Outside Inside Games

Whether you are gearing up for your end of summer hurrah or pairing down for your move back to school, check out the backcountry and cabin games from Outside Inside.

The Outside Inside Story

Outside Inside was born on backcountry family camping trips. Once the site was picked, the tent was up and the fire was stoked, we would inevitably find ourselves searching for fun activities that allowed our family to enjoy the natural beauty surrounding us. We started reimagining how classic “inside” games could be played outside on the campsite, and began making our own versions that were lighter, more compact, durable, and easy to set up.

Decades later, we’ve helped people of all ages and abilities celebrate the outdoors with games and gifts that inspire connection: with one another, with nature and with the spirit of adventure.

Oprah Daily – 19 Best Lawn Games to Play Outside All Summer – Freestyle Croquet

From Oprah Daily By Monica Chon

If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that far-flung family vacations and adult summer camps are wonderful luxuries, but sometimes the best memories are made right at home in your own backyard. Whether splashing around in an inflatable pool and kicking back with a stack of beach reads or hosting a cookout complete with an array of lawn games, there’s a lot of joy to be had when you’re hanging out in your own space with friends and family.

If the latter is on your radar this season, make sure you’re prepared with the ultimate setup. There are options abound for party guests of all ages, from toddlers and kids to adults. You’re sure to keep everyone happy with classics like cornhole, horseshoe, or Jenga. But why not up the ante with something new to everyone? Like Molkky, a throwing game borrowed from the Finnish, or PutterBall, a hybrid of mini golf and beer pong.

Of course, there are even some options suitable for a special event, like an outdoor wedding. Think a giant four-foot tall personalized game of Connect 4 or a DIY cornhole board painted with your monogram.

No matter which route you go, one thing’s for sure: These outdoor games—suitable for the yard, beach, or even the camp ground—are sure to inspire some healthy competition!

Outside Inside – Freestyle Croquet

This colorful, easy-paced lawn game only requires a little bit of set up with the hoops and goal posts—and instructions are included along with two mallets, four balls, and a convenient carry bag.

For the rest of the list CLICK HERE

A game that combines croquet and golf. Mallets are wedged to lift the lightweight balls through a course of hoops.

  • Can be played in virtually any outdoor space.
  • Great for travel, camping, the beach, tailgating or back yard.
  • Lightweight and pack-able. 
  • Players: 2-4
  • Dimensions:
    • Mallets:  26″ x 5.5″
    • Balls:  3″ dia.
    • Dimensions:  25″ x 6.25″ x 4″ in carry bag.
  • Weight: 1.95lbs.
  • Price: $42.95

Outside Inside with GSI Outdoor – Fun for the Whole Family

From practicaltravelgear.com

Outside Inside Family Fun? Yes, Please!

GSI has a more fun side in it’s Outside Inside lines. You can find anything from ornaments to present decoration and (our favorite) outdoor games. Outside Inside provided us with three great items for the any camping trip:

  • Backpack Mancala Game
  • Freestyle Lawn Darts
  • Freestlye Dome Ladder Ball/Cornhole

Backpack Mancala Game

This incredibly lightweight Backpack Mancala Game game is so much fun to play. Even the littlest kids can play alone or alongside.

Folded, the Backpack Mancala from Outside Inside is just under 7 inches long and weighs in at just 5 oz.

GSI Outdoors – Backpack Mancala
  • Travel Mancala.
  • Two Player Game.
  • Includes: 48 Bead Marbles, Instructions And Travel Bag.
  • Dimensions Folded: 6.75″ x 4″ x 1.25″.
  • Dimensions Open: 14″ x 4″ x 1.25″.

Unfolded, the games exposes 12 small bowls and 2 large bowls on the end. Included are the tiny Mancala seeds traditionally used in Africa. The Outside Inside version has plastic seeds that are a brilliant orange.

Truthfully, we started with 48 beads from the set and within the first game we lost 5 of them.

They’re quite small and hard to handle. Nonetheless, small pebbles from the mountain filled in the missing pieces and we continued to play all weekend.

This set now has a place in my car at all times. It is light enough to travel with, or, if you have little ones like we do, it makes for the perfect restaurant game.

It cleans up easily and the travel bag makes it a cinch to keep together. We have used in on the sand, mountains, picnic tables, etc and it still looks new.

At about $20 the price point is perfect for the avid hiking family or couple. Makes for a great gift anytime of year.

Freestyle Lawn Darts

Now here is a game everyone in the family can participate in! A great gift for the College kid, active family our outdoor enthusiast.

We have played the Freestyle Lawn Darts out in the grass, on a mountain, sand, snow and indoors on the carpet when the weather is poor.

It takes just one minute to set up the game and the fun can begin.

Outside Inside has made well constructed rope rings and plastic tipped darts allow for easy play without damage to your surroundings.

Weighing in at about 7 ounces, Freestyle Lawn Darts can easily be strapped to your backpack and used at the summit for some R&R.

There are a couple ways to play but in our house, we like to set up the rings touching side by side and each time the dart makes it into the ring you must take one step back. Those little darts are pretty dang accurate from a distance.

