Do you wish you could spend every weekend in the woods or at the lake, gathered around a bonfire and roasting s'mores? If so, then turn your backyard into the backwoods getaway you desire, even if you live in the heart of urban sprawl. The following ideas can bring to mind your favorite camping spot, with the benefit of being right outside your back door.
Idea #1: Landscape for privacy
Trees and shrubs provide privacy and they also help buffer against the noises from the rest of your neighborhood. Consider lining your fences with a collection of both evergreen and deciduous shrubs to give your yard that woodsy feeling. Slow-growing firs can provide anchor trees, then intersperse some low-growing plants such as serviceberries or Oregon grapes.
Idea #2: Open up your patio
One joy of camping is the view of the stars overhead. If you have a covered patio, consider swapping out the permanent cover for a retractable canopy. You can also switch the traditional cover for an open pergola, which still allows you to see the sky while allowing some shade during the heat of the day. If this isn't an option, extend your patio with a gravel or paving stone apron that extends out from beneath the cover.
Idea #3: Furnish with flair
The furnishings need to bring to mind the woods while still being classy enough for the backyard. Skip the uncomfortable folding chairs and look into wood Adirondack chairs or a teak patio set. The wood feels more outdoorsy than resin or metal, but it is still built to last. Another fun addition to a camping theme set-up is to add an outdoor hammock or two. Hammock stands are available if you don't have trees up to the job. Look online to find cheap outdoor furniture for sale so you can find the pieces that bring to mind the woods.
Idea #4: Add a firepit
The final touch for any camping trip is the campfire, which you can recreate in your backyard with a firepit. Freestanding steel or iron firepits are available that allow you to set up just about anywhere. If you are feeling fancy, you can even build your own firepit by laying a sand and gravel base, and then creating a stone or brick wall around the fire basin. Just make sure firepits are placed well away from buildings and overhead power lines. You also don't want to use them beneath a patio cover.