Don't Be Made a Fool! Fun Camping Pranks from VSP

In honor of April Fool’s Day, Vermont State Parks has compiled a list of some fun, harmless pranks our many campers might consider when they visit this summer. Camping is a great escape from the concerns and techno-babble of daily life, and can also serve as a wonderful excuse to have some creative fun. Here are some ideas to get you started, and never forget: these aren't just for April…pranks are good year round! 

Beginner Level Shenanigans: 

1. Oh You Didn't Want Your Nails Painted?

This is a classic…wait for someone in your camp to fall asleep and give them a little makeover. Some nail polish is always a hit, and eye shadow if you can pull it off without them waking up. Hopefully you remembered to pack the hot pink nail polish for dad and the black polish for your sister!




2. No Escape

Did you remember a paper clip? Got a piece of string? When your fellow campers head to bed, just tie the outside zippers to their tent door closed and wait for their attempt to leave in the morning. NOTE: This prank is only as funny for as long as it’s funny—let your poor family and friends out of the tent before it puts a damper on things!





3. Those Aren't My Feet in this Sleeping Bag…

A great way to give someone a brief scare is to slip a pine cone into the bottom of their sleeping bag and wait for the hilarity to ensue. Nobody wants dirt in their sleeping, or a leaky water bottle…a pine cone is an easy way to get the fun without the hassle of having to clean out someone else’s stuff! Just get ready to have a pine cone beaned at your tent.





Intermediate Mischief:  

1. Why are You Panting?

If your crew is planning a day of hiking, this is always a winner. Sneak as many rocks as you can into someone’s backpack at the beginning of the day, and pack things on top. Make up a reason as to why the pack is so heavy—you have the water bottles! You have the food! You said you could carry the first aid kit! This works particularly well for hikers who fancy themselves in incredibly good shape. (Whoever is bragging the most about their outdoors experience should get the rocks.) Wait until you reach your destination and ask why they seem so exhausted. Then “find” the rocks in their pack…Oh that’s where I put those!


2. This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Tents

Another classic that just never gets old…in the middle of the night, uproot the poles of someone’s tent and either change the shape of the tent by bringing the corners in or out, or collapse the tent entirely by unhooking the poles. Bonus points for doing this on the windiest night possible. 



Advanced Prankers Only:

1. Attack of the Knids

This one takes a bit of prep, but is highly effective when done properly. You’ll need to bring old toilet paper tubes and some glow sticks with you on your trip. Take the old toilet paper tubes and cut eye shapes into them on one side. Angry eyes work best! At night, preferably just before you tell some ghost stories, activate the glow sticks and put them into the toilet paper tubes to illuminate the eyes. Hide the tubes in the bushes around your campsite and watch as your fellow campers slowly realize there are glowing eyes in the bushes all around them. Bonus points if you can convince them they are surrounded by Vermicious Knids!


2. The Lonely Camper

Another classic, this prank can be tough to pull off, but is absolutely worth the trouble. It works best on reluctant campers or those who aren't confident in their orienteering skills. Before your target gets up in the morning, get everyone else at the campsite to quietly pack up and leave. Obviously, this is usually a Last Morning type of prank. The reaction is priceless when your friend/parent/sibling/arch nemesis wakes up and discovers that they are alone in the woods, regretting their decision to accompany you on this camping trip entirely.



Now, it’s important to remind everyone that the Vermont State Parks do not condone any malicious or dangerous behavior whatsoever—these are all meant in jest, and should not in any way hurt a member of your camping party. We just hope you have a great time in our parks, and consider having a bit of fun with each other while you’re visiting. 

Merry Pranking!

By Carlie Timbie
Vermont State Parks

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