Camping is our favorite summer activity! We don’t think there’s a better way to get away from it all and immerse yourself in nature, get some fresh air and recharge your inner batteries, while spending some quality time with your favorite people. One way to continue the bonding time and hang out together is by playing games, which is why we’ve assembled the best games for camping and outdoor fun. Many of these games can be played with minimal equipment, and they range from chill board games to exciting physical activities.
- Outdoor Games for Camping
- Indoor Camping Games
Outdoor Games for Camping
When the weather is nice and the sun is out, the best outdoor games for camping involve more physical activity. Get your heart rate up with a game of Spikeball or Throw Throw Burrito, or calm it down with a game of Bocce Ball or Lawn Darts. These games can be played with a couple of people, or several, so there’s a wide variety of options to pick from!
Perfect for the campground, beach, backyard, or anywhere else, Spikeball is a newer game that’s sweeping the nation, especially on college campuses and in Crossfit gyms. This game gets you moving, and is super easy to learn within a couple of minutes. Spikeball is a fun, active, volleyball combined with four square game that’s great for all ages.
Bocce Ball is a timeless game for adults that’s perfect for backyards and camping situations where you have the space to play. It’s best to use a flatter area, preferably one that’s grass covered. This bocce ball set on Amazon is one of the highest rated games with a rating of 4.8 out of 5. It comes with 6 multi-colored balls, a heavy duty canvas carrying bag, and a measuring tool for when it’s too close to call.
- Premium Resin
- Durable canvas bag included
- Also available as light up balls
- Heavy and harder to transport
- Not great for kids
- Needs open grassy area, which may not be available at your campground
Bring this tailgate classic to any location with this extremely portable game set. It packs down into a drawstring bag, making it easy for travel and lightweight. Even though it packs down small, the PVC tubes are 50% thicker than other competitors and it only takes 2 minutes or less to set up.
- Sets up in under 2 minutes
- Packs small and light for easy travel
- Casual game for all ages
- Only one game option can get old quickly
- Cannot be kept or stored in hot environments or the plastic melts
Cornhole is one of the most well-known yard games, and this portable set with carrying case allows you to take it on the go as well. The bags are all weather, regulation size bean bags and the cornhole boards are UV resistant and water resistant. Upgrade materials for more durable options such as solid wood sets, composite molded sets (100% waterproof), or even an aluminum frame with optional LEDs for night play.
Even though this horseshoe set includes a travel bag, the horseshoes are still made of premium forged steel and weigh the official weight of 2.1 pounds each. The stakes are two 2″ solid forged steel stakes, meaning they’re built to stand up to years and years of ringers.
- Comes with travel case
- Real forged steel horse shoes
- Great family game
- Heavy to store
- Need flat open space
- Must put stakes 9-10″ deep, which may not be possible for certain terrain
Improve your hand-eye coordination with this twist on the classic game of ring toss. The board is easy to assemble, lightweight, and great for indoor or outdoor play. The plastic rings are perfect for kids, so they can play while learning turn-taking skills and sportsmanship.
- Perfect for kids
- Plastic rings can be used indoors or outdoors
- Lightweight and easy to assemble
- More suited for a smaller age range
- Can get boring quickly
An alternative to darts and lawn jarts, this portable game of lawn darts is easy to travel with and requires no assembly. Perfect for varying terrain and different kinds of surfaces, this version can be played on dirt, the lawn, grass, sand, and even carpet. Follow the rules provided, or make your own for a fun twist!
- Glow in the dark rings and darts for after-dark play
- Safer alternative to darts
- Great for all ages
- Limited gameplay options
- Plastic darts don’t hold up well to continued use
When we say “huge” Jenga, we mean it. This tower starts at 2.5 feet tall and grows to over 5 feet during game play. Each block measures 7.75″ x 1.5″ x 2.5″ and this set includes a dry erase board to make your own rules and keep score. For a little more money, you can upgrade to a nice stained wood or even a painted stars and stripes theme!
- Fun twist on a classic game
- Amazing ratings on Amazon
- Fun for all ages
- Heavy and takes up a lot of storage space
- Need steady flat surface to play on
From the makers of Exploding Kittens comes this outdoor version of their new game, Throw Throw Burrito. With jumbo sized playing cards and massive blow up burritos to throw, this game is sure to get your moving and laughing. The creators have won awards for hilarious and entertaining games that are simple and easy to learn, and this board game has almost 25,000 reviews on Amazon.
- Tons of amazing Amazon ratings
- Fun for all ages
- Combines board and active games
- Some say this is immature
- Newer game with longer learn time
While this massive wood dice set is advertized for Yardzee (yard Yahtzee) and Yard Farkle, this set includes instructions and paper for over 20 games, meaning you’ll never run out of fun with these dice. The dice are 150 times the size of regular dice, measuring 3.5″ x 3.5″ x 3.5″.
Plus, every order plants a tree, since this company has partnered with Trees For the Future.
- Weather & water resistant
- Sustainably sourced wood
- Includes instructions for 20+ games
- Takes up a lot of space to store
Indoor Camping Games
For those days when you’re wondering what to do when it rains while camping, we’ve put together our favorite indoor board games. These pack down much smaller than the outdoor games, and some even have smaller travel versions for easy transportation. Most games can be played with 2-8 players and are great for those camping days when the weather or bugs don’t agree with outdoor fun.
