5 Tips for a Successful Group Campout

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Let’s face it, group camp outs are about as good as it gets.  Not only do you get to be out enjoying nature, but you also get to be surrounded by friends.  Not convinced yet?  Try out these 5 tips to simplify your next group trip, that will make you want to do it again and again:




  1.  Share meals.  This is the magical KEY to making group camping worth it!  If you do things right, you’ll likely only have to cook one meal during the whole trip-WAHOO!  I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather prepare one large meal than 5 small ones.  A natural consequence of this is that most people tend to bring better food.  Kiss the weenie roast goodbye, and welcome in some nice hot dutch oven chicken.
  2. Be flexible.  When you have a large group, it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to want to do the same things all the time.  Keep that in mind as you prepare your trip so you don’t get too worked up about the fact that none of the Smith family wants to go fishing.  NO BIGGIE!  The easiest thing to do is to give everyone options and let them decide on their own.  As a bonus, it can often be nice to have a little bit of time without the masses, so cherish it.
  3. Pitch-in.  Don’t let your friend Bob struggle setting his tent up on his own.  Lend him a hand and he’ll be indebted to you the rest of the trip.  Somehow, helping others out on adventures helps to form a deep and rare bond that lets you say “oh yeah, remember when we did ________ together” – it’s awesome.  Who knows, he might even pay you back by pitching in when you’re cleaning up the dishes!
  4. Let the kids be kids.  How often do your kids get the chance to run free with their friends in the woods?  Chances are this is a rare treat for them, so let them enjoy it.  Before you know it, the kids will be building forts, digging holes and getting their smiling faces remarkably dirty.  Enjoy the fact that you don’t need to entertain them and can sneak in some adult conversation.
  5. Bring LOTS of toys.  No need to make your husbands kids fight over just a few toys.  Bring plenty and let everyone know upfront that they are for SHARING!  Buckets, shovels, and bug nets are some of our go-to favorites, along with card games for late-night games for adults.

In the last month, we took 2 big group camping trips and brought along some fun toys from Zing Toys.  I was amazed, but they really do make something for everyone.

Double Shotz – finally a dart gun that little kids can use too.  Since you don’t have to caulk it or push hard, these guns where a big hit with the 2-4 year old crowd.  Simply place the dart in and squeeze the gun (it’s a soft gun so just squeeze and the air makes it fly).  Although they’re easy to operate, they still shoot plenty far, making your little ones feel a whole lot bigger.

Zoom Zooka – this air launcher delivered lots of fun with the option to shoot either rockets or darts.  Requiring a little more muscle to launch, the 5+ crowd loved this one.  Mason has officially declared it his!  He had no problem getting it to shoot over 40 feet (and he’s only 5).  The only downside is that there is no place to store the rockets so we have to keep a close eye on them when they’re not being used.

Zoom Rockets  – In my opinion, every kid needs a stomp rocket.  They’re fun, simple and always impress their friends.  Everyone could easily do this, and the height depended on how hard you jump.  Chloe could get it about 10 feet, while Andrew was around 100 feet (it’s advertised as going 200 ft, but we couldn’t get it that high).  My favorite part is that it easily breaks down super small so it’s a piece of cake to take along anywhere (waaaayyy smaller than any other stomp rocket we’ve seen  get).

Z-Curve Bow – This toy stole the show.  Each time we got it out, the kids were lined up to take a turn with it.  It’s a little harder for young kids(probably better for 8+) and so Dad was quick to help. 

Mysteriously, the bow would always disappear and a while later, we would see something like this…

This would be the ultimate toy for any man who is still a kid a heart.  Going well over 100 feet, this toy packs some serious strength.


Want your own?  Zing Toys has agreed to give away our favorite 2 toys, the Z-Curve Bow and the Double Shots to one lucky reader – WOOT!

To enter, leave a comment below sharing your favorite “toy” to play with outside.

For an extra entry, “like” Zing Toys and/or Bring The Kids on Facebook and leave a comment that you did (one entry for each like).

