How to Go Camping in Your Backyard for Memorial Day

Nicole Fallon

Tags food, holiday

backyard camping

Image credit: chomplearn_2001 / Adobe Stock

When Memorial Day rolls around, people often host big backyard BBQs or take their family on vacation for the long weekend. With social distancing protocols in place, however, those types of celebrations may not be possible. 

Fortunately, you can still make the weekend special with a backyard “camping trip.” You can enjoy the great outdoors and spend quality time with your kids without leaving home! Here’s what you’ll need to camp out in your yard this Memorial Day. 

Backyard camping gear to pack

To recreate the magic of your favorite campsite at home, all you’ll need is the following gear:

1. Tent and sleeping bags

Find a tent that comfortably fits your whole family and their sleeping supplies. Sleeping bags are a great way to stay cozy on a breezy night, but if you don’t have them, you can bring pillows and plenty of blankets.

2. Lanterns and flashlights

Once the sun sets, you’ll need to bring enough lights to navigate your “campsite” and enjoy your camping activities. Make sure the batteries are working before you leave or pack a few extras to be safe.

3. Outdoor cooking gear

You’ll need long sticks to roast mallows, but a little bit of extra cooking gear can go a long way. Pack a cooler for drinks and any refrigerated foods, a cast-iron skillet, a knife and cutting board, and tableware/silverware. A camp stove also expands your menu options considerably.

4. Campfire materials

Get your fire pit ready or create your own out of bricks and stones. Gather up some newspaper, kindling, and logs – then light it up with a match! Keep some water on hand to douse the fire, and be sure to follow local and state ordinances.

Fun activities to do

Make the most of your outdoor camping trip with these fun activities for the whole family:

1. Sing-alongs

Pull out your guitar (or radio) and get everyone singing while you sit around the fire. Belt out some campfire classics or choose some fan favorites – no matter the song choice, you and the kids will have lots of fun singing your heart out.

2. Ghost stories

If your kids don’t mind getting scared, have everyone tell their best spooky stories around the fire. For little ones or kids who aren’t big on horror, give your stories a funny or happy ending.

3. Backyard scavenger hunt

Keep the kids engaged with nature with a backyard scavenger hunt. You can include camping gear, animal and plant sightings, and things you see in the sky. This activity can also spark some teachable moments and great conversation.

Great campfire recipes

You can’t go wrong with grilling burgers and hot dogs for dinner and roasting up s’mores for dessert. But if you’re looking to venture outside these classics, here are a few family-friendly campfire recipes:

1. Foil pack meals

Foil pack meals provide easy prep and clean-up, leaving you more time to enjoy with your family. Delish offers two takes on the campfire dinner: chicken and rice with salsa verde, and surf ‘n’ turf. For a sweet breakfast, try Gimme Some Grilling’s cinnamon monkey bread foil pack.

2. Quesadillas

Quesadillas are endlessly customizable and quick to assemble. To cook over the campfire, all you need is a cast-iron skillet. Check out The Kitchn’s spinach and refried beans quesadillas for inspiration.

3. Frittata

For an all-in-one breakfast, wipe out that cast iron skillet and cook up a frittata with your family’s favorite fillings. Fresh off the Grid has a great vegetable campfire frittata recipe.

Looking for a sweet treat to supplement your campfire meal? Order a party pack of our Cookie Cups! Since we’re open for delivery on DoorDash and GrubHub, you’ll get your order right to your door – no need to pause your family fun.

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