It’s time to get the family together for some laughs and Family Charades is the easy way to start the fun! The game includes four charades categories: Family Charades, 80’s 90’s Charades, Movie Charades, and Kids Charades. It’s perfect for parties or just a quiet night in with friends and family. So choose your favorite charades category and get ready for some good old-fashioned fun.
- Good fun for all ages
- Promotes thinking outside the box
- Develops non-verbal communication skills
- A lot of cards that could get lost
- Not a great game for couples
Dominoes are a classic game that’s perfect for camping trips and family gatherings. The tiles are color coordinated, so it’s easy to play and hard to lose them. There are tons of classic games you can play with dominoes, like Mexican Train and Chicken Foot.
- Easy to Play
- Color coordinated tiles are easy to see in low light
- SNeed large table to play on
- Some say they felt a little thin
If you love spending time in America’s national parks, then you’ll love playing this new board game! Trekking the National Parks is perfect for camping trips or any time you’re near a park. It’s also educational – players can learn about the history and ecology of different parks. Plus, it’s really fun to play! The game is made by a small, independent business that donates a portion of all proceeds to nonprofits making a difference around the world. So share your love of America’s great outdoors and help support these organizations at the same time.
- Donates proceeds to nonprofits
- Supports a small business
- Must learn whole new set of rules
Looking for a fun, casual game of strategy? Look no further than Ticket to Ride – the cross-country train adventure that has players collecting and playing matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities through North America! With simple rules and beautiful design, it’s easy for anyone to play – perfect for experienced tabletop enthusiasts or newcomers to the hobby. Just so you know, this is one of our personal favorites!
- Super fun
- Just enough strategy, not too hard
- One of our personal favorites
- Little pieces, not the best game for a tent
- Games can take up to an hour
In Catan, players control their own civilizations and look to spread across a modular hex board in a competition for victory points. The game is easy to learn but offers a lifetime of exploration, meaning you’ll never get bored with this strategy classic. Trade resources, build settlements, and battle for control of the island in this addictively fun game.
- Easy to learn
- Won’t get old or stale
- Games can last a really long time
The Great Outdoors Playing Cards are perfect for nature lovers and card players alike. The sturdy wooden box houses 54 gorgeously illustrated playing cards, complete with an intro card to get the game started. Plus, the high-quality “blue core” allows players to shuffle the deck over and over again without wearing down the cards. And best of all, the beautifully illustrated elements depict nature in all its glory – from growing trees and flowing water to majestic mountains and expansive skies. So whether you’re camping or just hanging out at home, these playing cards add a touch of casual sophistication to any activity.
- Simple equipment for lots of different games
- Versatile and easy to pack
- Can have limited game play options if you don’t know many card games and can’t look up new ones with limited phone service
Step into the wilderness with Monopoly: National Parks Edition. This special edition of the classic board game features stunning landscapes like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite. Buy, sell and trade these iconic locations, plus experience the excitement of gameplay with custom tokens such as ranger hat, tent, canoe, bison, hiking boot and camera. Plus, a portion of proceeds goes to support the National Park Foundation
- New twist on a traditional game means it’s easy to pick up and play
- Games can last a long time
- Lots of small pieces to get lost
UNO is the classic, easy-to-learn family card game that’s a blast to play! Match one of your cards with the current card shown on top of the deck, by color or number. Use your strategy skills to defeat your competition with special action cards like Skips, Reverses, Draw Twos and color-changing Wild cards. The UNO Tin comes with 112 cards and instructions in a sturdy tin that’s great for camping and travel. Try new versions like Uno Flip, Dos, and more!
- Tin packaging is more durable and water resistance that traditional box
- Multiple new versions to change it up
- Need table to play on
- Lots of cards to get lost
Ready, set, sink some ships! This Battleship Grab & Go game is the perfect way to take your naval battles camping! With a flip-open game unit and carrier, battleship, submarine, destroyer and cruiser pieces, you can battle it out wherever you go. When the battle’s over, just store everything away in the units and slide them together for easy portability. So get ready to take control of the high seas with this compact and portable Battleship Grab & Go game!
- Compact version of the traditional game
- Great for couples and groups of 2
- Only for 2 players, no more or less
- Not as versatile as other game options
Games can stack up easily – do you have a closet full of board games in your home? I know we do and we are constantly adding to it. Instead of purchasing games just for camping, work on building out your home game closet and just pick and choose what you bring with you on each trip. That way you can pick based on the weather forecast and your current favorites instead of filling your car or camper with unnecessary clutter.
Our favorite outdoor game is easily Spikeball, and we highly recommend that for groups of people and those looking to get active and moving. Our current favorite indoor game is Ticket to Ride, an easy to learn strategy game. If you’re looking for something a little more exciting, we love Uno! Implement your own house rules to make it even more exciting!
About the Author
My goal with my writing and Know Nothing Nomads as a whole is to share my passions of hiking, camping, and a love of the outdoors with our readers. Making the difficult and uncertain feel more approachable to people that might not know enough to feel comfortable taking their first steps into the wilderness is a driving factor for me. When I’m not writing you can find me on a trail, in a forest, or next to a river with hiking shoes on my feet and a fly rod somewhere close by.