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Fun Ways to Enjoy a Camping Staycation

by Karim Orange

This time of year is usually synonymous with travel, outdoor adventure and family fun. But most of us have had to either cancel or seriously alter our travel plans for the foreseeable future. Staycations have become the new normal. So what’s a staycation? 

 Traditionally, it’s a vacation that you take within your own city (or a close surrounding area). If you’re seeking romance, you would check into a nice hotel, get a couples massage, and maybe enjoy a wine-tasting then a candlelit dinner. If it’s family fun, you might let your kids pick the adventures and create a schedule around it. For many this year, staying at a hotel is not an option. 

 Since the goal of a staycation is to be out of your house for a few nights minus the travel, why not pitch a tent in your backyard? You can make it romantic, fun time with the kids, glamping or just some R&R alone time. Check out my 24-hour camping staycation, which combines a mix of ideas. The goal is to stay outdoors except to use the restroom and shower. 

 4:00 pm Check-In: The first thing to do is pitch your tent. Find an area where you will feel comfortable, and get to work. When choosing a tent, make sure it’s durable and easy to set up. An added feature like star-gazing is also a big win. I used the Dirt Motel 3 by Kelty. It has tons of room (perfect for 3 adults). It offers the Kelty Stargazing Fly which is perfect for romantic nights and restful sleep. Set up your cooler, outdoor eating arrangements and hammock. (Don’t forget the hammock!)

5:00 pm: Unpack all of your creature comforts and make the tent your home. I’m a bit spoiled, since my backyard has wifi and electricity (both of which I will use). I brought along my music speaker and iPad. I also packed real essentials like flashlights, lanterns, natural bug repellents, a sleeping bag and pillows. If you are camping with the kids, pack games and toys. 

 6:00 pm: Start to unwind and get used to being outdoors for the evening. If you are having a family staycation, set up and play outdoor games. If you are solo or with a romantic partner, relax in the hammock. 

 7:00-9:00 pm: Now it’s time to think about food. If you plan on grilling, now is the time. If you are going the glamping route, ordering GrubHub or Doordash is an option. Open a bottle of wine, play some music and talk. Most of all, relax and have fun! 

 9:00 pm -11:00 pm: Pack up and throw away dinner food (never leave food anywhere near your tent). Enjoy roasting marshmallows with your family or wine and conversation with your partner while stargazing. When it’s time, pack it up for the night and head into the tent.

11:00 pm Goodnight!

 The Patch Boot by Forsake If sandals are not your thing try these waterproof leather boots that utilize peek-to-pavement technology. 

 The Next Day

 7:00 am: Pre-breakfast activities such as yoga or meditation are great for a little R&R. Even if you are on a family “trip,” take this time for yourself. 

8:00 am: Have breakfast and prepare for the day. Will you go hiking? Or take a boat ride or go biking or hiking? There are a lot of great activities you can do while social distancing. Even just exploring your local park for the day could turn into an adventure. Check out the official USA.Gov website for information on outdoor recreational activities and regulations in your area.

10:00 am Time to head out for the adventure of the day. Make sure to apply sunscreen and drink plenty of water. If you want more of a glamping or rest and relaxation experience turn your tent into a spa. You can put on a face mask, give yourself a pedicure or just relax and read for a few hours. You can also do this with a partner, or even a mother and daughter or father and son.

 1:00 pm: Now it’s time for a light lunch and some mid-day activities. A lot of restaurants are open with outdoor dining options (check your local listinings). If this is not an option head back to your tent and eat. If it’s a family outing, try games like cornhole or touch football. If you’re glamping, why not pump up the music and dance (always good for the soul, and a lot of fun). If you're being romantic, enjoy hammock time and maybe read a book together or watch an old black-and-white movie on Netflix.

4:00 pm: Time to say goodbye to the great outdoors of your backyard. 

 In less than 24 hours, you can create an entire adventure right outside your own home. If you don’t have a backyard this is a great way to hop in the car and visit friends who do. Check out the staycation shopping guide below. 

Camping Staycation Buying-Guide

 The great part of doing a staycation in your backyard is that you don’t have far to travel with equipment. You can also use amenities such as wifi and electricity. Here are some suggestions to help turn your backyard into a home-away-from-home. 

Fun Ways to Enjoy a Camping Staycation

 The Dirt Motel 3 Tent by Kelty This three-person tent is easy to set-up and great for stargazing. Weighing only 5 and a half pounds, it’s easy to transport to the wilderness of your backyard and beyond. 

Fun Ways to Enjoy a Camping Staycation

 The Mistral 0 sleeping bag by Kelty This modestly priced sleeping bag, keeps the cold air out and the heat in, and had plenty of space for wiggle room. 

Fun Ways to Enjoy a Camping Staycation

The combo Sunbrella with Stand by Vivere  This double hammock is made to last outdoors year after year. It is as perfect for family relaxation. 

Outdoor Gear 

 This is the perfect time of year to explore outdoors. You can easily practice social distancing by doing outdoor activities with the family (or your significant other) such as kayaking, hiking, and biking. Here are some great products for the trail and beyond. 

Fun Ways to Enjoy a Camping Staycation

HOPARA by HOKA ONE ONE This hiking sandal is great wet or dry. The upper cutouts are designed for drainage. The sandal provides a comfortable cushioned feel with a rubberized EVA midsole. The HOPARA  also features a rubberized toe cap for protection making it great to navigate through any terrain. 

Fun Ways to Enjoy a Camping Staycation

 The Palisade 32 100oz Hydration Pack by Camelbak This hydration backpack is great for staying hydrated all day long. It holds 32 liters of water.

Don’t forget other essentials such as flashlights, lanterns, coolers, and SPF sun protection.

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