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    25 Things For Anyone Who Wants To Do Some Backyard Camping

    Bears will probably not get you if you use a sleeping your backyard.

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    1. A cot and air mattress if the thought of sleeping on the hard ground when your cozy bed is mere feet away is gonna be a hard pass from you.

    Two models sitting on a queen-size inflatable mattress on a cot inside a tall tent

    Promising review: "This is the most AMAZING camping bed I've ever used, and I've camped my entire life. Not only is it up off of the ground, so my 36-year-old self doesn't have to cry every time I get in and out of my sleeping bag, my suitcase FITS UNDERNEATH THE BED. Then, there's the cot itself. Mmm...comfy. There's an included air mattress! But won't that just fall off of the cot? That's where the Genius of Coleman comes in, kids. They added a pocket made out of super soft microfiber material that feels like your favorite Grandmammy's sheets and zippers open to slide the PREMIUM COLEMAN AIR MATTRESS WITH DOUBLE AIR LOCK MAGICALNESS inside and then you ZIPPER IT SHUT AGAIN. But wait. There's more. HOW CAN THERE POSSIBLY BE MORE?! YOU'VE ALREADY GIVEN US SO MUCH, COLEMAN! MotherLoving Side Tables, Batman. They snap on right where you want them. With holes for all of your beverage-holding needs. And just enough room for a Kindle, a phone, and an adult beverage." —LieslGeneva

    Get it from Amazon for $129.97+ (available in two sizes.

    2. An LED bug zapping lamp that provides 500 square feet of pest control, because one major backyard camping perk is that you can control the amount of nature you embrace. There's no reason to be ~bugged~ by insects when in the comfort of your own yard!

    A rounded lamp top with protective barriers around the electric bug-zapping interior

    This waterproof wonder works on mosquitoes, wasps, flies, and cockroaches, moths, and more.

    Promising review: "This lantern is pretty small but surprisingly pretty effective. The hook makes it easy to hang indoors. I think it does a good job of zapping mosquitoes and bugs and I definitely haven’t had any more problems since I got this. It's very effective and convenient!" —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $28.99.

    3. A pack of rainbow fire packets to turn your backyard camping "trip" into a colorful family vacation where your kids will have tons of fun and you won't have to hear the question "are we there yet?" a single time. Magic.,

    Promising review: "These things are so awesome! HUGE hit with the kids. I can't wait to take some camping – the colors are gorgeous! We've been using them for about a month now. Teals, greens, and blues are visible toward the top parts of the flames, and in the innermost parts of the fire, you can see ultraviolet and deep pinks. Ordering two more right now and will be using these all summer!" —VWatson

    Get a 12-pack from Amazon for $11.95.

    4. A zipline kit that'll take your at-home camping adventures to the next level...literally.

    A child sitting on the small plastic seat that's attached to a zipline handle and cord, running high above the ground in a large backyard

    This kit comes with a 95-foot main cable and seven foot sling cable. It's also equipped with a 5.3-foot stainless steel spring break for safety and is capable of holding up to 250 pounds. You can also contact the creators directly for a customized length!

    Promising review: "I assembled and installed this without help but required a hand getting the line taut between trees. The instructions provided are adequate with one exception regarding tree diameter, or circumference. Maximum tree dimensions are not mentioned and a larger tree may require a supplemental sling cable. The tree I chose at one end required a longer cable which I had on hand (a lengthy tow cable that did the job). The installation resulted in an exceptionally fun and exciting time for adults and children alike. This is some extraordinary backyard fun!" —Bill Oterson

    Get it on sale from Amazon for $199.74 (originally $229.74).

    5. A three-season backpacking tent – it weighs just over six pounds, making it a brilliant pick for your next backpacking trip...even if you're only carrying it on your back from your garage to that shady spot behind your garden shed.

    Mountainsmith Celestial 3 Tent

    This three-person tent has two separate entrances, a bathtub floor to prevent water from getting into the tent, a fly roof vent, interior mesh storage pockets, speed clip-to-pole attachments and includes aluminum J-stakes, reflective guylines, guyout points and a storage bag.

    Get it on sale from REI for $149.73 (originally $199.95).

    6. Or a truck tent you can set up in your truck bed if your homebody heart thinks camping in the driveway is as far from home as you'd ever like to get.

