Indoor Camping Guide (How to + Ideas to Make It Fun)

Although camping is usually an outdoor activity, you might have thought of setting up your temporary “home away from home” right in your house. The truth is, you don’t need to go far to experience all the fun camp activities.

Camping indoors is possible and can be an excellent way to practice roughing it. A lot of people have already tried camping indoors. They’ve set up a similar outdoor environment in their living rooms or bedrooms. They even use the same materials you would when you camp outside.

To make the most of your indoor camp, you’ll want to prepare for the activity beforehand, just as you’ll prepare for an actual outdoor camp. With this, you’ll want to take note of three things: the environment, the essentials, and the activities you’ll do during the camp.

How Do You Camp Indoors?

Here is a step-by-step guide on camping indoors:

1. Set Up Your Environment (or Living Room)

When camping indoors, you’ll likely want to set up the ambiance. You can do this by imitating nature through your devices.

Firstly, you can create a view of a mountain or forest through your TV. Or maybe, you can set up the tent beside a large window, if you have any.

This creates the relaxing scenery we usually crave at camp. You can also use your streaming apps for nature sounds. Rain Rain Sleep Sounds is great for this.

It’s got the sounds of rain, waterfalls, crackling fire, and even rain on a tent! It’s a great way to immerse your senses indoors.

You can also set up some camp lights around the room to get that dimly lit environment.

Set Up Your Environment

2. Set Up the Materials Needed for Camping

Now that you know how to set the scene, you’ll have to list and prepare your camping materials.

Even if you’re only camping indoors and everything is within reach with just a few steps, placing your essentials around your campsite will make a much more realistic experience.

a. Campsite Essentials

These will be your furniture for the duration of the camp. You may set some camp rules which prevent you from using any other equipment to make the most out of the experience.

You can refer to the following list to set up your indoor “shelter”:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bags or pads
  • Camping pillows
  • Flashlights or headlamps
  • Camp chairs and table
  • Makeshift or fake firewood

In choosing a tent (if you don’t have any), you’ll need to consider the size that will fit indoors.

This and the number of people that will be using the tent. It’s usually sized this way, where they are known as 1P or 1-person tents, 2P tents, and so on, up to 10P tents.

You can check out my articles on the best sleeping bags and the best folding chairs for camping for some worthy suggestions.

Also, if you have many indoor plants, you can even surround the room with them. You’ll get a real sense of nature this way.

b. Food Essentials

Of course, the kitchen is probably a few steps away. If you set up camp indoors, you won’t likely need to prepare the food essentials.

But if you set up camp in your backyard and want to practice roughing it, you can prepare the following:

  • Stove and fuel or grill
  • Cook pots and pans
  • Cooking and eating utensils
  • Bottle opener
  • Cups and plates
  • Cooler and water bottles
  • Food containers or bags

You can also set these up around your tent indoors if there’s room for them.

c. Activity Essentials

Camping means you get to do fun-filled activities. It’s a form of camaraderie that disconnects you from other things and makes you engage in the present.

Place these within your “campsite” if you have them:

  • Books or reading materials
  • Board games and toys
  • Binoculars

The binoculars would be great if you camp next to a big window. Whether it’s to view a starry night or city lights, it can be a great addition to your camping activities.

d. Clothing Essentials

You probably don’t need the moisture-wicking tops and undergarments or the quick-drying bottoms when camping indoors.

But having cozy socks and sleepwear on hand can enhance your experience.

You might even want to use your warm jackets or gloves if you turn down the temperature for a “chilly night” feel.

Clothing Essentials

3. Perform Indoor Camping Activities

The best part of setting up camp indoors is the activities.

From playing family board games to making delicious outdoor food to watching movies and singing songs, it can be an excellent get-together experience.

a. Invite Your Closest People

Camping indoors can be a great family time. But this is also something you could do with your group of friends.

You can also include your furry friends in the event. Camping is great with more people, that is, if you all still fit in the tent.

b. Play Camp Games

This could include the board games or toys you’ve brought with you. Or maybe you prefer a relaxing night with a book.

Whichever the case, this is the time to disconnect from your phone. Board games such as chess and scrabble or card games like UNO can work great.

Or you could play charades instead. If you have kids with you, extra space would be suitable for physical games.

They can scavenger hunt in the house while you play some bingo. At the end of the day, you can choose any game that everyone will enjoy.

c. Make S’mores and Hot Chocolate

I don’t know about you, but s’mores are my favorite. I prefer my marshmallows a little burnt from the fire, but without an actual campfire indoors, I’d settle for it sandwiched with chocolate and crackers.

Gathering around in a dimly lit room with a fake campfire on the TV would make a great ambiance.

But if you have a fireplace in your home, you can use that for your “campfire” and roast some s’mores.

You can also partner it with a good drink. Hot chocolate can make everyone feel cozy. Turn down the temperature to make the most out of it.

d. Watch Movies about Camping

Why not make camp nights into movie nights as well? Watching movies about camping can make you feel like you’re there.

Or it can make you feel like you’re camping with other people. You can also have some popcorn with your movie marathon to complete the experience.

e. Cook a Grilled Dinner

Of course, you don’t get the complete outdoor experience without grilled food.

Whether you’re grilling in your backyard or kitchen, a grilled dinner can be a good addition to your meaningful stories and conversations.

You can choose from pork skewers, hotdogs, burgers – whatever your family or friends prefer.

f. Sing Campfire Songs

Honestly, the only campfire song I know is Spongebob’s “The Campfire Song Song.” But you might know more. Karaoke before bedtime can help boost everyone’s mood too.

If you have a guitar or some musical instrument, you can play for everyone to sing along. It can be just the right thing to complete everyone’s night.

Sing Campfire Songs

COVID Skyrocketed the Demand for Indoor Camping…

It is possible to go camping indoors. In fact, lots of people have already done it. This is especially true for outdoor adventurers stuck in their homes due to the pandemic.

If you choose to do so, you’ll only need to remember three things.

These are to set the ambiance, prepare the materials, and do some camping activities to complete the experience.

Also, indoor camping can be the practice you need before heading out to the great outdoors. Roughing it is real with camping, so a temporary setup at home can be your “training.”

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with his pet bunny when not out in the woods, exploring the infinite beauty of mother nature.

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