30 Best Camping Games to Try On Your Next Trip

With fun in the sun, in and on the water activities, hikes and adventures it’s a common myth that a person won’t really have time for games around camp.

Just wait until it rains and you have people looking for something to do. That’s when the well-prepared campers haul out their stash of games and soon everyone is laughing again despite the weather.

kids socializing around- a campfire

Games are also great for around the campfire at night. We have collected together a huge number of games – some require a purchase, other just need a pen and paper and others are pretty old school but still fun, and we even have some adults only games.

We have divided the games into lists – from ones requiring a mild amount of physical activity to those requiring you to sit around and concentrate, and games for adults that may or may not involve imbibing some alcohol.

Before you start thinking of buying games, or collecting the goodies that make for some fun camping evenings, you’ll need to consider the age group you’re camping with.

For people in their early 20’s there will be lots of adults game but once into your 30’s the games will involve small children and later on bigger kids until you reach the stage where you need games for teens too.

Because different age groups often camp together it’s wise to have a variety of games. Some days people may be doing other things so you’ll only have a few players and other days everyone may want to join in, so games that are pretty adaptable to the number of players will be the ones worth the spend.

Things to remember when buying games:

  • They should be lightweight.
  • Everything you need should be in the box – game pieces, dice, shaker board etc.
  • Some games require a table so be aware of this and have an extra one available. Camping tables are so lightweight and fold flat, so they don’t take up much room.
  • Magnetic boards are a plus for games like chess so pieces don’t fall everywhere.
  • You’re going to be outdoors so avoid metals that rust easily. Robust UV resistant plastic is better.

Without further ado, here is the list of 30 games that don’t require physical activity, where just about everyone can join in.

Games That Don’t Require Physical Activity

1. Apples to Apples

  • Ages 12 and up

The game involves making up hilarious comparisons, but it is nowhere near as offensive as Cards Against Humanity, making it suitable for kids to get involved.

There are 504 red and green cards. The red cards have one clue and the green cards 2 clues and players have to make up comparisons which can have hilarious results.

A person is chosen as the judge who provides the clues and players must provide the cards that finish the clue. There is a special Apples to Apples Junior version and even a Disney version. Watch here to learn how to play:

You can get Apples to Apples on Amazon.

2. Farkle

  • Ages 8 and up

The game involves knowing when to lay low or when to risk a move. You roll the dice and score points. It’s lightweight and easy to set up. Players are aiming to get the highest points to win.

Watch here to to learn how to play Farkle:

3. Oobly Doobly

  • Ages 6 and up

For this you need a wine cork rubbed in some charcoal from the fire. Every player gets a number – which they must remember. Player 1 starts with this sentence, “Oobly Doobly Number 1 nominates Oobly Doobly number … (choose a number within the group of players) to answer this question.”

The person then poses their question. If the person nominated gets it wrong they are marked by Oobly Doobly Number 1 on some part of the face. If the person gets the question right they can mark the person who asked the question and then pick another person from the group to answer another question.

If anyone does not say the sentence right they are also marked – it ends up quite a blackened group around the fire, but is a lot of fun and laughs, and requires some concentration.

4. Two Truths and a Lie

  • Ages 5 and up

Each player gets a chance to tell two truths about themselves and one lie. The other players must identify the lie, and the first one to spot the lie has a turn to go next and tell two truths and a lie until everyone in the group has had a turn.

For some tips on what to look for when identifying a lie watch here:

5. Rummy with Bicycle Playing cards

  • Ages 8 and up

Where ever you travel a pack or two of these should accompany you. There are a huge number of card games you can play ranging from adult ones to ones even the smaller kids can enjoy.

Watch here to learn how to play rummy:

You can get the bicycle playing cards here.

6. Go Fish

  • Ages 6 and up

Use your Bicycle cards for this game that kids love playing. Kids love shouting “Go Fish,” if they do not have the card another player asks for, and watch with glee as they have to choose from the pile.

7. Crazy Eights

  • Ages 8 and up

This is a popular camping game too. The game hinges hinges on the crazy eight card in changing your luck. If you have more than 5 players then use two packs of cards.

Learn how to play here:

8. Spoons (or coins or pebbles)

  • Ages 6 and up

To start place as many objects as there are players in the game, in the center of the table then remove one. Usually you use spoons or whatever else you can find around the campsite – it could be matches, coins, or pebbles). So, if 6 people are playing you’ll have five objects. Each player gets dealt four cards.

