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Top 3 Backpacker Games

by Christina on August 8, 2011

When you’re on the road, it can be hard to find the space to bring much entertainment along for the ride. Luckily, a great night can be had with little more than a deck of cards or a pad of paper and a great group of friends.

Here are a few of our favorite backpacker games with a little international flair, sure to make you the life of the party!

1. STADT, LAND, FLUSS (or City, Country, River)

This German geography game is perfect for the international traveler and is reminiscent of the board game “Scattergories.”

The goal:
To outwit your competitors with your superior knowledge of obscure geography and travel themes.

How many people:
At least 2

What you’ll need:

  • A piece of paper for each player
  • A pen

Is there drinking involved?
Drinking’s not integral to gameplay… although you’re welcome to imbibe if you feel so inclined!

How to play:

  • Begin by choosing 3 categories, such as country, city, landmark, etc.
  • Beginning with the letter “A”, everyone writes down their selection for the category. (You may set a time limit if you’d like to keep the game moving quickly.) Example: If the categories are City, Ethnic Food, Landmark and the letter is “C”, then the answers could be “Copenhagen, Crepe, Coliseum.”
  • At the end of each round, everyone shares their answers.


Each person is scored per category. If you are the only person to come up with what you have written, you will receive 10 points. If others came up with the same selection, then you get 5 points. If you blank and don’t write anything, you don’t get any points. (So, clearly out of the box selections are the way to go!)

The game ends when you get tired of playing! You can set a winning score if you want to have a definitive end point.


Mushroom is a really fun card game that I learned while backpacking throughout New Zealand. It’s a lot like Jenga… only instead of a tower of blocks, cards are funneled out while balancing on a small surface (bottle top or cup) until it resembles, well, a mushroom.

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