Camping games for adults (and kiddos too!) make outdoor adventures even more fun and engaging. Many of the best camping games require little to no experience and make use of available resources. Grab your favorite beverage and settle in for hours of fun, either soaking up the fresh mountain air or gathered around the campfire.
Camping with loved ones presents an excellent opportunity to bond and connect. Adding a few camping games to the mix, though, enhances the experience! Indeed, engaging your crew through games (or challenging them—we’re all for a little healthy competition!) can turn a regular camping trip into an unforgettable one.
Whether you want to relax by the campfire, play an icebreaker with new camping buddies, or stay engaged while sipping your favorite drinks, here are some fun and easy camping games for adults…and we’ve even added a few at the end the whole family can enjoy.
1. Cheat (aka “B.S.” or “I Doubt It”)
Cheat will show you who has the best poker face…and let you call “BS!” on your friends.
- Players: Minimum 4
- Equipment Needed: Deck of cards
Start by eliminating the Jokers from your deck of cards and determining whether Ace will be low or high. Deal out all the cards evenly, placing any left over in the middle. These can start your discard pile.
Starting with the person to the left of the dealer, the player puts down any number of cards, face-down. He or she tells the group what they are — “Two Queens,” “Three 10s” — but keep in mind, they may be bluffing!
If anyone in the group thinks they’re lying, they should yell, “Cheat!,” “BS!,” or “I doubt it!”
When another player challenges, the cards are revealed. If it’s found that the player was indeed caught bluffing, they must take all the cards in the discard pile. However, if the player was actually being honest, the challenger must take the excess cards.
Here’s where it gets especially interesting… If no one challenges, Player Two continues in the same fashion, with one exception: now, they must play at least one card that’s one higher or one lower than the previous player’s.
For example, if the previous player “played” 4s, Player Two must now play either 3s or 5s.
What happens if they don’t have any of those cards? They lie! The idea is to keep a straight face so that no one knows whether or not you’re telling the truth. A winner is crowned when someone gets rid of all their cards.
2. Animal Noises
This camping game puts each participant on the spot, trying to figure out who makes certain animal noises.
- Players: 6-10
- Equipment Needed: Something that can be used as a blindfold
While sitting in a circle, ask one person to stand in the middle and blindfold them. Everyone else walks around the blindfolded person, circling several times (you can also have the person in the middle spin around several times, your choice!).
When the person in the middle yells “Stop!,” everyone stands still in their positions.
The blindfolded player points to someone randomly, who then has to say a type of animal. The person in the middle points to another player, who makes that animal noise. Next, the blindfolded person has to guess the name of the person who made the sound (we also highly recommend this as a campfire drinking game — see why?!).
If the guess is correct, the person who made the sound swaps positions and is the next blindfolded player. If incorrect, the cycle repeats with a new animal and sound.
3. Who Am I?
In this camping game for adults and older children, players engage in fun questions and answers.
- Players: 4 minimum
- Equipment Needed: Post-it notes and a pen or pencil
Write the names of several famous people or places on Post-it notes. Don’t let the players see what’s written down, and stick the Post-its onto their foreheads. Taking turns, each person asks a series of yes-or-no questions to determine who or what is listed on their note.
Psst! Keep up your energy for all this fun by brewing a steaming pot of joe for your crew! Find out which is the best method and how to brew the best camping coffee for your next outdoor adventure.
4. Thumb wrestling
Remember this middle school classic? As it turns out, it makes one of the best camping games for adults!
- Players: 2
- Equipment Needed: None!
Two opponents sit facing each other at a sturdy table. A level tree stump, truck tailgate, or other hard surface could also work.
Players must extend and interlock their opposing hands, keeping their thumbs free. On the count of three, each player tries to pin their opponent’s thumb down using their own.
To win, one person must keep the other’s thumb down for at least five seconds. This can be played tournament-style, with the winner of each round playing someone new.
Campfire drinking games
What could possibly be better than competing with your friends and family while also enjoying a tasty drink (or two)?
5. Cheers to the Governor!
A memory-based drinking and counting game, fun to play around the campfire.
- Players: 6 minimum
- Equipment Needed: your favorite campfire beverages (alcoholic or non)
The goal is simple: count to 21, everyone drinks.
If this sounds like a bit of a snore, you’re in for a surprise. There are a set of basic rules, but then you make up your own rules as you go.
- Start in a circle around the campfire. Everyone should have their favorite beverage.
- Everyone goes around the circle counting from 1 to 21 and whoever messes up, drinks. Then the game starts over at 1 with the next player.