To start, on the count of three at the same time each player must take out one card and discard it to their left. Then each player must pick up the card placed on their right. As soon as a player has four of a kind then they have to pick up one of the objects without the others noticing.

As soon as the others notice they have to make a grab for the remaining objects. The person without an object is out for the next round. And so, the game continues until you have a winner.

There are of course dozens of card games you can play with your bicycle cards, but we’ve just given a couple of ideas here.

9. Catan

  • Ages 12 and up

More sophisticated than Monopoly and more strategic, with a bit of luck thrown in, Settlers of Catan will have players intrigued for the 2 to 3 hours it takes to play the game – and they won’t even notice time passing.

This version comes with the base set and the 5 to 6 player extension bundle – perfect for a crowd at the campsite. It’s a good idea to get some small plastic containers – about the size you need for a bar of soap to keep the game cards clean and moisture free, and then they all fit in the bag provided when you go camping.

Watch how to play here:

You can obviously get Catan on Amazon.com.

10. Bananagram vocabulary building game

  • Ages 7 and up

The game comes in a cute banana shaped bag and does not involve a board or pen and paper like Scrabble. It is also not as slow as Scrabble but also allows youngsters to learn spelling and expand their vocabulary and is suited to between 2 to 8 players.

You can get the Bananagram on Amazon. Learn how to play here for all the banana related rules of the game like split, peel, and dump:

11. Camp by Education Outdoors

  • Ages 4 and up

This fun learning game involves wildlife knowledge and camp skills which are ideal for youngsters while they are in the outdoor environment, and can put what they learn into practice.

This top game, that won the Dr Toy 100 best children’s products, can be played by both children and adults. The set comes with the game board and 199 game cards with 400 questions and 99 fun facts.

There are 8 game characters, a decoder, 1 dice and 1 one compass card and 16 level cards. The questions are tiered so that a 5-year-old has questions they can answer and a 16-year-old would be challenged by the higher-level cards, so everyone can play without some players being frustrated and others bored.

Get the Camp board game from Amazon. Learn how to play here:

12. UNO Wild Cards

  • Ages 6 and up

Like the ever-popular UNO this one gets quite competitive and involves players matching the cards they have in their hands with the required theme or color. When the player has one card left they have to shout UNO in order to score points.

The first player to get rid of all the cards wins. This card game is light and small like the traditional UNO.

Get the Uno card game here. To learn how to play Uno watch here:

13. Checkers

  • Ages 5 and up

This classic board game comes in a magnetic travel size version for ease of play on the move. Like the game of chess, it requires some thinking ahead otherwise you’ll find an opponent’s piece jumping multiple times annihilating your pieces on the way. Checkers sets traditionally come with red and black pieces – 12 of each, and is a two-player game.

Get the checkers board and pieces from Amazon. If you want to learn the rules of checkers then watch this video:

14. Chess

  • Ages 7 and up – unless you have a child chess prodigy

For camping and travelling the lightweight, magnetic versions are best for ease of play otherwise there will be howls of despair from kids playing when someone walks past and bumps the table or the board.

You need one that is big enough without taking up too much space – a board of around 9.7 x 9.7 inches is ideal. A game best learnt before heading off to camp, chess is fairly complicated until you get the hang of it. This video will explain the moves:

Games That Require Some Physical Activity

15. Cornhole Toss

  • Ages 4 and up

This traditional game requires players to toss the little beanbag pillow through the hole on the board. Usually played with two teams the idea is, to be the fastest to get your beanbags into the hole.

The Go Sport Cornhole Toss is lightweight and ideal for camping as the frame is durable and it comes with 8 weather resistant bean bags.

You’ll need a bit of flat ground to set it up and can use it for between 2 to 4 players – if there are more people just make various teams and let them take turns in-between playing other games. The game is designed in accordance with American Cornhole Association regulations.

You can get the corn hole boards from – where else – Amazon.com!

16. Catch or Don’t Catch

  • Ages 4 and up

Here players stand around in a circle with the player in the middle of the circle who has a tennis ball. These tennis balls come in a pack of four, handy because one or two always seem to get lost on a camping trip – or eaten by an enthusiastic dog who may or may not belong to you.

