Camping is the ultimate way to unwind and immerse yourself in nature, but it’s also the ideal opportunity to spend some quality time with your friends and family.
After a long day of hiking and exploring, it’s always nice to sit around the campfire with your fellow campmates. And that’s when it’s time to break out the outdoor games!
From classic card games to cornhole, this list of the 21 top games features the best ways to keep yourselves entertained on your next camping trip.
So grab your camping gear, round up your friends and family, and get ready for hours of fun and laughter in the great outdoors!
Table of Contents
- 1. Ladder Ball (aka Ladder Toss and Ladder Golf)
- 2. Capture the Flag
- 3. Go Fish
- 4. Nature Bingo
- 5. Scavenger Hunts
- 6. Obstacle Course
- 7. Eno TrailFlyer Outdoor Game
- 8. Cornhole
- 9. One Night Ultimate Werewolf
- 10. Settlers of Catan
- 11. Spoons
- 12. Ring Toss
- 13. Checkers
- 14. Horseshoes
- 15. Frisbee
- 16. Water Balloons
- 17. Jenga
- 18. Charades
- 19. Simon Says
- 20. Toasted or Roasted Card Game
- 21. Kubb
- Best Camping Games: What’s Your Favorite?
1. Ladder Ball (aka Ladder Toss and Ladder Golf)
Ladder ball, also known as ladder toss or ladder golf, is a popular lawn game for two players or two teams with two people each. It’s great for young kids, older kids, and adults alike.
It’s played by throwing bolas, two golf balls tied together with a rope, onto a ladder-like vertical structure. The ladders usually come broken down into a carry case that’s easy to bring along for a car camping trip.
Opponents get three bolas each and take turns trying to toss the bolas so they hang from the rungs. Players must toss their three bolas consecutively from 15 feet away from the ladder. The two mini-ladders have three rungs each. The top rung is worth three points, the middle rung is worth two points, and the lower rung is worth one point.
The first person or team to get to 21 points without going over wins. So much fun!
2. Capture the Flag
Camping with a big group? Capture the Flag is one of the best games to play outdoors with a large number of people of all ages.
It’s perfect for camping because there’s very little equipment to bring along. Capture the Flag requires two flags, two spacious outdoor areas or “territories,” and two teams. Each team places its flag (two bandanas or small towels can be used as flags) somewhere within their side of the playing field.
The winning team is the one that’s first to capture the opposing team’s flag and take it back to their team’s home base. Players must work together to avoid getting tagged on foreign territory and defend their own flag from the invading team.
3. Go Fish
This classic card game is a great way to keep young children entertained on a rainy or lazy afternoon. All you need is a standard deck of cards but you can also buy a deck of Go Fish Playing Cards. Go fish, sometimes called fish, is played with at least two people and up to six.
To begin, players are dealt five cards each. If there are two players, each one gets seven cards. The remaining cards are spread out face down in the center to simulate a pond filled with fish.
Players take turns asking any other player for a specific type of card to collect four-of-a-kind. For example, “Do you have any twos?”. If they do, they must hand over the card in question and the asking player gets another turn.
If a player does not have the card requested, the asking player must “go fish” by taking a card from the cards in the center. If the player gets lucky enough to get the desired card, they get another turn.
Completed four-of-a-kinds are placed face-up on the table in front of the corresponding player. The game ends when no more matches are possible. The winner is the player who collected the most sets of four-of-a-kinds.
4. Nature Bingo
Nature bingo is an outdoor lover’s take on bingo with a scavenger hunt spin. Instead of a combination of letters and numbers, nature bingo playing cards feature things you see in the great outdoors.
You can print out free nature bingo cards or make your own. If you make your own cards, you can draw images or write the names of campsite-related things, like hammocks, tents, and camp stoves, along with the typical natural elements like birds, trees, and ants. For the markers, you can use dried beans or coins.