- The base rule (the kicker!): the numbers 7 and 14 are switched. So the person after “6” has to say “14”, the next person counts “8” and so on. When you get to “13”, the next person says “7”, then “15.”
- The person who eventually makes it to 21, substitutes the phrase “cheers to the Governor!” for the number, then everyone cheers and takes a sip. That person gets to make up a new rule for the next round.
Get creative with your new rules, including saying different words or doing something instead of saying your number. Once the rule is made, it sticks. Some example rules (get creative with it!):
- Make people swap seats instead of saying their number
- Make someone point to another person to say their number instead, thereby continuing from that position
- Make someone do a dance while saying their number
You can end the game any time, but it’s a real challenge to see if your group can make it all the way to 21 with 21 different rules in place.
6. Camping Words
In this fun campfire game, you’ll be punished for using common words. Be careful what you say!
- Players: Unlimited
- Equipment Needed: None
Establish a list of common camping-themed words, such as tent, s’mores, sleeping bag, etc. These are the forbidden words. Every time someone says one and gets called out, they drink. This keeps everyone on alert!
Twists on this game include taking it beyond the campfire and playing during the whole trip, or making your buddies do something silly when they get caught, such as dance or run a lap around camp.
7. Never Have I Ever
What secrets are your camping buddies keeping? You’re about to find out!
- Players: Unlimited
- Equipment Needed: None
Going around the fire, one person says something they’ve never done by saying, “Never have I ever…” It’s best when the “things” are a bit racy or embarrassing, like “Never have I ever been caught skinny-dipping.”
Players who have done that particular thing must take a drink. If no one’s guilty, everyone drinks! Play as long as you like or until everyone has had a turn.
Camping games for the whole family
We’re not saying adults can’t have fun with these games too, but the remaining camping games are kid-friendly options everyone will enjoy.
8. Water Gun Race
If you enjoy camping near a lake, pool, beach, or other water, your group will enjoy water gun races.
- Players: Minimum 2; no maximum
- Equipment Needed: Picnic/camp tables, (filled) water guns, and plastic cups
Arrange tables end-to-end in one long line (you can play with one table, but more = better!) and line up the cups along one end. Count to three, then all players begin “shooting” the cups, trying to knock them off. The player who knocks down the most cups, wins!
With a large group, it may be helpful to split into two teams and have someone time each team. Whichever side clears all the cups the fastest is the winner.
9. Scavenger Hunt
One of the most classic camping games, and totally free! Add a twist to your camping trip by engaging the senses and hunting for treasure.
- Players: Unlimited
- Equipment Needed: List of “treasures” (at least 10)
Decide whether people will hunt individually or on teams, then distribute lists of the treasures to be found. After searching, participants come back and report on what they find. The winner is the person or team who finds the most.
Like other camping games, there are ways to customize this one: set a time limit for people to search or make the hunt an ongoing activity throughout your entire camping trip.
Typical scavenger hunt treasures include items like “red flower” or “trail sign,” but feel free to challenge everyone to use their imagination. Consider adding more abstract things:
- An animal sound
- A scented flower
- Something moving
A quick note: Although it may be tempting to hide “treasures” ahead of time, don’t! Always practice Leave No Trace, which includes leaving things exactly as you find them.
10. Water Relay
Have fun passing water from one player to the next to test your coordination skills.
- Players: 6-10 (ideally an even number)
- Equipment Needed: Cups and water
Split everyone into two teams and direct each to form a line, holding empty cups. Have the first person in line walk several feet ahead and help them fill their cups with water. That first person should walk to the end of the line, trying to dump his or her water into the empty cup of the next person in line as they pass.
The receiving player should try to catch as much water as possible, then move several feet ahead, turn around, and repeat the process until everyone has had a turn. The game continues until the last person catches the remaining water, if any. To determine a winner, compare the amount of water in the last person’s cup for each team.
11. Sleeping Bag Races
Race your camping crew while hopping inside a sleeping bag or plastic trash bag!
- Players: Unlimited
- Equipment Needed: Sleeping bags or plastic trash bags
Participants should choose either a sleeping bag or trash bag and put it on over their feet. It should reach somewhere close to the waistline so it can be held up. Have everyone line up at the starting line and hop to the finish line. The participant who crosses the finish line first, wins!
Of course, this camping game may not work at all campsites. Be careful of choosing a rocky or uneven surface to prevent falls.
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- How to Find Discounted Outdoor Gear
- The Best Outdoor Apps for Camping, Hiking & Road Trips
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