The Camping Hacks You Need to Use Next Time

Ah, camping. Camping can be a lot of fun – the great outdoors, the campfires, the woods, and the food you would never eat in a civilized society. Escaping the hassle of your daily grind can be refreshing, and there is plenty of time for games and leisure.

Source: Pinterest / 123rf

There are a lot of fun things to do while camping, including water activities, games, meals and hiking. It can be quite a challenge to be prepared for every type of occasion while outdoors. That said, there are a lot of different hacks to prepare for Mother Nature or even simple day-to-day tasks.

Here are some awesome camping hacks you can use to make your camping experience as wonderful as possible!

Single-Use Ointment and Toothpaste Packets

Instead of packing such large toiletry bags, as most women tend to do, you can just cut up a straw and fill up the small pieces with antibiotic ointments, creams, or toothpaste to make single-use packets. It’s as easy as that!

Straw cut into small pieces with ointment inside them

Source: Pinterest.com

Place the straw over the opening of a tube and carefully squeeze in a tiny amount of the product that is approximately one-quarter of an inch in length. If the product comes in a tube, use a Q-tip to fill the packet. You’ll see that a transparent straw would work best for this hack. You can also use a lighter to seal the ends; you might want to use plyers while doing so.

Foam Flooring

I’m sure nearly all people who have been on camping trips know that sometimes you wake up with a deflated mattress. And that’s no fun. Now, don’t get me wrong; camping is about roughing it up. I’m sure if you could make it a little more pleasant, it would make a large difference.

Children's foam puzzle pieces for the floors

Source: Twitter.com

Before you plan your next camping trip, you should probably head over to a children’s department store and grab yourself some foam puzzle pieces. Then, you’re gonna place the foam puzzle pieces under your mattress. You will find that your tent floor will be way comfier. You’re welcome. Oh, and if you have kids, this is a great game for them too.

An Instant Lantern

When it comes to lighting up your surroundings in campsites, you either try to set up camp near toilet areas or near roads for better lighting. But there’s no need. Here is a fun way for you and your fellow campers to have better lighting. Simply get a large clear plastic bottle and fill it with water.

A large plastic bottle with a headlamp attached to the outside, creating a 'lantern effect.'

Source: rosmanrv.com

Then, apply a headlamp or another form of light to the outside of the bottle for an instant lantern. That should give you enough lighting. Now you won’t have to use a flashlight that most of us forget to bring anyways. And using your cellphone flashlight is only going to use up all your battery.

A Natural Tick Deterrent

Sometimes it can be a little frightening when you get all sorts of weird unexplained bites all over you after a trip outdoors. But don’t worry, have no fear, the solution is here! You can make a natural tick deterrent – that is, if you prefer avoiding harsh chemicals. Since the world, in general, is becoming a lot more aware of the products they use, this one is for the “chemical-conscious.”

Fleas in the palm of a hand

Source: YouTube.com

So, if you’re looking for a more natural tick deterrent, you can put one part of tea tree oil to 2 parts water into a spray bottle. You should spray the treatment onto your shoes, socks and the cuffs of your pants.

Garden Candle Lights

If you would like to add that extra touch to your outdoors trip, get a little creative, and make your own DIY romantic garden candles for nighttime lighting. You can use a tiny drill bit or toothpick to hollow out the bottom of the candle. Place a few craft dowels into the ground and then firmly place the candles on top of the dowels.

Candles on sticks

Source: Pinterest.com

It’s easy, affordable, and pretty. It’s a nice way to add extra lights for an evening outdoors. And if you have kids, it’s always crucial to find things for them to do. So this can be something for your kids to do – to keep them busy and also be productive.

Tic-Tac Spices

Here’s a fun one for the lovers of organization. Another primary camping experience is cooking your food together as a family in the nature. When we go camping, we like to eat well. For some people, that means making sure you have all the right seasoning and spies on hand. Here’s an easy way to bring all your favorite spices.

Empty Tic-Tac bottles being used to hold spices

Source: Pinterest.com

Space is always an issue, so try this trick. Use empty Tic-Tac containers to store all your favorite spices in it. This would also be a great solution for people who stay in vacation condos, motor homes, campers and travel trailers. In general, many of these hacks can be used in more settings than just the campground.