Clean up in a snap and the purse-string, non-tear bag makes for easy transportation. Sitting at about $20, this game will last with you for a long time.

Freestyle Dome Ladder Ball/Cornhole

Definitely the largest and most versatile of the games we have from Outside Inside. Easy to setup (just two small tent poles), portable and freestanding.

Two games can be played at the same time, Ladderball and Cornhole. Or! Most noteworthy, it also works as a makeshift fort especially while the tents are being raised and broken down.

Outside Inside Backpack Dome Ladderball/Cornhole

  • Shock Corded Fiberglass Poles.
  • 6 Bolos For Ladder Ball And Cornhole.
  • Game Dimensions: 39″ x 39″ x 39″.
  • Packaged Dimensions: 22″ x 6″ x 4″.

Still lightweight, the Freestyle Dome Ladderball/ Cornhole can easily be added to your backpack or car camping equipment and taken back country.

This would also be a perfect addition to any family reunion or wedding where you need to entertain the children.

We should also mention how child proof this is! Our two boys put the Freestyle Dome to the test with their rough play. Boys will be boys, right?

Outside Inside is a company we are always looking forward to working with. Their products are well made, and ensures your family will enjoy getting outside, or inside, no matter your destination.

Outside Inside can be found at your local GSI Outdoors dealer.

2017 Camping & Outdoor Gifts : GSI Outdoors & Outside/Inside Gifts

The following is by Nicky from Little Family Adventure.


This article contains affiliate links. Some products mentioned below have been provided for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

One of the greatest things we can bestow upon our children is a love of nature. Getting outdoors together as a family is quality family time and the memories you make are priceless. This year, we have put together the ultimate guide for family outdoor and camping gifts. This guide features products that may make getting outdoors easier, more enjoyable, or more fun. There is something for everyone on this list, especially the person who is hard to buy for.

Camp Cooking

Fairshare Mug from GSI Outdoors  

This 32oz cup is a great addition to the family camping box. Impact resistant plastic with a screw on lid, insulated sleeve, and carabiner make it perfect for families to carry every where.  Use it for mixing or eating and drinking out of. The measurement marking make it super helpful when cooking and eliminate the need for guesstimation which doesn’t always work.

Description from GSI Outdoors:

A strange phenomenon was first discovered at University of British Columbia ski club touring camps in the 1960s. While students carrying bowls or more standard eating vessels received regular potions, those clever few who were using a simple 2 cup measuring cup typically received much larger portions from the servers in the communal meal line. Soon, a few daring students were experimenting with 4 cup measuring cups and found the results to be the same: larger portions. Thus, the original fairshare cup was born.Now nearly 50 years and several innovations later, GSI Outdoors has developed the FairShare Mug II, with insulating sleeve, compacting handle and a new lid that allows mugs to stack when stored, assuring that a whole new generation would receive their fair share too.
Features & Specs
  • Secure, screw-on lid insulates and prevents spills.
  • Carabiner clip-in points for attaching to packs.
  • Large, 33.8 fl. oz. (1 L) capacity.
  • High-visibility measurement markings.
  • 32 fl. oz.
  • Weight: 6.8 oz
  • 5.5″ x 5″ x 5.4″
  • $15.95.

Outdoor/Travel Games


Outside Inside Gifts: Freestyle Lawn Darts from

Family Game Night goes outdoors with this compact game that provides hours of family fun. Game includes 4 rope rings and 4 weighted lawn darts. Set up game play any way you like and challenge each other to see who gets the closest! Game is stored in a 18.25” x 2.5” bag that is super compact. Perfect game for camping, road trips, or at home.

Description from Outside Inside:

A great compact game of target shooting to enjoy with your family and friends. Place rings at different distances or inside each other for a more challenging game. Toss the dart and see who gets closest! Everything you need for the ultimate game to play at the campground or your backyard.


  • 4 Lawn darts (in 2 colors)
  • 2 x 16″ diameter rings
  • 2 x 30″ diameter rings
  • Dimensions: 18.25″ x 2.5″
  • $20.95

Outside Inside Gifts: Backpack CornHole

Now you can take this family favorite game anywhere; tailgating, backpacking trips, car camping, or to the park. This wooden backpack version is compact and measures 12” x 6” x 1.25”. So it’s perfect for any adventure.

Description from Outside Inside:

Take this mini Cornhole game anywhere and challenge your friends. Perfect for any outdoor space, this set conveniently packs down to a small, lightweight pack-sleeve making it a great option for backcountry trips as well.


  • Compact and portable
  • Legs fold away
  • Can be played on the ground or on tabletop
  • Made of solid wood
  • Color: Blue/Red
  • Made in China
  • Includes 2 game boards, 8 bean bags, instructions and carry bag
  • Dimensions: 12 x 6 x 1.25 in.
  • $30.95

Timeless Outdoor Fun: Outside Inside Gifts

From MRV The Buzz


A Company That Provides Outdoor Games For Those Who Love To Get Out And Hike, Paddle, Climb, Camp, Ski, Bike, Hunt, And Fish

“We are outdoor people and when you start to have children, you want them to be able to experience that with you,” explains Dave Smrtka, co-owner and co-founder of Outside Inside Gifts.  Outside Inside is a company, as it says on the website, that provides gifts “for those among us who love to get out and hike, paddle, climb, camp, ski, bike, hunt, and fish”.

