Board Games for a Camping Trip

by Aug 11, 2020Olaf's Corner0 comments

Most of us have given up on the idea of travelling or vacationing anywhere outside our province this summer. ..

 As a result, camping trips or cabin rentals have gone up in popularity. Plenty of Manitobans are discovering or re-discovering the beauty that is all around us. And why not? We are surrounded by a plethora of stunning destinations, including our many lakes, parks and countless idyllic campgrounds. The current, almost-perfect, weather conditions only help to create the perfect setting for a fun and relaxing getaway within our own provincial neighbourhood. A welcome opportunity to enjoy some quality time of fun and relaxation with friends or family.

As you are packing your backpacks and coolers, I would encourage you to take a few board games or card games with you as well. After all, a nice quiet afternoon or evening, surrounded by beautiful nature and the people we love, might be the perfect backdrop for a special gaming experience.

There are a few things to think about when it comes to taking games on a camping trip:

One should always consider the mount of surface space a game might need. Chances are you will be playing the game on a folding or picknick table, on a blanket or sleeping bag, or a small surface inside a camper. So, try to consider games that provide great gaming fun without needing too much table space. Card games are always a good choice in this context but there are also plenty of great board games that do not require a large surface to play on. This also relates to the number of playing pieces the game might require. A camping weekend might not be the best time to introduce your friends to a game that requires a large number of cubes or miniatures. Keep is simple if you can. This also decreases the chances of you losing pieces in the process.

And of course, there is the actual box size of the game. As you are probably trying to pack lightly, adding some larger boxes of board games might not be the most convenient thing to do. Luckily there are some great games out there that come in a smaller box or packaging, that still can provide you with hours of quality fun. And lastly, you probably want to choose games that can be played in a relatively short amount of time. Committing to a 2- or 3-hour board game, while enjoying the great outdoors, might not be for everyone. Find some games that last for 20-40 minutes. If everyone is having a great time you can always play another round or two.

If you are unsure what to bring along for your next great camping adventure, here are some recommendations to get you started.



2-6 players, ages 10 and up 

This is the English language version of the popular German trick-taking game ‘Sticheln.’

From your hand of cards, you will choose a Pain Color, representing cards you don’t want to win. If you do win cards matching your Pain Color, they will be negative points equal to the number on the card! However, all other colors you win are worth one point each.

Watch out for the other players as they will deceitfully stick you with cards matching your Pain Color! The player with the most points at the end of the game wins!

Gameplay so sharp and to the point that you’ll be coming back for more!



2-10 players, ages 8 and up 

This very portable beer & pretzels game comes as a pocket travel case containing 2 pig dice, two pencils and a scoring booklet that also includes the scoring table. The pigs are actual pig miniatures, with a dot on their right flanks.

The object is to be the first to score 100 points using “pigs” as dice. On your turn, you throw the pigs and hope they end up in a scoring position such as a “snouter,” “trotter,” or “leaning jowler”; if they do, you decide whether to “cash” the points (pass the pigs to the next player) or to roll again. If you roll a non-scorer, you lose any as-yet-uncashed points. If you throw an “oinker”, you lose your entire accumulated score.



2-6 players, ages 8 and up 

A great trick-taking game similar to ‘Wizard’ or ‘Spades’, with players needing to state how many tricks they think they’ll win each round. A unique element of this game is that bidding takes place simultaneously, leading to rounds that are sometimes over, or under-bid. As players must win the exact number of tricks that they bid to earn points, winning too many tricks is just as bad as winning too few and this leads to intense competition where losing a trick can be as exciting as winning one.



2-7 players, ages 8 and up 

The chickens are having a BBQ.  Players try to obtain fried worms for their chickens, so that they don’t go hungry. Of course, anyone who doesn’t manage to grab a worm off of the grill can help himself to those of his opponents. This fast-paced game is a gambling game in the finest chicken tradition.”

Each turn players roll their dice and set aside all those matching any single value. The remaining dice are rolled, and any value is set aside again until the player stops and takes a tile or busts and puts their last tile back. When a player busts and fails to take a tile, they must also turn the highest tile face-down. Whoever got the most points in worms wins.



3-6 players, ages 7 and up 

“You don’t have to be faster than the shark, just faster than your friends!” In this silly themed game, players are competing to stay alive as the others are being eaten by the shark.

The order of the swimmers is determined by simultaneously playing cards face-down then revealing the values. The number on each player’s card determines position in line (higher numbers in front, lower numbers in back), however ties don’t move. The swimmer at the back loses a limb to the shark and is flung to the front of the line! The process is repeated until only two swimmers remain on the table. When this happens, the swimmer at the front of the line wins the game!

Are you intrigued to take a game to your next camping trip? Here are my top suggestions:


2-6 players, Ages 10 and up.

Try not to win with your ‘pain card’.

Pass The Pigs

2-10 Players, Ages 8 and up

Be the first to score 100 points using the ‘pigs’ dice.

Skull King

2-6 Players, Ages 8 and up

Predict the number of tricks you will win this round.


2-7 Players, Ages 8 and up

Push your luck to see how many workms you can get.

Get Bit

3-6 Players, Ages 7 and up

Get Bit

You don’t have to be faster than the shark, just faster than the other players…

‘Spiel Des Jahres’ Winners 2021

‘Spiel Des Jahres’ Winners 2021

Arguably the most important event with regards to the world of board gaming is ‘Das Spiel,’...a fair that is held each October in the German city of Essen. Exhibitors and guests from all around the world gather for 4 days to present and try all of the new and exciting...

read more
Word Guessing Games

Word Guessing Games

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said:...“All I need is a sheet of paper and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down.”  Even though I am almost certain that he did not say this with regards to board games, part of me wonders and...

read more
The History of ‘Ticket to Ride’

The History of ‘Ticket to Ride’

What defines a great board game?...It is its theme, the accessibility and elegance of the rules, the design and production of the components, the depth of strategy, or the level of enjoyment one experiences when playing it? I believe it is a combination of all of...

read more