As the days of summer begin to wane,  you may be reflecting on your family’s summer break regretting some of those things you didn’t get to check off the Summer Bucket List. With current unseasonably high temperatures throughout Nova Scotia, what better time to grab a tent, a few sleeping bags (we highly recommend an air mattress), and head to one of the many Campgrounds in HRM?! Now, organizing a late summer expedition during the back-to-school adjustment period might seem a bit overwhelming for some, but that shouldn’t mean your kids have to miss out. This is your guide to optimizing your own space to create Backyard Camping Adventures! We’ll guide you through the process of creating the ultimate backyard camping adventure, complete with stargazing, campfire cooking, and storytelling.

Setting Up Your Backyard Camping Site

Choose the Perfect Spot:  To select a suitable area in your backyard for your campsite, ensure you find a flat area, free of rocks and debris.

Pitch Your Tent: If you have a tent, now is the time to set it up. Make sure you have all the necessary poles, stakes, etc. Expert tip:  Lay down a ground tarp to keep moisture out.

Cozy Sleeping Arrangements: Lay out sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets inside the tent. You might even consider an air mattress or foam pad for added comfort. For added fun and ambiance, bring music, books, board games, and yummy snacks for the family.


Telescope or Binoculars: If you have a telescope or binoculars, bring them out! Late summer nights often offer clear skies, making it a fantastic time for stargazing. Download a stargazing app to help identify constellations and planets. My family LOVES stargazing with the Sky Guide app. It is a magical way to look at the sky.

Constellation Hunt: Challenge your family to identify different constellations and share the stories behind them. The Orion constellation, for instance, is often visible during late summer and has fascinating mythology associated with it.

Meteor Shower Alerts: Check if there are any meteor showers scheduled during your sleepout. Bring a blanket outside and lie down to catch falling stars.

Sky Guide

Campfire Fun

Campfire Safety: If local regulations allow (always check NS Burnsafe first!), set up a small campfire or use a portable campfire pit. Remember to follow safety guidelines and keep a bucket of water nearby.

Delicious Campfire Recipes: Plan a menu of campfire classics like s’mores and roasted marshmallows. Get creative with your cooking, and involve the whole family in meal preparation.

Storytelling Around the Fire: Gather around the campfire and share stories. Encourage everyone to take turns telling their favorite tales, whether they’re spooky ghost stories or heartwarming anecdotes – songs work too!

Capture the Moment: Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture the memories. Take photos of the stars (or 20 pictures of the moon that never seem to turn out), your campsite, and the smiling faces of your family members.

A late summer sleepout in your own backyard is a fantastic way to bond with your family, enjoy the outdoors, and create lasting memories. Happy camping!