Blair and I kicked off summertime with a camping trip in the backwoods with our friends. There was 20 of us in total, half of that being kids under the age of 12. It was a fun, relaxing week filled with sunshine, campfires, and – of course – board games!
Obviously not all board games are suited to being played in the wilderness. The elements, the players, and what you have available for a gaming surface all play a factor in what games to take (not to mention little games pieces that could easily get lost).
Our trip provided a great chance for us to test out games that work best…
Fluxx – As long as I can remember, card games have been a standard item kept in my family’s activity box. It didn’t matter if we were taking a road trip, going to the cabin, or were flying for a vacation – we always took a deck of cards. Fluxx is great because it offers the same flexibility as a deck of cards in that it’s small to pack and easy to learn, while offering you something new from regular old card games. Plus who doesn’t want to hear their friends talk in a funny accent while camping?
Cards Against Humanity – This wouldn’t be much of a camping game list if I didn’t include CAH somewhere in it. What could be more fun than playing this hilarious politically incorrect game with friends while camping? If there are kidlets around and you don’t feel like waiting until they’re asleep to crack this out, then try Apples to Apples instead.
Love Letter – This is a really easy game to learn, while still being a fun and dynamic. It changes slightly depending on the number of players you have, and hiding one card away prevents too much card counting. It packs up really small, particularly if you have the edition with the carrying bag, and there are minimal pieces to worry about (16 cards and 13 tokens). The setup is incredibly quick too, for those moments between wanting to play just one more game but also wanting to go to the beach. Love Letter also appealed to the kids, since it was easy for them to learn; the girls love the concept, the boys were a little turned off by the name.
Zombie Dice – If there were one game that’s a default for getting tossed into our travel bag, it would be Zombie Dice. So easy to learn, this is another one of those quick games you can play in a few minutes. We also have the Triple Feature expansion for this, but we usually put it aside when playing with newbies and younger players. The only downside to this is the noise level, which means it didnt’t get brought out after the kidlets went to bed.
The Resistance – This game has not only travelled with us on a camping trip or to the cabin, but has also been schlepped across Canada and to the United States. It packs reasonably small, with no really small pieces that could easily be lost. Players take on roles of resistance members trying to figure out who is the spy among them; meaning it’s a really good way to learn your friends’ poker faces. The Resistance has the ability to get everyone playing, since it’s another easy learn game and doesn’t require much skill, other than a good bluff.