Australians love to go camping!
We’re not going to let social distancing get in the way of a camping good time! We have some great ideas on how you can go on camping trip in your own backyard, on the balcony or even in your living room!
Backyard camping is only for those who are healthy and well. If you are sick or a little under the weather, stay indoors and protect those around you and build your tent in the lounge room.
And remember, this is for your household only. This keeps everyone safe, and able to adhere to government health guidelines.
Camp Out At Home
Gather your household and make a list of what resources you will need for your camp out. Pack your camping bag, roll up the swag and get ready for an awesome weekend!
Campfire Cook Up
Do some research and plan your camping menu together (e.g. veggie kebabs, damper, some toasty jaffles). Check out some of these great amp Cooking and Recipes ideas, like this tasty looking Damper!
If you don’t have a perfect backyard cooking spot set up or a BBQ, you can always have a good old singalong around the stove before you take dinner out to the campsite.
Why not read Aussie favourite ‘Wombat Stew’ together and plan your own stewy dinner recipe?
Set up the tent!
If you don’t have a tent or swag you may wish to design a shelter using a tarp, large sticks or even a bedsheet. This is the time to get creative and make something glorious – whether it’s in the backyard or the living room!
If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night,
I’ll bet they’d live a lot differently. (Calvin & Hobbes, Bill Watterson)
Tip: If you are lucky enough to have a tent, remember not to use long tent pegs so you don’t damage any utilities that may be running underground. Shorter ones are easy to get hold of from your local camping store.
Have a singalong around the ‘campfire’
No camping adventure is complete without a really good singalong, and with a bit of creativity you could even roast some marshmallows, while being fire safety heroes! The kitchen stove is always a great option – but if you do have an outdoor BBQ or a safe pre-established fire area like a contained firepit, just make sure you have a water supply nearby and keep little hands a safe distance away. Adults should be supervising at all times and please consider your lovely neighbours when planning the location in relation to smoke. For more campfire advice visit the Rural Fire Brigade
You could instead build a role play campfire from loose part items found in the backyard, or from around the house such as toilet rolls, cardboard boxes or pieces of material. Let your imagination run wild!
If you can’t build a real fire, maybe you can use this virtual campfire instead!
Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKaIkbgyhU8
If you need some inspiration for some campfire songs, Jump Up Outdoors has some great options that can get you started.
Camp out Storytime
Gather together some of your favourite campfire stories. Here are some popular choices from the Nature Play QLD team:
- Boris Goes Camping – Carrie Weston
- Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’s Sleepover Gumnut Babies -May Gibbs
- Curious George Goes Camping – Margret Rey
- S is for S’mores – Helen Foster James
- Just Camping Out – Mercer Mayer
And a good ghost story always works well for the grownups!
Decorate your Camp
Calling all creatives!
Why not use scrap fabric or paper to create your own Easter camp-out bunting?
Perhaps make some nature mobiles or lanterns to hang in nearby trees, or even create a water balloon or papier mache piñata?
Or everyone has a box of Christmas fairy lights that can add some magic.
Know your Knots
Learn some simple camp knots together as a family. Some examples to get your started could be a reef knot, clove hitch, and square lashing. Here is some guidance in the Forest School Leader’s portfolio and here on our Get Knotted page.
Austalian Clapsticks (Bilma)
In some indigenous Australian music, two sticks struck together form a beat that can accompany the didgeridoo. Whether you tap together two unsharpened pencils or take a nature walk to retrieve two perfect sticks, these simple clapsticks can keep a beat while you sing or play along to any your favorite songs.
If you want to decorate your clapsticks with an Australian theme, you can use a dot motif. In the activity below you can find step-by-step directions for making several different versions of crafty “dot” bilma.’ http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/explore-australian-instruments-with-your-child/
We also love these simple examples using recycled household and natural materials for younger children here: https://letslassothemoon.com/2012/04/16/nature-made-musical-instruments/
Why not create a ‘Bush Band’ and write your own family camp song?
Sleeping Bag Race
Adapt the classic potato sack race and use your sleeping bags instead. Ready, set, go!
Create your own dream catcher to hang up during your camp-out. Here are a few beautiful examples you may like to try: https://mothernatured.com/nature-crafts/nature-dreamcatcher-craft/
Boil some eggs in a billy can while you sing Waltzing Matilda. Then get the spoons out for an ‘Egg and Spoon’ race! You can even paint your eggs in your favourite colours and patterns – a great idea to keep the kids busy and the adults can get involved too.
Blind Man’s Bluff
A bit of nostalgia for the adults. Have a game of Blind Man’s Bluff around the backyard. Just tie a blindfold or piece of fabric over someone’s eyes and see who they can catch first. Make it easier for the smaller ‘blind men’ by calling out warmer or colder as they get closer (or not so close).
There are so many options for games around a campsite, you could try making up your own to involve the whole family or use some of the ideas from Jump Up Outdoors. These are great for the whole family but can be adapted very well for an adults’ game. Does anyone remember Truth or Dare?
Remember to take a photo of your camp set up and and post to social media with #campoutathome #greataussiecampout for us to see. You might even inspire some other backyard campsites out there!
Other useful stuff
The Camping and Family Camping pages have lots of useful tips, great ideas and more fun activities,
and these Good News Stories will help put a smile on your face
News & more
Great Aussie Backyard
An article from The Courier Mail about camping at home over Easter and supporting the Great Aussie Camp Out campaign.
Did you get outdoors in your own back yard last Easter?
Tell us all about it, share the highlights and don’t forget to tag your photos with #campoutathome and #greataussiecampout so we can all see them.
Click the links to check out all the #campoutathome and #greataussiecampout photos that have been shared on Instagram so far!