It’s been a while since the world was able to travel outdoors freely. No thanks to the pandemic, the choices for outdoor recreational activities are quite a few. And even if you can go out and do these activities, there’s always the risk of contracting coronavirus or carrying it back home to your loved ones.
There are plenty of ways to travel outside safely. But the best thing you can do is still stay in the comforts of your own home. Besides, there’s one thing you can do to feel like you’re traveling without leaving your home: backyard camping.
It’s a great way to change things up and feel free in the outdoors. You can use the time to bond with your kids. Also, being with nature has shown great mental health benefits. Some include reduced feelings of fear, anger, and stress.
And to get a more outdoorsy feel even if you’re technically at home, you can try doing these things:
Pack a Backpack
Before you go outside, consider packing a backpack for your short camping trip. Pack some snacks, refreshments, a book, toys for the kids, and other things you might need.
Packing a bag can make your outdoor activity feel more realistic. It’s also convenient. Since you will pack everything you need, you won’t have to go back and forth in your house, which can break the illusion of camping outdoors.
Set up a Tent
One thing that is always part of a camping trip is a tent. Set up your favourite tent in your backyard. If you don’t have one or want to change things up, grab two blankets and turn them into your backyard tent. Clip one side of each blanket to a clothesline in your backyard. Then pin down the other ends using a string or some rocks. You can also put an outdoor welcome mat at the front of your DIY tent to mark its entrance. You can also hang string lights around the tent.
Play some games if you feel a little bored. If you’re backyard camping with your family, consider having a scavenger hunt and bet on something. Perhaps the losing team will have to cook dinner or wash the dishes.
You can also play board games if you want something more low-key. Consider playing Scrabble or Word Factory. These games are not only fun; they also keep your mind stimulated. Kids will also benefit from word games because they can improve their vocabulary and reading and writing skills.
Get the Grill
One of the best parts of camping outdoors is eating. Take out the grill and cook some burgers and barbecue. The smell of the smoke and the taste of smoky meat can make your camping feel more realistic.
But it’s important to remember that there are some risks to eating grilled meat. For example, when fat from the meat falls onto the charcoal in the grill, it can form polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). They transfer to the meat through the smoke. This compound is cancer-causing. And repeated contact may result in kidney and liver damage, cataracts, or skin inflammation.
Thus make sure that you healthily grill your food. For instance, don’t leave your meat on the grill for too long. Also, remove the charred parts of the meat before eating. Add vegetables to your meal as well to make it even healthier.
One camping staple is eating s’mores. A camping trip doesn’t seem complete without it. If you’re craving dessert or want to eat something sweet, have a few s’mores after your meal or during the night. You can use your grill again to make the s’mores. Or you can start a small campfire if you have a bonfire pit in your backyard.
Read a Book
Perhaps you’ve been busy for a while and haven’t had the chance to read a book. Use your free time during your backyard camping “trip” to catch up on some reading. If you want to read during the night, use a lamp for a more authentic camping feel.
You can also read a book out loud for your kids if they’re joining you. Consider reading them a story with a lot of characters. And get creative with the characterisation of each by changing your voice. Your kids will surely enjoy this.
Going outdoors freely is still not completely safe at this time. So people need to find alternatives to get the feeling of traveling and having outdoor recreational activities. Backyard camping is a great alternative since it’s low-risk and fun, and it can be low-cost if you already have everything you need at home.