Offline travel games for two
May 6, 2021 3:35 PM   Subscribe

Mr. Never and I are going camping later this month. Help us entertain ourselves!

This is van-camping so it doesn't have to be backpackable or anything, and we will have tables/seating and some lighting, as this will be entertainment for after we've lost the light for the most part. (And yes, we have Cornhole already. Can't camp without cornholing.)

We are looking for games that are fun for just two people and don't require a lot of extra packed items or tiny bits the wind can take - it could be a game you buy or make, a purpose-specific card game or something played with regular playing cards, pencil-paper games, or something similar.

We will have iPads and phones, but I don't expect to have reliable cell signal so that would need to be a shared-device situation, I think. But those suggestions are definitely fair game, as we will have ample power for recharging. I think we still haven't played the second Room game, which we enjoyed playing together, so games for one theoretical player that two might enjoy collaborating on are fair game.
posted by Lyn Never to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (17 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The Exit card games are perfect for this. They're like a mystery in a box. Do pay attention to the difficulty rating, though, as the "Expert" rated games are actually pretty difficult even for adults.

(Also, note that each game can only be played one time, because you have to destroy some of the cards to solve the puzzle. The game box is small, about the size of a paperback, so you could bring a couple.)
posted by easy, lucky, free at 4:19 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]

Our go-to two person travel/camping game is cribbage.
posted by Gray Duck at 4:52 PM on May 6 [9 favorites]

Hive pocket is nature-proof and lots of fun. Kind of chess-adjacent but different in a lot of ways
posted by bbqturtle at 4:59 PM on May 6 [5 favorites]

We always keep Zombie Dice (a silly but fun push-your-luck dice game) and Quiddler (rummy-like game where you make words) in our box of camping gear.
Azul is is our family favorite and is also also great for two players. It does require a level surface but is fairly travel friendly if you take the components and boards out of the box and throw them in a pillowcase.
posted by smartyboots at 5:26 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]

We played a lot of Hanabi on our honeymoon, and it was great - we got quite good at it over the two weeks!
posted by euphoria066 at 6:09 PM on May 6

not games, but, download a star/ astronomy app and spend some time staring at the night sky. Apps rely on gps, not a data connection.
Prepare some ghost story ideas, take turns adding to the story.
If you like singing at all, a campfire is the perfect venue. Load a phone with lyrics. I'm a boomer, Beatles songs are pretty good. I have a document.
posted by theora55 at 6:13 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]

If you like cornhole maybe you'll like Mölkky!
posted by aubilenon at 6:33 PM on May 6

My go to campsite game is Farkle! You need five dice, a print out of the rules, and a one or pencil. Use the back of the rule sheet to keep score! I do not recommend in high winds, but moderate breeze is usually fine.
posted by missriss89 at 6:54 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]

Can I tell you some thing we discovered last year? UNO - like the classic game of cards - is actually super fun with two adults!!
posted by itsamermaid at 8:04 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]

Excellent 2P and kinda like UNO but more, flavor?, is Guillotine.
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 8:42 PM on May 6

2nding Hive- it's excellent for 2
posted by wowenthusiast at 10:18 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]

The Fluxx games are always good for us on camping trips.
posted by chbrooks at 11:52 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]

Rolling America, quixx, tenzi are all small dice games fun for two. Blokus and quirkel are tile games fun for two.
posted by dpx.mfx at 12:06 AM on May 7

Piquet! [rules] perhaps the most elegant and sophisticated two-handed card game ever played, which is a cross between rummy, whist and medieval french.
posted by BobTheScientist at 1:11 AM on May 7

Magnetic backgammon!
posted by mdonley at 1:18 AM on May 7

We play Set and also keep two decks of cards and a little paperback book of card games so we can try different things.
posted by hilaryjade at 6:41 AM on May 7 [2 favorites]

I worry about card games if you're also concerned about "bits the wind can take." My wife and I travel with a double deck of cards for spite & malice, but I wouldn't try to play that in the wind because there are too many piles of cards. I guess don't play any games that require you to play things to the table as you go?

We have a Sondergut roll-up backgammon set, which is very nice. It's not magnetic, but I wouldn't worry about the pieces blowing away. Bananagrams packs small and I don't think the pieces would blow away, but you do need a pretty smooth surface to play.
posted by fedward at 6:52 AM on May 7

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