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Outdoor Games to Play While Camping

Updated on April 7, 2013

Going camping with your family or friends? Want to have some outdoor fun besides the usual hiking, biking, swimming and fishing? Tired of corn hole and horseshoes?

Try some of the following outdoor games to play when camping.

A Blue Tent
A Blue Tent
A Knothole
A Knothole
A Hotdog with Mustard
A Hotdog with Mustard
An Amphibian
An Amphibian

Treasure Hunt

A favorite game of my family's is the infamous scavenger or treasure hunt. Clues can be given out one at a time or as a list.

Since most people have cameras on their cellphones, you can easily play a treasure shoot game. You set up a game of treasure hunt with directions to take photos of certain items. You have a designated time limit to see if you can come up with pictures of the items on your list.

I love making up clues (often with rhymes) but you can just list items that you might find in the campground and include some hard ones to find or some that take more effort.

Instead of asking for a quarter, ask for one with the year of your birthday on it. Instead of just listing a bird, list a bird with something in its mouth. Possibilities are endless. Just be sure to be respectful and ask other campers for help, don't just barge in with your camera!

Some other samples are in the pictures at right.

Other Treasure Hunt Ideas:

Or you could hide objects (like candy or quarters) around the campsite to find, or even play with clues among your fellow campers. You can play each man for himself or you can divide up into teams. If you do not have someone who can come up with great clues, you can probably get more ideas on the internet.

On one of my camping trips, a wedding shower was held by campers who took up a few sites together and did a game I thought was unique. They gave the bride-to-be clues to follow to find her gifts hidden throughout the campground.

Before the party started, her friends brought around the gifts and asked different campers if they could hide them. We hid some kitchenware behind one of our chairs. Another camper had a blender under their picnic table.

The bride-to-be got a card from each friend and enclosed was a clue for her to find the gift that went with the card. She wore a tiara and carried a bouquet. Whenever she found an item she gave one of her flowers to the camper as a little thank you for playing along.

She enjoyed the treasure hunt and many of her fellow campers, including my family, enjoyed being part of the celebration, too.

Geocach a Treasure

With a GPS on your cellphone or other device, you can do the techy treasure hunting. Be sure to follow the guidelines from the website and spend a few minutes on the rules before you start. Go to and see if there are any hidden caches in your area (or maybe even right in your campground). Please remember that if you take something from the hidden container, then you should leave something in the container. Geocaching is a fun outdoor treasure hunt that is a global adventure. Try it sometime!

A good hub to start with is

Boochie Ball

Boochie ball is a great game for young and old and in between. An octagonal ball gets tossed out in the play area and the game begins. Each person (or you can share with someone as a team) has a beanbag ball and a ring that they take turns throwing, kicking, tossing toward the octagon.

The directions for how you are to do it are on a dial in a band you wear on your wrist and there are also directions on the octagon. You do not have to be athletic to play this ball game. You may have to throw the ball between your legs, toss the ring with your eyes closed, or you may get extra points for being the furthest away. Many different directions keep the game interesting and fun.

Boochie Ball comes in a bag so it's easy to tote to the campground. Be sure to pack one for your next camping trip.

Timed Competitions

You can set up teams of two to play various games of skill that require some strategy and teamwork, but also can be quite hilarious. Each skill can be tried for one minute like the television show "Minute to Win It". Examples are:

  • tie a string to a pencil and tie it around your waist so it hangs down your back a couple of inches above the back of your knee. Set an open plastic bottle on the ground. Set the timer and you have one minute to get the pencil into a plastic bottle without tipping it over.
  • run with a potato between your thighs, then turn and squat down to drop the potato in a bucket 6-10 feet away. If you miss, you have start over. As soon as you get one potato in the bucket, then your partner takes a turn and does the same. See who gets the most potatoes in the bucket in a minute.
  • start with a tall, single stack of 31 red Solo cups. You have one minute to unstack them, stack them up in a pyramid (10 on the bottom to 1 on the top), and then stack them back into a single stack.

Flying Disc

If you have a large enough area, you can play with a flying disc. You can set up a target to send the disc.

You can fly the disc and try to:

  • have a partner catch it (human or dog).
  • land it on a chair.
  • fly it through a hoola hoop.
  • knock over a red Solo cup perched on a post.
  • see who can throw it the farthest.

Just be sure you do not get in anybody's way and don't play around a campfire. Plastic melts.

Down, Down, Down, Down

You throw a tennis ball back and forth. The first time you drop the ball, you go down on one knee. The second time, two knees. The third time, one elbow. Fourth time is both elbows. Fifth time is your chin and you're out.

Each time you go down, you stay in that position for both catching and throwing.

Metal Detecting

Ask for permission from the campground owner before you use your metal detector. You can detect on a beach or along a walking path or through empty campsites.

You can set up a detecting site for some friendly competition. Place a handful of quarters hidden in an area of the beach. You set a time limit such as 5 minutes for each person or team to look for the coins. Winner can be whoever finds the most or whoever finds the coin that has the oldest date on it.

Frozen Tee Shirt

Before your camping trip dip a few large t-shirts in water, fold them up individually, and put them in a zip-lock freezer bag. Freeze them for 48 hours and store them in a cooler for a game the first day camping. Each team has to run to the cooler, pull out a bag, and figure out how to unfreeze the shirt so that one of the team members can put it on. The first one who succeeds is the winner (and is usually the coolest).

Did You Know?

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Outdoor Games Are Fun

Outdoor games are fun to enjoy with your friends and family because they bind you together with laughter and excitement and good exercise. Think up something different to do. Get outside and play on your next camping trip!


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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You would be fun to go camping with. Wonderful suggestions. I'm passing this on to our boys.

    • farmloft profile image

      farmloft 5 years ago from Michigan

      So much fun to plan camping trips! We even had a very successful class reunion at a campground this year.

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 5 years ago

      This is a great hub for my boyfriend and I ! We love hiking and camping! Voted up and shared!