The best outdoor activities for Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a great time to spend with friends and family, remembering and honoring those who served their country. There are an endless number of ways you could spend your three-day weekend, but if you’re a fan of the outdoors, you might find yourself gravitating toward activities like fishing, camping or cooking out. No matter what you end up doing, you’ll be better equipped to enjoy the holiday if you have the right supplies. If you’re trying to think of a great way to spend Memorial Day weekend, take a look at our favorite activities and the items that make them even better.
Lawn games are an excellent way to have outdoor fun on Memorial Day. Games like cornhole, lawn darts and badminton get you up on your feet and allow you to engage in a casual or competitive activity. Even if you already have one or two go-to games for cookouts and holidays, adding others to your arsenal is a great way to ensure that everyone has a great time.
Popular lawn games
Spikeball is a fun lawn game that combines foursquare and volleyball. It’s a four-player game in which you spike the ball off of the included net to the opposing team, who then has to spike it back. Once the ball has bounced off the net, it’s in play for the opposing team, no matter where it goes. Sold by Kohl’s
Ladder ball is an excellent option for any age group thanks to its easy setup and simple rules. If the bolas (a piece of equipment that resembles two golf balls, connected with a rope) lands on the top rung, you’re awarded three points. The middle rung is worth two points, and the bottom rung is worth one. This set includes two sturdy steel goalposts and a convenient carrying case in case you plan to take it to a friend’s house. Sold by Amazon
Although bocce may not be as simple as games like ladder ball and corn hole, it can be hours of fun once you’ve mastered the rules. If you’re looking for an excellent bocce ball set, this one is an excellent choice. Sold by Amazon
Fishing is an excellent way to spend the day relaxing and bonding with those that you love. Whether sitting on a boat, in a camping chair or even just atop a cooler, you’re sure to wash away the stress of the work week while fishing. Whether you’re trying to catch crappie or marlin, the right tools and equipment are an essential part of any fishing trip.
Fishing tips and tricks
- If you use a spinning reel, it’s recommended that you also use a braided line. It is much thinner but more durable than monofilament line; however, it can be seen in the water by some fish. Fishing pros often opt for fluorocarbon leader line, which can’t be seen in the water.
- Short-biting fish like perch and scup are pretty good at biting the bait right off your hook. To ensure they get caught, use an Aberdeen hook with a long shank.
- Spend some time at home practicing with your reel so that you can get used to its drag and tension.
Which fishing rod is best?
This strong-but-lightweight rod is perfect for fishing pros or beginners. Entsport’s capable rod resists corrosion and has a convenient two-piece design that makes it easy to travel with. Sold by Amazon
This well-balanced rod has excellent sensitivity, making it a good choice for feeling when smaller fish tug your line. The Ugly Stik comes in a range of sizes, between 5.5 and 7 feet. The graphite and fiberglass build is impressively sturdy. Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods
This option folds down to just 17 inches, making it highly portable. The stainless-steel reel seat resists seawater corrosion, it is equipped with anti-reverse and the grip is super comfortable. Sold by Amazon
Which fishing reel is best?
This impressive reel is a great option if you plan on big-game fishing this Memorial Day Weekend. The aluminum and carbon design is highly durable and the drag is powerful but smooth. Sold by Amazon
KasKing’s affordable reel has excellent drag performance and a stylish design. This option is a great entry-level reel. In addition to being an attractive design choice, the materials resist corrosion. Sold by Amazon
Best cooler for fishing
This marine cooler is perfect for boating trips thanks to its anchor-point tie-down slots and hinges. Although it is on the bulky side, it stands up to the sun’s UV rays as well as saltwater and wave impacts. Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods
This inexpensive cooler has UV inhibitors, Ultratherm body insulation, and it is a white color that reflects sunlight. It includes a tie-down loop for your boat and a fish-measuring ruler on the lid. At less than $30, this capable marine cooler is an excellent value. Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Amazon
Spending Memorial Day under the stars, roasting marshmallows by the campfire can be both exciting and relaxing. Whether you’re at a National Park or a local trail, roughing it outside is an intensely rewarding experience. If you plan on camping for Memorial Day, it’s a good idea to decide whether you’ll use a hammock or a tent and make a list of the items you need to take with you.
What to bring camping
- Sunscreen: If you plan on spending much time outside, you’ll need sunscreen to protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Water-resistant sunscreen is ideal if you plan on swimming while you camp.
- A tent or hammock: It goes without saying, you’ll need somewhere to sleep while you’re camping. Tents protect you from snakes and insects by having a vinyl or polyester floor and a door that zips up. Hammocks keep you off the ground and often fold over on themselves to keep you safe from flying insects — you can buy special hammock tarps to protect you from the rain as well.
- First-aid kit: Hopefully, no one gets hurt while you’re camping, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. A good first-aid kit for camping should include essentials such as band-aids, gauze and a topical antibiotic ointment.
Best tent for camping
This four-person tent is large enough for adults to stand up in. The sturdy fiberglass and steel frame is excellent for durability, and the tent is highly breathable in warmer weather. Sold by Amazon
This two-person tent is perfect for any season and has an impressive waterproof rating of 3,000 mm. Naturehike’s convenient tent can be taken down in just a couple of minutes and is incredibly easy to pack around thanks to its lightweight design. Sold by Amazon
Best Hammock for camping
This luxurious camping hammock is comfortable for sleeping and easy to set up. The built-in bug net and rainfly are perfect for overnight use. Sold by Amazon
ENO is a trusted brand in hammocks, and this affordable option is known to hold up for years. This double nest hammock can comfortably fit two sleepers inside it. Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Amazon
Best cooler for camping
Although this isn’t the easiest cooler to pack around when full, its rugged design and superior cooling abilities make it a great choice for your Memorial Day campout. Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods
This lightweight option is easy to pack around and has thicker foam than other IGLOO models for extended cooling capabilities. Igloo’s BMX Family cooler is made of a unique material that protects it from UV rays. Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Amazon
Cody Stewart is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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