You don't need to travel to a campsite to have fun outdoors.
Look no further than your own yard! Eliminate the hassles of packing up your car, wrangling the kids, and paying exorbitant camp fees. Not to mention forgetting to bring essential items. (The year we forgot a can opener is not a fond memory!).
Let's start with the basics for camping: food and shelter.
Food is easy-peasy. Staples such as hamburgers and hotdogs, ice tea and lemonade, potato salad and coleslaw are as close as your frig and freezer. For the ultimate in camp meals, don't forget the baked beans (thank you, Blazing Saddles). Use paper plates and plastic cutlery for easy, no washing necessary meals. Hand crank your own ice cream (better yet, get the kids to do the tedious cranking!).
For meals that need cooking, consider a Primus stove. Compact and foldable, the Primus one and two burner stoves have a windshield and light easily. At the end of your camping, the Primus stoves stow away until it's time for your next adventure. Looking for a way to make S'mores and memories? A Sun Joe Fire Pit lets you gather the family around the campfire for scary stories and marshmallow toasting. You'll find having a fire pit in your backyard enjoyable even when the weather turns cooler.
For the full camping experience, sleeping under the stars can't be beaten. But there is no need to have a bad night's sleep. If you have two trees at the right distance apart, a hammock can gently sway you to sleep or give you a place to lazily read a book during the day. Eagles Nest Outfitters has a full line of hammock and accessories for hammocks. They even have hammock stands when there aren't trees available for you to use.
Going for a more routine sleeping adventure? Then stake out a tent in your backyard! Marmot and Black Diamond make tents in several sizes and styles. You'll be ready for finger puppet shows in no time. Don't want to sleep on the cold, hard ground? Me neither. A sleeping bag and sleeping bag pad ensure a restful night's sleep.
Turn off the lights in your house and use the power of the sun to light up the night. Mpowerd makes 4 styles of inflatable, lightweight, and portable solar-powered lights that cast a soft glow. Since they are solar-powered, there are no messy electric cords to trip over! Gama Sonic provides elegant solar-powered lighting if you are looking for more permanent solutions.
Camping wouldn't be complete without uninvited guests. And by uninvited guests, I don't mean your nosy neighbors. Get rid of flying insects and mosquitos that want to crash your backyard camp with a Flowtron Pest Control device. Biting bugs, be gone!
With a little ingenuity, camping in your own backyard is an adventure that you and your children won't soon forget. Make memories to last forever! And save a S'more for me, please!