15 Nifty Camping Tips and Tricks

kneeling camper

15 Nifty Camping Tips and Tricks

While you might be tempted to just wing it when you go on a camping trip, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. If you are a first time camper, you may struggle a little to pitch your tent, but doing that, building a fire, and tying simple knots are just the basics and you’ll master these pretty quickly. While you’ll likely have a great time, some moments in the great outdoors—away from modern comforts—can throw you for a loop. Here are 15 tried and true camping tricks from veteran campers to help make your next camping trip a little smoother and enjoyable.

Brings Tarps: Imagine getting stuck inside your tent with your kids when a pouring rain does not let up for hours on end. Pitch a tarp shelter over your main cooking area when you first arrive at your site. This will allow you to have a fire, make some food, and sit around the fire without getting soaked.

Flexible Frisbee: Frisbees are not just for recreation with your kids or dogs. When properly cleaned, they can be used as plates, cutting boards, and bowls. Furthermore, they make great little basins to collect rainwater, can be used in a pinch as a shovel, or replacement paddle if you lose an oar when kayaking or canoeing.

Bring Glow-Sticks: These are a lot of fun for kids, but they have practical uses as well. If your dog is with you, you can attach one to his or her collar. You can place them on tree stumps, tent pegs, or other obstacles that are obvious in the day, but can pose a danger at night. This will help prevent accidents such as stubbed toes or nasty falls.

Protect Your TP: Toilet paper will be rendered useless if it gets soaked during an unexpected downpour or falls into dirt. Take a plastic coffee can or a cylindrical oatmeal container. Cut a slit in the side, pop the toilet paper roll inside, place the plastic top back on, and pull the paper out of the slit.

Keep Your Clothes Warm: Nobody likes to put on cold clothes in the morning and this is especially true if you are camping in early spring, late fall, or winter. Before you turn in for the night, put the clothes you plan on wearing the next day in your sleeping bag while you sleep.

Be Soap Savvy: If you’ve ever dropped your bar of soap in a lake while bathing, you know it’s hard to retrieve. To prevent that from happening and conserve soap, peel it with a vegetable peeler and use a single slice per bath.

DIY Firestarters: Coat cotton balls in petroleum jelly and then wrap them in squares of aluminum foil. When it’s time to use them, cut an X in the foil, pull a bit of the cotton out, twist it into a wick, and light it. It should last about 10 minutes. You can also try round cosmetic cotton pads dipped in wax – easy to make and they barely take up room.

Pre-Made Pancakes: Preparing the batter and freezing it ahead of time in small freezer bags prevents spoiled milk or eggs. The little bags can double as ice packs, and when you are ready, simply thaw them and cook a delicious breakfast for your camping party.

Easy Make Omelet: Put eggs, cheese, veggies, and any other ingredients you like in a Ziploc bag. Mix everything together with a disposable spoon, and then place it in a pot of boiling water for 11 minutes. Open the bag, slide the omelet out, and voila—you have a perfectly edible meal!

Ant repellant: Sprinkle regular breakfast grits anywhere you see ants—grits are safer than spray and repel the pesky bugs.

Cooking Organizer: An inexpensive clear shoe storage bag—the kind you hang in your closet— makes an ideal organizer for your supplies. You can keep all your kitchen gadgets inside such as utensils, towels, spices, graters, etc.

Waterproof Match Container: Glue some sandpaper to the lid of a plastic food storage box and place the matches inside.

Creative Kindling: Nearly every camping hack article mentions corn or taco chips like Doritos, and not for their nutritional value! They actually work effectively as kindling due to their caloric and fat content. Another surprise source of kindling is lint gathered from laundry dryer filters.

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