Adults Only: 5 Fun Campfire Games

People partying on the beach during sunset.

When it comes to planning organized fun for adults, it’s not always an easy task. Often we have the most fun when we are flexible, and let a night or a weekend lead us to unexpected places. However, when we go camping with groups of adults, it’s a very different experience to being in the city.

Where in the city you could just head to a different bar or restaurant, or go and catch a film screening, in the great outdoors your options are inevitably limited. But with the right tricks up your sleeve, you and your whole party will still be able to let your hair down. And some of the best ways to relax after a long day hiking and have a laugh are adults-only: campfire games. 

Traditional games are often the first things that come to our minds. All of us are used to entertaining ourselves on family holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving by playing these classic games. One of the most popular games of these kids to play amongst adults is charades: where you act out a film, book or movie using only gestures and actions.

 

A stack of playing cards.

You could just play cards while sitting around the campfire… but why not try the hat game?

 

But, this won’t be news to you. Neither will the other popular traditional game to come up in many lists of camping games for adults: truth and dare. This historic game has been played for centuries but has developed into the modern-day as an excuse for some outrageous activities at parties or around the campfire. 

Another category of classic games you can play around the campfire, if you’re looking lubricate your night, are drinking games! Most of us have a few good drinking game ideas up our sleeves, that we bring out in case a group needs an injection of energy. Depending on how well you all know each other, some drinking games around the campfire might suit your group more than others.

If you’re a close group of friends, then how about playing something like never have I ever. Even if drinking isn’t involved, this is a great way to get to know each other better, laugh at in-jokes, and reveal crazy and embarrassing stories about each other. 

Or, if your group doesn’t know each other that well, and you’re going camping with your car or you’re spending a long time in one place, what about a version of Pictionary? You can play this in the classic way, using pads of paper or whiteboards, where you divide up into groups, one person draws a mystery word for their group while the rest of their team guess it, and you add up how many words the team can guess in the time allotted. Or, you could opt to play a boozy version of Pictionary, called Tipsy Artist, where in every 20 sends the team hasn’t guessed the right word correctly, the drawer has to drink. 

So as we can see, there are plenty of traditional and well-known family games that can be adapted to an adult audience. Of course, we would also always recommend you to take a pack of cards, as this can while away some hours in the evening in a pleasant relaxed way. However, for adults only campfire drinking games, you don’t always want to be pleasant! Sometimes you want to get competitive, crack some jokes, embarrass ourselves and just get silly.

So to help you mix it up, and avoid going straight to the classic games which we all know, like truth or dare or charades, read on. We’ve compiled a list of some excellent adult only campfire games which you might never have heard of before, and which could leave you and your group connecting, bonding, or rolling on the floor laughing. 

 

The Hat Game

The hat game is a fantastic choice for those groups who want to just get a little ridiculous. Its main benefit is that it forces you to be a bit silly, so it can really break the ice, or help you relax and properly let your hair down after a long day hiking. Preparing to play the hat game is super easy, and lightweight, adding hardly any extra weight to the campers backpacks. All you need is some paper and pens – and a hat or bowl. 

To start the hat game, each member of your group should take 5 small pieces of paper. On these pieces of paper, you each write 5 words, names or places. These can be funny things, celebrities, politicians, or your favorite camping location. For the most laughs, pick something that relates to your group, an in-joke or a shared interest. Then you each fold up your pieces of paper and place them in the container: a hat, or if you don’t have a hat, a bowl or some other kind of reciprocal. 

Your group must now split up into teams. It’s best to play this game in groups of at least 6, so you can split up into two teams of three. For a larger group, you may want to break up into more teams, it’s your choice. The idea of the game is to gain points in different rounds. The first round is similar to articulate, where the reader must describe the words, place or person using words that are not the word on the piece of paper. Set a timer, for 60 seconds, and make a note of how many correct answers each team gets on each round.

To make it harder, only allow the reader one pass if the word is too hard for them to explain. The first player must pass the hat to the next team, and when it comes back to the original team, the next player or next person gets their turn, working your way around the group until the last person, so everyone gets a turn. 

Once you get to the end of the articulate round, stop the timer. The team that finished last will now start with the next round: where each team describes the word with just one word (that is not that word). Put all of the pieces of paper, folded up, back in your hat and start again. Once you get to the end of the one-word round, the next round is charades. You must act out the word on the piece of paper, using only gestures, actions or the movements of your body. And then the last round is where this game just gets silly. 

Through the three rounds, you’ll start learning the words on the pieces of paper and can remember them for the last round. And you’ll need it. This last round gets even the quietest members of your group laughing. For the last round of the game, the speaker must try and make their team guess the word, name or place using just a noise. And, remembering that you can skip only once, sometimes this becomes straight up raucous. 

 

A white wolf sleeping on a rock.

The wolf game is not for a timid group! Use this game to get into character, be swept away in a story, and develop your collective imagination.

 

The Wolf Game

The Wolf Game is a great option for groups who want to get a bit imaginative and add some role play to their campfire games. In the wolf game, you all pretend you are members of some remote, rural village, which is often visited by werewolves. If you’re camping in a remote, forested location, this game might just suit your backdrop perfectly, and lead to a wild ride.

First of all, in the wolf game, you need to elect a storyteller. The storyteller should be the member of the group most acquainted with the game, and who is the most subtle, as they are pulling the strings to propel the game of the story along. 

