Kenzie needed a quick escape from real-life pressures, and found "The Sims 4." She now enjoys playing, writing, and YouTubing the game.
Welcome to the Great Outdoors!
I love camping. There is nothing like spending a night completely unplugged, away from all the pressures and distractions of modern-day life. Sleeping under the stars, the smell of a campfire, the taste of flame-roasted weenies, cuddling in a cozy tent after a long day of activity—I look forward to these things every spring.
Now, I can enjoy camping with my Sims year-round, and I love it!
"The Sims 4: Outdoor Retreat" is a game pack, which means it's smaller than an expansion pack, but it offers so much more than a stuff pack. This was the first game pack, released for "The Sims 4" in January of 2015, and was generally well-received. I really love the new features that this pack brings to my game.
Vacationing in Granite Falls
Granite Falls is a new neighborhood, but unlike other neighborhoods in the game, your Sims can't live there. It is a destination they can visit for a vacation, and they can go as often as you wish.
Accommodations in Granite Falls
- Rustic tent-camping sites allow your Sims to sleep under the stars. They should pick up some camping gear at the ranger's station. They'll probably need a tent or air mattress, cooler and camping chairs.
- Cabins range from rustic to luxurious but give your Sims all the basics comforts of home to keep them happy.
Granite Falls Forest
- The forest is a national park where Sims can explore nature. Sims who like fishing, gardening, or collecting things will particularly love spending the days here.
- This hidden area is hard to find, but an explorer might come across it if he looks hard enough. It's accessed through a cave hidden in the forest. If you guide your Sim along the right path through the cave, you may come upon this hidden oasis and meet the reclusive hermit who lives there.
Get Your Sims Outdoors—Get Your Own "Outdoor Retreat" Game Pack
New Activities in "Outdoor Retreat"
Here are some new fun things your Sims will be able to do with this pack.
- Use a tent anywhere. Tents are great for camping at Granite Falls, but if your Sim is spending a day away from home, she can literally pitch her tent on any lot to get some rest or to give cranky kids a nap.
- Have a campfire. Get a fire ring and light it up. Your Sims will gather around it, tell stories, sing songs, roast marshmallows, and more! Just be careful not to start a fire!
- Hold a Weenie Roast social event.
- Play horseshoes or play cards on a new portable game table.
- Stargaze at night, or cloud gaze in the daytime. Gazing gives Sims inspired moodlets, and the activity can help two Sims bond quickly.
- Collect some insects or check out all the new plants, fish, and other collectibles.
- Make herbal potions out of plants and insects collected in the forest.
- Try the new "Outdoor Enthusiast" aspiration.
New Build and CAS Mode Items
The outdoorsy person will delight in all the wonderful new build mode items, which include things like:
- a rustic outdoor shower
- camping gear
- fire rings
- lots of rustic decorations made of natural wood and stone materials
In the Create a Sim (CAS) mode, your Sims will find:
- lots of new casual clothing options, such as plaid shirts and cargo shorts
- a large assortment of hiking boots
- new hairstyles more suited for outdoor activities
- a bear costume—because, why not?
What's Your Opinion?
My Biggest Complaints
I love almost everything in this pack, but I do have two major complaints. Here are the problems and how you can remedy them.
Campfires seem like they could be so much fun, either on vacation or in your Sim's back yard, but it can be hard to enjoy them. Using them almost always results in a big, uncontrolled fire that can kill your Sims.
Fire rings causing big fires are one of those things that must have seemed like a good idea; it can add risk and realism to the game. The Sims 4 creators went overboard with the threat, though; it happens far too often. The fire risk turns what could be one of the most enjoyable features of the game into something very frustrating. Nothing ruins a good time faster than one of your family members almost burning to death.
There are mods, such as this one here, that keep the campfires from getting out of control. Without the mods, I don't even want to use the campfires—fun as they are, they aren't worth it.
Toddlers weren't originally part of The Sims 4. They were introduced after this game pack, so no accommodations were made for toddlers. Because of this, camping with tots can be frustrating.
Before you take your toddlers out camping, make sure you go into the "manage worlds" mode and do a little redecorating in Granite Falls.
- Place potty chairs in the forest, at campsites and cabins. There are no potty chairs in Granite Falls, and you can't keep them in your personal inventory, so stash a lot of them around the destination.
- Toddlers can sleep in tents or on toddler-sized air mattresses. You can keep these items in your inventory and pull them out whenever the tot needs a nap. In cabins, you can add toddler beds.
- Make sure your cabin has a bathtub since toddlers get very cranky when they're dirty. You can also place one in the lodge in the forest lot, which is a common area for all guests, or you can place off-the-grid tubs in the forest and tent camping lots.
- Toddlers will eat whatever camping food other Sims eat, but they can get hungry quickly; keep a cooler handy, so your Sims can give toddlers cereal, or load your toddler's personal inventory with fruit before setting off on vacation.
Is It Worth It?
I like it when my Sims have a wide variety of activities from which to choose; it keeps the game interesting for me. These outdoor activities are a great alternative to night clubs and gyms, and if you like to get your Sims out in nature, the forest is so much more fun than public parks. I've had Sim families vacation here and even had some Sims take a honeymoon trip to Granite Falls.
For me, The Sims 4: Outdoor Retreat is a must-have game pack. I'm too much of a camping lover not to have this pack. I also have a few Sims who are really into fishing and gardening, and this pack, with all the unique fishing holes and special foliage, adds so much to those activities. This pack gets a thumbs up from me.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Kenzie Cartwright