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10 Board Games for Camping (Plus 3 Camping Card Games)

Camping board game

Camping means different things to different people. Many see it as a chance to explore, to get out and about and go adventuring. Whilst others like to kick back, relax and get well acquainted with their camp chair and beer cooler. We like doing a bit of both. But our downtime at camp is filled playing camping board games for several hours at a time (with a beer and a comfy camp chair, no less!).

What better way to end a physically challenging day out in the wild than by giving your brain a good workout too? Camping board games offer entertainment for everyone and are also an exceptionally good rainy day camping activity for all the family.

In this article you’ll find a list of our favourite camping board games with information about each. There’s also some cracking card games for camping listed. Plus, some key information about why these games make our list of camping board games over all the thousands of other great games out there.

Board games for camping

Key features of camping board games

The games we’ve chosen to include on our list are all great board games to play whether you’re camping or not. Some are even outdoor/camping themed. But what most of them have in common is their practicality for use at camp.

Here are some key things we look for when choosing board games for camping:

  • The components should be heavy enough to not blow away in the wind
  • Camping board games should be made out of durable materials
  • If at all possible, the game should be water resistant or waterproof
  • Small, lightweight games are best for camping so that they are easy to pack and transport

It’s important to note that there are a couple of games on our list that we just love, and that aren’t especially camp-friendly. But we put them on anyway!

10 dice and board games for camping

Hive board game

01Hive Pocket

Number of players: 2

Bugs are pretty much unavoidable when camping, but at least with this little game you can choose where they land.

Hive is a clever little abstract game for 2 players which puts you in control of a whole host of insects. The aim is to completely surround your opponents queen bee by making clever use of each bugs’ unique ability. The rules are incredibly simple, yet there’s plenty of strategy to explore as you attempt to outwit your opponent.

The beauty of Hive is there’s no board and no setup, simply find a flat surface and you’re ready to play. The bakelite tiles have a really nice feel to them and are extremely durable and waterproof, making Hive an ideal game to play outside.

The pocket version has a very small footprint and is light enough to toss in your hiking backpack. It also includes the extra ladybird and mosquito expansions which you can add to your creepy crawlies for even more variety.

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Number of players: 2

Backgammon is a simple, yet cut-throat game of luck and strategy that is also one of the oldest known board games in existence; it dates back to around 3000 BC. Players roll dice to progress their checkers around the board without being ‘taken’ by the opposition. Though luck plays a large part to the success of each player, there are still plenty of decisions to be made, and even an optional element of gambling towards the latter half of the game. A single game is usually over within half an hour making this an excellent option to play as a tournament over a whole camping trip.

This portable, roll up Backgammon set is ideal for backpackers and lightweight campers who are tired of playing cards when out in the wild. The lightweight canvas ‘board’ is easily carried and tough enough to withstand the rough and tumble of life on the trail.

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Number of players: 2-4

Visual gamers and those who appreciate the finer things in life will love the aesthetics of Azul. You get to create your very own Portuguese Azulejo (painted tin-glazed ceramic tilework). Players collect small tiles and place them on their board with the aim of scoring as many points as possible, depending on the layout of their Azulejo creation. It’s highly satisfying when you get the patterns you’re after, but also very frustrating when you have to ‘smash’ tiles because you’ve nowhere to place them!

Though the box is not especially packable for lightweight camping, the game can be stored much more sensibly: put the boards in a wallet folder. All the other components come in a canvas bag. It’s also a good option for windy weather as those tiles ain’t going nowhere.

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Quarto board game


Number of players: 2

This mini version of the abstract strategy game of Quarto is just about as weatherproof and camping friendly as camping board games get. Both the board and pieces are made out of wood and the 16 unique pieces are stored in a canvas bag.

Quarto is a more complex variation of Connect Four. Players aim to line up four of the same type of piece in a row to win the game. The catch, however, is that you don’t get to choose which piece you place down — your opponent chooses for you! Players strategically choose pieces for their opponent to place on the board, aiming to minimise placement options until a winning move is created. Fewer and fewer options become available as the game goes on and just when you think you’re close to winning there’ll be a stikingly obvious combination that you’ll easily miss, and then that’s that! It’s a bit of a mind bender that can be over very quickly if you’re head’s not in the game.

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05Yahtzee: National Parks

Number of players: 2+

The original version of Yahtzee is played with regular dice. However, the dice in Yahtzee: National Parks have images on them, instead of the usual pips. Roll the dice and score points for different combinations of images, which include things like a river, a hiker, binoculars, a canoe, a tree or a deer. A nicely themed dice game for your next outdoor adventure.

The set comes in a small cup with a closable lid for easy storage and transportation and is very much resistant to wind and rain. It’s an excellent camping board game for families that only lasts for around 15 minutes. Plus, a portion of the proceeds of each purchase goes towards the National Park Foundation. Win, win! Unless you lose, of course.

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Number of players: 2-4

Qwirkle is a fun and relaxing game that won’t burn too much grey matter. Players pull tiles from a bag and take turns adding them to horizontal and vertical lines, much like Scrabble. But Qwirkle replaces the alphabet with coloured shapes, giving it a much broader appeal and levelling the playing field between kids and adults.

