If date night’s approaching and you don’t want to “Netflix and chill” again, you need to come up with some fresh ideas. But what if your hands are tied by a shoestring budget? It’s okay. You have options.

If you’re in need of inspiration — and low on cash — you should consider a backyard camping trip. It’s easy to create a magical evening right at home, as long as you have the right attitude and approach.

So where should you start?

1. Make Everything Comfy and Cozy 

If you want your backyard camping excursion to succeed, you need to balance the ruggedness of sleeping rough with the comfort of home. The most important factor is climate control.

It can get cold in the evening, especially if you choose a clear night for stargazing. Clouds trap some of the heat from the Earth during the day, making it seem warmer when the sun goes down.

With that in mind, break out the comforters as well as your sleeping bags. It’s handy if you have items like gloves and earmuffs during the colder months. Of course, you can also hold hands, as well.

It also pays to have cover if you don’t have some already at your location. If you have a covered or screened-in porch, you’re in luck. If not, it’s a good idea to create a rough shelter, even putting up a tent on your porch if necessary.

2. Break Out the Entertainment 

Since you’re not hanging out on your couch, you can’t reach for the remote. It’s part of the charm of backyard camping. That said, you’re going to want to do more than look at the stars all night — romance aside.  

Consider recreating a drive-in movie experience without spending a ton of cash. You can rent AV equipment like projectors at your local library for free or very little. Hit up your nearby dollar store for some reusable old-fashioned popcorn containers. If you plan to have a campfire in an outdoor firepit, you can get things popping over it. 

Don’t forget the thrill of a night hike. Hopefully, you’ve broken your boots in so they’re comfortable. Head out into the wild, or maybe the neighborhood park. If you hear a rustle in the bushes, you and your SO can cuddle closer for protection. 

Later on, you can enjoy a proper camping experience by toasting marshmallow. If you have a firepit, making them will be easier, but you can also use a grill. It’s simple to bake multiple s’mores by using the broiler function.  

3. Put Stars in Her Eyes 

The ultimate in date-night romance is watching the stars together, making up constellations that are uniquely meaningful. You can see plenty with the naked eye, even in areas with high light pollution.

However, if you’re a member of a local astronomy society, you might score a loaner telescope for the evening. You’ll have to pay a security deposit, but who knows? You might develop a new hobby that makes a more considerable investment worthwhile. 

Even if you create personalized star formations, it’s exciting to learn about what your ancient ancestors saw in the skies. Download and print a map of the constellations before your date night. You can have a contest to see how many you can identify. 

Backyard Camping Is the New Romantic 

If you want to spice up date night, why not move the party outdoors? You’ll enjoy cuddling more in the cold, and you can explore the nocturnal world together!

Have fun!