Hand-Wash Station

Tired of trying to find a bathroom nearby? Things are always bound to get a bit messy, especially with kids in the mix. We think this is a pretty nifty DIY hack you should try. What you need to do is take an empty laundry detergent dispenser or another similar container and use it as a handwashing station.

Plastic laundry detergent dispenser is being used as a hand wash station

Source: Pinterest.com

If you want to get fancy, you can add a little toilet roll holder to the top of it. Now you have your own easy access handwashing station. And let me tell you, something like this will majorly change your next camping trip. Any parent will certainly agree that keeping your kids’ hands clean is like a full-time job on its own.

Easy Pancake Mix

Eating pancakes on a camping trip early in the morning – who wouldn’t want that? Well, it’s actually really simple and doesn’t even require too many ingredients. There are numerous recipes out there that are easy to follow. You can make delicious pancakes with a pre-made pancake mix using shortening and dry milk.

A clear bottle containing pancake mix

Source: Pinterest

There is, of course, the easy option of making eggs or eating cereal every morning on your trip. But really, the whole point of fun hacks is to amp up your game. And I promise you, if you bring this on your next camping excursion, you will definitely impress the people you’re with – whether it’s your family or friends.

An Easy Fire Starter

I just discovered this hack, and I’m really glad I did. You know when you want to get a fire going, and it takes some time until it finally picks up? You could, you know, pull a Tom Hanks from Cast Away and try to make fire as if you were stranded on an island with only yourself and Wilson. Or…

An empty egg carton filled with charcoal

Source: facebook.com

Or you can do this simple hack. Here is a simple way to get your fire burning. In place of eggs in an egg carton, place charcoal inside. Then, put the box on the barbeque as is. Then, light the box, and you will find that it burns much easier.

Bye-Bye Mosquitos

Oh, don’t you just love it when you’re about to fall asleep, and then you hear this annoying buzzing sound hovering around? I’m kidding; it’s the most annoying thing in the world. I actually can’t think of anything worse than hearing that buzzing when all you want to do is sleep. That said, if you would like to avoid mosquitos hanging around, try this out.

bundle of sage

Source: Pinterest.com

Just to take extra precautions, you can put a bundle of sage on a campfire and it should keep all the mosquitos away. And if you ask someone who’s a little more on the “spiritual” side, they’ll tell you that it will also keep evil spirits away, too. So, if that makes it any more appealing…

An Emergency Whistle

I think it’s pretty easy to get lost in the woods during a camping trip. I myself have been known to get lost once or twice. Here is a simple trick to teach your loved ones. If you open an acorn and use the cap, you can turn it into a whistle. Why would you need a whistle on a camping trip? Well, if you get lost, you can use it to signal to others that you’re lost.

A demonstrative picture showing you how to open an accord and how to hold it

Source: BakLOL

I know what you’re thinking – it’s a little funny. But this one might just be more useful for the young ones. This hack does take a bit of practice learning how to hold it correctly, but you should get noise from it.

Who Doesn’t Like Scrambled Eggs?

Scrambled eggs on a camping trip is a must. I know it almost seems impossible to cart around eggs and bowls, and so on, but here is an easy way to travel with your eggs. One water bottle can hold up to 18 eggs. You can keep all your eggs in the bottle and save a lot of time and hassles, which also means no whisking and no extra bowls!

A plastic bottle containing raw egg liquid

Source: Pinterest.com

And if you ask me, any way to bring fewer utensils and cutlery and thus need to do less cleaning up is a win-win situation. With this hack, it’s as simple as pouring it onto the pan and enjoying the results. Bon appetit!

Make Some S’moreos

Okay, I know I’m adding quite a bit of food hacks, but I can’t help myself. Maybe this is a sign that I need to stop writing and go for lunch. And who knows – maybe you reading this is making you hungry and you, too, need to stop and get a snack. Anyways, doesn’t this look and sound delicious?

