8 Nighttime Camping Hacks and Games

When the lights go out, the fun starts! Staying up late and hanging out in the dark is a huge part of camping, especially when you have little ones. There’s a whole new world of wonder in the dark, but sometimes you need some help navigating or finding something to do. Here are 8 nighttime camping hacks and games to keep your campers going after the sun goes down!

Illuminate Hazards

If you have ever walked around the outside of an RV in the pitch black you probably have some bruises on your noggin or shin to show for it. Illuminate things that lurk in the dark with glow-in-the-dark duct tape! Run this tape along your awning struts and the corners of your slideouts to make them more visible. To keep from tripping up or down them, you can run a strip of this tape across the end of each of the steps into your RV as well. This tape recharges during the sunny daytime and then lights up at night so there’s no electricity needed!

Make Yourself Visible

When you stay at an RV park you may find that many people zip around in golf carts. If you brought bikes, it can get a little scary if you want to take a nighttime ride because the golf carts may not see you. Add glow in the dark tape to the handlebars, seat post, and other areas of your bike so that you light up and draw more attention. You can even get a vest to wear that you can stick this tape to for when riding your bike or even if you’re just taking an evening stroll.

Make a Lantern

Sometimes a flashlight just isn’t enough, especially if you want something that can just sit there and give off light. Lanterns can get expensive and so can the items needed to power them. You can create inexpensive lanterns so that you can keep some of that coin in your pocket! All you have to do is fill an empty milk jug with water and drop in a glow stick! Then you can place them all around your campsite to light up the whole place!

Light Up the Cooler

If you want to have cold drinks outside with you at night you may want to get out a cooler. The only problem with a cooler is that unlike a refrigerator, they have no light that comes on when you open it. If you have more than one type of drink in there it can get tough to see what you’re grabbing. You don’t want to accidentally hand Jr. a Bud Light when you meant to get him a root beer. Illuminate the inside of the cooler by putting glow sticks around in the ice! They light up the entire cooler to allow you to see exactly what you’re grabbing.

Ring Toss

Ring toss is a fun game that many enjoy when out camping, but usually once it gets dark it’s time to put it away since you can no longer see. Not any more with this DIY glow in the dark version! Bust out that glow-in-the-dark duct tape again and run it around the post of your ring toss games. Then just switch out the rings for some glow stick bracelets and let the nighttime fun begin!


Making a nighttime outdoor bowling game is another great way to reuse some things that would normally find their way to the trash. Use empty bottles such as a two-liter bottle as the pins. Take the label off and put a glow stick inside the bottle. Then you can set up the bottles in the form of bowling pins. Using a glow in the dark ball, or adding that glow-in-the-dark tape to a regular ball, you can bowl all night long!

Wiffle Ball

More glow sticks and tape for this nighttime game! Get yourself a wiffle ball and bat, and some glow-in-the-dark Frisbees. Put some glow-in-the-dark duct tape around the end of the bat to make it visible. This is both for the pitcher throwing the ball, and so the next batter can find it after it’s been thrown to run the bases. The glow sticks you need here are the bracelet kinds that hook together in a circle. Run a glow stick through the holes of the wiffle ball and hook it together on the inside. Use your glow-in-the-dark Frisbees as bases and you’re set for an all-American night of fun!


For this game all you need are players and a flashlight! You’ll want to scope out the area in which you plan to play ahead of time so you move any obstacles out of the way. You wouldn’t want anyone to trip in the dark and hurt themselves, as it really puts a damper on the fun. When night falls one person takes the flashlight and hides. This person is the firefly. The rest of the players all count to 20 while the firefly gets into position. The firefly starts moving from hiding spot to hiding spot and every minute or so flashes the flashlight. The person who catches the firefly first wins!

Do you have any go-to nighttime camping hacks or games? Leave them in the comments!