Be prepared the next time you go camping with these 10+ top camping hacks of all time

For lovers of the outdoors, there’s no better way to spend a weekend than camping out under the stars, enjoying everything nature has to offer. Usually after a couple of adventures, campers start to build up a repertoire of tricks to make their camping experiences run a little more smoothly. Everyone from those who are just starting out to seasoned campers can learn a new hack to enrich the camping experience.
A multitude of ways exist to make things run just a bit smoother on the next trip. Camping hacks can include anything from ideas on how to better organize a campsite to ways to provide improved lighting. The list that follows is 10 of the all-time best tips to have a better time while camping.
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DIY kindling
Making kindling is a snap when using simple materials that can be found in most homes. One of the easiest methods involves stuffing dryer lint inside an empty toilet paper roll. Put together a handful of these for an effortless, lightweight and incredibly affordable way to start a campfire.
Watertight matches container
Just as essential to a successful campfire as kindling, matches are forever a necessary camping supply. Although most match boxes are made from flimsy thin paperboard, it’s easy to whip up a watertight container in no time. Get a small mason jar, cut a piece of sandpaper just smaller than the lid, glue it to the underside of the lid and fill the jar with matches.
Upgrade tent sleeping
Sleeping directly on the floor of a tent can get uncomfortable fast, so why not upgrade to something more pleasant? The obvious choice would be to use an air mattress, but why not take it a step further and pack a folding air mattress frame to elevate the sleeping surface? The night’s slumber can be made even cozier by swapping out sleeping bags for sheets and comforters. For those who’d prefer to skip lugging a frame, try spreading out interlocking foam floor tiles beneath the bed for an added layer of comfort.
Brighten up a campsite
Once the sun sets, it quickly becomes challenging to see around a campsite. One easy way to cast a decent amount of light without investing in an extra lantern is to fasten a headlamp with the light facing inward around a gallon jug of water. The lamp will illuminate the entire jug and create lots of ambient light. Alternatively, bring a handful of solar light stakes to drive into the ground around the site during the day. Come nighttime, the stakes will provide enough light to safely navigate the area.
Hang it up
One of the simplest ways to quickly corral small supplies is to use a hanging shoe organizer. Hung from a tree or tie line, a shoe organizer will keep supplies off the ground or from cluttering up the campsite, all in one easily accessible spot. Use the organizer to hold anything from dish soap and towels to cooking utensils and toiletries.
Downsize
Packing light is essential when camping, and one of the easiest ways to do so is by packing small. Avoid bringing bulky containers that take up valuable space by looking around for items that can be recycled to hold supplies. Repurpose old Tic Tac containers to hold small items such as emergency first aid or fishing supplies. Stackable pill containers can hold small amounts of spices.
Premake meals
One of the best ways to maximize outdoor fun time when camping is to minimize time spent cooking. Before leaving, try preparing meals in foil packets that can simply be removed from the cooler, thrown straight on the fire and eaten out of the same container. Not only do premade meals eliminate time spent chopping and prepping onsite, but they also eliminate dirty dishes. Check out Pinterest for inspiration and an endless number of meal packet ideas.
Ditch the shells
Continuing on the subject of food, eggs can be a notoriously difficult item to pack into a cooler. They are fragile and difficult to nest amongst other items. An easy solution to this problem is prescrambling and seasoning raw eggs, and pouring them into a resealable bottle, which can then be safely tucked into the side of a cooler.
Keep the bugs at bay
Those who don’t enjoy being eaten alive but who are also looking to reduce their use of toxic sprays should try this old school method. Avon’s Skin So Soft has long been used as a successful bug repellent effective against mosquitoes and a variety of other unpopular pests. Slather a bit on any exposed skin before nightfall, and enjoy an evening free of pesky bites and scratching.
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Download some apps
There are a multitude of apps to enhance any kind of camping trip. Apps can help with everything from selecting a campsite to finding nearby amenities. Some to try are Spyglass, which has an advanced compass and GPS; Night Sky, which helps users identify constellations and planets; iNaturalist, which aids in plant and animal identification; and the American Red Cross’s First Aid app.
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