What better place to spend the spookiest night of the year than in the deep, dark woods? Halloween camping is a frighteningly fun way to celebrate for adults and kids alike. Below, check out our top Halloween camper ideas and tips for setting up a campsite that’s positively haunting.
After getting settled, the first order of the day should be decorating your campsite—you’ll want to do this while it’s still light out. Decorations can be as elaborate as you like, but there’s no need to shell out lots of cash to create an eerie atmosphere. For spooky ghosts, drape white cloth over an inflated balloon or paper lantern, and then use markers, paint, or pieces of felt to add a face; suspend them from nearby branches with translucent fishing line. (Bonus: these materials take up almost no trunk space!)
Faux spiderwebs, giant spiders, and bats are other classic choices that will seem right at home in a wooded campsite. Want to take it up a notch? Turn your entire campsite into a ghoulish graveyard!
Of course, no décor is complete without lighting that shows it off—battery-operated candles, lanterns, and strings of lights are perfect for camping. Add some mysterious music or curate a playlist of your favorite spooky tunes, and your creepy campsite is complete!
If you’re booking a weekend at a busy campground or RV park in October, you may not have to do any planning at all—many organize family-friendly events from haunted hayrides and dance parties to costume contests and scary movie showings. But if you’re headed off the beaten path or creating your own traditions, there are endless eerie ways to entertain your group.
Foremost, a blazing campfire is essential. Its warmth and flickering light make it the perfect setting for spooky stories and s’mores (or booze and BOOs, for the adults). To make sure the fun doesn’t get cut short, stock up on plenty of firewood and some comfortable chairs! The Wilderness Backpacker™ is a great choice thanks to its low seat height, reclining backrest, and head pillow.
Messy activities are great for camping, so now is a great time for pumpkin carving and pumpkin painting. Whether you opt for a wicked, toothy grin or an abstract design, your jack-o-lantern will add more ambiance to the campsite.
Little kids will also love getting their hands dirty with the classic Halloween party tradition of passing around bowls filled with creepy, slimy foods like peeled grapes, jelly, and cold spaghetti. Or, for good, clean fun, play ring toss using glowstick necklaces and a witch’s hat, Pin the Spider on the Web, or Halloween-themed charades.
And of course, don’t forget the costumes! For camping, simple costumes typically work best; try planning yours around some basic clothing pieces you may already own and then add key accessories as needed.
While Halloween is, of course, all about candy and sweets, make sure to plan for simple, hearty meals that can satisfy even a monster appetite! Our favorite: a hearty witch’s brew stew! Your favorite ingredients bubbling away in a cauldron (a regular Dutch oven also works) will immerse the campsite in a delicious smell as well as a spooky atmosphere.
For frighteningly delicious add-ons, try using sliced black olives to create spiders or eyeballs on top of devilled eggs, or wrap hot dogs in crescent roll dough to create mini-mummies. Especially if paired with lots of apple cider, these treats will have you in the Halloween spirit in no time—BONE appétit!