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Camping Games for the Older Crowd

Sometimes your camping party is made up of mom and ad and the kids. Sometimes, it’s several families. Sometimes, however, it’s nice to take a camping trip with other adults without the kids. Trips like these are a good way to renew or strengthen friendships and truly get to relax because you get a break from being “parents” for just a little while. You and your friends kind of get to “be kids again”. With that thought in mind, here is a list of some fun games you could play with your friends, some may be new to you, others you may have forgotten.

I NEVER: A simple conversation game to play to learn more about your friends. You can use pennies or poker chips or toothpicks or whatever to use as “tokens”. Everyone sits in a circle. Each player starts with ten tokens. One at a time, each player says the phrase “I never”, followed by something they have never done. Anyone who has done what they have not must give them a token. If no hands over a token, the player goes again, otherwise, the last person to hand over a token goes next. If someone runs out of tokens, they are out of the game. The game can continue until only one person has a set number of tokens (i.e. 20-30-40) or until one person has all the tokens. The things you learn during this game may surprise you!

WOULD YOU RATHER?: A game as old as philosophy itself. Have some scrap paper or post-it notes handy and plenty of pens. Everyone sits in a circle. Everyone takes turns asking another player a hypothetical question with two choices, such as “Would you rather have the ability to fly, or the ability to read people’s minds?” Before the player answers, have everyone else write down what their answer is. After they reveal their answer, have everyone show their vote. The player gains a point if the majority of the answers agree with theirs. The next question asker and questionee will be the next person to the left of each one. Continue until a set amount of points. You may find the points won’t matter so much as the entertainment from debates that will spring up over the questions.

CHARADES: A fun classic that is always entertaining. Get a hat or a can or box or whatever, and have everyone write down well-known words, phrases, or titles of books or movies on slips of paper and put them in. Break your players into two teams. The teams take turns having one player drawing out a slip of paper, and then that person must act out without speaking what is on the paper for his team to figure out what it says. If possible use a sand timer or a clock and try to give the team five minutes. If they guess it, the get a point. If they don’t, the other team gets a point. Play until your out of slips, high score wins.

CARD GAMES; A no brainer. Playing cards are the easiest thing to carry on a camping trip. Almost everyone knows all the classic games. Poker, Spades, War, Gin, Hearts, Blackjack, Crazy Eights, even Go-fish, and Old Maid are all good ways to pass the time. Various other card games using non-standard decks also exist. Any good camper always makes sure they have at least one deck of cards packed away somewhere.

CAPTURE THE FLAG; Often thought of as a kids game, this game is perfect for your more athletic and competitive adults. There are many variations, but all of them based on two teams having two territories, and each team trying to steal the other’s flag from a base. Typically, if someone tags someone from the other team while they are in their territory, they are either forced to return to their own base or are out of the game for some amount of time. A guard can be placed at either base to protect the flag. The level of “tag” on this depends on you and your friends. Some will want to go with a simple touch of wearing smaller “flags” on their belts that can be pulled (which could also denote team by color), while others will go as far as allowing full contact tackling and dragging and tossing the enemy back to their own side. Great exercise and a lot of fun!

PAINTBALL: Originally designed as a sport for adults, paintball has grown in wide popularity for groups of adult friends to get together and enjoy some extreme competitive action. For those of you not in the know, paintball is when you take specially designed markers that hold compressed air and fire plastic balls full of paint at each other at high velocity. Like tag but with a bit more sting. Some parks (such a North Texas Jellystone) have facilities where you can pay to use their equipment and play in paintball matches with your friends and other guests. If your camping at other private campgrounds and want to play paintball, you should probably check with the owners or management on whether or not this is allowed on their property.

This is just a shortlist of things adult campers could get together and do. Before you go camping, reach out and get ideas from your friends about what sort of things they like to do, and you can plan out an awesome weekend for your whole gang.