Fire bans are on the rise leaving many a camping evening sitting at the picnic table around a lantern instead of the nostalgic campfire. Or perhaps you are just sick of waking up to that awful campfire smell in your hair and clothing.
Either way, the rightful choice to fill your evening while camping with cheer is with board or card games.
Some board games can have so many tiny pieces. You are just asking for trouble if you take those board games to the campsite with you.So I put together a list of portable board games, not too many small pieces, and ideal to be played on a picnic table in the back country. I tried to choose an array of camping board games to include in this list, strategic, cooperation, guessing games and matching games.
Not all are board games, but all are games that might be played into a wonderful camping evening.
If you find yourself with only a deck of cards and want to add in a drinking game component, here’s our adult drinking card game list.
During the day, for games with more activity, make sure to pack atleast one of these outdoor camping games.
After our last camping trip, we were shocked how much fun Connect 4 is to play while camping. It was one game on the table that almost always had people playing and more watching. Kids love the Giant Sets, and may seem difficult to play but hard to master. The strategic and counting element of where to play so your competitor has to play later on makes us playing over and over. Get the price.
2. Matching Games: Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity
Apples to Apples put matching games on the map. It’s a family friendly card matching game that is a ton of fun. Another of the most popular adult matching games is Cards Against Humanity. I like Cards Against Humanity as a camping game as the company even gives you a free printable version of the cards. That way you can print and not worry about getting wet or dirty while camping. You can download the free printable of cards against humanity here with our list of card games similar to cards against humanity. There are guaranteed to be some laughter over the hilarious matches that are made. Not too mention even more laughter when the judge chooses which card wins the round. Get the price.
One of the best board games to play while camping or around the fire is Catch Phrase. You will might need some lanterns for extra lighting. It is the best game for around a campfire as you pass the game unit around in a circle anyhow. You can play with 4 to 10 players, best played with teams of 2, 4, 6. Catch Phrase is a lot like charades where you act out and say words like what is on your card. When your team members guess the word correct the game unit is passed to the opposing team. Catch phrase originally was created as a unit with cardboard pieces so the order was the same. Now the electronic unit ensures the order is always random. Get the price.
Taboo is a fun adult board game, of unspeakable fun. A lot like charades, you need to guess the secret word in less than 60 seconds without saying the 5 “taboo words”. It sounds easy, but a lot like catch phrase is difficult to complete. The words as you can tell are a little more adult themed, but fun and challenging. For example, how would you describe a wrist watch without saying “Time, Clock, Wrist.” We normally play this on Christmas Eve, but is a staple in our camping game collection to be played around the campfire. Get the price.
Blokus is a camping favorite for it’s strategy and competition. Even though this game has lots of small pieces, both the pieces and the board are made of a durable plastic that can easily be washed. Through strategy, the winner is determined by who can get the most pieces on the board. But watch out, you can block and be blocked to put a damper on your strategy. It’s a great game for kids of all ages. I even play this game with my 3 year old nephew, who can’t understand the game but it’s great learning to build shapes and place colors together. Get the price.
Bang! It’s likely you will be camping with a group of family or friends and Bang is best played in larger groups so it makes it an ideal camping game. The original version of Bang is a card game, but the dice game is easier to learn and quicker without as many cards, so a better version for camping. Each player gets assigned roles, the sheriff, the renegades, deputy, and outlaw. Your role is kept secret and the outlaws and renegades goal is to shoot the sheriff, while the deputy protects the sheriff. This seems rather western, but trust us, with the secrecy of not know who is which role, it’s a lot of fun. Werewolf is a similar game, but perhaps a bit more kid friendly. Reminds me of a mix of Clue with strategy and trying to keep your poker face. Get the price.
You may think it is a kids game, but is very strategic. It is not as complicated as chess, but you need to plan out your next moves. The game consists of fixed and sliding tiles, and each turn a player gets to add their piece to the maze. This sliding up and down pieces on the game board mixes up play in a race to be the first to get the most treasure and return home. I think this is an ideal camping game because the pieces are larger and less likely to get lost. Get the price.
The award winning game of Hive is a great camping game because the tiles used are made of thick plastic. These tiles are easy to clean and hard to loose. Not only that, the Hive, is a winner of the Dr. Toy excellence award. It’s a strategic game, similar to chess, but without a starting board layout, the play possibilities are limitless. Get the price.
I like this game for camping because the pieces are larger, and it comes in a tin box durable for camping. This game is also great if you want to keep the game time short and sweet. Only an average 30 minute game time, this game is designed for 2 to 4 players. Work as a team to capture the forbidden Island through strategic thinking and problem solving. Also a winner of the Mensa Favorite Brainy Games winner, this board game is definitely worth the camping tag along. Get the price.
Have you tried the huge escape room trend yet? Escape rooms are popping up everywhere in major cities. The concept is that you and team are locked in a room and must solve a series of puzzles in order, guess the murderer, or solve a mystery to escape. They are climbing in popularity, because they are awesome, however the biggest downfall is that they can be quite costly. The escape rooms I have seen are approx $60-80 a person, and they are best played in groups of 4+. This escape room in a box is a great treat to bring to your group of camping friends to see if you can solve the challenges, fireside. Get the price.
When it comes to board and card games, I have a seriously hard time only choosing 10 to take camping. But let’s be honest, there’s not normally that must room in the camper van anyway. Plus you want to make sure your leave ample room for outdoor games and beach games too.
It’s hard to resist not bringing some of my all time favorites like Monopoly, Risk, Ticket to Ride, and Settlers of Catan. These games are all amazing, and generally are longer game plays but have a bunch of small pieces. I value these games too much to leave a piece behind at my campsite by accident.