The best board games for camping

by | Jan 12, 2023 | Trip planning

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Bored at camp?

Why not try a board game?

If you’re camping with friends or family, you’re bound to have some downtime between activities or meals, around the campfire, or during rainy days where you’ll need something to do.

Friends playing at card game at a picnic table while camping.

You could play classics like Settlers of Catan, Risk, Monopoly, or Scrabble anywhere and any time, but we wanted to focus on more outdoor-specific board games to compliment your camping trip.

Here are some of our favourites!


Our first pick is a board game specifically about camping!

Camp is an educational game that encourages outdoor exploration and learning, making it a great family game to play if you have children.

The game consists of cards featuring fun facts about animals, plants, fungi, and other elements of nature.

Level one is mostly about identifying wildlife, and as players progress, they’re presented with more challenging questions.

The goal is to be the first to get to camp!

We love this game because it encourages players to think about how animals and plants interact with their environment, as well as how humans can interact with nature.

Players can have fun exploring their environment, learning about the region they are in, and developing a better understanding and appreciation of the natural world.

Number of players: 2-8

Ages: 4 and up

Time to play: 20 to 30 minutes


Photosynthesis is a family-friendly game that encourages players to grow their own forest while competing against one another.

Players take turns planting and growing trees on their own personal board, while trying to earn the most points by harvesting their trees when they are fully grown.

Players must also contend with shadows cast by their opponents’ trees, which can impede their own growth.

What’s great about this game is that it encourages players to think about the environment and about how to best manage their trees to ensure the most points.

It’s also an incredibly visually appealing board game, with a beautiful board and pieces featuring colourfully detailed designs of trees and forest features.

Number of players: 2-4

Ages: 8 and up

Time to play: 30 to 45 minutes


From the makers of Photosynthesis is another science and nature-related game called Planet, which is is a fun and educational game that teaches players about the Earth’s geography and climate.

Players take a total of 12 turns to select landscape tiles including oceans, mountains, deserts, and frozen lakes.

The goal is to arrange them on your own planet to create the best ecosystem that allows wildlife to flourish.

Planet is a great game to play while camping because it’s educational, easy to learn, may even help you become more aware of the delicate balance of nature and how best to protect it.

Plus, the vibrant colours and detailed artwork on the game board are sure to bring a touch of nature’s beauty to your camping experience.

Number of players: 2-4

Ages: 8 and up

Time to play: 30 minutes


Parks is a family and strategy game where players explore and collect resources by traveling to various U.S. national parks.

The game includes over 150 unique cards that represent the various parks, monuments, and other attractions in the U.S. national park system.

The goal of the game is to be the first player to collect six different land types and/or six different park cards.

This award-winning game also comes with two expansion packs—one for wildlife one for nightfall—and is a great one to play if you’re interested in learning about the history and beauty of different U.S. national parks.

Unfortunately, there’s no such equivalent for Canadian national parks!

Number of players: 1-5

Ages: 10 and up

Time to play: 40 to 70 minutes


From the makers of Parks comes another family and strategy fame called Trails, where players take turns rolling the dice and moving their characters (hikers) along a path of changing terrain, encountering wildlife and obstacles along the way.

The goal of the game is to reach the finish line first and become the ultimate trailblazer.

Along the way, players must make strategic choices and use problem solving skills to avoid hazards and outsmart opponents.

The game promotes teamwork and friendly competition, while also teaching players about the outdoors and the importance of being prepared when hiking.

Number of players: 2-4

Ages: 10 and up

Time to play: 20 to 40 minutes


If you love birds and bird watching, then you might just love Wingspan.

In this game, you’re bird enthusiasts—researchers, bird watchers, ornithologists, and collectors.

You’re in search of attracting some of the most beautifully exquisite birds to your collection of wildlife preserves by collecting food, laying eggs, and drawing birds from 170 possible species.

Every bird gives you the opportunity to create powerful combinations in one of your habitats, which help you grow your populations by gaining food and laying eggs.

The game has a unique engine-building mechanic that allows players to build synergies between their birds, giving them advantages in the game.

Wingspan is a great game to play while camping because it’s highly replayable, easy to learn, and has a beautiful design featuring birds from around the world.

The game also features a variety of strategies to explore and encourages players to think ahead, making it a great game for those who like to strategize.

Number of players: 1-5

Ages: 14 and up

Time to play: 40 to 70 minutes


Mariposas is a game that’s all about the monarch butterfly migration.

In spring, millions of monarchs fly from Mexico where they spent the winter up north across eastern parts of the U.S. and Canada.

In fall, they return south.

But not every monarch makes this incredible journey.

In this game, players take turns placing butterflies on a board in order to make their own paths, while also trying to prevent their opponents from completing their own paths.

The player with the most completed paths at the end of the game wins.

You might just end this game with a newfound appreciation for one of the most amazing migrations in nature.

Number of players: 2-5

Ages: 14 and up

Time to play: 45 to 75 minutes

Shadows in the Forest

This is a game you absolutely must play at night when it’s dark, because it includes a lantern that actually lights up and glow-in-the-dark die!

In Shadows in the Forest, players take turns moving their pieces around a board filled with mysterious shadows (created by the lantern).

Players can be “seekers,” who control the lantern or “shadowlings”—small forest creatures who control the shadows.

Seekers want to freeze the shadowlings, while the shadowlings need to make it all to the same tree.

This game is perfect for camping trips, as it encourages players to play in the dark with a game-centered light source, and use their imagination and explore the darkness of the forest.

Number of players: 2-7

Ages: 8 and up

Time to play: 30 to 45 minutes


Cascadia is an award-winning board game that allows players to explore the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest through a unique and interactive gaming experience.

Players take on the roles of park rangers, campers, and other characters as they journey through the majestic forests, meadows, and rivers of the region.

The game requires players to make decisions about how to protect and conserve the environment, while also competing to reach their destination first.

With its rich artwork, strategic gameplay, and thoughtful environmental themes, Cascadia is a great game to play while camping.

It encourages players to think critically about their actions and the consequences they have on the environment, while also providing a fun and engaging way to explore nature.

Additionally, the game is designed to be set up quickly and easily, making it perfect for camping trips.

Number of players: 1-4

Ages: 10 and up

Time to play: 30 to 45 minutes

Wildlife Bingo

We saved a classic for last!

Wildlife Bingo puts a fun and educational spin on the original bingo game, featuring playing picture boards with animal photos plus 42 picture cards with an image on the front and facts on the back.

The game includes several different ways you can play bingo, to make it easier or harder depending on your group.

Number of players: 2-6

Ages: 3 and up

Next up: 10 camping drinking games to play on your next trip

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About Us

Elise & Ross

We’re Elise and Ross, avid backcountry campers and outdoor adventurers! We started Gone Camping Again as a way to share our knowledge and experience about wilderness living and travel. Our hope is that we inspire you to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer!

Read more about our story.