Simple Camping Tricks: Essential Hacks for Outdoor Enthusiasts
Jane Francis | October 16, 2023
Camping enthusiasts constantly seek ways to make their experiences more enjoyable, efficient, and memorable. By employing some simple tricks, campers can enhance their outdoor adventures. Let’s look at a variety of practical camping tips to make your outdoor experiences even better.
Fun Camper Treasure Hunt
A Happy Camper Scavenger Hunt is an enjoyable activity for everyone on a camping trip, whether you’re setting up the campsite, exploring the outdoors, or just searching for an adventurous pastime. This nature-oriented game is suitable for campers of all ages, interests, and hiking abilities. From children to adults, everyone can participate in the search for items around the trail and campsite.
Feel free to keep it simple with easily discoverable items for younger campers or make it more challenging with fascinating facts about plants and wildlife to engage the more experienced nature enthusiasts. As an added bonus, consider awarding prizes to participants who successfully complete the hunt first, thus combining the excitement of competition with the joy of backpacking and exploring the great outdoors.
Turn a Cup Into a Jamming Speaker
For those who crave some music during their outdoor adventures but don’t want to haul a heavy speaker, a simple solution exists. By utilizing an empty plastic cup, you can amplify your phone’s sound without disturbing the surrounding wildlife.
Just place your phone into the cup, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the sound amplification. This quick hack can add a fun element to your camping experience, such as a little dance party, without compromising the natural serenity. Enjoy your outdoor activities while still having your favorite tunes within reach.
Doritos: Not Just a Snack, But a Fire-Starter!
In an unexpected situation where fire starters are unavailable or ineffective, Doritos can come to the rescue. By removing them from the plastic bag and igniting them, they can burn just long enough to ignite larger tinder and get a campfire or fire pits going, preventing cold and hunger.
Including Doritos or similar snacks on outdoor trips can serve dual purposes: a tasty snack and a potential emergency fire starter.
Melted Starburst? Yes, Please!
Forget about the monopoly marshmallows have over campfires – step up your “fire-roasting game” by adding a little Starburst into the mix. These sugary, fruity candies take on a whole new personality when warmed up.
Instead of their usual chewy texture, they become a delightful, gooey snack sure to bring fun and excitement to your next outdoor gathering. So, next time you’re igniting a campfire, give the classic s’more some friendly competition by roasting Starburst and enjoying this unconventional treat.
Cool Tic Tac Storage Hacks
Tic Tac containers, small and versatile, can be repurposed in various ways. They work as the perfect storage solution for items like herbs, spices, and salt, making culinary adventures possible even on camping trips. Additionally, these compact containers can hold essentials like baby powder and cleaning supplies.
To prevent any mix-ups, be certain to label each container, distinguishing between edible items and those meant for cleaning or other uses. This way, your experience will be organized, clean, and hassle-free.
Make a Whistle… From a Cool Acorn!
Acorns, commonly found during fall, serve a purpose beyond just nourishing wildlife. They have the potential to transform into a functional whistle! These homemade acorn whistles are practical, whether you seek an entertaining outdoor activity or need assistance when lost.
To create the whistle, hold the acorn cap between your fingers as demonstrated in the image. Blow air into the vacant area, and listen as a piercing sound resonates. The effectiveness of these tiny treasures might just leave you impressed.
Emergency? Use a Frisbee!
In certain situations, paper plates may fail to hold up against strong winds or clumsy mishaps. Fortunately, there’s a useful alternative. When facing a shortage of plates, simply grab a frisbee, turn it upside down, and place your food on top.
Utilizing a frisbee as a dish might not be ideal for everyday use, but it serves as a practical solution in emergency situations. Moreover, it provides a valid reason for bringing along a frisbee that you might have otherwise left behind.
Grab-n-Go Coffee Bags
It’s not uncommon for coffee to hold a significant spot on your priority list during outdoor excursions. The comfort of a morning brew can be vital for those who rely on their daily caffeine fix. Portable coffee bags offer a simple solution for campers who need that little extra push in the morning.
