Camp At Home Nebraska

Camp at Home. Share Your #CampAtHomeNE Adventures. Win Prizes.

During this time of social distancing, we’re inviting you to look no further than your own home or backyard for the ultimate campout. The “getaway” we all need is only feet from our front doors. So pack up for your adventure, take a few photos and share them on social, using the hashtag #CampAtHomeNE.

Those who send us a direct message on Facebook or Instagram with their camp-at-home photo (taken after April 1, 2020), their name and address will automatically be entered into a drawing for prizes, including miniature camp lanterns and a grand prize three-night camping stay at one of our state parks — something to look forward to. All submissions should be entered by midnight June 16, 2020. A winner will be selected June 17.

So grab your camping gear and gain all the benefits of being outdoors — just a lot closer to home.

10 tips to create #CampAtHomeNE memories

Before the fun begins, gather all of your basic camping supplies. Make your list long or short, but focus on an enjoyable experience for everyone. Remember, the ultimate challenge is to use only items already in your home!  Download our list.

Pop up a tent. Before pitching your tent or shelter, evaluate the area to select the best spot. If you don’t have a tent, build your own shelter using a tarp, sheets or all natural materials. If you recently purchased new camping gear, now is the time to break it in. Get our tip list here.

Having a campfire is a social experience. It opens opportunity for discussion, generously gives soothing sights and sounds for relaxation, and is a fun way to prepare food. For your backyard experience, set aside all modern ways of light and cooking, and rely solely on a campfire.

Try a campfire-building contest. Can you start a campfire using only a single match and no fuel? Or add to the challenge, start a campfire using no match or fuel. Remember: Things we have around the home can make functional fire starters. Vaseline rubbed into a cotton ball, dryer lint packed into a toilet paper roll, Doritos, papers from the office shredder, or wine corks soaked in rubbing alcohol are all fire starters to name a few. You can make fire starters days leading up to your campout. Download our how-to campfire starters here.

If you don’t have a fire pit or ring, you can build a mini fire pit using a tin gallon can, clay flowerpot or a metal bucket.

Whatever fire source best fits your yard, be certain it is in a safe area. You will not go wrong by just using a barbeque grill or camp stove to cook a meal.

Let’s face it: Camping is all about the food. So make a fun and simple meal. Turn a plain hotdog into a spider, load up a flour tortilla for a s’more quesadilla, or make a pizza using a pie iron. Looking for a more complex recipe? Use meat and veggies of your choice to create a hobo meal to suit your taste buds. This is a great time to pull out the cast-iron skillets and Dutch ovens to try a new recipe.

Here are a few of our camping recipe suggestions.

Here are a few of our tinfoil dinner recipe suggestions. 

Invent outdoor games. Using everyday household items, design a game your family can do outside. Challenge everyone in your household to construct a different game. Encourage creativity and offer friendly competition. Save the games to play anytime kids need a recess from schoolwork, are bored, or need pulled away from electronics.

Backyard scavenger hunt. Use or create a scavenger hunt suitable for your home. Make it engaging by relating it to the season and the weather, or make it unique: Ever gone on a moonlight scavenger hunt? Physically collect items or use a favorite electronic-device to take pictures. Get inspired on our Pinterest page.

Incorporate the outdoors into your student’s schoolwork. Nature opens the mind to writing topics, science, math equations, art and physical activities. Invite your students to do their schoolwork on a camp chair or in the tent. Remembers adults can learn outside, too. Check out our online education resources.

Backyard movie theater. Project a movie onto a white sheet or side of the house. If you don’t have a projector, watch a movie from a tablet. Campfire popcorn will make for great yard theater snack.

Practice skills and fix gear. While at home, spend time replacing line on the fishing reels, patch holes in the tent, season cast-iron cookware, build a birdhouse or wax bowstrings. With a plug tied on the fishing line, rather than a hook, practice casting skills. Test aiming skills with a DIY slingshot made with a thick stick and a rubber band.

Light up the yard. There many fun activities that can be created with glow sticks. A flashlight, lantern or headlamp also will light up the entertainment once the sun goes down. You can make your own lantern using an empty peanut butter container and battery operated candle. Download our instructions.

Don’t have a yard?  Most of these experiences can be created on a porch, in a driveway or even in the living room. Make s’mores in the microwave and hobo dinners in the oven. And then pitch your single tent or homemade fort wherever you desire. The important part is making the adventure your own.

Prize details: Reservations for your two-night camping stay may be made one year in advance of arrival, subject to availability. Upgrades also are available, and are subject to additional fees and availability. A Park Entry Permit is required. The certificate must be redeemed by Dec. 31, 2021