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Have you ever dreamed of fall­ing asleep un­der the stars? You don’t need to trek out to the woods to give camp­ing a try. You can camp right in your own back­yard! The best part? You can make it a 24-hour event. Scratch that. The best part is prob­a­bly the s’

Wild - - NEWS - Il­lus­tra­tion by Ash­ley Bar­ron

Camp out in your back­yard

DUR­ING THE DAY Find the per­fect spot for your tent and set up.

You’ll want to make your first back­yard camp­ing ex­pe­ri­ence com­fort­able. That means set­ting up your tent on flat ground. Make sure you’re not set­ting up on rocks or sticks be­cause — ouch. You prob­a­bly won’t have a good night’s sleep if you do that! Once you’ve found the per­fect spot, it’s time to set up. Lay a tarp on the ground to keep your tent nice and dry. Ask an adult to help you set up the tent (the adult may need to take over this part if it’s su­per com­pli­cated).

Do a scavenger hunt! Try out the pol­li­na­tor scavenger hunt from the June/July is­sue of WILD mag­a­zine. You’ll look for pol­li­na­tors like hum­ming­birds and Monarch But­ter­flies, lis­ten for the wind and the buzz of bees, and find Wild Columbine and sun­flow­ers.

Get dig­ging. Now that you’ve ex­plored your back­yard a lit­tle, it’s time to give back to those pol­li­na­tors by gar­den­ing. Why not cre­ate a gar­den that will at­tract and help the bees and but­ter­flies in your neigh­bour­hood? Bees love Joe-Pye Weed, Ver­vain, sun­flow­ers and Nod­ding Onion.

DUR­ING THE EVENING

Set up light­ing. If you’ve got head­lamps or flash­lights, place them on your pil­low so you’ll be able to get to them quickly. That’ll make a trip to the bath­room eas­ier too.

Eat out­side. It’s time to ask an adult to start up the bar­be­cue! This is the per­fect oc­ca­sion for hot­dogs and ham­burg­ers. If you’ve got an out­door firepit, ask an adult to help you roast some marsh­mal­lows, be­cause noth­ing says camp­ing like snack­ing on some delicious s’mores.

Look for noc­tur­nal an­i­mals. Did you know that some an­i­mals sleep the day away and come out at night? It’s true. Plenty of night-fly­ing moths, bats, fire­flies and even toads are ac­tive dur­ing the evening. Keep your eyes peeled for them so you can ad­mire how amaz­ing they are.

Star gaze. Look up. Way up! If you’re lucky enough to have a clear night, try star gaz­ing. Down­load an app like Night Sky, Star Walk 2 or Sky View to help you search the dark sky for con­stel­la­tions.a

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