To create these convenient pouches, gather a few coffee filters from your home, add a couple of scoops of your preferred coffee grounds, and secure it with a piece of string or dental floss. This handy method eliminates the need for cookware and camp stoves, providing campers with an efficient, hassle-free way to enjoy their beloved beverage in nature.
How Do You Want Your Morning Eggs?
Eggs are a popular breakfast choice worldwide, with various cooking styles like sunny-side up, scrambled, and omelets. There’s no need to miss out on your beloved eggs even during camping trips. Carrying whole eggs might be cumbersome and risky, but there’s a simple workaround. Break the required number of eggs beforehand and store the contents in a bottle.
This method allows you to pour out the needed amount each day and prepare the eggs to your liking. It’s a good idea to label the bottle for easy egg quantity tracking.
Ready-Made Pancake Mix
After spending days exploring the outdoors, mealtimes can become monotonous. Delight in a tasty breakfast by utilizing a premade pancake mix stored in an empty ketchup bottle. This convenient solution allows for hassle-free preparation of small, scrumptious pancakes, as you simply squeeze the mix onto the cooking surface.
Keep in mind, the mixture may contain eggs, so storing it in a cooler is essential to prevent spoilage during your camping adventure.
Cake Tote to Make Your Journey Sweet
A cake carrier may initially appear as an unnecessary addition to your camping gear. However, its multifunctional nature could prove to be valuable. Not only does it safeguard your food from bothersome insects like flies and bees, but it also serves as a convenient storage space for lightweight items, shielding them from windy weather.
While a cake carrier’s primary purpose is to store, cover, and transport cakes, it becomes highly beneficial when strong gusts threaten the stability of your napkins and paper plates during a camping trip.
Trusty Duct Tape Tricks
Duct tape is an essential item for any camping adventure. Its waterproof nature and versatile uses make it indispensable in various situations. Common applications include mending tent tears, preventing blisters on feet, providing makeshift bandages, and fixing broken items. The practicality of duct tape is truly boundless.
Don’t leave home without it on your hiking trip, as its usefulness might surprise you.
Quick Zipper Fix Trick
Occasionally, everyone encounters a zipper malfunction at the most inconvenient moment. It could be a pants zipper refusing to close before an important presentation or a tent not sealing, letting in cold air. A quick and easy solution to prevent future zipper issues is to carry a candle. Using the wax as a lubricant can effectively smoothen zipper movement. Simply apply it to the troublesome zipper and notice the improvement.
Candles are an essential item to have while camping, regardless of whether flashlights and lanterns are present. It’s vital always to have an available light source.
Pool Noodles: Your Tent’s Best Friend
Pop-up tents offer convenience but face issues like unwanted collapsing and water pooling on the tent top. A straightforward solution exists – using a pool noodle. By placing a pool noodle in the corner as depicted in a photo, stability is enhanced and water pooling is averted.
This clever trick not only provides the tent with additional support, but it also eliminates the issue of water gathering on flat parts of the tent top, ensuring a more enjoyable tent camping experience.
Light Up Your Night with a Water Bottle
In case of a lantern or flashlight malfunction, there’s an alternative solution. By attaching a headlamp to a gallon of water or a water bottle, with the light facing the water, it creates a bright makeshift lantern effect on the container. This allows the user to navigate around the campsite with a dependable light source.
While using the headlamp on one’s head is the intended purpose, having the light focused elsewhere can be beneficial in certain situations. This water bottle night light method is a versatile option that provides illumination when needed.
Cozy Up! Hot Water Bottles for Your Sleeping Bag
One effective way to ensure warmth and comfort when using a sleeping bag is by utilizing hot water bottles. About 30 minutes before bedtime, boil water and fill your thermal bottles. Place these bottles inside the sleeping bag to preheat it and create a pleasant environment.
