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Family Tent Camping Activities

So, what's there to do while family tent camping?

Family tent camping activities are much different than the everyday activities that families are used to.

Try to involve the entire family in these activities as much as possible:

Selecting a tent campground to visit.

Packing for a camping trip.

Observing scenery while driving to the campground.

Finding the campground.

Choosing a campsite at the campground.

Siting the tent at the campsite.

Pitching the tent.

Rigging guylines to the tent.

Pitching a canopy, or screenhouse.

Rigging a tarp over an area.

Watching children explore and play outdoors.

Letting the baby crawl around the tent/screenhouse and holding her/him on your lap outdoors.

Collecting water for washing and cooking.

Purifying water for drinking, if necessary.

Preparing and cooking meals outdoors.

Eating meals outdoors.

Cutting and collecting wood for a campfire.

Building and lighting a campfire. There are many methods.

Relaxing around a campfire in a camping chair.

Coffee, cider, or hot chocolate around a campfire.

Roasting over a campfire.

Cooking with pie irons over coals.

Cooking with a dutch oven in coals.

Baking with a reflector oven beside a campfire.

Discovering and preparing new camping recipes.

Filleting and frying fresh-caught fish.

Grilling outdoors at a campsite.

Enjoying a glass of wine outdoors.

Libations outdoors (in moderation and in private. No displays of bad behavior, please.)

Making and serving ice cream at a campsite. (Works better than trying to keep ice cream frozen in a cooler.)

Washing dishes outdoors.

Meeting and chatting with other tent campers.

Chatting with rangers and campground staff.

Hanging out away from civilization.

Having your trusted pet with you (on a leash) at the campsite.

Watching the sun set on your campsite.

Playing sardines (hide and seek) with a group of kids around dusk.

Walking around at night with a headlamp. (Children enjoy this a lot.)

Lighting a lantern in the evening at the campsite.


Putting the children down in a tent for the night.

Sleeping in a tent overnight.

Getting up in the middle of the night and stepping outside for bladder relief, especially on a cool evening.

Hearing the birds and animals calling out the sunrise.

Watching the sun rise.

Waking up on a cool morning, getting dressed and making breakfast for the family.

Visiting the park office and looking at the exhibits of local wildlife, plantlife and geology.


Having a picnic lunch while hiking.

Using a map and a compass as a guide in the forest.

Observing the surroundings from park lookout points.

Watching a stream meander.

Crossing foot bridges on trails.

Visiting a waterfalls along a trail.

Swimming in local lakes or streams.

Bike riding.







Identifying trees and plants.

Observing and identifying wildlife.

Tracking wildlife.

Spotting and observing a wolf, bear, or moose.

Observing local geology.

Children like collecting small stones that catch their eyes -- if allowed at the park.

Observing the clouds.

Watching a rain shower pass over, while staying dry in your tent or under a canopy, or even in a poncho.

Closing the tent storm panels for a coming rain.

Preparing for a change in outdoor temperatures.

Working with your family to avoid minor adversities outdoors.

Camping at elevation in the summer to avoid hot temperatures.

Leaf-peeping in the autumn.

Winter camping.

Stopping at local shops.

Visiting local outdoor attractions.

Driving scenic routes in the area.

Packing up. A good way for kids to learn that trips come to an end, and it's time to return to home life, but new trips can be planned for the future.

Cleaning, drying and rolling the tent, when leaving the campsite.

Choosing and purchasing a new tent.

Discovering and purchasing a new piece of tent-camping equipment.

Outdoor personal development.

Family bonding and development away from home.

This should give you a good feel for family tent camping activities.

Children and adults will enjoy and remember these activities throughout their lifetimes.