During the Spring, Summer, and Fall some of the best activities to enjoy are outside in nature. One of the most popular activities you can enjoy with family and friends is camping. There are thousands of camping locations around our country that you can use for free or for a very small amount of money. Over the years, as a camper myself, I’ve learned a ton of ways to make camping easier. Here are ten simple yet effective, camping hacks that will let you enjoy yourself as much as possible.
1. Prepare– Marinate your foods before your trip and enjoy more flavorful and moist food while out in nature. To Make the most of your cooler situation pack cans on the bottom and the perishable food on top with a layer of ice in between. This keeps the cans cold longer by surrounding them with cold water as the ice melts while keeping your other foods dry.
2. Burn It Up- Almost everyone knows to make a great fire you need kindling. If your stuck trying to build a fire but are experiencing problems try dryer lint or the tissue paper from old shoe boxes. One I learned by accident, because they were stale, were old Doritos.
3. Be Spicy- One of the most disappointing things about camping can be the food. If your a foodie like me, then there’s never an excuse for bland food. Bring smaller versions of your spices from home in a cleaned out chewing tobacco can or tic-tac container.
4. Foil Wins– I’ve learned that you can cook almost anything in aluminum foil. You can cook directly on coals or with a raised grill for food you need to cook slower.
5. Belts- Use a belt wrapped around a tree with some hooks to keep cooking equipment, non perishable food, or clothes off the ground. I’ve been on the wrong end of an animal scavenging food and this is a great way to know your supplies will still be there in the morning.
6. Boil With Paper- If you forgot a pot to boil your water for soup or coffee in, don’t worry. Water draws heat away through the process of convection and while water will boil at about 212 degrees Fahrenheit paper doesn’t burn until about 451 degrees Fahrenheit. I’ve found that if you hold your cup with tongs an even distance away from the fire it takes about 5 minutes to boil enough water for coffee or tea.
7. Protect Your TP- To protect your toilet paper from water or damage, use old containers like a plastic coffee can, an empty rewritable CD stack case, or even a large empty oatmeal container. Trust me when I say you don’t want to be camping and not have any available when you need it.
8. Straw Packs- For easy access to one time use sizes of tooth paste, anti-biotic ointment, or shampoo use a straw. Just cut the straw to the length you need and seal the ends with a lighter.
9. Just In Case- When camping its important to be prepared for any situation. Try making a pocked sized medical kit inside of a pill bottle or a mini survival kit with an empty Altoids tin. Some of the things I always have in mine include band-aids, antacids, matches, and poison ivy relief gel.
10. Duct Tape Everything- Not only can you use this tape for simple things like resealing food or to fix a leaking water bottle but it has hundreds of other possible uses. Some I’ve used were twisting it to make a rope, repairing a leaky tent, and making a belt. With duct tape the sky is the limit.
The key to camping successfully is to be able to utilize the things you have at hand. Look around and see what you have at home or in nature that could help fix your current problem. Some of the most simple fixes may surprise you. Using these ten simple hacks will make your next camping experience easier and you’ll seem like a pro to your family and friends. Enjoy.
25 Years of Camping Experience
Education.com-Boiling Water in a Paper Cup