How to Camp In Your Backyard

Four Parts:Setting up the sleeping zoneSetting up seatingPreparing foodAdding fun activities

Camping in your backyard can be loads of amusement, no matter how old you are. It's great for keeping the kids entertained, it offers opportunities to check the night sky, stargaze, be noisier than usual, and lets you have friends over to stay who might not otherwise fit inside the house. Follow these instructions to have a pleasurable night you'll never forget.

Part 1
Setting up the sleeping zone

  1. Image titled Camp In Your Backyard Step 1
    Set up your tent. Depending on the number of family members and guests, you may need more than one. Ask your friends to bring their tents if needed. Follow the instructions or check out wikiHow's article on assembling a tent.
    • Use a good quality tent; this isn't the time for the beach shade. It must be a tent you'd really camp in, to protect you from the rain, bugs and wind.
  2. Image titled Camp In Your Backyard Step 2
    Prepare your bedding. You'll want your guests to be able to relax in comfort. Put something soft to lie on on the floor: A blow-up air mattress, thick comforter, or even couch cushions work well.
    • Fill the tent with soft toys, pillows, and blankets.
    • Have lightweight sleeping bags or cotton blankets for slight summer warmth, especially important if you live where the night temperatures dip considerably.

Part 2
Setting up seating

  1. Image titled Camp In Your Backyard Step 3
    Arrange a seating area. If you have a picnic table or a patio set, that would work best. Otherwise, set up a few lawn chairs and a small table to set out drinks and food. A low-maintenance option is to lay out a blanket in the sun, so that your friends can relax, eat, and chat. Be sure the grass isn't wet or damp!
    • Before laying out the seating area, do a sweep for doggy do-do, ant hills, prickles, or other things that might spoil the experience.

Part 3
Preparing food

  1. Image titled Camp In Your Backyard Step 4
    Purchase, or make refreshments. You could either prepare something ahead of time, or even order out. Pizza is a good option, if you are with a large group of people. Have a few bags of chips, or other snack items set out, as well as a cooler full of ice, a variety of drinks. For hot summer afternoons consider making homemade treats, including:

Part 4
Adding fun activities

  1. Image titled Camp In Your Backyard Step 5
    Light a bonfire. A warm fire is a camping classic. Just be sure you have municipal permission (and if you are a child, you must have adult supervision). Remember to follow all fire safety precautions, and keep a close eye on your bonfire.
    • No matter what you choose, remember: safety comes first.
  2. 2
    Make use of that fire. Besides keeping warm, there are fun things you can do.Roast marshmallows, hot dogs, and just cozy up and stare at the flames. Tell stories around the fire. Do some of the activities around the fire.
  3. 3
    Plan some activities. You're camping in the backyard, so it's time to make the most of being outdoors. Here are some ideas to enjoy the occasion:

  4. Image titled Camp In Your Backyard Step 7
    Make memories. Have a camera nearby to take silly snapshots of you, your kids, your family members, and your friends. Take one large group shot with everyone smiling and laughing. Be sure to make copies for everyone!


  • You can camp with lots of friends, or even by yourself!
  • If you really want to go all out, send out invitations beforehand. Include a list of necessary items, like extra tents, sleeping bags, warm pajamas, and snack items. Your guests will also need to know where the party will be located, what time it begins, and what time they should be home the next morning. You can find inexpensive invites at any store.
  • Invite as many people as you wish! Camping is all about enjoying yourself outdoors. If a few extra friends show up, just cram them into a tent or set up an extra one; you can always ask a friend to bring another tent, or even ask the neighbors for a tent.
  • If you participate in the "Great American Backyard Camp Out", you can even raise money for charity! Check a search engine for details.


  • Look at the weather forecast the day before. In colder countries like England or some parts of Canada weather can change very quickly, leaving you in a freezing, wet tent!
  • If you decide to have a bonfire be sure you have municipal consent as well as supervision. And be careful: Lighting your friends on fire does not make a really fun evening.
  • If you have close neighbors, try to quiet down as the evening progresses. Your neighbors may have small children who are trying to sleep. Don't be making deafening noises or playing loud, booming music all night, especially after 9-10:00 pm.
  • If there are children who are camping in your backyard, take in mind that they get frigid and cold faster than adults so make sure that they're kept adequately warm during the night. They should wear layered clothing while they sleep and the tent should be capable of lower temperatures.

Things You'll Need

  • Tent
  • Food and drinks
  • Wood for a bonfire
  • Blankets, lightweight sleeping bags
  • Air/camp beds
  • Pillows, cushions
  • Warm, layered clothing
  • Friends and family
  • Flash light
  • Soft toys
  • Music (and a portable music player)

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Camping | Sleep Overs