Indoor Camping – Fall Family Fun!

Indoor campsite setup in a basement

Rain doesn’t  mean the end of tent camping season!

If you live anywhere on BC’s wet coast, or a climate like it, for most tent camping season is definitely over.

Or is it?

Recently our family turned lemons into lemonade when we converted our bare, as-yet-unfinished basement into a campground. Our daughter has been begging us to go camping, and we’ve been annoyed with the construction dust and boxes clogging up the downstairs.

The solution? Some cheap turf, our tent and sleeping gear, our pop-up chairs and … voila! Instant camping area. It’s also a really fun place for her to play and hang out, and it doubles as a guest bedroom for adventurous family and friends.

Little camper playing inside mini tent

Campsite doubles as an indoor playground

Here are some tips:

1. Check your local hardware store for remnant indoor turf. We found ours at $0.33 a square foot, already rolled and ready for transport. It’s not necessary (unless your floors are bare concrete like ours) … but it’s a hoot!

2. Make sure your tent is clean. We found debris in our tent, which is fine for the outdoors but not so pleasant in your house … better to give it a shake first.

3. Hang some colourful sheets or get your kids to make large paintings on craft paper to jazz up the place.

Consider spots like your garage (park the car outside this fall for some free carwashing!), a covered patio (not quite indoors but dry), a spare room, or (if you’re halfway through renovations like us) an attic or basement space.

little camper at indoor campsite

Easy as 1,2, 3 to set up an indoor campsite

We’re pretty excited about extending the tent camping season and creating more fun places for our daughter to play inside. And we’re inspired to look into options for more outdoor camping through the fall … so stay tuned for posts about hard-top campers and tent trailers.

In the meantime, here’s to a fall of family fun … rain or shine!

Published: October 2nd, 2013

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Avatar by vancouvercampingmom

Morgan was raised on camping by her father and maternal grandparents. A life-long Vancouverite, she is a tourism instructor at BCIT and Royal Roads University and a customer service trainer. Morgan lives in East Vancouver with her family and puts a heavy emphasis on family travel as a way to learn, grow, and reconnect.

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