This method not only guarantees a warm welcome when settling into your sleeping bag but also maintains that warmth throughout your resting time. It is a practical solution for those using sleeping bags or inflatable sleeping pads alike, providing an enjoyable and cozy sleep.
Craft a Spoon from a Soda Bottle
When you’re outdoors enjoying a hot meal but lack a proper eating utensil, a homemade spoon can be an excellent alternative. By repurposing an empty soda bottle and a pair of scissors, a useful tool can be crafted.
First, cut the bottle to create a long handle with a curved, spoon-like end. For a more secure grip and added stability, wrapping the handle with duct tape is a great option. This simple yet effective solution ensures a more civilized dining experience when out in nature.
Make Your Backpack Rainproof
It is important for camping and hiking enthusiasts to ensure their gear stays dry. Even if your backpack isn’t waterproof, you can still protect its contents from moisture. To waterproof your equipment, place items inside a plastic bag before placing them in your backpack and seal it securely.
Taking this precaution allows you to enjoy your trip with confidence, knowing that a splash or rain will not ruin your gear. The effective use of waterproofing methods, such as a rain fly, will undoubtedly enhance your outdoor experience.
First Aid On-The-Go: Tiny Edition
Embarking on a camping adventure requires being prepared for emergencies. A compact first aid kit is a must-have, providing essential supplies for minor injuries. An empty prescription bottle can serve as an efficient container for a mini first aid kit.
Despite its small size, this portable kit can hold a few bandages, disinfectants, and some pain relievers. It can easily fit into a pocket, ensuring quick access in case of any mishaps while keeping the contents secure with its tightly closed lid. Having a mini first aid kit handy contributes to a safer outdoor experience without weighing you down.
Ticks can be persistent and sometimes manage to attach themselves even when tick repellent is used. Considering the potential for tick-borne illnesses, prompt removal is crucial. An effective tick removal kit consists of soap, cotton balls, and tweezers.
To remove a tick, dampen a cotton ball with soap, and gently press it against the tick for about 30 seconds. This can help loosen its hold. Following that, use the tweezers to carefully extract the tick. This kit enables a swift and safe removal process for these pesky creatures.
Keep Those Weird Gel Packs – They’re Cool!
Silica gel packets are commonly found in various products such as shoes and medicine bottles. They may seem like a nuisance, but they serve a valuable purpose in absorbing moisture and maintaining freshness.
These packets can be especially useful during camping trips. One way to utilize them is by placing them in your pots and pans to keep them dry and rust-free. This will help preserve your camping equipment and save you the trouble of dealing with damaged supplies. So, next time you come across silica gel packets, think twice before throwing them away.
DIY Clothes Washer – Bucket & Plunger Style
In situations where one needs to wash clothes while out in nature, a simple yet effective solution is the use of a bucket with a hole and a plunger. This combination makes use of the plunger’s suction power within the confined space of the bucket, mimicking a washing machine’s functionality. Although it requires manual effort, this method ensures clean clothes, even when in the great outdoors.
Travel Hand-Washing Spot
Maintaining hygiene during camping can be challenging due to factors like constant dirt exposure and limited water availability. A practical solution is creating a portable hand washing station using an empty jug or bucket. Essential items for this station include a jug, pantyhose, soap, and water.
By placing the soap inside the pantyhose, it remains secure and accessible, making the hand washing process more convenient. This setup encourages regular use of hand sanitizer and provides a reliable hand washing station for campers, promoting cleanliness and good hygiene.
One-Time Soap Slivers
In order to maintain a mess-free soap experience, try employing soap shavings! These small slivers from a larger soap bar offer a practical alternative to the traditional soggy and wet soap. This method not only conserves resources but also simplifies the clean-up process. It eliminates the need to constantly carry a damp, partially used bar of soap.
Providing individuals with their own soap shavings can also encourage proper handwashing. When people receive personal soap portions, they are more inclined to utilize them effectively.
