I love to drink wine and have deep conversations with my friends around the campfire but sometimes we're just in the mood for something more fun without the hassle.
So, to be prepared for the next time we camp, I did some research online to find out the most fun games & activities and laid them out here in this post. I also categorized them as to when they're played the best: Small groups, large groups, while drinking or with 2 people only.
If you ask my favorites for a quick answer, I'd say:
- Wink Murderer
- The Werewolves of Millers Hollow
- Detective Games
These are all played around a campfire with little to no movement - but I'll also mention different ones.
Camp Games for Large Groups
Little to no movement is required for these games.
In this game, a secret “killer” winks at the other players to eliminate them. The others must identify who the wink murderer is before they are “killed” too! This game works best with large groups of 6-7 or more. To determine who the wink murderer will be, you can split up anything (a deck of cards, for example) with one being different which designates the wink murderer for that round.
The group should continue to talk and interact, but the wink murderer will be stalking their next victim. If a player is winked at, they should “die” in a humorous way (like falling off their chairs) so that others know they're out of the game. Or they can just yell "I'M DEAD" after at least a few seconds.
This is a thinking game, best played by groups of six or more around a campfire. Send one person away from the group and while they're gone, decide on something that everyone in the group has. Physical possessions such as cars or bicycles, or body parts like fingers or knees or even something like a sense of humor would work.
When the person returns, they quiz the group individually by asking, “How’s yours?” and each person in the group answers with one or two words that describe the possession agreed upon in secret. The fun in this game is finding clever adjectives that are accurate in their description but do not easily give away the secret.
Some How's Yours ideas:
- Chest hair
- Sense of humor
- First kiss
- Bank account
- Feelings for someone in the group
- Morty (shout out to R&M fans)
The Werewolves of Millers Hollow
Based on the Russian game called Mafia, The Werewolves of Millers Hollow is a card game for eight players and up. There are 24 cards that include 4 werewolves, 13 townsfolk, and one each seer, little girl, witch, hunter, cupid, thief and sheriff.
A moderator assigns a role to each player, giving each a card that is kept secret from the other players. During the night part of the game, players close their eyes until the moderator calls them one by one (so that no one knows the roles of others) to perform their special action. Then they close their eyes again.
Then the day portion of the game happens with all players opening their eyes. The moderator tells them who was killed during the night, and that player or players is/are not allowed to speak for the rest of the game. The rest of the players decide on who the werewolf is.
Choose one person to be the psychiatrist, who then leaves the room while the others prepare the game. The other players must decide on a psychological illness to have, and the sky is the limit. The best “diseases” are the most creative and may be an “in-joke” between the members of the group. When the “psychiatrist” returns, he or she must try to discover what is wrong with them by asking questions or making note of strange behavior.
If a player lies or does not play along, another player must yell “Psychiatrist!” and switch places with them. The game ends when the “psychiatrist” correctly guesses the ailment of the patients.
See some CRAZY ideas here. This will probably be your go to game if you're looking to have hilarious time.
Camp Games for Small Groups
These are very, very good IMO and around the campfire becomes more of a "horror" game. You basically come up with a "detective riddle" needs to be solved. One of my favorites is this:
- "A man walks into a restaurant and orders a plate of seagull, takes 1 bit walks out of the restaurant and kills himself. Why?"
They can ask you questions, but you can only respond with a "Yes" or "No". For example they can't ask you "Where was he before?" but they can ask you "Was he with his friend before?" and you must tell them the truth.
It can be super creepy around a campfire. Some other riddles are:
- "A man found dead in the middle of a desert and has nothing with him but a broken match. How did he die?"
- "A man goes to his bedroom to sleep, lies in his bed and when the car passing by outside illuminates the wall clock, he checks out under his bed and finds a dead body. Why did he look there?"
- "A group of 4 men are about to have dinner. A deliveryman rings the door, the host collects the cargo and returns it to the table. They all gather around and open the box only to find a human cut off leg and they smile. Why did they smile?"
I won't provide the answers as you might want to play them yourself first and you can easily find the answers online. The first one is called "Seagull Soup". Let me know if you find any other good detective riddles like this so I can add them here.
If you're looking for a more dynamic activity, SpikeBall can be a good option. It's a great way to be active and have fun & laugh at the same time. It's also probably the simplest of all: The team that lets the ball touch the floor loses.
The game is played with four players, two on each team on the opposite sides of a net. One player serves the ball by spiking it on the net toward the opposite side. The opposing side gets two passes between them before they have to return the ball to the other team by bouncing it on the net.Players can move anywhere they like to get the ball and points are scored when a team fails to spike the ball back to the other side. The first team to 21 points wins the game. Here's a video explains the game-play very well:
First 11 seconds are a waste so I forwarded it already. You can check its current price on Amazon by clicking here.
This is actually an old game that seems to be closely related to the British version known as bowls and the French petanque. It can be played anywhere on any terrain including the beach or wooded areas.
