Looking for a sure-fire way to entertain the kids or camping buddies on your next camping trip? From the classic spotlight to light painting, we’ve got you covered!
Sometimes, just relaxing in your tent doing nothing is the ideal weekend, and sometimes, or for certain people it's ‘boring’. If you’ve got some time to kill or just looking for something else to do; try out one of these 5 camping activities.
Spotlight - A Kiwi classic where all that’s required is darkness, a flashlight, a few mates and an invisibility cloak (if you’ve got one). It’s a pretty simple game but if you haven't played it before we'll give you the rundown.
Depending on the amount of players you have participating, you can select one or more to be the ‘spotter’, equip them with a spotlight each. The task of the remaining players is essentially just to run and hide. The spotters close their eyes and count down from 30 seconds or so, it’s also a good idea to define the game area so it doesn’t turn into a search and rescue mission. Once the countdown is up, the spotters walk around with their flashlight, when they think they've spotted someone they point the flashlight at them and call them out.
After a player has been called out, there’s a couple ways you can play the game. Players that have been called out can switch places with the spotter, players that have been spotted can join the team of spotters or simply be ‘out’ of the game. Remember that unlike with hide-and-seek, you can pretty easily move around in the dark without the spotter seeing you, ‘camping’ in one spot isn’t always the best idea, unless of course, you brought your invisibility cloak.
Pass the water - This one is best done during the day, preferably when the weather is decent, as there’s a high chance of getting soaked.
The idea of this game is that players stand in a line, with the person at the front holding a full cup of water and the players behind holding empty cups. The front player lifts the full cup of water over their head, pouring it behind them, the player behind attempts to catch as much water in their empty cup and then passes it to the player behind them. The aim of the game is to keep as much water in the cup by the time you get to the last person.
Side note: If you’re a bit older, we don't see any reason why the water couldn’t be substituted for another “liquid”.. if you get what we mean.
Charades - Another classic game, sure to frustrate you like no other. I’m sure this game is the training ground for many great actors and is guaranteed to test your non-verbal communications skills.
So, for the few of you who don’t know how to play charades, I’ll give you the simple run down and you can throw your own spin on it. The aim of the game is to “act out” a phrase without using words. A good go to is a movie, TV show or book, but it can really be anything you like. It’s a good idea to create teams of two or three people. The team whose turn it is will discuss in private as to what they’re going to act out. You want it to be challenging but not too hard, for example, the movie ‘Shrek’ might be a challenging idea but perhaps ‘Saving Private Ryan’ would be a bit hard. Again, it’s totally up to you. Try to find something to act out with an iconic aspect such as Shrek’s ears and belly.
Once the team has decided what their phrase will be, they must act it out and the other team/s have to try and guess it, the first team to guess correctly wins that round.
Scavenger hunt - This is a simple one that can be done at a campsite, or during an activity such as walking or hiking. Players are tasked with finding certain items in nature, such as 5 different types of flowers or certain insects, etc.
It’s usually a good idea to come up with a list of things to find before you go out, so that you can tick them off as you go. If you can’t think of anything or just don’t have time you can find some pre-made lists here. Just make sure that you're respecting the environment by taking only photographs and leaving only footprints, leave everything you find behind for the next person to enjoy.
Light painting - Speaking of taking photos, light painting is an awesome activity that tests your creativity! This one’s a little more complicated but you can create some super cool artwork and memories.
You’ll need a couple things to get started: A light source, this can be a torch, phone, lighter, sparkler etc. A camera, this can be a dslr or even the camera on your phone if it has the ability to slow the shutter speed. And finally, you’ll need a tripod or something to hold the camera still such as a log.
There are many technical guides online that explain in-depth the aspects of light painting, I’ll link one here. But, for the sake of this article, I’ll give you a quick introduction. For smartphones, the easiest way might be to jump on the app store (if you’ve got reception) and download a ‘light painting app’. My Huawei has a built in function for light painting, but I don’t think this is available on iphone, so you’ll have to research for your particular device.
If you have a dslr or something similar, you’ll want to switch into a mode that allows you to manually change your shutter speed. This is usually ‘S’ mode or Tv on Canon cameras. The general idea is that you slow the shutter speed to a few seconds, allowing you to ‘draw’ with a torch or lightsource to make a light painting. You’ll want to experiment with the shutter length to get the desired results.
Well there you go, that’s just a few activities you can pull out on your next outdoor adventure, or perhaps just the next rainy day, because it's more about the people you’re with than the places you visit that make the adventure!
Until next time! Don’t wait around, your adventure starts here.