    A truck with a tent covering the opened bed

    Promising review: "This tent is great. I'm a taller, middle-aged guy and really dislike getting on the ground. I can dress the bed with no bending over. After the tent is up, just snug down the straps lightly. I spent about half an hour the first time, now I can throw it up in about seven minutes." —Reniam

    Get it from Amazon for $179.95+ (available in three styles and several sizes).

    7. A Coleman cool-weather sleeping bag that's suitable to use in mild temperatures while also keeping you safe and snug in weather as low as 40 degrees. Because nothing says, "It's time to go sleep out in the yard!" quite like the first signs of frost on the lawn.

    Person nestled in the sleeping bag

    Promising review: "I used it for visiting friends. I slept in a non-heated room with temperatures in the upper 30s. No problem with this sleeping bag. Warm and cozy inside. The zipper stays closed, that is important when you move a lot at night inside the bag. I had others but many of them the zipper doesn't stay closed. With this one a hassle-free and cozy night." —Harold

    Get it on sale from Amazon for $37.84 (originally $59.99).

    8. A sleeved blanket so your arms can stay warm and toasty while everyone chats in the chilly air before bed, even if you talk with your hands and need your arms out and about to tell your very best campfire stories.

    A person wearing the blanket with their arms through the sleeves while drinking a cup of tea

    Promising review: "I highly suggest this product! My husband would get cold working on his computer so I figured that this would be the perfect solution. He is 6-foot-2' and it almost reaches down to his feet. It is extremely soft and has held up well after many washes and everyday use!" —Brock & Jess

    Get it from Amazon for $21.99+ (available in three styles and 20 colors).

    9. A waterproof, wind-proof portable campfire that burns up to five hours. This clever contraption is gonna give your yard some dreamy camping vibes without installing an entire fire pit.,

    One reviewer mentioned they add more soy wax every time it gets low to extend its life. To put it out, just snuff the fire by closing the tin lid.

    Promising reviews: "I bought two of these to try out on a weekend trip up to Lake Hume in Sequoia National Forest. These worked amazingly well! Used half of one the first night the rest on the next morning. Used the next one for the second night and it toasted marshmallows to perfection. This is a must-have for me on all my trips from now on!" —Mgonz

    "I just used it tonight on the beach and it was perfect! It was compact, easy to light, and the flame was large like a campfire and it gave off much more heat than I expected. It smelled really good and was easy to put out when we were done. It did smell a tiny bit like burning paint as the wax burned down and the side of the tin heated up. But once I finish this tin (looks like I’ll get about 4.5 hours of burn time) I’ll absolutely be buying another." —Kayla Vallone

    Get it on Amazon for $27.99 (available with and without bug-repelling oils).

    10. A set of glow-in-the-dark silicone wineglasses – a ~bright~ idea for anyone who decided to camp out back specifically to stay closer to the wine cooler.

    four stemless wineglasses glowing green in the dark

    Promising review: "Bought these cups to take up north with us on our last trip before winter. They really glow. I love these! Easy to clean. They fold inside of themselves for easy storage! Glad to have this new addition to our camping gear!" —J. Pingel

    Get four from Amazon for $15.99 (available in three styles).

    11. A bottle rocket launcher that'll launch soda bottles up to 100 feet in the air and encourage your kids to spend the entire day outside *even* when there are video games just inside the patio door.


    Promising review: "What fun – I bought this for a week of summer camp. It performed perfectly and survived for another year. The product has a built-in pressure relief. This is an important safety feature. It prevents over-pressurization and the potential of an exploding bottle." —K BREDAHL

    Get it from Amazon for $39.99.

    12. An adult swaddle – a comforting cocoon for campers who still want to ~sleep tight~ even if they're outside.

    Hug Sleep

    Promising review: "For a lifelong sufferer of miserable Restless Leg Syndrome, this is nothing short of a miracle! I was skeptical that the pod could help me, since nothing else has ever helped me, but I think since the pod contains my thrashing movements, I’m not waking myself up over and over at night. My dreams are typically very vivid and I usually don’t feel like I had a chance to turn my mind off and disconnect. I think I am getting more REM sleep with the pod because I haven’t remembered my dreams these past four nights. Also, I run hot so it’s a pleasant surprise that the pod truly is breathable and not sweaty." —Jennifer C

    Get it from Hug Sleep for $89.99.