Players look around the campsite and mark the items they find on their cards. The first person to fill up their nature bingo card wins.
5. Scavenger Hunts
A scavenger hunt is a great game for outdoor play with campers of all ages. You can even play it on the drive over to the campsite or on a rainy day inside your RV.
The goal of a scavenger hunt, also called a treasure hunt, is to search for and find as many items on their list as possible.
This activity is very flexible and you can switch up the rules and length of the hunt to suit your needs. For example, you can split up a large group into several smaller teams or your whole campsite can work together as one. You can also set a timer and see who finds the most items in the allotted time or make it so the first team to check off all of their list wins.
6. Obstacle Course
For some high-energy fun, build an obstacle course around the campsite. There’s little to no extra equipment to bring along because you can use a combination of campsite gear and natural materials to create an awesome obstacle course.
It’s a great way to keep the kids entertained for hours while they find the right items to use in their course and then compete against each other to complete it. They can set out logs to hop over, crawl under the picnic table, and weave in and out of the camping chairs.
Alternatively, you can get a packable obstacle course for children and adults to make the setup and clean up faster.
7. Eno TrailFlyer Outdoor Game
The ENO TrailFlyer Outdoor Game is like a hybrid of skee ball and corn hole without the need for heavy wooden boards or a full-blown arcade.
It’s a hammock-like fabric “board” with three targets that you attach to a tree or anchor point (stakes are included). The goal of this two to four-player pastime is to score the highest number of points by throwing the provided weighted discs into the targets. The top hole is worth 3 points, the middle is 2 points, and the bottom is 1 point.
This camping game is ideal for a family camping trip because it’s made specifically for outdoor adventures. It’s portable, lightweight, and weatherproof. It packs down to the size of a 32-ounce water bottle and weighs about two pounds.
Another classic outdoor pastime, cornhole is one of the most popular camping games ever. Instead of the clunky backyard version, get a portable cornhole set for your campsite.
This game is meant for two to four players. If you have four players, you’ll need to divide up into two teams. Space out the cornhole boards about 27 feet apart front to front.
To play this game, take turns trying to throw the bean bags into the hole in the board. A bag in the hole is worth three points and a bag that lands on the board is worth one point. The first team or player to reach 21 points wins.
9. One Night Ultimate Werewolf
One Night Ultimate Werewolf is ideal for a group of friends on a camping trip together. It’s an addicting, yet quick 10-minute play that will leave you hooked.
It’s meant for three to 10 people and can be played by children as young as eight. Each player is assigned a role and an app is used as the moderator.
The role cards are handed out and each player gets to be either a villager or a werewolf. The One Night Ultimate Werewolf app narrates the play. It walks you through the steps leading up to the final moments where players try to guess who the werewolves are and cast their votes before the five-minute timer is up.
10. Settlers of Catan
Here we have a strategy board game that’s easy to pick up for beginners while still challenging enough for more skilled players.
The Settlers of Catan Compact Edition is a fun camping game for players of all ages. It’s the travel version of Catan with a fold-up case, a small board, and a few adjustments to make it simpler to play, including an option for two players.
The goal of Catan is to be the first player to reach ten points from building cities and settlements on the board. Each player rolls the dice to get resources and trade with other players to build up their settlement.
Spoons is a classic card game for fast-paced fun with the whole family. All you need to play is a standard deck of playing cards and a spoon for every player except for one.
Somewhat similar to musical chairs, the object of this game is to avoid being left without a spoon at the end of each round.
To play this game, spread out the spoons in the middle of the playing area and hand out four cards to each player.
Starting with the dealer, players take turns picking a card from the deck and passing unwanted cards to their left until a player collects four-of-a-kind or the deck runs out.
As soon as a player gets four of the same cards, they slyly snatch a spoon from the center. At this point, all the other players must grab a spoon as quickly as possible. The player left without a spoon is out of the game and play continues until there’s only one player left standing.
