June 04 2020
Looking to spice things up after a long day outside? Or do you have some people in your group that you'd like to know a little better? Some fun drinking games while camping can break the ice around the campfire and help everyone relax a little more after a day full of activities.
While you can just drink just to drink—like playing through a Power Hour—we're going to focus on games that require some wit, skill, and some team building with drinking intertwined. Are you not one to drink? Just substitute some juice or other liquids on hand so you can join in on the fun!
Like cocktails? Read our post on the best cocktails for camping.
In concept, Thumper is one of the simpler and easier drinking games to play while camping. Everyone sits in a circle and picks a hand signal for themselves. Person 1 starts making a simple beat on their knees, making their hand signal, playing that beat again, and then picking someone else's hand signal (say, Person 2), effectively passing their turn off. Person 2 continues the beat, makes their hand signal, plays the beat again, and passes it off again. The round goes on until someone can't make the correct hand signals or until someone loses the beat, which means they have to drink.
2. Alphabet Game
One person picks a category, such as "foreign countries," and the group must go around in a circle starting with "a" for "Argentina" and then "b" for "Bolivia" until you reach "z." That is, if you can get that far. The person who cannot come up with a country/word has to drink. If you need to make it easier, you can drop "q," "x," and "z," but there are many clever categories and different rounds you can play until you run long into the night.
This is a game that requires a bit of technical skill and hand-eye coordination, but this camping drinking game gets more fun with a little practice and alcohol in your system. You need a level stump, a hammer, and a few nails, not to mention some drinks and some friends. Each person gets a nail and you set them in the stump upright, barely into the wood.
You take turns going around in a circle flipping a hammer and trying to sink your friends' nails. If you flip the hammer and catch by the handle, you get one swing on the stump. If you flip the hammer under your leg and catch it by the handle, you get two swings on the stump. And you get three swings if you flip it behind your back and catch it. You drink if you drop the hammer or someone hits your nail. And if someone sinks your nail, you have to finish your drink!
This may not be your most environmentally-friendly game, but some people commit to hauling out stumps to play on or use firewood-to-be to play on, fishing out their nails the next morning to leave no trace.
4. I'm Going to the Bar
This is a pretty easy memory game, but it's best played later in the evening after everyone has had a drink or two to loosen them up and take the edge off. One person starts by saying, "I'm going to the bar and I need a beer." The next person says, "I'm going to the bar and I need a beer and a shot of whiskey."
The round keeps going, adding on to the drink order until someone gets it wrong. Sounds easy? Try making a complicated/fussy drink to throw on the list.
5. I'm Going Camping
While I'm Going to the Bar is a memory game, I'm Going Camping is a Game of Deduction. Person 1 thinks of a place, let's say the beach, and says, "I'm going camping and I'm bringing a cooler."
Person 2 tries to figure out where they are going, adding to the list of things they are bringing to the mystery place. If they say an item that is correct, such as, "I'm going camping and I'm bringing a towel," they pass it onto the next person. If person two says an incorrect item, like, "I'm going camping and I'm bringing charcoal," they have to drink.
The rest of the group tries to deduce where this mystery place is (okay, maybe a beach is too easy) and the person who gets it right—they can yell it out at any point—wins and everyone else has to drink.
6. If You Know What I Mean
This game is best played with a few people, even just two. The group is given a place or situation, like a coffee shop or a line at the DMV, and the two have to come up with remarks that could be construed as vaguely sexual. The group or pair must go on and on until one person can't come up with a statement, which means you have to drink. If you want to go next level, you must take a drink every time you laugh.
You've probably seen this on Whose Line Is It Anyways? and it can lead to a lot of fun—or awkward—moments with your friends.
As mentioned in our article about great campfire games, this is a game about knowing your friends. One person poses two similar things to the group, such as "Tequila or whiskey?" The rest of the group tries to guess what that person likes more.
The people who get it wrong have to drink, but if the entire group gets it right, the person who asked the question has to drink. Think you know your friends? Best of luck with this one.
