Summer is nearly here, and you know what that means: camping! If you are like us, camping is the best part of summer, especially when you have a list of awesome camping hacks that help you to make the most of your trip.
Whether you take your RV or you love to rough it in a tent, living the easy life without the everyday hustle and bustle is something that you just can’t help but look forward to.
From lighting to cooking, we have put together a list of camping hacks that make it a little easier for you and the family to relax and have a great camping trip—and if you can add to the list in the comments, please do.
- Baby food jar – Keep a jar, throw some matches into it, and screw on the lid for a safe way to keep your matches dry while you are camping. Do not forget to add a piece of sandpaper so you have something to strike them with. You could even glue the sandpaper to the outside of the jar so you have everything in one place.
- Ambient lighting – Take an empty gallon jug and put a headlamp around it for great ambient lighting in your tent. Pick up the headlamps anywhere camping supplies are sold and are inexpensive.
- Tick spray – There is no need to buy expensive sprays to protect your family from ticks. A simple formula of tea tree oil and water in a spray bottle will keep them away. It’s also safe for children. Natural tick deterrent is one part tea tree oil to two parts water. Make sure you spray it in hair, on clothes, and even your bedding.
- Spices – Keep enough spices for your trip in Tic Tac containers to last you while you are camping. Mark each with the spice using a permanent marker or label maker. You can even keep them assembled together nicely in a plastic container so they do not draw moisture.
- Kitchen storage – Use a belt around a tree and some hooks to hang up your pots and pans while camping. You can even use this to dry the dishes you are able to hang from it. It’s a pretty creative way to keep your cooking area tidy and still have everything close at hand.
- Make your own fire starter – Using wax and lint from your dryer, you can make some great fire-starting material. This will take some time and is best stored in an egg carton, but it’s worth the trouble when it saves you time and money at the campsite.
- Great kindling – Have some stale Doritos the kids have not eaten? Believe it or not, they make great kindling. Just place the fire starter you made at the bottom of the pit, add some Doritos on top, and you have a start to a great campfire.
- Sage – Instead of using chemicals to keep mosquitos away, burn some sage. It smells great and will keep the pesky bugs away from you and your family.
- Candles – You can make wonderful candles while camping using the peels from an orange (grapefruit, lime, and lemon work too) and adding some standard kitchen oil like vegetable, olive, etc. Leave the middle stem when you eat it so you can light it as the wick. Not only do you have a beautiful homemade candle, it smells wonderful too.
- Eggs – We all know packing eggs is a recipe for disaster, so break them open, put them in a water bottle, and shake it up and you have ready made scrambled eggs without the mess to clean up later. Make sure you pack this in with your cold items in the ice chest.
- Bug bites – Want to stop the itching of a bug bite quick? Get some travel size deodorant and put it on the bug bite and it will instantly stop itching.
- Activity bags – Sometimes camping gets boring for kids, so having a Ziploc bag with some crayons, a piece of paper, etc., will keep them busy while they’re between adventures.
- Muffin tin – Making hamburgers or hot dogs during your camping trip? Use a muffin tin as a station for your condiments with one mold for pickles, catsup, mustard, onions, tomatoes, etc. Put saran wrap over it and throw it into your ice chest and you do not have to worry about cutting things up while you are camping.
- Hanging shoe organizer – These work great to store kitchen items like silverware, spices, napkins, etc. Pockets are see-through, so it is easy to tell what is inside of them, and it can be hung anywhere that is handy.
- Coffee can – A plastic coffee can is the perfect toilet paper holder. You can even cut a slit in the side for the toilet paper to come out. It keeps water out and keeps your toilet paper clean and dry.
- Lanterns – Take an old mason jar or any jar you have available, paint the inside with glow in the dark paint, and voila: you have a beautiful lantern to take with you on your camping trip. The kids will love it and you will have some extra lighting in the tent.
- Hand washing station – Use an old jug of laundry soap (completely washed out and filled with water), put a roll of paper towels on top and a bar of soap or container of hand wash next to it, and you have a great place for you and the kids to wash your hands.
- First-aid kit – Make a much smaller version for hiking by throwing a few band aids and ointment into an old Altoids mint box.
- Coffee – Good news for those of us who need our coffee in the morning! You can now buy individual coffee bags that only require boiling water to make. Set up a fire for heating water at the campsite, and you’ve got the perfect cup of coffee in the morning.
- Save money – There are tons of hacks you can buy at the dollar store so you do not have to spend a ton of money on camping. From logs for your campfire to the pool noodles you can put on your tent strings; they are all there.
The next time you go camping make sure you keep these hacks in mind. They will surely save you some time and money.