Eco-Friendly Trail Tags
While embarking on a hiking adventure, it’s crucial to avoid getting disoriented or lost. Many individuals may venture off the main path or struggle with navigation, making trail markers an essential tool. Utilizing biodegradable marking tape to indicate your route can significantly reduce the risk of losing your way amidst vast natural landscapes.
Always opt for biodegradable tape, as preserving the environment should be a top priority during outdoor activities. By using eco-friendly markers, you can keep yourself safe while also caring for the planet.
Sage: Nature’s Mosquito Fighter
Using sage bundles can be an effective method to ward off mosquitos during outdoor activities. To keep mosquitos at bay while sleeping, simply create a small bundle of sage and place it on a campfire. The scent emitted from the burning sage is known to deter these pests, ensuring a peaceful night’s rest.
Keep in mind that the sage’s mosquito-repellant effect typically lasts for about an hour. To maintain this protection throughout the night, occasionally add more sage to the fire, extending the duration of its repelling properties.
Catching Those Sneaky Critters
When camping, securing the area from unexpected visitors like rodents, snakes, or curious hikers is crucial. A practical approach to enhance safety involves setting up a string barrier around the campsite’s perimeter and connecting it to a mousetrap.
This makeshift security system ensures undisturbed rest, as any intrusion will trigger the trap to emit a loud noise, making the campers aware. In this way, they can be confident and well-prepared to handle any unwelcome guests that may pass their hidden barrier.
Make Your Keys Float with a Cork
Have a bunch of spare wine corks? Put them to good use by attaching them to your keys. This way, if your keys accidentally fall into the water, they won’t sink to the bottom. Instead, the cork will help your keys stay afloat, making it easy for you to retrieve and secure them.
However, exercise caution if you’re around fast-moving water, as the combination of floating keys and strong currents may lead to losing them quickly.
Use Bread Tags Instead of Boring Clothes Pins
Opt for bread tags as an alternative to clothespins for hanging laundry while camping. As trips extend beyond just a day, managing laundry becomes essential and carrying enough clothes for an entire week is impractical. Bread tags can lighten the load, being compact and occupying less space than traditional clothespins.
These small plastic tags also serve to recycle waste that is often discarded. Use them to securely hang your towel and other clothing items, aiding in an eco-friendly and efficient solution for drying laundry during camping trips.
Use Frozen Water, Not Just Ice
Utilizing frozen water in large containers or jugs can be more beneficial than using ice cubes when it comes to keeping your cooler chilled. Since ice cubes eventually melt and lose their cooling properties, replacing them with frozen water in jugs or bottles helps in conserving the coldness while making it more practical.
As the ice melts, the water contained within the jugs can be utilized for cooking or drinking, providing additional use, and preventing it from merely occupying space in your cooler. This alternative not only serves the same purpose as ice packs but also offers valuable resources for your needs.
Spot for Your Muddy Stuff
When hiking or camping, it’s common to encounter muddy situations. Shoes, in particular, tend to be covered in mud after a short time. To prevent the spread of mud to clean clothes and belongings, use shower caps as a handy protective measure.
Shower caps, with their elastic edges, can effectively seal off the muddy item, containing the dirt and moisture within the plastic. This ensures that your possessions remain clean and fresh. Keep in mind the usefulness of shower caps for muddy items such as shoes, and consider packing them alongside essentials like garbage bags, pillows, and dry clothes.
Puzzle Mat for Comfy Feet
These stylish foam floor tiles aren’t just child’s play. Ideal for laying under a tent, they provide a cozy, cushioned surface for a good night’s sleep.
While some campers might enjoy feeling the ground’s natural contours through the tent’s thin lining, others prefer the familiar comfort of a mattress and pillows. For those seeking extra coziness during their camping adventure, these puzzle piece floor tiles can create a bed-like surface to ensure a restful slumber in the great outdoors.
