Backyard Camping

Creative ways you and your family can still enjoy the thrill of camping this summer!

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With stay at home still in place, and with warmer weather headed our way, here are a few fun ideas to turn your backyard into a camping experience that your whole family will love! You might discover this activity is one to keep even after we’re able to camp in public areas again. It’s great for summer birthday parties or simply a creative way to entertain your kids!

Pitch a Tent

If the kids are old enough, have them help set up camp. It’s a great way for them to get involved in the whole experience. Find a flat spot in the yard that will fit the tent. Lay out your sleeping mats, or for the extra bit of cushion, an air mattress. Patio furniture cushions also work well if you have any. Roll out the sleeping bags and throw in some pillows. Have the kids pick out a favorite stuffed animal to come camping with them! Or for a special treat, you can pick up a Stuffed Sasquatch Plush at Bartell’s! If you need any camping chairs, we’ve got those, too. If you don’t have a yard, but you have a deck or patio that fits a tent, that works as well. If you get a lucky evening of warm and clear skies, skip the tent altogether and sleep under the stars.

Have a Campfire Dinner

Some of the lucky few have a backyard fire pit. If you do, great! It can be a really fun way to cook your dinner depending on the kind you have. For the rest of us, a barbecue should do the trick! (And if you don’t have one yet, Bartell’s has a great little portable gas one from Bubba for $49.99) Grill up some hot dogs, burgers, chicken skewers, or delicious ‘tin foil’ dinners. Grilled corn on the cob is an excellent camping side, along with baked beans or marinated skewered veggies. No firepit and no grill? That’s ok! Have a backyard picnic – the kids will love picking up finger food like sandwiches, veggies with dip, and fruit. If you have time in advance, our Shark Bite Silicone Molds are super cute for mini baked corndogs! Turn the camping experience into a fun Sasquatch theme with SeaBear Sasquatch Smoked Wild Salmon, Cascadian Outfitters Wine, and Schilling Local Legend Cider for the adults – both with sasquatch on the can!


Nothing brings back childhood camping memories for many quite like the memory of roasting marshmallows over the open fire and squishing them between two graham crackers, melting that chocolate in between. Have you ever roasted marshmallows on skewers over the BBQ? It works! You can pick up all your s’mores needs at your local Bartell’s. Keep your s’mores ingredients handy in the Hershey’s S’mores Caddy, or if you want to try something new and a little less on the melty-gooey side, try Campfire S’more Pops – new at Bartell’s this season!

Storytime Under the Stars

To wrap up a fantastic evening of camping, throw in a few bedtime stories either in the tent or underneath the open sky. Try having your kids tell you a story, and see where their little imaginations go. Or tell stories and have them fill in the blank. Once upon a time, there was a ____ who lived in a _____. These can turn silly really quickly! Ghost stories are also classic for camping, just be sure you don’t scare them too much before bed. If thinking up a story on the spot isn’t quite your style, Bartell’s carries a great range of books including the Sasquatch themed Big Foot and Little Foot series by Ellen Potter.

However you prefer to camp, Bartell’s has a wide selection of camping and hiking accessories for your needs, like chairs, coolers, reusable water bottles, propane, charcoal, skewers, biodegradable picnicware, and all the snacks you could want! Take a look at our summer catalog selection HERE. Stop by one of our stores or shop online through Amazon Prime Now or Instacart.