In summary, Bocce can be played between two people or in teams of two, three or four. The match begins with the randomly chosen side throwing a small ball called a jack up to 16 feet away but further than 8 feet. If the first team misses two times, the other team gets the opportunity to place the jack themselves. The first team to bowl tries to get their four larger balls closest to the jack, with the score based on one point for each ball that is closer than the other team’s ball.
Balls must be thrown under-hand and the jack can be knocked away, as can the other team’s ball or balls.
There are literally tens or even hundreds of different models, but most of them come with poor bags and distance markers, so make sure they're good. This set on Amazon is a good option for most people.
Camping Games for Adults Drinking
Never Have I Ever
Each player takes a turn saying something he or she has never done, such as, “Never have I ever ridden in a convertible.” The rest of the players have to drink or not drink depending on if they have done the activity or not.
If you have ridden in a convertible, you would take a shot or a drink. If you have not, you would not drink. As the night goes on, some of the topics can be eye opening, to say the least!
Shag Marry Kill
OK so I'll be honest I'm uncomfortable explaining this lol. You know what Shag is 🙃.
This is a classic game in which three celebrities are presented and the player must choose one to shag, one to marry and one to kill. After taking their own turn, they must present the next player with three celebrities to shag, marry or kill and so on.
To spice up the game, move on from celebrities to real people that everyone in the group knows.
Verbal Games for 2
For couples or two friends camping together, below games can be fun.
Would You Rather
Choose someone to go first, who will ask a player of his or her choice a “would you rather” question. For example, “Would you rather have feet for hands or hands for feet?”
Creativity is the key to making this game fun. Check out this site for many, many good questions. I guarantee you'll have dilemmas. Here are some of their examples:
- Marry at 19 or never marry at all?
- Save 2 family members or 10,000 strangers?
- Master every programming language or spoken language?
Two Truths and A Lie
You tell two truths about yourself and one lie and he/she has to guess which one is the lie. Make sure judging the other person depending on their answer (ground rule).
- I am really into running.
- I can speak 4 languages.
- I once broke a long term relationship with text.
- I am colorblind.
- I have 1000+ instagram followers.
- I always call my mom before my dates.
- I think about you often.
- I was once the president of United States of America.
- I love you.
No no don't do this. I was kidding it doesn't work...
(Or does it?)
One person asks the other to name five of something, with the goal of stumping the other person. For example, asking your opponent to name five British Kings or Queens or even five famous rivers. The person who cannot finish their list of five is the looooser.
For example, ask the other person if they can name 5 planets. If not, get up and leave. If you're the one can't, leave this planet. Rules cannot be broken, so yeah.
Also, don't forget to check out "Camping Games for Adults Drinking" and "Camp Games for Small Groups" headings above - some would work perfectly fine for 2 people.
Activities Before & After Camping
If you’re looking for local attractions on a road trip that just happens to involve camping, look for campground ratings, travel guides and reviews from fellow campers online:
- Camping.com – Search popular destinations by region or state on this comprehensive website. You can even search by a specific interest. For example, if you want to visit all the county fairs in Wisconsin on a mega-camping road trip adventure, this is the site for you.
- Good Sam – There is a fee to join, but you make it back in special member savings and discounts. But I'm not a member, so I don't know much. Members are part of an online community that has a robust forum on locations and trip guides all over the United States. The site also has a trip planner, perk rating system and RV park review area.
- Motorhome USA – A free listing or National Parks, State Parks and campgrounds by state that will help you find the best campground near activities and attractions. This site is great for tent and RV campers alike and includes a list of free and low cost campgrounds as well.
Don't Forget Hiking!
Not to put on my Captain Obvious hat (I did anyway...), but hiking is one of the most common activities to plan during a camping trip. For most campers, they will be pulling their rig or pitching their tent in a national park or campground adjacent to one, which is the perfect location to set off on a hike.
Hiking doesn't necessarily have to be exhausting, you can basically hike during the night very slowly.
If necessary, don't forget to get a trail guide from the park ranger’s office - all national parks have different levels of trail difficulty and length to suit different hikers. Know before you go.
What About Sports?
In addition to SpikeBall and BocceBall mentioned above, below sports also require gear and daylight. Most of these are only good if you're going to camping with a vehicle and you don't mind sweating unlike me. It's also good for adults with kids who aren't planning to hit the way back right away in the morning.
They also require some outdoor space and can be enjoyed by any number of people:
If you think of playing either volleyball, croquet or badminton; it might be a good idea to buy a portable net with stands that set up in minutes. There is this portable net set on Amazon and it seems good for all the activities mentioned above except adult volleyball as it's too short for that.
Other two popular camping sports I've come across researching online are:
- Lawn Bowling (has "higher" terrain requirements such as a flatness and smoothness)
- Cornhole - Here's the link to a good cornhole board set in case you'd like to order.
Hope this post will be helpful for you to have more fun during your next camp. Thank you for reading and happy trails!