An Oreo with a melted marshmallow pouring off the sides

Source: Twitter

You can advise your friends or family with little ones because they’re gonna love it. All you do is twist open an Oreo open and put in a melted piece of chocolate (which is optional), and a roasted marshmallow. Close it, and you have yourself a S’mOreo! You’re welcome.

Know Your Location While Hiking

When going out on a hike, the woods and trails could get a bit confusing. What would happen if you took a different path, how would you find your way back? Don’t worry, there is an easy solution. Sure, you could use our whistle hack if you get lost. But this hack goes in a different direction.

Biodegradable tape wrapped around a branch

Source: Tower Magazine

It’s technically a hiking hack, but people tend to go hiking on their camping trips. Go to your closest hardware store and get yourself some biodegradable trail-marking tape. It will work wonders and help you get back to where you need to be. This way, you can, you’re your route and easily find your way back. Happy hiking.

An All-in-One Cleanser

Packing soaps, shampoos, mouth wash, and dish soap can take up so much space in your bags. There is a solution to this problem, which will make everyone’s lives easier. Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap is unscented. It is completely natural, chemical-free, and biodegradable. You wouldn’t have to worry about where you apply it.

A plastic bottle

Source: Rite Aid

It can be used as shampoo, mouthwash, body wash, laundry detergent, and even dish soap. I know it sounds weird, but if it’s all-natural, then there’s really nothing to worry about. No harsh chemicals = worry-free and dirty-free camping experiences!

Next is a great hack for all those cold nights in the tent or by the bonfire…

Keep Warm on a Cold Night

Sleeping somewhere cold? That’s not a problem, even when that campfire eventually dies down, and it tends to get a bit cold. We found a solution to warm you up a bit. Place a packet of HotHands Air-Activated Warmers at the bottom of your sleeping bag by your feet. It should keep you toasty and warm all night long.

A packet with a heat bag inside, with 'HotHands' inscribed on the packet.

Source: Gainmart Premium

And, considering that they’re technically hand warmers, these things are just perfect for those cold winter days when you’re on a walk with your dog or on a hike. You can place them in the pockets of your jacket and warm up your hands. It will make your time outside so much more enjoyable.

Dry Wet Shoes

Wet shoes can be a serious discomfort for anyone while camping. Actually, in general, they’re a real bummer. If you are anywhere that is humid or wet, drying them out can also be a hard task and take way too long. So this hack requires that you remove the insoles from the shoes and set them aside.

Hiking shoes stuffed with clothing

Source: REI Co-op

Stuff dry used clothing inside the shoes – just as you see in the photo. Moisture usually spreads from wet to dry places naturally. The moisture inside your shoes will shift from the shoe into the dry clothing. In the morning, your shoe will be dry, and you can hang up the moist clothing to let it dry up.

Socks for Sleeping Only

It’s hard to explain the comfort of a clean pair of socks. If you’re anything like me, putting on the same pair of socks even after taking them off for just a few minutes is still uncomfortable. So, if you prefer sleeping in socks, try keeping one pair on hand for sleeping only. They do not have to be thick socks; even thin ankle socks would be great.

Someone putting on a clean pair of socks

Source: rei.com

Wearing them will also help keep the inside of your sleeping bag clean. Even if you can’t shower, having a dry and clean pair of socks on while you’re sleeping will help your body differentiate between your day’s activities and the solace of nighttime.

Kids Nightlight

When it’s too dark inside the tent, the children, especially, may want a source of lighting. But the problem is that the light’s you’d want to hang up would be too bright, and you also don’t want them draining out the battery in your only flashlight, right? So, here’s a fun solution that’s good for the kids and for you.

Someone holding a glow stick inside a tent

Source: Jumia Uanda

Use glow sticks. It’s a camping hack that kids really enjoy. Glow sticks are a wonderful way to provide a little light in your tent that isn’t too bright for sleeping, and let’s face it – they’re fun. You can hang one or two up in your tent. You should have just enough light to see.

Want to Keep Your Firewood Dry?

Okay, in my opinion, camping without making a bonfire is just not camping. Without a fire to sit around, make smores on, and tell stories makes a camping trip feel incomplete. That said, I know how not-fun it is to go on a trip and then all of a sudden, it starts raining, and now your firewood is wet too.

