed logs make for EXCELLENT obstacles!
Host a Camping Scavenger Hunt
Create or print a list of camping-related items for participants to find. The first one to find all items wins – there are tons of types of scavenger hunts for all ages, here are some of our FREE favorites to print
- Nature Scavenger Hunt – Especially good for boondocking when the traditional campround sights are nowhere to be found
- Camping Scavenger Hunt – There’s actually multiple types here, including ABC, experiences, senses and pictures.
- Photo/Selfie Scavenger Hunt – If we are doing the scavenger hunt as a group, my kids will find it and I’ll snap the pic. For older kids who have their own phone, this is one of the *only ways* to get them excited about camp!
Glow in the Dark Game Night
Hide glow-in-the-dark items (Easter eggs are fun!) around camp and then go hunting after sunset. We also love to stock up on glowsticks and play simple but fun games like glow in the dark catch!
Here are some other night time camping game ideas
- Play Glowing Kan Jam – Sort of like a mix between frisbee golf and cornhole… but it glows!
- Move Night – Watch your favorite movie with a projector and sheet at camp
- Glow in the Dark Frisbee – Even I am entertained by dazzling colors spinning through the air!
A game of deception and suspicion where players sit in a circle, with one player secretly chosen as the murderer. The murderer winks at other players without getting caught, trying to eliminate them from the game.
A classic party game where players act out words or phrases without speaking. Their teammates must try to guess the correct answer before time runs out. Any charades is funner at camp, but we especially love some camp themed charades.
The classic backyard game of Cornhole involves throwing bags filled with corn (or beans) onto a raised platform with a hole in the far end. A bag in the hole scores 3 points, while one on the platform scores 1.
This fun outdoor game involves throwing bolas (two balls connected by a string) onto a ladder-like frame. Each rung of the ladder has different point values, and the aim is to accumulate the most points.
The classic table game that involves bouncing a ping pong ball into cups filled with beer (or water/juice, depending on the company =P) The first team to sink all their opponent’s cups wins!
Nothing Needed Talk Based Camp Games
Sometimes it’s easiest to have nothing extra to carry at all when camping (it’s also cheaper =P). Here are some games that are perfect for playing around the campfire circle or in the tent/camper while waiting out the weather.
Tell Campfire Stories
Gather around the fire and share scary, funny or inspiring stories. It’s an age-old tradition that never gets old! If you don’t have a natural story teller in the group, either read a favorite book out loud or get something to get the conversation going like these for kids or the adult version.
Would You Rather
Spice up your camping trip with this classic game! One person poses a scenario to the rest of the group – two options that are tough to choose between. For example, “Would you rather hike the highest mountain or explore the deepest cave?” The fun part? Discussing why you made that choice!
Two Truths and a Lie
This is a great game to get to know each other better! Each person reveals three statements about themselves – two of which are true and one that’s a lie. The group guesses which statement is false. Make it camping-themed for extra fun!
Sing Some Favorite Camp Songs!
Prepare ahead of time and curate your ultimate camping music list
Truth or Dare
The timeless game, with a camping twist! Choose ‘truth’ and you must answer a question honestly. Pick ‘dare’ and you’ll have to perform a fun (and safe!) camping-related task.
Read A Book
It sounds simple, but there is nothing like reading a book with *real* nature music playing in the background! I love bringing my own as well as a couple of the kids favorite books and my favorite camp chair.
Perfect for a quiet evening around the campfire. One person whispers a sentence to the person next to them, and the message is passed along through whispers until it reaches the last person. Hilarity ensues as the final message is often wildly different from the original!
One person thinks of a camping-related item, and the rest of the group has 20 questions to figure out what it is. But the questions can only be yes/no questions!
Who Am I
Stick a post-it with a famous person or thing (try sticking to camping-related ones) on everyone’s forehead. Each person gets to ask yes/no questions to find out who/what they are!
Ideal for long hikes or quiet moments in nature. One person picks out something in their surroundings and gives a clue (like “I spy something green and tall”). The others take turns guessing until someone gets it right!
Want a challenge? I Spy a cute animal in the picture below (we spotted him while at a state park in Arizona!)
Card Games Perfect for Camp
Card games are a favorite among campers, hikers, and really any outdoor enthusiast – they are small, easy to pack, and sometimes even waterproof! Now, there are some games here that aren’t “card” games per se, but do still pack down very small!
A classic dice game where players roll five dice up to three times in an attempt to get various combinations for points. The highest possible score is a “Yahtzee,” or five of a kind. For a fun twist, try the giant, yard version of it called “Yardzee“!
Cards Against Humanity
This popular party game involves players using cards with phrases, words, or actions to create humorous and often outrageous combinations in response to a question or statement. The funniest combination wins the round (warning – this is NOT for kids!)
A game of drawing, guessing, and laughter! Players take turns drawing words or phrases while their teammates try to guess what’s being drawn. Just like with charades, anything will work, but we love printing off this camping themed Pictionary (the one in the pic below) for added fun!
A fast-paced dice game where players roll six dice to accumulate points. The catch is that you can choose to stop rolling and keep your points, but if you roll and don’t get any scoring combinations, you lose all the points from that turn.
This strategic card game involves players avoiding drawing an “exploding kitten” card while using other cards to disrupt their opponents or protect themselves. The last player standing wins.
Apples to Apples
A fun and easy-to-learn party game where players use cards with various nouns to fill in the blank of a statement or question. The judge for that round then chooses the funniest or most creative response.
With three young kids, we especially love the “Big Picture Apples to Apples” as there’s much less reading!
In this card game, players aim to complete 10 different phases of combinations, such as runs or sets. The first player to complete all 10 phases wins.
Similar to Phase 10, this card game involves players building runs of sequential numbers while also using special cards to block their opponents. The first player to get rid of all their cards wins.
A simple card game where players compare cards, and the higher value card wins. The player with all the cards at the end wins – check out how to play it here.
A popular two-player card game where players try to create runs and sets of cards in their hand. The first player to get rid of all their cards wins.
A classic card game where players try to collect sets of four cards by asking other players for specific cards. The first player to get rid of all their cards wins.
A popular tile-based game where players try to create matches with their pieces, earning points based on the number of dots. The first player to reach a certain point threshold wins.
The set of cards come in a durable tin that fits easy in your pack. It can also be used with up to eight players, and is one of my FAVORITE camping games because it’s even fun to play as an adult!
Any Favorite Camp Games I Missed?
While I have camped ALOT with family and friends, I know that that doesn’t mean I have covered everything!