    13. A pack of eight extendable skewers you're gonna have to remember to buy, unless you wanna be ~roasted~ by your relatives when they find out there's no way to make s'mores.,

    Promising review: "These are easy-to-use extendable roasting sticks. Took them camping with the family, and everyone liked having their own color. Comes with a nice little bag to carry them in. I just wrapped the tips in paper towels before putting in bag until we got home to wash. Would definitely buy again if needed. Quality seems good — nice and strong didn’t not bend or feel like anything was going to fall off." —Alaskan jen

    Get an eight-pack from Amazon for $15.99.

    14. A tree strap hammock sure to help you get into the ~swing~ of things if you're curious about hammock camping and want to test it out in your yard first.

    A person napping in the hammock beside a lake

    Promising review: "This hammock is amazing! When you're looking at twice as much or more for some of the more well known camping/backpacking brands, this is a great alternative, either for getting into hammock camping or for people like me who don't have hundreds to spend on gear. I'm 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds and both me and my partner can fit in this thing with only some elbow-and-arm-placement-based discomfort. If you're on the fence, grab this and try taking a nap – you'll be hooked on hammock camping. I know I'm never going to sleep on the ground again!" —Emily

    Get it from Amazon for $27.95+ (available in 11 colors and two sizes).

    15. And a simple, easy-to-set-up hammock tarp that'll keep you dry no matter how hard the rain pours down (or when the sprinklers turn on).

    A hanging hammock in the woods covered by a thin, triangular tarp
    Eagles Nest Outfitters

    Promising review: "This is a great tarp. Easy to set up and the two extra tie-downs only take a minute or so extra, especially since I have s-biners attached to all of the tie-down points on my stakes. I spent 14 hours in the pouring rain, and was bone dry the entire time. There is the possibility of getting wet if the wind is high and the rain is coming down sideways, but if that happens, I recommend simply lowering the tarp height. Having those extra tie-down points is worth it in the wind because the tarp doesn't flap or threaten to tear the stakes out. As a side note, please remember that this tarp is meant to be light and portable (back- or bikepacking), which is why it's only long/wide enough to cover the hammock." —J. Martinez

    Get it on Amazon for $79.95.

    16. An inflatable couch – it's gonna be a backyard (or regular) camping essential if you're equal parts outdoor adventurer *and* sleepy couch potato.


    To inflate, open the zipper end wide and quickly whip it around to fill it with air. Then close it up. It's that easy!

    Promising review: "I bought this as a gift for my girlfriend. We both liked it so much we got a second one! We both enjoy hammocking but sometimes there are no trees close by so this gives a very similar comfort level for outdoor reading or naps. I definitely recommend getting this product." —Jonah Hohner

    Get it from Amazon for $44.90 (available in 12 colors).

    17. A steel-belted cooler with a darling vintage vibe and a built-in bottle opener for old-school folks who take their backyard camping seriously and know that sneaking into the house to pull a cold drink from the fridge is CHEATING.

    Coleman Steel-Belted Cooler

    Promising Review: “My husband was tired of plastic coolers that didn't even pretend to keep ice and contents cold. Years ago – I'm talking about '60s and '70s – his dad had a steel cooler. So he decided he wanted to try one of those. I found this one, and it has been a hit. It keeps ice and the contents very cold for a very long time. He won't go back to plastic coolers again!” —Kadybug

    Get it from Amazon for $70.39+ (available in six colors).

    18. A pack of rock climbing holds – they're gonna be another great idea if convincing your kids to actually play outside is an adventure in itself. A full day of outdoor activities is gonna make camping in your yard not only feasible, but fun!


    These are weather resistant and designed with grip to prevent sliding or slipping. The hardware needed to assemble these is included and they're all sturdy enough to hold up to 230 pounds.

    Promising review: "This is a quality product at a good price! I love the bright colors and sturdiness of the handles. I would highly recommend this product to others. It made our project easy to complete!" —Becky

    Get a pack of 25 from Amazon for $39.99.

    19. A patio fire pit that'll add a real ~spark~ to your homey camping experience.

    A group of people sitting around the elevated fire pit. The fire rises high above the gridded steal covering.