Dry firewood on the floor

Source: tentsntrees.com

So how do you prevent the wood from getting wet? Well, it’s actually very simple. Just place the dry firewood underneath your car so that if it rains, it will stay dry. Tada! If you want to take extra precautions, you can also dig a small trench around your car to prevent the water from running under your car and getting the wood wet.

Solar Powered String Lights

Sometimes those portable camping lanterns just aren’t enough to light up the vicinity. So here is a nice way to light up your campsite. A solar-powered string of lights is a perfect way to light up your campsite. There a quite a few options you can choose from on Amazon. You can purchase them in different sizes and lengths, depending on the area you want to light up.

People sitting in a campsite with a string of lights over their heads

Source: Examples House New Creator

And again, like some of the other hacks on this list, this one is totally not restricted to camping. This is perfect for a night in the backyard or even the park! And if you ask me, it’s a great ambiance to set for your next date night.

Don’t Forget the Tinfoil

You can cook practically anything wrapped up in tinfoil on a campfire. Tinfoil has numerous hacks of its own, but when it comes to food, we simply can’t go without it. You can stuff a baked potato with cheese and beans or season a fish. Just wrap them up in tinfoil and place them in the middle of the fire to cook.

Food wrapped in tinfoil on a fire

Source: boreattonscouts.blogspot.com

Oh, and another thing, if you want to prevent your meat from burning, you can first cover it with cabbage, then tinfoil. And if you don’t like to waste materials, you can turn the use tin foil into little animal shapes for the kiddos that are with you.

One Squirt Can Save You

A handy dandy bottle of hand sanitizer is non-negotiable. Research shows that it’s often bacteria from hands that’s the suspect in many of those outdoors tummy-troubles – not wild bugs like giardia, for example. And considering this whole pandemic fiasco, I think by now people have become so used to hand sanitizer after seeing it in every crevice that exists.

Woman applying hand sanitizer to her hands

Source: TheHealthSite.com

Use an alcohol-based sanitizer after every toilet break and before every meal or snack. But that’s not the only reason to bring it. Did you know that it doubles as a fire starter and even a topical antiseptic for wounds? It might hurt a bit on a cut or scrape, but it works.

Matches Are a Must

It would be pretty annoying if something happened to your one lighter that you brought with you, or you simply just forgot to bring some matches. So do yourself a favor, and don’t forget it! Not only should you always have a box of matches with you on a camping trip, but you need to keep them dry, too!

a small jar containing matches

Source: putitinajar.com

It’s a little more “DIY,” but it’s worth it. Keep your matches dry by crafting your own Mason jar or plastic container matchbox. Using the center of the canning jar lid or container, trace a circle or triangle on the sandpaper. Hot glue the sandpaper shape to the jar lid. Store matches inside. It’s simple and well worth the effort.

Duct Tape

I feel like duct tape can come in very handy – for many reasons and in many situations. Camping is just one activity in which duct tape can be useful. For instance, you can use it with inflatable toys that suddenly have holes in them, holes in the tent, things that may have broken along the way – there’s always something that needs fixing.

A bottle with duct tape wrapped around it

Source: CBC.ca

Duct tape has a million benefits (well, not a million, but many!), and can be a lifesaver on an outdoors trip. Instead of bringing a big roll, tape it around a water bottle or lighter to make sure you have it with you all the time. I bet you didn’t think of that!

Missing a Grommet?

I know this is something you probably wouldn’t think of, but issues like this do happen quite often. And if it does and you’re not prepared, then you’re going to wish you just did this hack and saved the day. It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all, so try to come prepared! If you don’t have a little grommet to hang your tarp up, this is a little hack to solve the problem.

A stone and stick in place of a grommet

Source: thetentairconditioner.com

Simply put, a stone where the grommet used to be and tie a knot around it. And there you have it, a grommet! Inject a stick through the loop in a rope for easy tarp suspension. It’s one of those words, by the way, that you think sounds fake. But nope – it’s a real word.

