Camp Shine: Get outside idea no. 2 -- Backyard camping

photo credit: charlene prince birkeland/crazedparent.orgphoto credit: charlene prince birkeland/crazedparent.orgOur family loves to camp, but sometimes it gets tough to slip away for a weekend in the woods. Campsites seemed to have booked up early this year, which makes sense since more families are saving money on family travel by exploring the great outdoors.

But if you're not able to go away to camp and your kids are begging you to pitch a tent, just do your backyard. (And lucky for Mom and Dad, Saturday, June 27, is the Great American Backyard Campout.)

A few tips for your backyard campout:

  • Make it a full outdoor experience -- grill dinner, roast s'mores, use lanterns and sleep under the stars (with the luxury of your home as the outhouse).
  • If you have young kids (under 7), make sure a parent is in the tent with the kids. The night brings weird noises, even in your own backyard. And it's even more frightening when Mom and Dad hear a back door open up in the middle of the night...and finally realize it's just their freaked out kid.
  • Move the tent to a different spot in your yard the following day, otherwise you risk finding a large patch of dead grass.
Do you ever camp in the backyard with your kids?