Experiencing the great outdoors is one of the simplest pleasures in life. Sitting outside, surrounded by nothing but nature and the sound of the wind in the trees is a healing experience.
Sometimes, you just have to get away from it all. Backpacking is a great way to escape the trials of daily life for a little while. Even if you’re not planning on using it to explore the outdoors, backpacking is still an efficient way to travel and see the world.
But when you’re backpacking, you might find that you don’t know how to pass the time. Your limited storage space drastically cuts down on what entertainment options you can bring with.
That’s where board games come in. There are quite a few designed to be portable, so you can stay completely entertained, even outside or with limited space. We’ll be showing you a list of a few of the best board games for backpacking.
Best Board Games for Backpacking
Outside Inside Backpack Cribbage Game
Cribbage is a classic game that so many people keep at their cabins or take with them when they go camping. Even when it’s not specifically designed for portability, it’s still a small game that’s easy to transport.
That’s what makes this Outside Inside Backpack Cribbage game even better. It was created to make Cribbage even more compact, so it’s ideal for storing in your backpack.
With a locking system, it folds in half and snaps into place. It also comes with a bag to store it, so you can keep it safe from other things in your backpack.
- Folds in half and locks shut so you don’t have to worry about it opening during travel.
- Includes a bag for efficient transport and storage.
- Lightweight, so it won’t increase the weight on your back much.
- Can be played with two to four players.
- Some customers noted that it likes to slide around on tables.
- A few owners felt it would be better with heavy-duty metal pegs as opposed to plastic ones.
Amerous Magnetic Wooden Chess Set
Looking for a game you can hit the road with that will challenge your critical thinking skills? Why not consider taking the strategic legend, Chess, along with you?
With the Amerous Magnetic Wooden Chess Set, that’s not just a distant dream. Because the pieces are magnetic, you can use the set comfortably on uneven surfaces.
When you’re done, the lightweight board folds in half. This drastically reduces the size, so you can fit it in your backpack without having to move everything else around to accommodate it.
- Great game for developing critical thinking skills.
- The pieces stick to the board magnetically, so you can play on uneven surfaces without worrying about them falling off.
- Because it folds in half, the board can easily fit in your backpack.
- Comes with two extra queens in case you lose the others.
- Made from beautiful wood.
- Because the pieces are handmade, there are some imperfections and variations in their appearance.
If you’re a fan of Settlers of Catan, then you’ll love the fact that there’s a travel version. Catan Traveler allows you to play this classic game even when you’re on the move.
It comes in a convenient carrying case with a handle. You can carry it along with you or comfortably squeeze it into your backpack.
The board comes with holes that pieces can slot into. That means you won’t have to worry about any of them sliding off if you don’t have a flat surface to play on.
It even comes with a card trays and a dice roller. No need to worry about losing pieces, because they all have their place with the board.
- Folds in half to fit in luggage or backpacks.
- The dice roller and card trays keep you from losing any of the pieces.
- Has a built-in handle for easy transport.
- Supports two to four players.
- All pieces can be stored in trays that slide in and out of the board.
- The cards are really tiny, and can be difficult to read if you’re visually impaired.
- It can be difficult for beginners to learn to play at first.
Sondergut Roll-Up Suede Backgammon Game
This roll-up Backgammon board is one of the most gorgeous we’ve ever seen. Made from a plush and soft suede, you’ll wish you could use it as a pillow.
The roll-up design is perfect for fitting into backpack, too. If you can’t squeeze it into one of the central pockets, it could fit into a strap or loop on the side.
Since it weighs less than half a pound, you won’t need to worry about struggling to carry it. The pieces and dice fit in a zippered pocket built onto the side, so you can keep everything together.
- Durable and designed to last for a long time under rigorous traveling conditions.
- Beautiful mocha color.
- Feels pleasantly soft to the touch.
- You can keep all the pieces together with the zippered pocket on the side.
- Because it’s so lightweight, carrying it is effortless.
- Some owners felt that the pieces are too small.
Connect 4 Grab and Go Game
Because of its simple premise, Connect 4 is a fantastic choice if you’re going to be playing with younger kids on the road. This game will help you keep such energetic children under control for as long as you need.
The board has been redesigned to fold up. This makes it easier to fit into your backpack without any fuss or mess.
- A great option if you’re going to have kids with you or you’re traveling to see relatives with kids.
- Extremely lightweight.
- Designed to fold for easy storage.
- Quick set up.
- Its simplistic gameplay may not be as well-suited for adults – it’s basically like a game of Tic Tac Toe.
Features to Consider
When you go backpacking, the amount of storage space you have is vastly reduced. That means you’ll have much less room for storing luxuries like board games.
If you’re going to bring one with you, you can’t afford for it to be heavy or take up a lot of room. Your space needs to be planned economically.
That’s where the portability of the game comes into play. Ideally, any board game you choose to bring should be both lightweight and small in size.
It’s even better if the board game can fold or roll up, because then it’s easier to squeeze into your backpack.
Traveling is hard on your belongings. They get bumped around and jostled, whether you’re walking along a trail or you’re crammed into a crowded airport.
For that reason, you can’t afford to bring a fragile board game with you when you’re backpacking. More likely than not, you’d discover it was broken when you took it out to play.
Try checking out the material of any board game you consider. Cloth ones are especially nice, because you don’t have to worry about them shattering or snapping…although you do need to worry about any crumbs or detritus in your backpack getting stuck to them.
Wood and metal components are nice, as well. You can be sure these types of materials will endure the hardships of travel handily.
Required Number of Players
Backpacking is typically a solitary venture. The goal is to minimize your travel expenses, which usually means you’re not traveling with a whole bunch of people (although that’s certainly not always true).
Many board games exist that require a large number of players. If you’re only able to interact with a small group of people, that will make such board games impossible to play.
Think about whether or not you’ll be traveling with people. If not, consider whether you’re traveling to meet someone who can play with you or if you’d be okay asking strangers to join your game.
This will give you an idea of the number of players you’ll be able to drum up to play with you at any given time.
When you’re traveling, you might not have as much time to sit down and enjoy a lengthy game. This is why duration matters; if you don’t have hours to play an entire session, then you’ll want something quick.
Fortunately, there are many games with various durations. You can find one that would take you an entire evening to play, or one that you can squeeze in quick during a short layover.
To figure out the duration of a game, check the description. Most manufacturers make a note of how long the average session takes.
Backpacking is all about cutting out everything that’s unnecessary and saving on expenses. However, that doesn’t mean you need to completely nix entertainment when you’re figuring out what to bring with.
The right board game can provide you hours of fun as you travel. You can even use it to make new friends along the way.
If we were going backpacking, the game we’d want to take with is Catan Traveler. It can be harder for beginners to learn, but having played it before, we can attest to how addictive it is.