How To Camp In Your Backyard Without A Tent

By Charles •  Updated: 01/05/21 •  13 min read
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For most campers, the joy of taking their children or new campers to the wild outdoors is exciting and elicits all sorts of memories for them. Parents love to take their kids to a place where they camped as a child and share memories of their own childhood. However, there are times when a full-blown camping trip is not possible. This does not mean that you cannot enjoy a great time with your kids still. If you are not able to get out to the wilderness, then the I would suggest you try to camp in your backyard without a tent.

Benefits Of Setting Up Camp In Your Backyard Without A Tent

Camping in your backyard has quite a few benefits that you may not have considered previously. This is especially true if you are taking someone camping for the first time or if you have small children.

Five Methods Backyard Camping That Do Not Need A Tent

In the summer when the stars are best seen at night, it is a fun time to lay down in the yard and look at the night sky, waiting for shooting stars to streak by. If a body of water is not near, then the number of mosquitos should be at a minimum and a full-blown tent is not necessary.

There are many alternatives to pitching a tent and they can make everything feel more adventurous.

Sleeping Under The Stars

The most basic option for you to camp in your backyard without a tent is to sleep under the stars with no shelter. Sleeping under the stars can be as simple as using a pillow from your bed and throwing a blanket over yourself. However, I would recommend using a ground cloth, air mattress, and sleeping bag. Obviously, this option should only be taken on nights with perfect weather and no chance of rain. 

How To Set Up For Sleeping Under The Stars

A ground cloth is used to help protect your air mattress or sleeping bag from sticks, rocks or thorns that may be on the ground.

Pros:
  • Extremely simple
  • The least expensive option
Cons:
  • No protection from the weather
  • You will get wet if dew settles overnight

What You Will Need To Sleep Under The Stars

Cowboy Style

If you are looking to camp in your backyard with out a tent but you want a little more protection from the elements, then you could use a bedroll, just like the cowboys used to do.  Essentially, this is still sleeping under the stars, but you are adding a little protection from the elements with a bedroll or a bivy sack. 

How To Set Up For Sleeping Cowboy Style

Pros:
  • Still pretty simple
  • Added protection from the elements

Cons:
  • You will have to buy additional gear that you may not have already

What You Will Need To Sleep Cowboy Style

Use A Hammock To Camp In Your Back Yard Without A Tent

Maybe sleeping on the ground just is not your cup of tea.  If this is the case, you could always set up some hammocks to camp in your back yard without a tent.  Again, here you have the option of sleeping under the stars with little protection from the elements or you could get an enclosed hammock.  Another option is to pitch a tarp over the hammock to provide some protection. 

How To Set Up A Hammock

Pros:
  • Hammock camping gets you up off the ground
  • Using an enclosed hammock or pitching a tarp over the hammock adds protection from the elements
Cons:
  • There is an added expense of buying hammocks and possibly tarps
  • If you do not have trees available, this method is more difficult

What You Will Need To Camp With A Hammock

Use A Tarp Lean-To Shelter To Camp In Your Backyard Without A Tent

You can pitch a lean-to tarp shelter in lieu of a tent to keep yourself safe from the elements. Tarps can be reasonably priced and come in use for multiple reasons. Therefore, you can find other uses for the tarp after your quasi-camping trip.

How To Set Up A Tarp Lean-To Tarp Shelter

The tarp lean-to is one of the most basic tarp shelters you can pitch. It is also a great choice for first timers and children to gain experience.

Pros:
  • This tarp pitch is simple and can be set up fast by about anyone
  • Good wind and rain protection from one side
Cons:
  • No Floor
  • There is only protection from the elements on one side

What You Need To Pitch A Tarp Lean-To

Pitch An A-Frame Tarp To Camp In Your Backyard Without A Tent

Pitching an A-Frame set up with your tarp is not all that different than a lean-to tarp shelter.  You are gaining a little more security and protection from the elements.

How To Pitch An A-Frame Tarp Shelter

As I said earlier, pitching an A-Frame Tarp Shelter is not that different from a lean-to. This set up is still quite easy and is a great option for first timers and kids to help with.

Pros:
  • This tarp pitch is simple and can be set up fast by about anyone
  • Good wind and rain protection from both sides
Cons:
  • No Floor
  • The ends are open so rain can come in if an opening is facing the wind direction
  • If the ridge guy-line is not tight, the tarp will sag

What You Need To Pitch An A-Frame Tarp Shelter

It Is Completely Possible To Camp In Your Backyard Without A Tent

Many of the experiences of camping can be replicated while staying home. A simple charcoal grill can be used to cook burgers and hot dogs to eat around a lantern while stories are told. You can also get a portable fire pit and have a backyard fire (as long as this is legal in your area). Grab one of these pits and roast some marshmallows over the fire for s’mores.

If you have the desire, you can camp in your backyard without a tent. After all, there are times that going up to a remote location to set up a tent and enjoy nature is not a possibility. So, get out to you back yard and have some fun.

Featured Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Charles

Charles is a man who loves the outdoors. He moved to Wyoming specifically to spend more time in the mountains and wilderness. A hunter and fisherman, Charles knows how to enjoy nature and all that it has to offer. He is an outdoorsman through and through, and he wouldn't have it any other way. Charles is the President of Absaroka Enterprises, an company focuse on outdoor entertainment and endeavours. He's also an Editor for Alpha and Omega Outdoors, an online hunting, fishing, camping, trapping, and all around outdoors blog.