12. Ring Toss
Ring Toss is an easy way to keep the group entertained at the campsite. Unlike the carnival version of the game, which uses rows of heavy and fragile glass bottles, this packable ring toss set is perfect for camping and comes in a carry case.
People can play in teams and the first team to reach 50 points wins. Players stand 15 feet from the pegboard and try to throw rings onto the pegs for points.
Probably one of the most well-known board games, playing checkers is a typical campsite activity. It is played between two players and the first one to capture all of the other player’s pieces wins.
For the ideal outdoor game, grab this giant checkers outdoor board. It’s a four-by-four feet canvas mat with a checkerboard on one side and tic tac toss on the other. It comes with large red and black foam discs for the checkers which flip over to reveal Xs and Os for tic tac toe toss.
Another classic campground pastime, horseshoes is a fun activity to play with friends and family.
Original horseshoes are made from metal and are clunky, but this rubber horseshoes set is lightweight and practical enough for outdoor adventures and safer for children to use.
In horseshoes, players take turns tossing horseshoes toward the pegs to add up the highest score. The player with the most points wins!
Whether you’re spending the night on the beach or pitching your tent by an open meadow, frisbee is one of the best games to play outdoors. It’s a simple activity with few rules that anyone can play (including the dogs) and just one plastic disc to bring along.
The only downside to frisbee is that you can’t play at night. That is unless you have a glow-in-the-dark, LED light-up flying disc.
16. Water Balloons
The best way to cool off at the campground in the summer heat is with an exhilarating battle with water balloons.
You can play free for all or make it more entertaining by setting some rules for different types of fun. Divide up into teams to play dodgeball-style, see which team can hit a target the most, or run a relay race while carrying the balloons without dropping them.
Jenga is a fun camping game that’s sure to keep you on your toes! The fun begins by building a tower made up of rectangular wooden blocks.
From there, each player takes turns removing one block at a time and placing it on top of the tower.
Eventually, the tower will become wobbly and one player’s move will cause it to tumble over. The last player to have placed a block successfully on top of the tower before the tumble wins the game.
For big laughs around the campfire, get a group together for a game of charades. This classic has players act out a phrase or name of something silently while their team tries to guess it. Hand and body movements are allowed but speaking is not. The team that guesses the most phrases quickly wins!
To play, write popular phrases or names on pieces of paper and put them in a bag for players to pick and take turns pantomiming. Common things to act out include names of movies, celebrities, and books.
For more nature-related acting fun, add in a few outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and kayaking.
19. Simon Says
Test your fellow campers’ memorization skills by playing Simon Says. To start, players form a circle and take turns creating rules for the next player to follow.
For example, “Simon says to clap your hands twice” or “Simon says to stomp your feet”. Players must follow the previous players’ rules plus the new rule they receive. Those who forget the rules must drop out and the last remaining player wins.
20. Toasted or Roasted Card Game
The Toasted or Roasted card game is one of the best camping-themed games available for kids.
Players receive four cards each and take turns attempting to toast and roast their marshmallows while blocking other players from doing the same thing. For example, you can play a rain card to douse their campfire or a wind card to blow it out. The goal is to be the first player with three toasted marshmallows.
Kubb is a unique and entertaining lawn game that works perfectly for the campground. It’s a Swedish outdoor pastime dating back to Viking times. The playing set is made up of several wooden pieces and comes with a handy carrying bag.
To play, create a playing area with the four corner pins. Then place 10 chopping blocks on one end and five on each team’s baseline. The goal is to know over all of the opposite team’s blocks and topple the kingpin in the center of the field at the end.
Best Camping Games: What’s Your Favorite?
From campground classics, like cornhole and horseshoes, to newcomers like Eno TrailFlyer and Kubb, you now know all of the best camping games to play in the outdoors.
If we missed your favorite camping game, let us know! And if you’d like to share this post with your friends for their next trip, please do!