With summer coming to a close, our family decided to head up to the mountains for a camping trip. We decided to try something new and solve a jigsaw puzzle while camping. Read on how the adventure turned out.

Working on jigsaw puzzle while camping

Our camping trip was for four nights and it was packed full of activities, such as hiking (lots of it), swimming, sight seeing, and more. Thus, we only had less than two hours over two days to work on the puzzle. Luckily, our campsite had a huge picnic table. We laid out the puzzle on the picnic table on top of a light blue yoga mat.

Jigasaw puzzle while camping
Solving a jigsaw puzzle while camping

The yoga mat is important as we used it to roll up the puzzle and store it for later. In doing so, we could free up the picnic table to cook and eat dinner on it. In addition, we had one aggressive chipmunk that visited our campsite regularly and we wanted to protect the puzzle from it.

Rolled up puzzle in yoga mat for storage
Used a yoga mat to store puzzle while camping.

Unfortunately, due to abundant mosquitoes, we skipped working on the puzzle at night. We could have worked on the puzzle inside the tent, but it would have been tight. Instead, we ended up reading or playing card games when it got dark.

In the end, we only solved about 20% of the puzzle during the camping trip. After we got home, we solved rest of the puzzle. However, we found that one of the pieces was missing. Check out the full review of Doorstep Raiders for more details.

Cat jigsaw puzzle, Doorstep Raiders, 750 piece Buffalo
Can you spot the missing puzzle piece?

We speculated that the missing puzzle piece was lost when the puzzle was rolled up and stored in the car. Alternatively, the piece was already missing as it was a used puzzle. We are not sure. Nevertheless, it was a fun experience and we we would do it again.

Here are some quick tips if you are thinking of working on a puzzle while camping:

Tip 1: Pick a puzzle suited for camping.

Preferably, try to pick a puzzle that is small and compact as it will be easier to pack, require less space, and carry around. As we were car camping vs thru hiking camping, we could consider a bigger puzzle. In the end, we decided to bring a 750 piece puzzle from Buffalo’s Cat Collection, called Doorstep Raiders, because it was smaller and required less space than a 1000 piece puzzle.

Tip 2: Bring a puzzle roller or carrier

Most likely there will be an adequate space at the campsite to work on the puzzle. However, you will still need a way to pack up the in-progress puzzle and store it for later. We recommend going with a puzzle roller as it is more compact than a puzzle carrier. If there is enough space and you already have a puzzle carrier then feel free to use it. If you don’t have a puzzle roller, then you can use a large piece of felt fabric or yoga mat. We used a yoga mat to work on the puzzle and rolled up.

Tip 3: Double check for dropped/missing pieces

Stray puzzle piece can easily get lost at a campsite. Make sure to check the campsite before leaving the campsite. Lastly, make sure that the puzzle is rolled up tight so pieces do not fall out when shaken, but not too tight that the pieces get damaged.

Lastly, these tips are not relevant for thru-hiking as you’ll be carrying all your camping gear and supplies. Priority is probably on packing essential equipment and supplies (food). A puzzle may seem frivolous. However, if you have thru-hike camped with a jigsaw, we would love to hear from you and your experience.

3 Tips to Jigsaw Puzzle While Camping
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One thought on “3 Tips to Jigsaw Puzzle While Camping

  • October 7, 2020 at 12:01 am

    Thank you! This is extremely helpful.


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