Campfire in the garden

I love the idea of camping – sitting around a fire with your family and friends, telling stories, singing songs, making s’mores. But then there’s the reality of it – the mosquito bites, the lack of toilets and, depending on the season, either shivering in your sleeping bag or waking up at the crack of dawn sweating buckets in your stuffy little tent.

Luckily, there’s a way to enjoy the wonderful aspects of camping without all the not so fun parts – you don’t even have to leave your home! It’s called backyard camping.

I know, I can see you die-hard campers shaking your heads at me and I get it – you can’t just hang out in your living room all day and then sleep in a tent and call it camping. You have to go all out.

Gathering the essentials

To pull this off you’ll need the following: tents, sleeping bags (not duvets, it won’t seem as authentic,) a fire pit and coolers with food and drinks. Running in an out of the kitchen all evening will detract from the experience, so do exactly as you would if you were actually leaving the comfort of your home and pack it up.

I’d say the most crucial piece is the fire pit. It really will make you feel as though you are huddled around a camp fire.

Most fire pits can either be used as simple open flames, or as grills, perfect for making camp food. Pack together a bunch of kebab sticks for cooking hot dogs and s’mores.

Readymade food such as these rosemary potatoes can also work superbly as a roasted fireside treat.

Once you’ve unpacked and prepared everything, go ahead and whip out some traditional campfire songs or scary stories to mess with your kids.

S'mores-making
Home comforts

While I recommend going in and out of the house as little as possible to make the experience more authentic, the obvious exception would be to use the restroom (essentially the main reason I hate camping in the woods – no toilet.)

The other highlights to camping at home – showering in the morning, a much easier packing up process, and no money for gas needed!

This idea works especially well for kids’ sleepover birthday parties – each kid can bring his or her own sleeping bag and pillow, plus it’s much easier to pack up a couple of tents than to clean an entire house after a horde of kids has torn through it.

Or, it could be a casual and romantic setting for a dinner party, let your imagination run free when coming up with some camping related cocktails! (Depending on the weather, I suggest either mojitos or an Irish coffee.)

So, is this a great idea, or are you die-hard campers still unimpressed?

About the author: Estelle Page is a mother of two and an interior designer with a penchant for throwing themed parties. She loves inviting over friends to gather round her Raw Garden table and roast dinner over the fire pit, for a true campsite meal at home!