Have you given any more thought to pitching a tent in your backyard this weekend to participate in the Great American Backyard Campout? I hope you’ll give it a go – if not now, at some point this summer. And remember, I’m here to help!
Today said help comes in the form of a list. ’Cause you know how much I love my lists. This backyard camping checklist is designed to help cut down on your prep time – simply download the list, print it out and go.
One thing worth noting: The one time we camped out in the backyard, we treated it just like the real thing. Which meant that once we declared the camping to have officially begun, we didn’t go back in the house again except to use the bathroom.
If you aren’t feeling that adventurous, you might find you don’t need quite as many of the items here. Pick and choose from (and add to) the list to meet your family’s specific needs.
These items remain pretty standard whether you’re camping in your backyard or beyond.
- Ground cover/tarp
- Sleeping bags (or sheets & blankets)
- Sleeping pads or air mattresses
- Portable crib for younger kids
- Pillows & kids’ favorite items for sleep time
Clothing & Helpful Equipment
Notably absent here are the items within easy reach when you’re camping in your backyard – things like a first aid kit and basic toiletries.
- Jammies & a change of clothes
- Jackets & hats (it can get cold at night)
- Camp chairs
- Beach blanket
- Flashlights/headlamps (one per person)
- Outdoor fire pit
- Fire starting tinder, kindling & firewood for the fire pit
- Matches or lighter
- Insect repellant (if needed)
- Diapers (if applicable)
- Baby wipes (they’re good for just about everything)
We prefer to keep our camp meals simple, so we plan on grilling dinner (or ordering take out), then having a light breakfast. We use the inside kitchen to wash up after meals.
- Backyard grill or camp stove & propane
- Plates, cups & utensils (plastic utensils can keep it simple)
- Cooking utensils, pots & pans
- Cooler with ice
- Reusable water bottles for everyone
- Portable high chair or booster seat for younger kids
- Food for dinner & breakfast
- S’mores supplies (including marshmallow sticks)
- Water & other drinks of choice
- Formula or baby food for infants as needed
- Paper towels
- Trash bags
Fun & Games
- Sidewalk chalk
- Glow sticks
- Scavenger hunt list or camping bingo
- Play tent
- Favorite games, coloring books & crayons
- Books for bed time
- Binoculars (for stargazing & wildlife spotting)
For more backyard camping tips, check out:
What did I miss – what’s on your backyard camping checklist?