Enjoy – giveaway ends Monday, October 29th!
To keep up with the latest that Zing Toys has to offer, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Open to US residents only.

About Jessica Averett

Hi, I’m Jessica, a mom of 5 kids and married to my favorite adventure partner. I love to bike, ski, camp and hike. We've visited over 40 countries with our kids, but are equally happy on the road as we are exploring our home state of Utah.

292 thoughts on “5 Tips for a Successful Group Campout”

  1. Our favorite toys to play with outside are squirt guns! My kids love to hide and ambush their dad when he comes home from work!!

  2. Our favourite camping toy is the hammock. We regularly have 5 kids+ in the hammock and they think it’s a giant group swing. We also like the traditional buckets and shovels for sand,water, rock, mud… play.

  3. My son loves to play with his skateboard outside and his real bow and arrows….a toy one would be awesome because then he wouldn’t have to be monitored as closely with it and could play it more often!

  4. One of our favorite au natural toys is to use pinecones as Legos. We built buildings, forts, etc and even spelled out the kids names with them. Another toy we like to take camping are dump trucks to load up everything from dirt, to rocks, mud and other fun creepy crawlies.

  5. Great article – I am going to try a group campout next summer with your inspiration. Our most used toy is the shovel, but my boys most like to use those simple little parachute men. They toss them high outside or climb up on a rock and drop them off. They chase them and make them slink through the mud too!

  6. We like waterguns! But we also like to play with balls (that sounds so funny to say!). Any type, basketballs, bouncy balls, baseballs…

    Shannon F.

  7. Hi , folks ! That story is surely relevant . Honestly it`s really challenging to find any info on those jamming devices . I guess that is so because they are pretty new to our country. But there can be found some sources where that info can be obtained. I found it over there .

  8. I liked Zing Toys and Bring the Kids on facebook.

    One of our favorite outside toys is a net. We love to catch frogs, lizards, fish, crawdads…

  9. My grandkids love to play outdoors with shovels, any size, and dig in the rocks. Can spend hours doing it. I added some blue stones to let them find some “treasures”.

  10. Our current fave outside toys are bubbles (my 20 month olds) and our tricycle (my 3 year old) but I am pretty sure my husband would LOVE any of these toys : )

  11. I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts in this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Studying this information So i’m satisfied to convey that I’ve an incredibly good uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I most for sure will make sure to do not omit this web site and provides it a look on a continuing basis.

  12. I liked Zing toys.
    My favorite outdoor toy is bicycles. You can ride them alone or as a family. You can see the beauty of the seasons. And exercise!

  13. I “liked” Bring the Kids on Facebook. I’d have to say the slip and slide was one of my favorites!! And badminton, I was a pro!

  14. Our boys love to dress up with pouches, ropes, gear etc. and go on “adventures”! We just started Scouts so this would be AWESOME!!!! Thank you

  15. My daughter is 10 months old so everything is interesting to her. Her favorite toy outside? Rocks. Plain old everyday rocks! Which has helped me to see how “fun” they are too!

  16. Our favorite thing to play with is a tennis ball…. So many things can be done with a tennis ball! We throw it for our 90 pound golden… We play catch…we play tennis….we throw it off of the garage …. And all for something that costs under a dollar! And it provides hours of fun 🙂

  17. I’d have to say our favorite is any oldie but goodie … any kind of ball! We play volleyball, soccer, basketball, take them on the trampoline, make games with them on the hills … there are always balls that need picked up in our yard!

  18. We love being outside so our favorite is hard to pick – bikes, kites, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, balls, sometimes our feet are our favorite as they take us on adventures 🙂

  19. Our favorite toys for outside are cars and trucks. My son makes roads and carries rocks in the back of his trucks like they are boulders.

  20. We play with a lot of nature toys, like rocks, sticks, leaves and things like that. We have a swingset that my son adores, and any sport with a ball is a hit.

  21. My boys will play with everything and anything outside, from sticks, to water balloons to chalk and paint. My oldest would love the bow and arrow.


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