Each tile features one of six different colours and shapes, and players must place them in rows of either matching colour or shape, with bonus points available for placing the 6th and final tile in each line.

With no board and chunky wooden tiles that aren’t going to blow away, Qwirkle is perfect for campers looking for something light and family-friendly for an after dinner game.

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Trekking The National Parks

07Trekking The National Parks

Number of players: 2-5

Trekking the National Parks is not especially packable as camping board games go. But the highly on point theme makes it well worth making room for on your next camping trip. Players travel around the US camping at all the different National Parks with the aim of gaining as many victory points as possible. These can be gained by collecting stones at each park, occupying major parks, claiming park cards and having the most stones while at the same time competing against other players to get the most valued parks snagged before they do.

As well as this MENSA Award winning game being fun and engaging for all ages, it’s also educational and will hopefully inspire your budding camping gamers to go explore more.

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Number of players: 2-6
Another excellent board game for wet and windy camping trips is the South American game of Perudo. Like Quarto, it is weatherproof and packable and can be played on any surface that is relatively flat. Also known as Dudo or Liar’s Dice, Perudo is a dice rolling game of bidding, bluffing and luck in which each player rolls a set of dice in secret. They then make claims as to how many pips on the collective dice they can produce. Other players can call their bluff by calling ‘dudo’. Dice are then lost, depending on the outcome of the call. It can get lively at the best of times, but also makes for an excellent drinking game for adult-only camping.

The game ends when only one player has dice left — they are the winner.

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Number of players: 1-8

Like Hive, Bananagrams is a highly packable and durable camping board game that is very well suited to life at camp or on the trail. All you need is a relatively flat surface to play on and a good head for wordy problems. Each player starts with up to 21 letter tiles (depending on the number of players) and is required to create a grid of connected words with as many letters as possible. It’s a fast-paced version of Scrabble where new letters are picked up, switched or ditched throughout the game until there are no more letters available in the centre. The winner is the person who first completes a grid of words using all their letter tiles.

Like Scrabble, it can be a good idea to have a dictionary at the ready to quickly settle any disputes on questionable words!

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Connect Four

10Connect Four

Number of players: 2
It may be an oldie, but the classic game of Connect Four is most certainly a goodie! And gosh, is it simple. Easy for kids to pick up quickly but entertaining enough for adults to enjoy too. Players take turns at dropping a disc into the top of the board with the aim of, yes, connecting four discs in a single row! Vertical, horizontal and diagonal rows all count. But it can be trickier than it may seem as the other player blocks progress with strategically placed discs.

This version folds up into a highly durable and camping compatible box that will stand the test of time, along with the game itself.

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3 card games for camping



Number of players: 2-8

If you enjoy hectic and fast-paced games then you’ll love Dobble. It’s like Snap but on heat! Each of the circular cards in the deck features a selection of colourful and random images. Players have to match one of the images on a card with the same image on another card. They then claim the card by shouting out the name of the image and getting their hand to the card before anyone else manages to do the same. The frustrating part is that every single card matches with another one… real annoying when everyone else can see it but you can’t!

There are 5 variations of the game that are all as highly addictive as each other. The game comes in a compact and durable tin to protect the cards when not in use. And although the cards aren’t especially weatherproof, they’re also never down on the table long enough for them to blow away in the wind!

This version is suitable for players aged 6+, but for younger gamers there’s also a kids version.

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12Wilderness UNO

Number of players: 2-10
UNO is another super fun camping game for families, and an ideal option for adults who don’t want to tax their brains too much. This wilderness version is played in exactly the same way as regular UNO, just with colourful, adventure themed images on the cards. Players aim to get rid of their cards by matching colours and numbers with the cards on a central pile. But wild cards create all sorts of mischief, putting unwanted cards back in your hand, just when you’re about to shout UNO! (to indicate you only have one card left).

It’s great for groups and it’s also highly packable for time on the trail.

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Hanabi card game


Number of players: 2-5

This is the only co-operative game on our list of camping board games. This means that all players are working together to beat the game, rather than to beat each other. So if you’re keen to avoid direct competition in your group of campers then this is the one for you!

Hanabi means ‘fireworks’ in Japanese, and the aim of the game is for the group to create the perfect firework display using the set of cards. Different coloured and numbered cards are placed in the middle of the table in a specific order to beat the game. The unique way that this game is played, however, means that everyone else can see your hand of cards except you. You have to hold them facing away from you! Through limited communication, clever hints and Holmes-like deductions the group must carefully lay out the cards to finish the firework display before all the cards run out. It’s more stressful than it sounds, but highly satisfying when it all goes whoosh and bang!

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Of course, if you are camping in good weather and aren’t too worried about packing space then there are thousands of other excellent board games that are suitable for playing when camping. But if you’ve got a cracking camping specific game that hasn’t made it onto our list of camping board games then we’d love to hear about it.

Campers who prefer more active and less thinky games to play during the day should read our round up of camping games. For evening entertainment once the sun has set you should try these games to play around the campfire. And while you’re at it, you’ll probably be interested to see what our favourite beach games are too!

Happy gaming, happy campers!

About the author


Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard and hiking small mountains and big hills.

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