Beyond the products it offers, the company’s goal is to provide games for the whole family.  “When you start playing games, you are instant friends with others playing and it gives everyone something to connect with,” explains Smrtka.  It is with this idea that the company continues to grow and the seed was planted in Smrtka’s own family.  “My wife and I both worked in retail – we owned several outdoor stores,” he explains.  When his three daughters started to get older, they both decided to get out of retail and get involved with things they love – the outdoors and their family.  Originally making gifts, they transitioned more into mobile games – not for a smartphone, but games like checkers and backgammon to pick up and take outdoors.  “We take timeless games and modify them to be lighter and more compact,” Smrtka says.  Other examples of these games are mancala, table tennis, barrel toss, and more.

They realized they struck a nook and grew their products into three tiers of mobility. There are the Backpack games that are super mobile and fit in a bag. The Freestyle games are a little bigger, ideal for moderate to light camping/outdoor excursions. Last there are the Basecamp games, which are good for backyard family time or to keep in the RV. All products are made with “good materials and good quality as they have to withstand the constant abuse of the outdoors,” Smrtka says.

For product development, Smrtka and his wife use experiences, as well as their knowledge of the outdoors in personal and professional life. He gives the example of their backpack bocce ball product. “First we start with the idea. Anyone can play bocce ball and any number of people can play,” Smrtka explains, “which makes it an ideal product for us.” He says the problem is the weight for the balls, so they developed Backpack bocce at 1/16 of the original size. “The problem with this, though, is that the balls are so small that they bounce too much when they are thrown,” Smrtka states, “so we needed to find a material that would react similarly to full-size bocce.” They ended up using a special kind of rubber that works well and Backpack bocce has become one of their best selling products.

What makes their products special beyond their size is their adherence to the name of company – Outside Inside. “These games can be played outdoors in the middle of nowhere or in college dorms,” Smrtka explains. In fact, his daughters, who are all around college age are great supporters of their products and bring them to school with them and play with their friends. “Our 21 year old always uses the games at parties and events,” he says. With experiences like these, Smrtka and his wife are able to get real feedback from others and also adjust their marketing accordingly.

Though originally motivated by providing entertainment for children, the focus has never really been, “Just on children, but on the family.”  As the years progress, they realized the market can be for families as well as college students who like to play games with their classmates.  “Although we primarily appeal to the active market, we also have our products in college bookstores,” Smrtka says. Smrtka and his wife are based in Canada, but the focus of Outside Inside is the United States and their distribution center and warehouse is in Spokane, Washington.  They also have retail stores in Japan and a select few in Europe.  “In Japan there is more and more interest, as they like compact things there,” he explains.

The geographic region also plays a role in product popularity.  “Obviously the north is colder, so there is a greater interest in indoor games and the south is warmer so traditionally outdoor games are popular,” Smrtka says.  He also says the flatlands of the Midwest, for example, popularize the Basecamp games as the RV culture is really strong.

As the years go by, people are increasingly becoming dependent on digital technology.  Even camping, an activity devoted to the outdoors, one observes many adults and children glued to phones and tablets.  This is the present world.  The challenge for families is to balance these digital tendencies with activities that provide time to connect and develop relationships.  The outdoors provides opportunities for this to happen and Outside Inside Gifts provides compact, convenient means to achieve it.

By: Andrew Malo

A graduate of Northeastern Illinois University in Education, Andrew has taught for the past decade in Chicago, New Mexico, and Japan.  He  enjoys tinkering with trucks and motorcycles, woodworking, reading and computer programming.

More on Outside Inside:

Outside Inside Gifts, a gift collection designed by outdoor enthusiasts for the hikers, paddlers and sportsmen of the world. Available at specialty outdoor and gift retailers all over the world.


Outside Inside: Adventure Games

Ahhh, summer. Great time to get outdoors. We have lots of things you can do back at the camp after the hike or paddle. Check out our new and ever growing adventure games. Great packable fun for everyone in your group.


This one-of-a-kind Backpack Table Tennis Set features authentic style table tennis paddles, 3 table tennis balls and 1 net with adjustable posts. For use on a smooth, flat table top surface, you can play at home or take it on the go for all your adventures. A great way to inject a little friendly competition into your down-time, the included net will fit most tables up to 1.75” thick.

  • Authentic table tennis paddles
  • Net expands up to 6’ wide
  • Includes: 2 paddles, 3 balls, 1 net w/ pac


Dome 2 in 1 Ladderball/Cornhole

You’ll enjoy two different games in one unique, packable set with this Dome 2 in 1 Ladderball/Cornhole game set. Set it up just like a tent and play for hours around the campfire with your family or buddies. Perfect for any outdoor space, this set conveniently packs down to a small, lightweight pack-sleeve making it a great option for backcountry trips as well.

  • Shock corded fiberglass poles w/ Rip-stop nylon outer
  • 2 players
  • 2 games in 1