As the ball is thrown to a person in the circle the player in the middle will shout “Catch” or “Don’t catch”. It’s pretty hard not to catch when the ball is coming directly for you – it’s kind of a reflex action.

Anyone who disobeys the order or who drops the ball they were supposed to catch is out until the person in the middle gets everyone out, when the last person out becomes the new thrower and everyone starts again.

You can have up to 10 people playing the game. If you have more than ten it gets a bit long winded so maybe make two teams.

17. Duck, Duck, Goose

  • Ages 3 and up

This traditional game has everyone sitting in a circle. One player is then chosen to be “It” and go around the circle tapping people on the head and saying duck, duck, or goose. When a player is tapped on the head and hears goose they have to jump up and catch “It” before that person returns to their seat.

A variation in summer, when it is really hot is to have “It” carry a small pail of water and dump it over the head of the person chosen as goose. After everyone tires of the game they can go for a swim in the lake, creek or pool.

18. Glow in the Dark Ring Toss

  • Ages 6 and up

When the lights are low around the campfire this is a good one to have at hand in case campers are not ready for bed. You will need 2 glowsticks planted in the sand, or if the ground is rocky planted into 2 tins.

Divide the people into 2 teams. Give each person 2 glow rings – the ones that are used for bracelets are fine but you’ll need to let the kids be quite close – which they then have to toss so they go over the glow sticks.

The team with the most rings over their glow stick wins – make them do 4 rounds to establish the best team whose prize may be the first to toast their ‘smores or some other little treat. Afterwards they’ll have fun with the glow rings, swinging them around to make patterns in the dark.

You can get these glow sticks on Amazon.com.

19. Signals

  • Ages 4 and up

A good way to teach youngsters to identify different signals – maybe you want to try teach them some Morse code.

Basically, there are two teams and each person is equipped with a flashlight. Each team decides on a specific sequence of flashes – say one short two long or three short.

Then everyone scatters over an area in the dark. The idea is to find your teammates by identifying their pre-arranged signals in the fastest time possible. The team that gathers all its members first in the designated area becomes the winner.

20. Mime from a Card

  • Ages 4 and up

Kids who can’t read yet needn’t be left out – they can have an adult whisper to them what they need to act so everyone can be included. You can pre-prepare cards at home with various scenarios which people then pick at random and have to act out.

The person who correctly identifies the scenario that was written on the paper has a turn to go next. To make it fair everyone, must have a chance to act before the second round starts. Cards could have items like this written on them:

  • A bear strolls into camp
  • You find a scorpion in your sleeping bag
  • You walk into a spider web on the trail
  • You lose a shoe when crossing a river
  • You spill your morning coffee over yourself
  • A snake crosses your path on a hike

21. Charades

  • Ages 8 and up

Each player writes down the names of well-known people or characters they would like other players to portray. Put all the slips into a container and the person draws a slip and the others must guess the name of the person or the character.

Easy ones would be The Queen, Michael Jackson, or Michael Jordan, and characters could include a policeman, a firefighter, a nurse, doctor, or a computer gamer.

This Charades game comes with everything in the box so you don’t even have to write down your ideas – everything is done for you, players just have to act.

22. Rubber Horseshoes

  • Ages 4 and up

The game is based on an ancient one played for centuries with real horseshoes and seems to have origins in ancient Greece, and was probably carried across into India by Philip of Macedonia as Gurkhas play the game too.

This game uses rubber or foam horseshoes like these that are non-marking and can be used indoors or outdoors. Basically, the players have to get their horseshoes around the post, and the game can be played by between 2 to 8 players.

23. Bocce Ball

  • Ages 6 and up

Choose the lightweight camping version of Bocce Ball that can be played on grass or on the sand next to a lake or on the beach. The aim is to get your ball as close the jack as possible to win.

Here’s how to play:

24. Ladderball

  • Ages 8 and up

This metal set comes in a handy carry bag and slots together easily. There are 6 sets of two balls attached by a cord – something like a bola. You swing the balls and try to get the cord to hook around one of the rungs on the ladder.

Each rung is worth a different number of points. The first person to get 21 points wins. Top rung scores 1 point, middle 2 points and bottom ring 3 points – the bottom one as you can guess is the hardest.