The wolf game is divided by days and nights. To start off, the storyteller sets the scene, describing the village, and it’s occupants. The storyteller should be imaginative and creative, setting the scene for the rest of the platers. The storyteller then announces that night has come. All of the players close their eyes. The storyteller remains to stand, and walks around the group.

Before asking everyone to close their eyes, the storyteller will clarify what will happen next. As they walk around the group, they will tap a couple of the players on their heads. One tap means you’re the murderer or the werewolf. Two taps mean you are the angel. And three taps means the player will be the investigator. 

The storyteller then announces that the werewolf should wake up. Only the elected werewolf opens their eyes, and looks at the storyteller, pointing to them who they would like to kill. The storyteller then asks the werewolf to close their eyes. The storyteller then asks the angel to open their eyes. The angel is asked to indicate whose life they would like to save. The angel goes back to sleep. Eventually, the storyteller invites all the players to wake up, and open their eyes, and announces that in the night one of the villagers has been eaten!

If the angel had saved the life of the chosen villager, then no-one was killed that night. But still, during the allocated day-time of the game, the villagers must decide who is the werewolf. They can do this by asking questions of different people. Like: what were you doing last night? Do you have an alibi? 

The detective may sneak a peek of the werewolf during the night. But this player must be careful! If they reveal their identity at any point during the game, it’s likely that the werewolf will target them next time. They must subtly steer the arguments amongst the villagers, suggesting new pieces of evidence that incriminate the werewolf.

After a few rounds of night and day, and the storyteller waving the tale, eventually, the villagers will work out who the werewolf is. Each day in the game they can vote on who they think the werewolf is. If they think they’ve got the answer right, they can choose to hang one of the villagers in the game. If they get the guess right, the game stops there. If they don’t, you’re one player down! 

And this is the reason why this is such an excellent game to play with adults, especially around a campfire. Around a campfire, you want to be transported, and connect with each other, especially if you’re surrounded by a picturesque forest. The wolf game requires you all to use your imagination, to role-play a part, and to believe in the story. It forces you to work together, using your collective logic to work out who the werewolf might be.

It can also lead to a lot of hilarious mistakes or tricks. If you want to get even more imaginative with it, especially if you have a big group, you could choose to introduce more characters to the game, like a town mayor, or another character you come up with. 

 

A group of women laughing outside.

Having a good laugh while playing some adult games is what it’s all about.

 

Make Me Laugh 

Make me laugh is a great option if you want a simpler game, that doesn’t last as long, but will get everyone giggling before bed. Make me laugh is a simple game where two players sit opposite from each other, and make faces or strange looks at their opponent, in an effort to make them laugh first.

The first person to laugh loses, and the winner takes another challenger until only the champion remains. This is the ultimate stare-down game, where no player is left without a laugh. If you have a couple of more serious members of your group, this is a great way to see how far you can stretch them, and what will make them crack! 

 

Name That Tune

Another great short, simple game to play around the campfire is Name that Tune. One way to play it is in a similar style to the hat game. One player in each team stands up and sings or hums a song. Their teammates must guess which song it is, and by which artist and the group must make a note of how many correct answers each team gets for each round.

One hilarious way to make this game more hard is to put something in your mouth as you’re playing. Whether it be some of your drink, or a marshmallow or s’ more, watching people struggling trying to hum the tune will et all of your group in fits of laughter. 

Or another, more quiz-like option, is to play this game with a quizmaster. This is a great option for groups of friends who like to get really competitive with each other. You can divide your group into two teams, and elect a quizmaster. They will play the intro to a song, maybe just 5 or 10 seconds, depending on how difficult the songs are to guess, and the teams must guess the title and artist of the song.

The team with the most correct answers win. With all of these games, to make them more fun, you might want to think of a prize that the winner can win or a forfeit for the loser. Preferably something slightly embarrassing, but very funny. This is a great game to play on a long camping trip, especially if you bring with you a wireless speaker. 

 

People standing around a campfire at night.

Our biggest piece of advice when it comes to campfire games for adults is: don’t be boring. Don’t just play the same old games, use your imagination, and try something new.

Poker

Playing poker while camping is about as American as you can get it! This classic card game is simple to learn… and impossible to master. That makes it challenging for beginners and experts alike. 

Everyone loves to bluff their friends and loved ones, or play it safe and win a big pot with a strong hand like pocket aces.

Final Verdict: 

As we have mentioned, there are many classic games that everyone knows, and that comes out at many an adult party. These party games include charades, ​two truths, and a lie, ​twenty questions, mafia, would you rather, never have I ever, and truth or dare. These games can be super fun at the campsite, just like a card game with a deck of cards can be. However, we all already know these games. We’ve played them all at parties and family gatherings for years. 

So what we’ve offered to you are our favorite, tried and tested, pick of adult-only campfire games. These games are good for large groups or medium-sized groups mainly. These fun games are divided into short and long. The two long games, the hat game, and the wolf game will occupy you for ages, and bring the group along on a ride together, using either your teamwork or your collective humor. Name that tune and make me laugh are both great, short and fun campfire games, which make ideal camping activities, as they’re a good, quick way to blow off steam and have a laugh after a long day hiking. 

 

Bonus tip: If you’re planning a camping party, watch this useful video for some ideas of the best party games to play!

 

 

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    Riley Draper

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.