We love a little healthy competition. Whether that be racing on mountain bikes or roasting the supreme s’more, we’re always down to duke it out. Car camping presents the perfect opportunity for us to flex our competitive spirit and kick our friends' sorry butts in the name of good fun. Snuggle up on your inflating mattress and turn your trunk into a battleground with these entertaining car camping games!
Head for the high seas from the sanctity of your backseat with this classic game of naval combat. Battleship will always be a childhood favorite, but if you’re looking to turn this game into a more adult endeavor you can shake things up by making it into a drinking game. Sink a shot every time your opponent sinks one of your battleships! You'll be sleeping in your car like a baby in no time.
2. Connect Four
Drop it like it’s hot and Connect Four! This game is all about your poker face. You’ve got to keep a stone-cold expression as you mastermind your way to victory. Before you write off Connect Four as the dull older brother of tic-tac-toe, we urge you to give the game a chance. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
3. Gin Rummy
Perhaps our favorite on this list, Gin is a two-player game that calls for a deck of cards and an indomitable strategy. For every turn, players can either swap cards or pull and discard cards from the deck in an effort to obtain three series comprised of a total of ten cards. Each series is made up of three or four cards that are a sequence in the same suit or a group of the same rank. This may sound like a cakewalk now, but it’s a whole other can of worms when all you need to win is the three of hearts and it's sitting in your opponent’s hand.
If you are traveling solo, then a single-player game is pretty much the only way to go. Crosswords and Sudoku are great for plane rides, but solitaire is far superior. The luck of the draw combined with the skill of strategy makes this one person affair the perfect challenge. The satisfaction that comes with winning the game proves that you don’t need an opponent to feel victorious.
The OG card game of childhood, UNO is a lovable classic. Straightforward and self-explanatory, the cards literally tell players what to do if they’re new to the game. While this game isn’t going to tear friendships apart like Monopoly would (note how that particular game did NOT make this list), it’s safe to say that whoever has the nerve to skip you had better sleep with one eye open…
Finesse, patience, and precision come together with this exhilarating game. Channel your inner Muhammad Ali to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee with every piece you skilfully remove from the Jenga tower. This game starts out easy and ends with a wild adrenaline rush. Don’t sneeze, don’t breathe, and don’t even think about blinking when Jenga’s on the table.
Speed, dexterity, and intellectual superiority collide with this rapid-fire game. Get your blood pumping as you skilfully slam cards down in increasing or decreasing sequential order. Players have to keep their heads in the game as they stack a card of one higher or one lower value (regardless of suit) on top of two center piles. You can only place one card at a time, but you do not have to wait for the other player to place a card down before you so stay on your toes. Blink and you might miss your chance!
8. Egyptian Rat Screw
If Monopoly is top dog when it comes to tearing friends apart, Egyptian Rat Screw is a close second. In this game, up to four players take turns putting cards down on a center deck. This continues around the table until somebody puts down a face card or an Ace. When a face card or an ace is played, the next person in the sequence must play another face card or an ace in order for play to continue. If the next person fails to do so, the person who played the last face or ace wins the round and the whole pile goes to them.
The only thing that overrides the face or ace rule is the slap rule. The first person to slap the pile of cards (typically for doubles or sandwiches) is the winner of that round. Everything is hunky-dory until three people have their hands on different parts of the deck and are about to slap more than cards as they argue who won the round. The physical sting of getting your hand slapped is nothing compared to losing.
9. 20 Questions
Put your skills of deduction to the test with this endlessly-entertaining kid-friendly game. To play, someone thinks of a person, place, or thing, then another player asks up to 20 yes-or-no questions while trying to guess what the player is thinking of. Every round is like solving a mini-mystery. Are you up to the challenge, Sherlock?
No to brag, but if cornhole were an Olympic event we would be racking up the gold. We’ve dedicated countless hours at backyard BBQ’s refining the art of throwing a bean bag through a hole in a wooden plank perfectly. This game can be played with two or four people. A game of cornhole is also a great way to make a new friend! Invite your neighbors to play a game with you to meet your fellow car campers with a little friendly competition! Maybe take it easy so they’re not too intimidated by all the dimes you can drop.
Kiss Go Fish goodbye; the days of boring backseat entertainment are long gone. We hope that these games can help you have more fun and make more friends while on the road!