Watch here to see how to play:

25. Bulzibucket

  • Ages 6 and up

This is something like cornhole toss with a bit of hacky sack… It’s just so much fun and can be played on the land or in the pool.

Basically, you have to get the “balls” that are a bit like hacky sacks into the bucket. Toss them, kick them – whatever takes your fancy as long as they land in the bucket.

Watch how to play here:

Games for Adults Only

26. Cards Against Humanity

  • Ages 17 and up

This wildly popular game is one you can play over and over, because it is so naughty and involves some dark humor, sarcasm and jokes. There are 500 white cards which have to be fitted together in a fun way to answer one of the questions on the 100 black cards.

And if that doesn’t make sense then watch here to see how to do it:

There are also extension packs, 1 through 5, available for the original set.

27. What Do You Meme?

  • Ages 17 and up

In this game you are dealt a number of the 360 caption cards and then have to use a card to caption one of the 75 photos – only one is dealt in each round – to create the funniest meme. Definitely for ages 17 and over, this game is heaps of fun.

At the beginning of each round players pick a judge. You need to pick your caption card to match the judge’s sense of humor, as the judge will decide on the winner of each round. See who becomes the meme king or queen.

Watch here to find out how to play the game:

28. Bad People

  • Ages 17 and up

It’s savage, and you need a sense of humor, but it is so much fun! From 3 to 10 people can play at once – there are 10 player identity cards provided in the pack.

The base pack comes with 250 questions cards, the 100 voting cards and 10 double down cards, then there is the NSFW Extension Brutal Pack if you think you need to get even more brutal with your friends.

Examples of some of the questions are “Most likely to run into a former partner and not remember their name? or “Least likely to be a target for identity theft?”

If you want to learn more watch here In fact it comes with a warning (?) that it may do irreparable damage to friendships;

29. Quick and Dirty

  • Ages 17 and up

There are black cards and white cards, the black ones have a question and the white cards have a letter of the alphabet. You turn the two cards up simultaneously and have to be sharp to shout out a word that starts with the letter on the white card in answer to the question on the black card.

If there is more than one answer shouted then you may have to justify your answer and the rest of the table will decide whether you can keep the black card or not – the person with the most black cards wins.

The game rewards quick minds and dirty answers. Between 2 to 20 people can play at a time and players can leave and join as they wish, and if they lose can be asked to take a drink.

It’s portable – the 70 card deck fits in a pocket and will give over 1000 unique rounds. It’s very easy to learn the game and is great for camping and pre-party drinks.

Find out a bit more about Quick and Dirty here:

30. Clap, slap, clap, clap, click

  • Ages 21 and up with alcoholic drinks. Anyone can play if non-alcoholic drinks are used.

Everyone sits in a circle and practices the rhythm clap hands, slap thighs, clap hands twice, click fingers of both hands and repeat. Once the rhythm is established players take it in turns to ask another player a question to the left.

The trick is to ask and answer the question without losing the rhythm – any break in the rhythm then the offender has to take a swig of their drink. Any question incorrectly answered means taking a swig.

Players can make up their own questions on trivia, for example, What’s the longest river in America? or Where do we find Old Faithful? The rhythm suggested can be altered to one more complicated.

Unfortunately, the more the players imbibe the messier the rhythm may tend to get…. but it’s lots of fun.

Wrap-Up

What’s your favorite camping game? Do you play any others that are not on this list? Let us know in the comments below… and don’t forget to pin this article on your favorite Pinterest board!

campfire games Pinterest image

About Jeanie Beales

Jeanie Beales
Traveler, photographer, writer. I'm eternally curious, in love with the natural world. How people can survive in harmony with nature has fueled my food safety and survival gardening practices. At the age of 12, I found a newspaper advertisement for a 155-acre farm at a really good price and showed my parents one Sunday morning. They bought it and I happily started planting vegetables, peanuts, maize and keeping bees with the help of the local labor. Once I married wherever we moved it was all about planting food, keeping chickens and ducks, permaculture and creating micro-climates. I learned how to build wooden cabins and outdoor furniture from pallets, and baked and cooked home-grown produce, developing recipes as I went along. Over the years on numerous trips to wild places and cities I've learned all sorts of survival hacks, but there is always someone out there who can teach you a new trick so I remain an eternal student and forever humble.

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