Hang Out with a Car Hammock
Experience the joy of relaxation with a portable hanging car hammock that easily attaches to your vehicle. Revel in the sounds of nature while swaying gently and enjoying splendid views from the comfort of this unique hammock chair.
Although finding the ideal hammock and attachment that fits your car might require some effort, the reward is an unforgettable experience of leisure and peace in various scenic locations. This innovative solution is perfect for those who appreciate the convenience of an easily transportable hammock without sacrificing comfort.
Keep Matches Dry and Safe
Matches are crucial for any camping adventure, providing the means for cooking, warmth, and illumination. However, standard matchboxes lack water resistance, rendering them ineffective in rainy conditions.
To overcome this challenge, use a compact plastic container to safeguard your matches from moisture. Affix a patch of sandpaper onto the container’s lid, allowing for convenient ignition. Armed with this practical and versatile match holder, campers will have reliable access to fire in various weather conditions.
Fire Starter: Coal in an Egg Tray
Coal can be cumbersome and messy, making it less appealing for those who rely on it for igniting fires during camping trips. An ingenious solution to transport and utilize coal conveniently is repurposing an empty egg carton.
By filling the egg compartments with coal pieces, it becomes a compact, lightweight carrier. To use the fire starter, simply place the closed carton on the fire pit and ignite it. The egg carton coal fire starters offer a fuss-free, efficient manner to start fires while ensuring easy cleanup and transportation.
Dish Dryer? Use a Belt!
One of the most significant challenges in outdoor cooking is not only washing the dishes but also efficiently drying them without allowing them to be contaminated with dirt. To overcome this issue, use your belt and wrap it around a tree, attaching pegs or hooks as needed. Suspend the dishes on these hooks to let them dry, maintaining a safe distance from potential dirt and debris.
While this method doesn’t provide the same convenience as a home dishwasher, it at least offers a practical solution to ease dish drying concerns during camping experiences.
TP Roll Holder to the Rescue
During a camping adventure, you may not always have access to luxurious amenities like public restrooms. In these situations, having a practical and portable solution for managing toilet paper is essential.
Create a convenient toilet paper holder using any large container that accommodates a roll of toilet paper. Simply cut a narrow opening on one side for the paper to be easily pulled out. For added convenience, attach a string handle to carry the holder effortlessly. With this nifty toilet paper holder, your outdoor experiences will be more comfortable and hassle-free.
Mini Straw for Your Makeup Bits
Travel-sized items have gained popularity, especially for those who desire portability and convenience. However, not all products come in smaller sizes, and sometimes, even these miniatures can be too large. Mini straw containers can be the solution. To create one, cut a straw to the desired length, melt one end, fill it with the product, and seal the other end similarly.
This simple method securely stores cosmetics by using heat to consolidate the straw’s plastic. Mini straw carriers make transportation of various products easier while maximizing space in baggage.
Don’t Skip the Yummy Couscous
While rice is a popular choice for camping meals, couscous offers a fantastic alternative. With its simplicity in preparation and minimal need for cooking temperature control, it makes an ideal choice for cooking over campfires. Couscous cooks in just a few minutes and provides similar satiety as rice.
To add variety to your camping cuisine, consider splitting your meals between rice and couscous. This way, not only can you enjoy different textures and flavors, but also ensure optimal food storage for your spices and other ingredients.
Cool Candles on Sticks!
Extended and long candles affixed to a stick may at first seem peculiar, but they serve multiple practical purposes. For instance, they create an ideal barrier of light around a campsite without the risk of accidentally starting a forest fire, which could happen if a candle were simply placed on the ground.
Furthermore, these candles on a stick enhance the atmosphere by providing a romantic ambiance for special occasions. They are also perfect for illuminating pathways, such as guiding the way to restrooms at nighttime events to prevent attendees from getting lost or tripping in the dark. This clever lighting solution proves to be a win-win for all involved.