The joy of camping connects you not only with nature but offers a chance to connect with loved ones in a new way. It’s a peaceful respite from the rigors of our normal day-to-day lives. Camping, whether you’re roughing it in a tent, or going a bit more glam in an RV, cabin, or yurt, holds a relaxation all its own.
Along those lines, the idea of “roughing it” is all part of the fun, and we’ve got some tips and tricks, or “hacks” that introduce a bit of homespun ingenuity to make your camping adventure easier. They are crafty and easy to do, all designed to save you space, time, or money.
Make a Lantern with a Jug of Water and a Headlamp
Any translucent bottle will do, however, you can get the coolest effect by using a jug or bottle made from plastic that is not completely transparent, such as a gallon milk jug. Strap the headlamp to the side of the jug so that the beam of light is pointing inward.
The jug will transform into a really cool, glowing orb after dark, casting light in all directions. This makeshift lantern works great anywhere you need ambient light, making your night a whole lot more illuminated!
Line Your Bag with Garbage Bags to Keep Contents Dry
When you’re camping, the weather is everything. On those rainy days, it can seem like the water gets…well, everywhere! This can even happen in your tent if it doesn’t have the right waterproofing. Be prepared for Mother Nature’s fickle moods. Simply line the inside of your backpack with a trash bag. The result? Dry clothes, food, extra socks, whatever you need to stay warm and dry…and well fed.
Use Silica Gel Packets to Keep Your Camp Cookware Rust-Free Between Uses
No doubt you are familiar with those little packets of silica that seem to appear in the packaging of many products. Those are actually quite useful for sucking up moisture. So the next time you are washing up your cookware, dry them and stick a packet or two in your cookware and other places that tend to rust.
Be sure to collect these little packets as you see them in the products you buy, or purchase a box of them.
Pack Lighter Using a Sleeping Bag Case Stuffed with Clothes as Your Pillow
We are very particular about our pillows, and we often have our favorite ones, but they take up an awful lot of packing room. You can remedy this by making your own pillow out of the case your sleeping bag comes in and strategically placing clothes inside.
To form the pillow to your liking, use your softest clothing, make sure that shirt sleeves are unrolled, socks are not too tightly balled up so there are no uncomfortable pressure points and shape the pillow exactly how you want it. If you need more neck support, simply add more clothing in the appropriate area.
Burn Sage in Your Campfire to Repel Nasty Mosquitos
If there’s anything that can dampen a great camping experience (other than constant rain) it’s those darn blood-sucking mosquitos. There are many ways to repel them, even without slathering yourself in toxic bug spray.
On your next camping trip, take along a few bundles of sage. Then when you stoke the campfire, burn a bit of sage in your fire and let it smolder. Mosquitos are naturally repelled by sage smoke – you’ll find a lot less of them buzzing around you using this simple trick.
Corn Chips and Doritos Make Great Kindling
Sometimes good kindling is not easy to find. It’s a necessary ingredient to get any good fire going. So when wood chips, stray twigs, leaves, and the like are in short supply, grab that bag of corn chips or Doritos. You’d be surprised how effective crumbling a handful of these snacky delights is in helping to start a campfire.
Why is this so, you may ask? Well, the starches, oils, and chemicals comprising these snacks make them a prime candidate for combustion, thus working wonders at starting a fire! It is the oil in these chips that make it most flammable, providing a steady burn to get your fire started.
Use a Vegetable Peeler to Shave Strips of Soap for Single Uses
There’s nothing more disgusting than taking a soggy bar of used soap with you to the campground showers. Keeping a wet and soft bar of soap in a baggie is not only messy, it’s just…yuck!
You can remedy this by preparing your soap beforehand. Take a vegetable peeler to slice off nice strips of soap to use as single soaps. Store them in a sealable sandwich bag and simply grab a piece before heading to the shower. You can also grab one for washing hands or giving yourself a bit of spot washing on the go.