Tony & Peggy Barthel - StressLess Campers


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10 games you can play while camping

10 games you can play while camping

Here are 10 games to enjoy while camping. While there are always ways of getting out and hiking, exploring, canoeing or just enjoying the great outdoors there are also some great games to play while you’re whiling away the time. 


Horseshoes is a lawn game for two players or teams.  You can get a set of horseshoes for as little as 30 bucks, and as long as you have enough space (40 feet between stakes), it can be great fun.  This is not a game you are likely to carry with you if you backpack to camp.  And if you are going to use heavy metal shoes, make sure you don’t tear up the best part of the park’s lawn. Maybe even consider a inexpensive rubber set.  

Ladder Toss

Instead of a horseshoe, you throw a rope with balls on each end (the bola).  And instead of stakes, the goal is a ladder with three rungs, each with a point value.  The ladder is fairly easy to build if you are the handy type. I’m not so sure about the bolas


Players toss beanbags at a board with a goal hole near the raised far end.  This game can also be played by individuals or teams. There is a surprising amount of strategy involved.  My strategy is to make sure my opponent drinks more than I do (grin). This is another game that could be built fairly easily.  The best part is you could decorate the boards exactly how you like!

If you can’t decide if you want a cornhole game, a ladder toss, or a picnic table, why not get all three in one!

Whew, that was a lot of exercise!  Let’s sit down, shall we? 

Mexican Train Dominoes

10 Games you can play while camping

This is one of my favorites.  Sure, there is strategy but it’s also fun to just play what you see and hope for the best!  That’s how my friend won the first time she played…. The goal, of course, is to play all your “bones” and leave the others with points in their hands.  If you can’t play, a train marker goes on your hub, and other players can play on your train. 


Cribbage boards come in so many shapes and sizes!  My favorite board is carved from a California redwood tree and is in the shape of California. Your hand is grouped into combinations for points. Like in Rummy games runs and multiples count, as do combinations of 15 and “the jack of nibs.”  Points are tracked on the board by two pegs that leapfrog over one another.  This game was invented in the early 17th century!  


While you could use regular cards and play Crazy Eights, I love the colorful Uno cards and I don’t have to remember which cards in the regular deck have special rules.  Uno is usually my go-to gift giving idea for young kids learning their numbers and colors. Plus, they don’t understand strategy so it’s easier to win against them (insert devil emoji here).

5000 Rummy

As in all forms of rummy, the aim is to form sets and runs of three or more cards.  The number of cards dealt to each player is determined by the first card they receive.  The last card in the dealer’s hand is wild. If you go out, you get all the other player’s cards from their hands to count as your points.  A lot of other rules vary, but you get the idea. First one with 5000 points gets bragging rights, until tomorrow when we start a new game. 

Cards Against Humanity:  

Full disclosure: we don’t always keep score in this game.  We just drink, read, and laugh.  Touted as “a party game for horrible people,” players take turn reading question cards, and the other players each submit one of their cards to best respond.  Warning: some very adult and very offensive questions and answers are included.  If you have kids, or if you aren’t horrible people, you might consider “Apples to Apples” instead!  If you do like CAH, though, be sure to get all the expansion packs!!


Originally called Yatzie in the 1940s.  Roll five dice up to three times, and try to get combinations of all one number, sequences (straights), or a full house.  All five dice the same number is a Yahtzee! Any five dice will do, but having the score cards is really useful. 

Zilch: Don’t put those dice away just yet!  You’ll need six for this one.  First player rolls all 6 dice.  If you roll some points, you can take the score, or keep rolling the dice that didn’t score for more points.  But if you get too greedy, you could lose them all!  I’m not sure if this game differs at all from Farkle; I know I’ve seen Farkle score cards but we just use paper to score Zilch. 

That ought to keep you out of trouble for a while!

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