8. Most Likely
One person brings a question to the group, such as "Who is most likely to go skinny-dipping tonight?" or "Who is most likely to cook fish in the microwave at work?" At the end of the question, the individuals in the group point at who they think is most likely to do so, and you must take a drink for every finger pointing at you. Hopefully you're not the weirdest one in the group…
This game only requires a picnic table, a few drinks, and a handful of friends. Everyone places their heads down on the table and on the count of three, everyone raises their heads quickly to look at someone. If you look at someone and they are not looking at you, you are safe and do not have to drink.
But if you make eye contact with someone, you both have to yell Medusa, and the person to do it last has to take a drink or a shot. While this is better at a table, you can do this with heads down around the campfire too.
This is a counting game that requires a little quick thinking. The group goes around the circle counting upwards. The group says, "Buzz," instead of any number with a seven (17, 27, 37, etc.), multiples of seven (7, 14, 21, etc.), or double numbers (11, 22, 33, etc.). The person who blows it must drink You'll soon get the first forty or fifty numbers down pretty easily, but the game gets more difficult as you go higher.
Looking to make it more difficult? Add more numbers to say "buzz" to, like multiples of 9 or 13.
If you want to keep it easy, there's a simpler version called Sevens, where you say "buzz" for any multiple of seven. Hope you remember your times tables.
11. Cheers, Governor
This is a counting and rules game, and much better the earlier you start in the evening. The group (4-6 people is perfect) counts upward to 21. When you reach 21, the group says, "Cheers, Governor!" and takes a sip. The person who landed on 21 gets to create a rule, swapping out a number. For example, "Instead of the number 3, you must say the name of a European capital" or "Instead of the number 8, you must point to someone to drink."
People often start with the base rule of 7 and 14 being switched and then build rules from there. The game starts off relatively easy, but gets significantly harder as you go on and drink more. Miss a number? Drink. Forget a rule? Drink.
The game rarely reaches completion—all numbers replaced by rules and the final round counted—but is one of the more fun games as it requires team-building, memory, and a little competition.
12. Drunken Artists
If you're a bad artist, you're going to hate this one. This is a non-sober Pictionary with drinks on the line. The "artist" has a word whispered to them and they have twenty seconds to draw out the image for the group to guess.
If the group does not guess it, the artist has to drink. If a person who is guessing gets it right, they don't have to drink and the artist doesn't have to either, while the others in the circle have to take a sip. Play by passing the drawing pad around in a circle with the previous, drunk artist whispering the next word. Break a leg, Picasso.
Bonus: Polish Horseshoes
This one is a bonus, as it takes a little bit of equipment and some space away from the fire and picnic table. Also known as Frisbeener, Spanish Horseshoes, Beersbee, or French Darts, Polish Horseshoes is game played between two teams of two. A stake in the ground holds a beer can or bottle in the air on both sides of the playing field (about 20-40 feet apart), while the team of two stands next to the stake. The players must hold a drink in one hand at all times, keeping one hand busy and the other ready for play.
The game is played to 21. You must catch the Frisbee every time it comes to your side and if you drop it, the other team gets a point (no throwing hard passes or wild throws, that's a point for the other team). If the Frisbee is thrown and hits the stake, knocking off the bottle, you get a point (and another point if your disc is not caught). If you hit the bottle directly, you get two points (and another point again if they do not catch the Frisbee).
If you catch the bottle and the disc, which is no easy feat, the throwing team gets no points. If you catch the bottle but drop the disc, the other team gets one point. If don't catch anything, the throwing team gets two or three points, depending on whether the Frisbee hit the stake or the bottle directly.
There are a lot of little small rules to this one, but after one round, you'll get this game pat down. This outdoor activity requires more skill and less chill, but also a lot of equipment and best during daylight, so it's on as a bonus for great camping drinking games.
With the right attitude, any game can become a drinking game, like Never Have I Ever or Two Truths and a Lie. However, our twelve (or thirteen) drinking games are some of our favorites to play in the woods with our friends.
Remember to play and drink responsibly, and to respect nature by picking up your cans and bottles. With all that aside, we wish you a pleasant time in crushing your friends' dreams in some classic, drinking games and quality time.