This article was originally written by our friends over at Carin Box, with a few opinions of our own added. 

You’ve just spent the last 6 hours slogging along a boot-sucking mudslide of a trail, finally reached camp, got everything set up, put some food in your belly, and are now warm and dry(ish) in your shelter. It’s 3 p.m. and it keeps raining….and raining. Or, hey, maybe it's a perfectly lovely day, but it's the third day at camp and, well, you're bored (it's ok to admit it). Now what? 

At this point, you’ve probably covered all the small talk and gotten a little too deep into conversation with your hiking buddy and, frankly, you're both kind of sick of each other. Spending the afternoon in your tent in awkward silence isn’t necessarily how you wanted to while away your time at camp; but before you go getting all sulky, might we suggest a GAME?

You heard me. Bust out that emergency flask of whiskey that we know you stashed, grab a few props, and let’s liven the mood in this tent! Here are a few games you can play with props found in nature, and some pocket-sized gear that'll up the ante for your next game emergency.


Fun Camping Games to Pass the Time



Props required: Paper and pencil or sticks (to make the grid) along with rocks or other small items to use as markers.

How to play: Seriously? Ok, no judgment. If you really don’t know how to play, here goes. This is a game for two players, the X and the O (or the rock and the pinecone). Each player takes turns marking the spaces in a 3x3 grid. The player who places three of their marks in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row first is the winner.

Rock Stacking Challenge

Props required: Six to eight differently shaped (the odder the better) small to medium sized rocks.

How to play: Each of you takes turns stacking the rocks (like a cairn, get it?) and whoever can get the rocks to stay stacked for at least 5 seconds is the winner. Challenge each other by choosing which rock has to be the base.

Hot Hands

Props required: Your hands and somebody else’s hands to slap

How to play: Caution, do not play this if the two of you are overly competitive with each other and enjoy upping the ante. We won’t be held responsible for what happens. Just ask any set of siblings anywhere. In this game, two players are face to face. One places his palms up, the other hovers his hands over Player 1's palms. Player 1 tries to flip his hand over and slap the back of Player 2's hands. If the second player flinches or if Player 1 makes contact, Player 2 loses and they switch hands.



Here are a few small items that take up very little space and can really save a rainy day (or any long, slow day at camp). 

Bushsmarts Game Kit: This tiny game kit is the size of an Altoids container, yet it holds everything you need for an afternoon of old-school gaming. This kit, featured in the Cairn Winter Obsidian Collection, includes 6 mini dice, mini playing cards, pencil, score pad, and even some suggested games you can play. Rainy day hero!

Stanley Classic Flask: Hey, if you like to enjoy an adult beverage now and again, a chilly rainy day in a tent with nowhere to be couldn’t be a finer time to enjoy a nip of whiskey (in our opinion). But take it easy! This rain isn't going to last forever and you've got more hiking to do.

Grand Trunk Hammock and Abrigo Rain Fly: By this time, you’ve had enough of the games and possibly too much of that Stanley flask. It’s time for a little “Me time” and a glorious nap in a hammock is the perfect way to do it. Toss on your poncho, spend the quick 5 minutes it takes to string up a hammock & rain fly and enjoy the comfiest nap you’ve had in ages. The Abrigo Rain Fly was included in the most recent Obsidian box!

Here’s the bottom line that we can all agree on: an afternoon spent outside with someone you care about pretty much tops any day spent inside staring at a screen. So, grab your games, a friend, and get out there!

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