Taking a camping trip with your friends is a wonderful experience; you can hike and explore and enjoy nature together. However, once the evening rolls around and you need to relax after a day of activity, you can let loose and have a different sort of fun. Drinking games are a fantastic way to wind down and bond with your camping buddies at the same time. They aren’t just for high school parties and college dorms; camping drinking games are fun for all age groups and in almost every situation.
There are so many fun things to do while camping, a whole plethora of activities you can enjoy that will make your time in the backcountry fly by. Although canoeing, cornhole, and frisbee are plenty of fun, there’s no reason why adults on camping trips can’t play some party games, enjoy some alcoholic drinks, and generally just have a fabulous time. Let’s dig into some of the fun drinking games you can try out on your next trip, including a few classics that we all know and love, and some exciting new ideas to really mix things up.
1. Beer Pong
Beer pong is arguably one of the most famous drinking games in the world, appearing in every coming of age movie and found on every college campus. This classic drinking game is tons of fun for everyone, including you and your camping buddies. Beer pong can easily be set up at a campsite, all you need is a large flat surface such as a picnic table. Other than that, a package of plastic drinking cups (traditionally red solo cups), some ping pong balls, and a healthy supply of beer are all that’s needed. If you aren’t a big beer fan, any beverage of your choice can be used in its place.
To enjoy a game of beer pong at your campsite, set up ten plastic cups at either end of a long table or surface, and fill each with beer until about halfway. Arrange the cups like bowling pins, so they point in an arrow towards your opponent. Beer pong can be played in two teams or one-on-one, so it’s a great game no matter the size of your party.
Players need to split in half and stand at either end of the table. To start, the first person should attempt to throw a ping pong ball from their end of the table, and into one of the cups on the other side. If the player succeeds in landing a shot into a beer cup, then the other team must drink that cup, and then remove it from play. If the player misses the shot, then it’s the other team’s turn to try. The game continues with all players taking turns to shoot balls into the beer cups until one team has no cups left. When all the beer from one side of the table has been consumed, then the opposing side is victorious.
To mix up this classic party game, offer a mix of beverages in the plastic solo cups. This puts a slight Russian roulette-type spin on beer pong, as one person can fill and arrange the drinks so the rest of the players don’t know which cup contains what drink. You can use beer, wine, spirits, soft drinks, whatever you have on hand. This twist on classic beer pong can make the game even more exciting and is bound to lead to all sorts of fun.
2. Never Have I Ever
Never have I ever is another fun game that many will remember from their high school years. This classic is a great way to get to know your friends better, as you never know what secrets will be revealed in a game of never have I ever. All you need to enjoy this outdoor game is some alcoholic beverages of your choice, and a few willing participants. You can decide just how exciting the game will be; when it’s time to drink, either take a sip, or a shot.
To begin a game of never have I ever, the first player needs to make a statement about something they have never done. For example, a camper might say, “Never have I ever gotten lost on a hike.” If any of the rest of the players have gotten lost on a hike in the past, they now have to drink. This game almost always leads to hilarity, as the more honest and candid the players are the better.
Imagination is the only limit of never have I ever, so try to be as creative as possible when coming up with “I never” statements. If you know your camping buddies well, you can catch them out in this game, which undoubtedly will make your night around the campfire a lot of fun. The better you know the other players, the more effective the game, however, never have I ever can also be a wonderful way to get to know new people.
3. Flip Cup
This fun drinking game is a great team-building activity and another excellent choice for the campsite. Gather with your camping mates around the picnic table once again for a fast-paced and exciting game of flip cup (also known as taps or canoe). Flip cup is the perfect camping drinking game because it’s high energy and fast-paced, making it an ideal outdoor game. To play flip cup you’ll need two teams of at least three people, a pack of solo cups, and beer. If you don’t have enough people in your group, round up some teammates from around your campground and make some new friends.
To play flip cup, the first thing you need to do is set up the red solo cups. Line up the same number of cups along the length of each side of your table, and fill them with beer. You can also use other alcoholic beverages or soft drinks for flip cup, as the game is still fun and competitive no matter your personal choice. Because flip cup is a race, we recommend only using weaker alcoholic beverages (like beer) rather than stronger ones such as spirits. If you’re planning to play multiple rounds, it can also be a good idea to fill up the solo cups only halfway. This fast-paced drinking game is plenty of fun, just as long as every player is safe.
After you’ve finished setting up, every camper needs to line up on either side of the table. Each player should have a partner, an opponent who is facing them from across the playing table. The game begins once every player has held up and touched cups (and said cheers), and then the cups should be placed back on the table until your turn. Then, one person shouts “Go!”, and the race begins.
The first players from each team immediately start drinking as fast as they can. Once a player’s cup is empty, they need to set it back down on the table so it hangs slightly over the edge. Next comes the real challenge; you can drink, but can you flip the cup? The player must now use a finger to tap the bottom of their empty cup, so it lifts into the air, turns over, and lands upside down on the table. If the cup falls over or fails to land perfectly, pick it up again and replace it at the edge of the table. The first player must keep trying to flip their cup, and only once they are successful can the next player start drinking.
