How to Turn Camping into Glamping

By+Jenna Guerin

Once upon a time, camping referred to an adventurous expedition out into the woods where one would connect with nature, rub wood together to create fire and live on the bare necessities for at least a night or two. Needless to say, it wasn’t for the faint of heart. 

But while all good things may not come to an end, they do tend to evolve. Thanks to technology and several camping upgrades that have been made throughout the years, you don’t have to “rough it” anymore. We went ahead and designed a little cheat sheet on how you can turn up your own camping experience to resemble glamping a.k.a. the glam version of camping!

 

In It to Win It:

5 Games for the Campground

Most people have their go-to outdoor activity. Whether your game of choice is corn hole, ladder toss or bocce ball, incorporating a little friendly competition into your weekend is fundamental to a successful camping trip.

Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt is family-friendly and will keep the kids occupied for a significant period of time. Base your scavenger list on the specific area you are camping in. If you have small children, pair each child with an older one or an adult and provide them with a bag and list. The list can include anything from specific-colored rocks to recyclable items. If your family has older kids, create a scavenger hunt in which everyone uses their phone to take pictures of the items on the list, rather than collecting them in a bag! Then you can include animal tracks, wildlife and people on the list. Make sure everyone has an exploration partner; if your family thrives on socialization, this is a prime opportunity to involve your camping neighbors!

Catch Phrase

Perfect for sitting around the bonfire, Catch Phrase is an electronic, timed guessing game in which there are two teams competing against each other to guess the correct described phrase before the buzzer goes off. It’s highly engaging, competitive and energetic, so it’s best if this one is played before quiet hours are enforced at the campground.

Yard Yahtzee

Yard Yahtzee is also referred to as Lawn Yahtzee. This is a life-sized version of everyone’s favorite dice game. The same rules apply as the table game. You can take a D.I.Y. approach and create your own using an easy online tutorial or you can purchase the yard version on Etsy. Bring a bucket for the dice and an erasable white board to make your own score cards replicating the original version’s template. 

Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity has been deemed as the official party game as it invokes awkward conversations and an outrageous amount of laughter! The card game is for adults only as some of the content is geared toward a more mature audience. The essence of the game is simple; one player asks a question using their black card and the other players respond with their most appropriate (or inappropriate) white card. The player with the black card then chooses their favorite response.

 

Oh Yes, You Can!

5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Cook Over a Campfire

S’mores and hot dogs are for amateurs. A true entertainer steps it up and surprises family and friends with delicacies rarely devoured in the great outdoors! 

Breakfast burritos

These are as simple as it gets; simply prepare the burritos the day before your trip using your preferred ingredients (eggs, sausage, cheese are staples!) Wrap them up in tinfoil, put them in the cooler, and when you’re ready to make them, simply place them in the tinfoil on hot coals next to the fire for 10-15 minutes. 

Campfire Cinnamon Rolls or Muffins

Sure, you can purchase already-made bakery items, but to really impress your guests, make cinnamon rolls or muffins fresh over the campfire! For the muffins, bring muffin mixes that require just adding water. You will also need to bring several oranges cut in half and with the actual orange scooped out. Fill each orange half with the muffin batter and wrap with aluminum foil. Place on the fire’s hot coals and bake for about 10 minutes.

The cinnamon rolls are even easier; throw your favorite brand of cinnamon rolls into the cooler. When you’re ready for breakfast, unravel each cinnamon roll and wrap it around a clean stick or roasting stick. Then hold your stick over hot coals (not the flames), similar to the way you would cook a hot dog. Once it’s thoroughly cooked, feel free to excessively top with frosting!

Campfire Cones

If you’re a parent or simply a dessert enthusiast, then you know the joy that comes from a build-your-own sundae bar. Campfire cones are basically the outdoor version of sundaes or frozen yogurt bars. To assemble these decadent delights, you need waffle cones, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, graham cracker pieces and your choice of toppings. Topping recommendations include fruit, candy pieces, nuts, and anything you would put on your favorite ice cream. Wrap the cones in tinfoil and lay on the hot coals for five minutes. The end result is a ooey, gooey treat that kids can make themselves!

Campfire Paninis

With a campfire panini press in your camping arsenal, you don’t have to settle for cold sandwiches anymore. Gather all of your favorite sandwich essentials and turn them into a delicious sandwich melt. You can also use a waffle iron, pie iron, sandwich iron, or even two tinfoil-wrapped bricks or heavy rocks. Fill your sandwich, spray cooking spray on your tool of choice and cook over the hot coals. It’s practically gourmet!

Chili Cheese Fries

This is officially the guilty pleasure of camping. But it only requires three ingredients, so really, how bad could it be? You will need frozen french fries, a can of chili, shredded cheese, cooking spray and tinfoil. Spray the tinfoil, place the fries inside and allow to cook on the grill or over the campfire for 20 minutes. When they are cooked to your liking, layer the chili and cheese on, and cook until the chili is hot and the cheese has melted. And voilà! Your favorite game-day pleasure is now your favorite camping pleasure!

 

Oh, The Places You Should Go:

5 Campgrounds to Try this Summer

 

Warren Dunes State Park, Sawyer, MI

Warren Dunes is best known for its dune formation that elevates 260 feet above Lake Michigan offering calendar-worthy views and almost 2,000 acres of recreational land. With three miles of shoreline and six miles of hiking trails, Warren Dunes also offers a modern and semi-modern campground, fit for campers of all types. 

South Bend/Elkhart KOA, Granger, IN

Whether you prefer a tent, an RV or a rustic cabin, you can have your choice at KOA. The campground is fully equipped for every activity, sleeping amenity and technology that one could ever want on a camping trip. From free WiFi and cable to dog parks and a gelato bar, KOA is an all-inclusive camper’s delight. It would be impossible to run out of things to do at this campground as it features movies in the summer, a petting zoo, volleyball courts, mini golf, a pool and so much more.

Shamrock Park in Berrien Springs, MI

Nestled along the banks of the St. Joseph River, Shamrock Park is also close to Lake Michigan, farmers’ markets, wineries and breweries. The campground features 113 campsites with hookup capabilities, a boat ramp, modern restroom facilities, a fishing park and plenty of winding hiking trails. If you’re not interested in tenting it or bringing an RV, the campground has three cabins available for rent.

 

Maple Ridge Campground, Lakeville, IN

Equipped for both RV and tent campers, Maple Ridge has plenty of amenities fit for families. Amenities include a pool, disc golf, several sports courts, WiFi and for 2016—themed weekend activities! Each Friday will feature a camp-wide bonfire and every Saturday, the campground will host a wagon ride.

Michigan City Campground, Michigan City, IN

The Michigan City Campground is open all-year round and accepts all kinds of camping capabilities including tents, trailers and motor homes. The majority of its sites come equipped with sewer, water, electric and WiFi. Recreational luxuries include a large swimming pool, outdoor playground with a basketball court, a fully-stocked camping store, and two fishing ponds for campers.