Looking for camping hacks for the summer? Spending time in the great outdoors is cathartic. Not only are you taking a break from work, but you’re spending time in nature, where the air is fresher, the sun seems to shine brighter and you just feel better.
That said, not everyone’s prepared for a trip to the wilderness.
Here are our favorite camping hacks!
A Camping Tip: Car Camping for Beginners
If it’s your first time camping, I would suggest trying what’s called car camping. It’s when you drive your car right up to your camping spot, pitch your tent and enjoy the outdoors while still having a way to get back to the real world if you need it.
Car camping helps you deal with some of the mistakes beginners make. If your sleeping bag isn’t warm enough, you can sleep in your car. If you forget the food, you can drive down to the local market.
It’s a safety net.
The 10 Must-Bring Camping Essentials You Never Want to Forget
As you’re packing, here’s what you absolutely need to take.
- Shelter (Tent, RV, etc.)
- Sleeping Bag or Blankets
- First Aid Kit
- Pack of Waterproof Matches
- Light Source (Flashlight, Lantern or Headlamp)
- Warm/Waterproof Clothing (You never know when it will rain.)
Once you have the essentials, you can start filling in the gaps. Here are some camping hacks that will make your trip that much better.
When you’re looking to repel bugs, think about going natural. According to Wonder How To, burning a bundle of sage can keep away mosquitos.
Cold Storage Turned Drinking Water
Freezing gallon jugs of water serves a dual purpose on your camping trip. First, you get to keep your food cold. Second, you have fresh (possibly chilled) drinking water for later. Thanks, Camping Blogger!
Blogger Frugal Family Home says forget those pricy Duraflame logs and go with this fire starter made out of items you probably already have at home.
Mason Jar Glow Lanterns
This one’s good for kids of all ages. Make this a project during the day and then at night enjoy the show. Lindsay shows us how these mason jar lanterns can light up any camping trip.
Plate or Bowl or Serving Tray, the Frisbee can do it all
Use a Frisbee for a bowl or a plate or even a serving platter. The frisbee holds your food and is easy to clean. Plus, it has a ton of other uses. Check out Backpacker for more than a dozen other uses for the Frisbee.
Lifehacker has this simple hack for your camping breakfast. Instead of packing a carton of eggs, scramble them ahead of time and put them in a bottle. If you add marks to the bottle, you can tell how many you pour out each time. It’s good for breakfast or cooking.
First Aid Packets
When you’re camping, space is sometimes at a premium, which is why these little tubes of antibiotics are so cool. Brian’s Backpacking Blog shows you how to make them. Plus, you can use the same thing trick for condiments like salt and ketchup.
PVC Knife Holders
It’s nice to have knives for cooking, but sharp knives can be dangerous, especially when you’re hauling them everywhere. Family Handyman shows you how to glue PVC pipe to create special holders for your knives.
Pool Noodle Protection
Buy some pool noodles from the Dollar Store and then use them the next time you go camping. They make great safety devices. DIY ‘n’ Crafts shows you how to use them as markers for the tent spikes so you don’t trip.
This DIY matchbox helps you keep the matches dry and is a lot sturdier than your average matchbox. Craftaholics Anonymous suggests adding a little sandpaper on top so you can light the match with ease.
Toilet Paper Dispenser
Toilet paper is a must-have when heading out into the wilderness and keeping it dry is essential. Follow this instructable to make a toilet paper dispenser out a two-liter bottle.
Mesh Bag Dish Dryer
The next time you’re at your local Dollar Store, pick up a mesh dryer bag. Hip2Save says you can use the bag as a hanging dish dryer and then pack up your dirty laundry in it when you head home.
The Boy Scouts of America teaches kids this cool packing hack. It’s perfect for when you need space.