Ah, the great outdoors: a wonderful place where astroturf is no more, animals exist pre-taxidermy and the sky is lit by a single, supernova star. And with winter on the horizon, the great outdoors is the hot spot to be–soaking up some rays or embarking on one last camping trip before cold temperatures consume us. This might also be your last chance for a while to play board games outside; follow our guide to effectively game among nature while avoiding perils such as weather and bug bites.
Pad your pockets
Not all board games require the use of tiny pieces or multiple slips of paper, but those that do won’t function properly if you keep losing those important markers. To ensure things keep on rolling, consider placing your tokens in pockets–ideally cargo or jacket pockets so you can keep everything separate from your wallet and keys. In a perfect world, you’d be keeping pieces out so your opponents can see, particularly if we’re talking about game money. But this way the game can keep plugging along without a constant check-in to make sure all your tiles have been accounted for.
Bust out the blue tarp
The key to outdoor gaming is longevity, so utilize one of the most reliable methods of preservation. Tarps are waterproof and don’t absorb smells, so the game will remain nice and dry and relatively smell-free. Plus, few games color their boards the toxic, aggressive eyesore that is the iconic blue of the traditional tarp, meaning your game will always stand out. The board will rest within eyeshot of each player and no other outdoors-y people will trample over it. Tarps come cheap, too.
Pack multiple copies
Of course, the elements don’t always cooperate, and those who play board games outdoors run the risk of a quick rainfall absolutely destroying a favorite game. Best be prepared with a second copy so your daytime plans go uninterrupted. On the other hand, it may be worth leaving a second copy at home and continuing to play at a later date. You’ll certainly spare your joints, because…
Get up, stretch your legs, do some calisthenics and get the body moving. Unlike the cozy confines of your home, the great outdoors does not provide comfortable seating opportunities for the longer-term. Between rounds is a great time to take a hike or set up your tent and get the blood flowing. This also provides time to calibrate your strategy rather than focus on your ailing knees. Just be sure everyone hits the trail at the same time to avoid cheating–not that you should distrust people you’re going to sleep within breathing distance of.
Light a fire
You’re in nature deeply breathing in fresh air. Play games like your ancestors played them: fireside. Hunt an animal; swim naked in a stream; roll dice; and feel the thrill of victory afterward — no modern amenities can provide such a primal rush!
Did we miss any other good tips while playing board games in the great outdoors? Let us know in the comments below!