How To: Plan the Perfect Staycation

OK. So, we're really upset that we missed the Great American Backyard Camping Day (it was on June 28, unfortunately), but that doesn't mean that we can't still have a wonderful mini-vacation in our very own backyard.

Backyard camping is a magical way to spend a weekend, especially if you have any children under the age of 10, and, of course, you don't burn any $4.20/gallon gas when you step out your back door into your campground.

Our list of essential materials and a number of tips and tricks after the jump.

Having a great backyard camping experience is all dependent on preparation and setup.

First, lay a few ground rules:

  • Most important: You're on a camping trip, so no one is allowed inside the house except to use the restroom and in the case of emergency.
  • You're on vacation. Forget email, cell phones, PDAs, hand-held video games, etc. Put up an out of office message that reads: "I'm vacationing in my backyard. I won't be checking email until Monday. Thanks for your patience!" Why not celebrate the silliness?

Then, invite over a few friends and neighbors (preferably ones with kids). Backyard camping is always more fun with a group and lots of children.

You'll need most of the supplies that go along with any typical camping trip, the most crucial being:

If you don't have these things there are plenty of places to look for second-hand camping gear. We love Wilderness Exchange in Berkeley. There's also Play it Again Sports and Craigslist.

Other supplies you'll want:

  • Something that'll get the kids wet (think water guns, kiddie pool, slip and slide).
  • A few good ghost stories
  • Cards and/or a couple of board games
  • Lots of camping appropriate food and an ice chest (remember, you're not going in the house)
  • Beer ... for the adults, obviously

Oh ... and don't forget to turn off the sprinklers.

What else do you think is crucial for a perfect backyard camping trip?

image via frances1972; Flickr.com

0 Comments