If you and your significant other love camping under the stars, then having a night or two in the backyard might be just for you. You can make it as rustic or as comfortable as you want. Read on to find out everything you will need, as well as some activities for the two of you to have the perfect night.
Learn how you can sleep in the backyard if you don’t have a tent, keep the mosquitos away, how to have a campfire, as well as creative camping date-night activities, and meal ideas with dessert.
Where do you Sleep?
Sleeping in the backyard is really easy and can be done a few ways: with a tent, hammock, or even under the night sky with nothing overhead.
If you are sleeping on the ground in one way or another, getting an air mattress will make it more comfortable for you. Even something as simple as a pool lounger or float will do.
There are many ways to pitch a tent in the backyard. The most common way is to set up the one you buy at the store. If you don’t already have a tent, that’s okay, because you can easily create one with items you have at home.
You can easily make a tent with a tarp, long sturdy sticks, and some strong string or rope. If you don’t have sticks, other useful tools are broomsticks or bamboo poles. This video shows you how to use these tools in making a tent with no trees needed.
Another way in creating a tent is to make a clothesline between two trees and then drape a large blanket or a tarp over the line. Then, secure the edges of the blanket with something heavy such as rocks or firewood.
Under the Stars
If you don’t want to mess around with a tent, you can sleep outside without one. Grab a few large blankets, one to put on the grass, and then a couple to keep you two warm. Sleeping bags are another great option. One large sleeping bag, for the two of you, or two small ones separately.
Another way to sleep outside is with a hammock. You may sleep in two separate hammocks next to each other or get one large hammock.
Check out this flat bottom hammock that the two of you can sleep in. It can be used on or off the ground.
To make this romantic camping experience extra special for you and your partner, grab some extra supplies to make it a more comfortable and memorable night.
Think glamping here. To help set the mood, turn on some music that you both love. Then, add in some of these extra items to make it an elaborate night out in your own backyard.
Items to Think About
- Decorative pillow
- A string of Lights (Use an extension cord.)
- A nice table for eating with placemats and a centerpiece
- Luxury blankets
- A couch
Keeping the Mosquitoes Away
Nothing kills a romantic camping time as mosquitoes do. Aside from using bug spray, try using this cool item, called a Dynatrap, that kills mosquitoes. It not only kills mosquitoes but also their future generations. Both my parents and my in-laws have noticed a difference after using them. Depending on how big your backyard is, you may need two.
Another solution to help protect yourselves against mosquitoes is to have a screen tent. Here, you could set up your dining area, or your sleeping quarters, too.
Backyard Fire Pit
A fire pit is not needed to go camping at home. Yet, for me, it’s a must. You can either dig your own fire pit or purchase a fire pit that you can be moved.
Digging Your Firepit
Before you start to dig a hole in your backyard, first see if there are any regulations for digging on your own property.
You can get fancy with your firepit, but a simple hole in the ground (with a safe distance from trees hanging overhead) will do!
First, dig a hole that’s about 3×3 feet wide and 1 1/2 feet deep. Then, get something that is fire safe to put around the pit, such as rocks or brick.
Buying a Firepit
You can find high-end firepits, or you can find basic fire pits that also work great. It will, of course, boil down to how much you really want to spend. This Little Smokey Grill from Weber is great for grilling food and enjoying a (firewood) campfire after. If you have the money for a smokeless fire pit, check out this Solo Stove.
Camping Date Activities
Just because you are camping in your backyard doesn’t mean you have to stay in your backyard. When you are camping elsewhere, you often leave your site to go and explore. Search online for the nearest trail or fishing spot to enjoy a good hike, bike ride, or fishing day trip.
If you don’t like card games, you could also play your favorite board game. Monopoly, anyone?
Who doesn’t love getting a massage? Take turns giving your best massage next to the warm campfire. Grab some grapes and wine, or some chocolate covered strawberries for an added treat.
Get to Know Each other More
Relax around the fire or curl up in your sleeping bags and talk with each other. Share past memories of adventures you had from before meeting each other. Ask those weird questions, such as, if you were any other animal what would you be, and why?
Explore your hopes and dreams with each other. Where do you see yourselves 5, 10, or even 20 years from now? Check out this list for other random questions to ask your significant other.
Food & Drinks
First, create a meal plan that includes recipes for the campfire or grill. Think of fun new recipes that the two of you can create together. Then, after writing down the ingredients you’ll need, go shopping. To make things a little easier on yourself, keep the food in the fridge inside.
You’ll want to keep the drinks close-by, of course. Fill a cooler with ice, and load it up with your favorite beverages. Also, keep a few simple snacks outside with you to save a few trips into the house.
Want an easy-to-prepare meal idea for camping?
Throw some protein and veggies in a foil pack, and toss it over the fire. That’s it! For a fun snack or meal idea, make a charcuterie board, and top it off with a bottle of wine. This makes for a perfect romantic backyard camping experience.
Below are a few of my favorite foods cook over the fire or on the grill
- Hot dogs
- Foil packs
- Dutch oven meals
- Pudgy pie pizza (instead of pie filling, use pizza toppings)
Most of us know about S’mores for camping as the best dessert. However, have you ever made them into nachos? Check out this easy S’mores Nacho recipe made in a cast iron pan.
Pudgy pies are another easy great dessert while camping in the backyard. If you want a refreshing cold treat though, get the strawberries and whipped cream out.