You don’t have to travel far and wide to spend a night sleeping under the stars. With our handy guide, you can immerse yourself in the outdoors, all from the comfort of your own home. Here’s the Millets Ultimate Guide to Backyard Camping.
Benefits of camping in your backyard
Whether you’re a complete beginner or have been camping plenty over the years, backyard camping is tonnes of fun for the whole family! You get to spend some quality time togehter, bond with the kids and have a right laugh in the process. And if this is your child's first time camping, it’ll be a great test run with the security and convenience of home nearby.
There’s plenty of other benefits to camping in your own back garden too, such as the time and effort saved on planning and making sure everything goes smoothly. If you were going on a camping trip elsewhere in the country, you’d need to plan for weeks in advance, sort out a campsite and make sure everything is packed. Camping in your back garden takes that weight off your shoulders and lets you take it easy. There’s no travelling either, meaning you can prepare and get to your campsite in less time than it would take to pack the car.
Financially, you’ll also be much better off than you would going on a big camping trip. There’s no travelling so you’ve already saved on fuel there, plus you don’t have to buy all the additional supplies you may need on a typical camping trip.
Set up your cosy campsite
Organising a camping trip to your back garden might sound simple, however, without some proper planning, you could end up with some very bored children ready to march back into the house. That’s why it’s important to try and keep the fun going, and the best way to kick things off is to get everyone involved in setting up your campsite.
Getting the campsite right is key. It’s where you’re going to be sleeping for the night, so you want to make it as comfy as possible. In order to get your home away from home (while still at home) set up properly, it’s going to take some teamwork. Set up your tent like you would at a regular campsite by finding a smooth, flat surface to pitch on. Once you’ve found that, you can get the whole family to work. Whether it's spreading out the flysheet or putting poles together, everyone can chip in!
Once your basic setup is complete, make it extra cosy with sleeping mats, blankets or even an inflatable air mattress for extra cushioning. You could also hang some lamps or string lights up around the tent to illuminate your campsite and give it a magical soft glow.
Cook up some grub
Camping at home means you can whip up something good in the kitchen and bring it outside for the family to enjoy, anice option to have but where’s the fun in that? One of the best bits of camping is eating around the campfire! Plus, a great chef knows that there’s no substitute for cooking over an open flame. So, get the grill out, throw on some burgers and sausages, and cook up a proper feast for everyone.
Once the mains are done with, it’s time for the sweet and sticky camping classic, marshmallows! Hold them over the grill until they’re golden brown, and enjoy the perfect gooey snack.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a grill or firepit, do it the old-fashioned way and pack sandwiches and savoury snacks with some sweet treats for after.
Keep the little ones entertained
As we mentioned before, without proper planning, you run the risk of having some bored children on your hands, and nobody wants that. Keep them busy by planning out a few activities for everyone to take part in. That way the kids stay entertained and you get some quality bonding time with your them - everybody wins!
Here’s a few ideas to keep them entertained:
- Build a fort: Using duvets, blankets and cushions from the house, a washing line, some branches and a bit of imagination, you can build the fort of your dreams. Whether it be a blanket fort, a cushion castle or a duvet den, it’s fun for everyone involved, and ther's no reason why a well-built fort can't stay up for long after the camping trip is over.
- Run races & play games: Have an afternoon filled with fun by playing games and running races around your back garden. Set up your own little Sports Day as shown in our Garden Olympics Guide.
- Organise a treasure hunt: It’s important to plan this one in advance so you can plant clues and prizes for the kids to find. Have them work as a team to find the loot or pit them against one another to see who can find all the clues first to win the prize!
- Tell campfire stories: After all that fun during the day, you need a calm way to settle down and prepare to hit the hay. Gather the family around the fire to take turns telling the best spooky camping stories!
- Stargazing: Is there a better way to end a day than to look up into the great unknown with awe? Stargazing is a great hobby that anyone can take part in. Let the kids count the stars and draw the constellations above, create some imaginative backstories for them all and discuss the cosmos, all from the comfort of your back garden.
We know it might be tempting to run inside the house and grab something you might have forgotten, but try and set a rule to stay outdoors during your backyard camping trip. You wouldn’t be able to just nip inside on a normal camping trip, and it's more fun if you keep it authentic.
Get the whole family out into the garden for some much needed frresh air and camp from home! Let us know how you get on via our social channels - we can't wait to see all of your cosy campsites!