    Promising review: "We LOVE this firempit! It is big and it has a ring around it, which makes for a great place to rest the poker or marshmallow sticks. We are burning tons of things we normally would have thrown away, plus sticks from all over the yard and the ashes will go into our compost bins – huge bonus! We wanted one large enough for our whole family to sit around, with guests, and this fits the bill perfectly! I can't say enough about how pleased we are with this purchase!" —John

    Get it from Amazon for $59.99.

    20. A cast-iron Dutch oven to help you cook up some campfire-inspired meals and help you forget all about the oven you can see through your kitchen window.


    Promising review: "I bought this Dutch oven specifically for camping but we’ve actually used it in the backyard at home. It is a quality product as I expected from Lodge." —Izzy_Izo

    Get it from Amazon for $83.09+ (available in three sizes).

    21. And The Camp Dutch Oven Cookbook, filled to the brim with basic how-tos and tips that'll make *you* a campfire master chef in minutes!

    The Camp Dutch Oven Cookbook
    Rockridge Press

    Promising review: "As a novice Dutch oven chef, I found the intro sections very useful (how many coals for a given temperature, how to season, even a suggested camping menu). More importantly, though, the recipes are easy to follow and prepare, and the food turns out great. I've cooked my way through many (but not all) of them and have yet to find a dud. Depending on the setting, I've used charcoal, a campfire, and the oven in my kitchen, and despite my mediocre abilities, the output has been good." —G. Burnett

    Get it on Amazon for $11.79.

    22. A Rumpl indoor/outdoor blanket with a smooth, waterproof surface that's dirt resistant and dang cozy. You can expose this to the harsh elements in your yard without worrying about any wear and tear.


    This is machine-washable and safe to use in the dryer. I have multiple products from Rumpl, including this blanket (I'm a camping gear fan living too deep in the city) and I recommend them to everyone looking for solid outdoor blankets.

    Promising review: "We took this king-size blanket with us on our camping trip to New Zealand. At first I thought it might have been too overkill since it took up a lot of space in my luggage and a duvet was included in our camper van rental. But we ended up using this every night, enjoying the warmth and breathable comfort even on fairly warmly evenings. It was definitely large enough for two even with tossing and turning, we both had enough Rumpl to sleep well throughout the night. Great purchase, totally worth it." —Becca606

    Get it from Amazon for $99+ (available in six colors).

    23. A lantern and fan hybrid that's gonna keep you from sweating in it when you realize that deciding to sleep outside means you've said goodbye to your blessed AC.

    The light and fan combo hanging inside a tent

    Promising review: "I went camping this week, and I just hate when it's sooooo darn hot in the tent, and of course there's no place to put a fan AND a light. This one worked perfectly. It hung by its built-in hook to the top of the tent, the light was just right, and the fan was quiet and effective for a two-person tent. Happy I bought it." —Kevin Gaither

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    24. An easy-to-inflate sleeping pad – it'll feel like you're sleeping on the lap of luxury even if you've pitched your tent inside your kid's unnervingly lumpy sandbox.


    Promising review: "Where has this thing been all my life? I took it on a four day excursion and never slept better. Once inflated (takes me 9-12 breaths), I can't MAKE any part of my body touch the ground when laying down on it (I'm about 185 lbs). My back is ALWAYS pretty sore and usually keeps me from sleeping as long as I'd like when camping, but I get a good 8-10 hours of sleep a night with this thing. I've NEVER been able to do that tent camping. 9-12 breaths of inflation is definitely worth the enhanced comfort and convenience. The bag also has a little sown in pocket that includes a patch kit. Thankfully I haven't had to use it, but it's a nice touch." —J. Rolfe

    Get it on Amazon for $39.99+ (available in six colors).

    25. And finally, Behind You, a compilation of short stories that are sure to have everyone around the campfire feeling just a liiiittle bit better that there's a house they can hide in if things go bump in the night.

    Behind You

    Promising review: "I just got this book and it’s already one of my new favorites. The short one- to two-sentence stories combined with the illustrations sets the perfect mood for someone who enjoys creepy things and art in general. The entire book is fantastic, and I’ll be reading it many more times." —grimcreeper

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    When someone suggests you should actually go camping in the woods:


    Reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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