s'mores

Your Travel Guide to a Staycation with S’mores: Transform Your Deck for Backyard Camping

Do you hear the great outdoors calling your name? It’s time to heed its call and head outside. Fortunately, you don’t have to go far. You and your family can easily enjoy daylight, dusk and dawn in the comfort of your own backyard deck and patio.

A good deck can capture breath-taking views, help to create fun memories and blur the lines between interiors and exteriors, not to mention add more space to your home. Whether your deck is partly sheltered, completely covered or as wide open as the sky, it creates the perfect place to blend your love of home with the great outdoors.

Use these four tips to transform your outdoor deck space into a backyard campout extravaganza.

1. Clean Up

It’s not every day you use deck space as a camping ground. Before the fun begins, prep your deck for a night or two of free-spirited partying.

  • Remove and repair – Loose floorboards, holes and broken lights create a safety hazard. Inspect your deck and make a list of things you need to repair and replace. Visit the hardware store or speak with a contractor to make your deck a safe place for a campout.
  • Clean – Many decks collect spider webs, bee hives, animal waste and food debris. Sweep, mop or vacuum the deck so you have a clean place to camp.

Once you clean your deck, your entire family (and any guests) will feel more comfortable during the campout.

2. Set Up

Do you plan on sleeping on your deck? Depending on your deck’s size and style, you might need a few extra swags or tarps to make sure everyone feels safe, comfortable and warm.

If you don’t have a very big deck, use your deck space as a dining room and entertainment area before everyone retires to their tents for bed. If you have a large and uncovered deck, enjoy a night under the stars. If you don’t feel comfortable sleeping under the stars, cover the deck with a tarp or blankets.

Word of caution: only cover your deck with a tarp and blanket if the fire pit is located away from the deck. Flying embers can catch an overhead blanket on fire and put your family in serious danger.

3. Stock Up

Food is one of the best things about camping. Stock up on camping essentials to cook over the grill or fire. Some of these essentials might include the following:

  • Hot dogs and condiments (ketchup, mustard, fried onion and shredded cheese)
  • Tin foil dinner ingredients (meat, potatoes, peppers and onions)
  • Corn

Many Australians haven’t ever tried the popular American camping treat: s’mores. To make s’mores, you need the following:

  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate bars
  • Biscuits

First, roast a marshmallow over a flame. Once the marshmallow browns, place it between two biscuits (top one of the biscuits with a piece of chocolate) and voilà!—you’ve created a tasty surprise.

4. Stay Up

To most children’s delight, camping frees you from the bedtime routine and allows you to soak in the stars and sing around the campfire. Let your children stay up and play together as a family. Popular camping activities include the following:

  • Singing
  • Dancing
  • Charades (one player acts out a word or phrase as other players guess the word or phrase)
  • Star gazing
  • Storytelling

Whether you and your children prefer singing, dancing or star gazing, camping gives you the opportunity to unwind with your children and experience a staycation like you never have before.

The next time you plan a staycation, remember your deck. It doesn’t take much to transform your outdoor space into the ideal location spot.