Lube a Sticky Zipper

Do you know when you have those stubborn zippers that don’t zip or unzip with ease? It happens on coats, bags, and shoes, and it can get really annoying (especially if you’re in a rush!). Anyways, there is a simple solution for such a nagging problem. Please keep in mind that this hack doesn’t require a candle being lit.

Rubbing the side of a candle on a stubborn zipper

Source: Pinterest.com

Rub an unlit candle over a stubborn zipper for a smoother movement. While we are on this subject of zippers, if you stick a large keyring through the small hole in the zipper, you can get your fingers through if you have gloves on. It makes it a lot easier.

Glow in the Dark Bubbles

This idea is just a simple source of amusement and excitement for all ages. But really, the kids will go absolutely nuts over this. But we will go with all ages for this hack, because let’s face it – adults like to have fun, too. Very carefully, cut open a glow stick and pour the liquid into the bottle of bubbles mixture.

Neon bubbles floating around

Source: herpetologistsleague.com

Give it a small shake and let the games begin. I’m telling you, if it’s night time and you want to impress the kids, this will knock their socks off. But then, you might have the problem of them nagging you to do it again, and again, and again. And sorry, I don’t have a hack for that.

Oral Gel for Those Bites

This hack applies to everywhere, not just camping. But camping trips tend to be full of mosquitoes, especially in the summer. There’s nothing worse than looking like a dartboard or having to scratch yourself profusely. Next time you get bitten, give this a try. The oral gel works great for those itching and annoying mosquito bites. It generally helps with most bug bites.

Someone applying an oral gel to a mosquito bite on his foot

Source: medicalnewstoday.com

If you tend to get eaten alive by mosquitoes, you should also invest in those candles that repel them. Just light one up and leave it on the picnic table or wherever you’re eating. A campfire also does the trick as they don’t like smoke.

Glow Stick in Your Cooler

Okay, so camping and beer tend to go together. So this hack is for those who like to drink beers well into the dark of the night. This is a perfect way to light up that cooler so you can see which beer you want to drink next. This way, you don’t need to get out a torch or your phone every time you need a drink from the cooler box

A Cooler box filled with ice and drinks, glowing from a neon stick

Source: Pinterest.com.

And obviously, it doesn’t only pertain to beers. This is a no-brainer, but it’s still a pretty handy tip. You can drop a glow stick in your camping cooler box so that you can easily get your drinks or whatever you are looking for, in the dark. And it looks pretty.

Barbecue Grill Clamp Net

I know it’s not rocket science to get a good fire going and cook a good meal. If there are ways to make life easier, then why not use these hacks, right? This tip helps to keep things neat and tidy. The grill net is the only grid you should have on your trip. Fish, toast, steaks, or gourmet dishes – whatever you want to make.

A barbecue net clamp containing food

Source: amazon.com

This type of grid eliminates tongs and can handle anything with just a flip. It’s less a hack than it is a smart purchase, but it’s still worthy of being on this list. So go ahead and make the purchase and make your next grill night that much better.

Toiletries on a Rope

How do you pack your bag when you’re going on a trip? You need your shampoo and conditioner, your soaps and cleansers, and so on. I’m sure that takes up a lot of space or can even cause a mess in your bags. And nobody likes that gooey mess. So here’s a great camping hack.

Toiletries kept in small containers attached to a lanyard

Source: newpict.icu

Choose your favorite toiletries that you can’t go without, put them in those tiny travel bottles, and attach them to a lanyard. It will take up less space and be less messy. If you can’t find the containers, you could probably order them online.

Poison Alert!

I’m sure you wouldn’t be able to start studying every single plant on the planet and learn of their dangers, but it might help if you become familiar with what kind of threats you face in the area you are headed to. Learn to recognize and distinguish between poisonous ones. Poison ivy, for example, can cause bad itching and rashes.

A picture showing numerous amounts of poisonous leaf types

Source: Pinterest.com

Of course, if you do have an encounter with such plants or leaves, you might want to see a doctor. But this is something that can easily be printed out and taken with you. You can show your kids, so they know which plants not to touch.

Enjoy camping, everyone!