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Boredom Beaters
Combating camp boredom

©Outdoor Adventure Canada

It is always interesting to me when I speak with other outdoors people about what they bring to combat boredom on their longer trips. As you can see from the photo, I like to snuggle up under the tarp, using my pack as a headrest, and read a book.

I spoke with our readers and here are some of these ideas they came up with for beating boredom around camp and others can help pass the time if you become weather bound and are stuck in your shelter waiting out a storm.


  • Cards
  • Uno
  • Cribbage board
  • Checker board (some canoeists paint this on their paddle)
  • Chess
  • Rummoli (use pebbles instead of Poker chips)
  • Dominoes
  • Ring Toss
  • Scrabble
  • Yahtzee
  • Travel Mastermind
  • Chutes and Ladders (also can be painted on a paddle)
  • Bocce
  • Marbles or Alleys
  • Backgammon
  • Backpacker Games from Magnetic Poetry
  • 20 Questions
  • I Spy
  • Charades
  • Tic Tac Toe (draw a line in the dirt and use rocks or pine cones)
  • Clapping Games
  • Hide and Seek
  • Mankala (an African game played in the sand with pebbles)
  • Twister (although after a few days in the bush you may not want to be that close)

Other Ideas

  • Fly a kite
  • Write or draw in a journal
  • Paint
  • Take photographs
  • Read a book
  • Play with a hackysack
  • Throw a Frisbee (several companies have lightweight versions)
  • Hang a very sturdy rope in a tree for the kids to swing from
  • Whittle (make sure you have bandages handy)
  • Make a sandcastle if you are lucky enough to have a beach
  • Identify plants, animals or birds
  • Crosswords and word searches
  • Play Badminton
  • Have a sing-a-long

Of course, what you decide to take will depend on the style of the trip, whether you are backpacking or canoeing, and your interests.

Written by Laurie March
Photo courtesy of Michael Rogers

masthead photo courtesy Michael Rogers




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