Camping Bucket List – 30 ideas for your next weekend in the woods

Taking in the lake views from the beach

There’s something to be said about summer. Sunshine, BBQ’s and weekend trips to the lake. For many of us Canadians, we look forward to the long summer days after months of cold, rain and snow just to get our fix of vitamin D before the days get shorter again. Personally, I prefer fall over summer as the temperatures are a bit cooler and the leaves begin to turn the most beautiful shades of red and orange, but that’s not to say I won’t be the first to admit there’s nothing quite like a cold beverage on a patio on a hot summers day in August.  

With just a few short weeks left of summer, everyone is trying to get in those last-minute trips to the lake. This year, we made the most of our weekends by camping throughout Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan and exploring what some of those areas have to offer. There’s nothing quite like packing your family into your car like sardines, forgetting at least one important item, spending all your hard-earned cash on drinks and groceries and heading out into the wilderness to sleep under the stars on a less than comfortable mattress, possibly freezing your butt off. But hey, that’s what Canadians do and we wouldn’t trade the experience of camping for anything. 

As Canadians, it’s in our blood to explore the great outdoors. To explore what our beautiful country has to offer and take in the fresh air we are so blessed to breathe. Whether it’s hiking, beach days or campfires, we all have our reasons for heading out and making the most of a weekend at the lake. Haven’t had a chance to get out of the city and sleep under the stars yet? Don’t worry, there’s still a few weeks left of summer and to make the most of your experience I’ve created a Camping Bucket List full of ideas to include on your next weekend trip. 

Camping Bucket List

1. Sleep under the stars. Whether you’re in a tent, an SUV with a moon roof or just in a sleeping bag be sure to take advantage of the uninterrupted glow of the sky. 

Taking a hike through the woods

2. Take a hike. There’s no better way to unwind than by taking in the sights and sounds of nature. Rejuvenate with a little nature therapy and you’re sure to feel refreshed and revitalized by Mother Nature’s presence.

3. Make bush pies. What are bush pies you ask? Get a camp cooker at your local camping goods store (cast iron works best) and put your favourite fillings between two pieces of bread. Enjoy this tasty treat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert. 

Making bush pies over the campfire

4. Catch some rays on the beach and work on that summer tan.

5. Build sand castles or bury your friends in the sand.

Dog prints in the sand

6. If you have a boat, get your fill of water sports like tubing, knee-boarding, waterskiing and wake boarding.

7. Kayak or canoe on the open waters, especially on a calm day!

Canoeing on the open waters

8. Rent paddle boards and try some SUP yoga or just paddle around.

9. Don’t forget about the land sports. Try your hand at beach volleyball, badminton or bocce ball.

10. Rip around on quads and explore some of your local trails.

Boardwalk into the forest

11. Grab some Sea Doo’s and explore the open waters!

12. Make meals fit for a king! You’re sure to build up an appetite with all that activity so make sure to get creative. Here are some awesome ideas for camping meals.

13. Drink wine out of wine tumblers!

Drinking wine out of wine tumblers

14. Go for evening walks and explore the campground. Make sure you have your wine tumbler in hand.

15. Play games with friends and family around the picnic table. Cards against humanity, crib or apples to apples, the choice is yours!

16. Go on a scavenger hunt. Here’s a great list of items for things you might find around a campground.

17. If you have a furry friend, find a swimming area where you can play fetch.

Duke playing in the water at sunset

18. Make s’mores! Again, time to get creative. Here’s a great list of ideas for different kinds of s’mores to satisfy your sweet craving.

19. Host a potluck! Invite your neighbours and ask everyone to bring a dish. It’s a great way to make some new friends and to get to know those around you.

20. Have a campfire building contest. Loser has to get the next round of firewood!

Trying to build the best fire

21. Host a theme night at your cabin or campsite. For my brother’s 40th birthday, my sister-in-law hosted a Top Gun party at their site, and everyone dressed up in their best Top Gun attire.

22. Make a wish and let go of a floating lantern off the dock.

23. Share stories around the campfire. My dad used to tell the best ghost stories that would have us all shivering in our boots.

Campfire time

24. Know someone that’s musical? Get your fill of kumbaya around the fire.

25. Have a weenie roast!

Having a weenie roast

26. Relax in a hammock with a good book.

27. Spend a relaxing day out on the water fishing for jack, pickerel, trout, or whatever floats your boat 😉 don’t have a boat? fish off the dock! Have a fish fry back at your cabin or campsite that evening to reap your reward.

28. Catch a sunrise. I know it’s early but trust me, it’s worth the sleep deprivation.

Sunset at the lake

29. Catch a sunset. A little easier to catch than a sunrise, and sure to provide some beautiful scenery. 

30. Spend quality time with friends and family. There’s no better way to connect with those you love then by spending some uninterrupted, technology-free time in the great outdoors.

Enjoying time with friends around the campfire

What are some things on your Camping Bucket List? Comment below!!!

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camping bucket list

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