Play continues as each camper drinks and then flips their cup until one team has finished and is declared the winner. The winning team should have a line of empty cups upside down on their side of the table, while the other side might still have drinks and un-flipped cups. Like beer pong, flip cup is popular on college campuses and can require some skill to master. If you want to impress your camping mates, spend a bit of time practicing flipping a solo cup. Perfect your technique, and soon you’ll be winning flip cup games in campgrounds all over the country.
4. Polish Horseshoes
Polish horseshoes is one of the best outdoor games, especially for camping. This popular drinking game is easy to set up and so much fun to play, as long as someone is sober enough to keep score. To play polish horseshoes, you’ll need a few supplies, but you probably have them lying around the campsite already. As well as plenty of beer for drinking, polish horseshoes require two tall five-foot sticks (hiking poles are ideal), two empty bottles, and a frisbee. This fun drinking game is played in two teams of two people, perfect for instilling the spirit of friendly competition.
Set up the game by standing the poles upright in the ground, about 25 feet apart. You can increase this distance for a more difficult game, or place the poles closer together for a faster play. The next step can be tricky; you need to balance an empty bottle on each of the upright poles. Once you’ve completed these instructions, you’re ready to enjoy a game of polish horseshoes.
Once you’re ready to play, each team needs to take their place standing behind a pole with an empty bottle. Then, all you do is take turns trying to knock off the other teams’ bottle, but without breaking any of the rules. The attacking team are the throwers, and they can score points. The defending team must try to prevent them from scoring points by catching the frisbee, and catching their beer bottle if it is knocked off.
Illegal moves in a game of polish horseshoes include catching the frisbee before it passes your pole, touching your bottle before it is knocked off, and using more than one hand to catch the frisbee. However, the last rule should be easy to obey as polish horseshoes calls for a beer to be held in one hand at all times. Players should take turns throwing the frisbee and scoring points until one team reaches 21 and is declared the winner.
When it’s your team’s turn to throw the frisbee, here is how you can score points:
- 1 point: You throw the frisbee and the other team doesn’t catch it.
- 2 points: You throw the frisbee and knock the bottle to the ground, but the frisbee is caught.
- 3 points: You throw the frisbee and knock the bottle off, and neither bottle nor frisbee is caught.
There are no points awarded to your team if you knock off the opposing team’s bottle and they catch both the bottle and the frisbee. Also, if your frisbee throw is deemed “uncatchable” then your team will not earn a point. Uncatchable throws fly over your opponents’ heads or lower than their knees.
This fantastic outdoor drinking game is perfect for camping, after all, who doesn’t love frisbee. Polish horseshoes can be played on the beach, at national parks, and even in the water on a hot summer day. This super fun camping game is a great one to challenge your friends to, especially as it’s easy to adjust the game so everyone can play.
5. Most Likely
Many of the camping games we’ve mentioned are high-energy daytime activities, whereas this one is more appropriate while everyone is winding down in the evening. Most likely is the perfect drinking game to play while sitting around the campfire, after a long day of enjoying the outdoors. To play most likely, all you need is a few camper friends and one alcoholic beverage each.
The first player needs to think of a “most likely” question to ask the rest of the group. For example, “Who is most likely to forget to bring their sleeping bag on a camping trip?” Then, on the count of three, all players must point to the person they think is most likely to do this. The lucky player with the most fingers now pointing at them has to drink. Alternatively, you can take a drink for each finger that’s pointing at you (this version makes the game much more exciting with more players).
6. Tipsy Artists
Tipsy artists is a game very similar to Pictionary, except it’s much more fun. Each person takes their turn to draw while the rest of the players guess what it is they’re drawing. The catch is that the worse you are at drawing, the more you drink, and the drunker you are, the harder the game becomes. Tipsy artists is an easy game to play, and one which guarantees that everyone will have fun. To play all you need is some drawing materials and your alcoholic beverage of choice. If you’re playing in the evening, wearing a headlamp will make it easier to see your artwork.
To start a game of tipsy artists, you’ll need to appoint one member of your group as the first artist, and another as the timer. All players can take turns in each role, so the fun is shared around! The timer chooses a word for the artist to draw and whispers it in their ear. Then, the clock starts, and the artist must do their best to draw out the word for the rest of the players to guess.
The aim is to be quick, as for every twenty seconds that the timer continues, the artist must take another drink. If everyone gives up, then the artist takes a shot. Take turns playing this drinking game and enjoy being creative out in nature. Tipsy artists is a great camping game for the days when the weather takes a turn. It’s lots of fun and easy to play, even if you’re sheltering from the rain under a tarp.
Camping provides endless wonderful opportunities for recreational activities. From 8-hour hikes to white water rafting, entertainment on a camping trip is never hard to find. However, so much attention is focused on sightseeing and exercise, and there’s no reason that campers can’t relax and have fun with some good old-fashioned drinking games too. Classics like beer pong and flip cup never go out of style on college campuses, so there’s no reason they can’t be enjoyed at the campsite too.
Bonus tip: Check out this video on how to play polish horseshoes!