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Great Games to Bring Camping, by Angela Rairden

board games camping card games games

With camping season finally being well and truly underway, now seemed like a good time to recommend a few fun and compact games to bring with you to play at your campsite.

When my friends and I go camping, we always love to bring a few board games with us to play in our free time. One thing that’s important to know is that a picnic table or other large, flat surface is necessary for most if not all of these games. We always bring a vinyl tablecloth with us to cover the picnic table in our campsite to keep our games clean and to give us a smooth surface to play on. Of course, you don’t have to do this, but it’s a nice way to keep your games in good condition.

One thing that’s important to consider when you’re trying to decide which games to bring camping with you is the size of the game itself. Obviously, you want a game that comes in a small, compact box and that doesn’t have a million pieces to it. Because of this, card based games seem to be the best for camping, in my experience.

Without further ado, here’s my list of the best games to bring camping:

AQUARIUS by Looney Labs

2-5 Players; Ages 3+, 10-30 mins; Purchase it here for $16

A card game that comes in a small box, Aquarius is an easy, family-friendly matching game. The deck includes cards that have pictures from five different elements – fire, water, meadow, space, and sky/rainbow. Each player is given one of these elements as their secret goal with the object being to connect seven of the cards together by matching like elements to each other, similar to dominoes. Of course, there are twists that can change your goal, add or remove cards from your hand, or otherwise interfere with your goal.

CINQ-O by Mattel

1-6 Players; Ages 7+; 30 mins; Suggest purchasing it on eBay for best price

A fun, portable dice game, Cinq-O includes six Hi/Lo dice. The goal is to score points by matching the numbers on the die to achieve the perfect Hi or Lo score. This game takes some strategy and a bit of luck. The first player to achieve 100 points wins. (Recommend having a small piece of paper and a pen to keep score easier.) Another plus to this game is that you can also use the die to play Yahtzee if you want.


MICROWBREW by One Free Elephant

2 Players; Ages 14+, 45-60 mins, Purchase it here for $13.85

A small game that comes in a tiny, portable tin and is made of quality wooden pieces, Microwbrew is a sort of puzzle game where players have a “brew off” to create the tastiest beers, win the most loyal customers, and make the most money. Although only a two player game, it can be modified for 3-4 players by purchasing an additional copy. Microbrew was also the winner of the 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest for Best Overall Design and Most Innovative Mechanic.


THE LADY AND THE TIGER by Jellybean Games

1-6 Players; Ages 6+, 15-20 mins, Purchase it here for $19.95

The unique thing about this game is that it is actually five games in one, even though it consists of only eighteen cards! The cards feature gorgeous artwork by former Disney artist Tania Walker and the types of games include a deduction game, a maze game, an auction game, a bluffing game, and even a solo game. This is a great game for camping or travel as it includes a type of game for everyone.


7 WONDERS DUEL by Repos Production

2 Players; Ages 10+; 30 mins; Purchase it here for $34.99

Duel is a strategy game designed for only two players, who use cards to compete head-to-head to develop a civilization by either advancing their military or through scientific development. Which route you choose to go is up to you, but the first player to either reach their opponent’s capital or acquire six of seven different scientific symbols wins automatically. In the event that neither of these goals are reached, the player with the most points wins.


CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY by Cards Against Humanity

4-30 Players (but 4-11 is best); Ages 17+; 30ish mins; Purchase here for $25

Touted as “a party game for horrible people”, CAH is a classic adult-themed game best suited to being played with a group of friends (or family that you can share dirty jokes with!). As suggested by its name, the game consists only of cards, but you’ll need a decent amount of space to spread out those cards on as the starter pack contains 600 cards.


Of course, as a final suggestion, a deck of cards is always a nice thing to bring camping with you, also. Hopefully there was something on this list that appeals to everyone, whether you’re camping with family, friends, your significant other, or even just by yourself.


Angela “LaLa” Rairden is an avid fan of comic books, Star Wars, and most things nerdy. A cosplayer, she loves to attend comic cons dressed as her favorite fictional characters, particularly Harley Quinn. Although her day job is at a grocery store, writing has always been her true calling. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is currently writing her first novel.

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