20 Best Camping Hacks - Wyoming Magazine


20 Best Camping Hacks


20 Best Camping Hacks

Camping is one of the oldest pastimes in the book. Whether you’re out in the woods for a relaxing weekend or pitching a tent out of necessity, there are generations of hacks that can make the process that much easier. Why settle for wet socks, bug bites, and a fire that won’t start when there are so many easy tricks to get around those dilemmas? Check out these 20 best camping hacks and see how simple it is to impress your friends:

1. Use Sage as a Natural Mosquito Repellent

Not a fan of the bugs that hang around the campfire? Mosquito repellents can smell awful and aerosol products should not be sprayed inside a tent. Additionally, most campers don’t carry around mosquito repelling candles or torches. So how can you get pesky insects to leave your campfire alone? Try throwing some sage on the flames. The smell of the burning sage should help ward of the insects crowding in.

2. Dry Your Wet Shoes Out

Have shoes that got soaked and now you’re dreading putting them on in the morning? There’s not need to suffer through with cold and damp feet the next day when the solution is simple: stuff your wet shoes with something dry overnight. Whether it’s newspaper or dirty clothes, filling your wet shoes with something absorbent will accelerate that drying process.

3. Keep Your Feet Warm

Do you have problems keeping your feet from freezing at night? With a little forethought, you can really keep the chill at bay. Consider heating up a water bottle and keeping it at the end of your sleeping bag. The extra warmth will keep your toes nice and thawed while you sleep.

4. Keep Your Feet Warm Without Hot Water

Not a fan of hot water or not able to heat any water while on your trip? Simply take some dry clothes and stuff them at the end of your sleeping bag instead. The extra insulation will serve the same purpose as a water bottle, but you won’t have to worry so much about burning yourself.

5. Save Space on Pillows

Hate the extra bulk pillows take up? Eliminate it by not bringing any pillows! Instead, roll up some dry clothes and stuff them in a bag. This bundle will serve as a replacement pillow and is made of things you already planned to take with you. Furthermore, it is easy to disassemble and pack into multiple places rather than trying to cram a pillow into a bag or tie it on the outside where it will get wet.

6. Save Space on Plates Too

Do you like to play Frisbee when you camp? Then you’re the perfect person for not packing dinner plates. Instead of taking up more space with kitchenware, simply enjoy your meals out of an upside-down Frisbee. Even if Frisbee isn’t your thing, you can still find alternatives. For example, pack a roll of aluminum foil and use it both to cook over fire coals and to eat off of as well.

7. Create Light Ambiance

Wishing you had a fancy light to sit around at your campsite? Simply take a water bottle, turn it upside down, and place your headlamp on top. The resulting light dispersion creates a gentle flood of illumination. This way, there is no need to pack multiple kinds of lights. Headlamps are small, so this wonderful alternative is also a space saver.

8. Hang Your Clothes with Pieces of Trash

You know those tags used to tie bread bags together? They also work really well as clothes pins. Save some of your bread tags, bring them camping, and hang you clothes on the line with them. They work just as well as regular clothes pins, but they take up much less space. Also, there’s no need to go buy any clothes pins if bread bags and bread tags are something you already buy or have lying around.

9. Dry Out a Wet Phone

Did you drop your phone in a puddle or even a river? In the modern camping world, especially with high quality cameras in phones, this is becoming a more and more common occurrence. Know that you are not alone. Many have come before you and they found a way to undo the disaster. Simply find a bag of rice and place your phone in it for a few days. Once the phone has sat in the rice bag for that amount of time, the phone should be dried out and good to go yet again.

10. Prevent Rusting In Your Cookware

Ever had rusting issues with your camping pots and pans? Try saving the silica packs that come in packaging. Those packs seem fairly useless, but they serve a purpose in packaging: to keep the moisture out. Why not use that to your advantage? By keeping those packs inside the cookware, you will be able to prevent any future rusting of those products. They fit right inside the pans, and the packs didn’t cost you any money. It’s a win-win situation.

11. Start a Fire Quickly

Kindling not lighting? If you like to go camping with a bottle of hand-sanitizer, then you’re in luck. Simply squirt some of the hand-sanitizer onto the kindling in the fire pit, light it, and watch it catch. Lint is also useful for getting a new fire to catch, so, if you are ever looking for some kindling to take camping before you leave home, consider raiding your dryer machine for what you would otherwise throw out or compost.

12. Bring Waterproof Fire Starters

Did it rain on your matchbook? Or maybe you dropped that in a creek, too? Next time, try bringing trick candles. You know, the kind that keeps burning and refuses to go out, the ones you put on the birthday cakes of people you like to torment. Turns out they are so good at not being blown out that they are also very good at not going out while starting a fire. Even better, they don’t get wet. Next time, consider bringing trick candles to serve as fire starters. You won’t be disappointed.

13. Keep Zippers Zipping

Do the zippers on your tent or sleeping bag often stick? Candles serve more purposes than just as stubborn fire starters. Whether out camping or at home cleaning your gear, try taking an unlit, wax candle and rubbing it along the teeth. The result should be smoother sliding zippers with much less snagging.

14. Pack Eggs for Cooking

Like cooking eggs for breakfast? They’re easy to make, even on a campfire, but not so easy to pack. Imagine trying to cram as many eggs as you can into a plastic container or backpack. It’s not a good idea to try. However, there is a way around an eggy disaster. By cracking several ahead of time and pouring them into a bottle, you will be able to travel with the prospect of an omelet and without risking crushing eggs. This alternative is also great because you can easily pour out the eggs and even control serving sizes much more easily. Just don’t forget to keep your eggs chilled.

15. Replace Tent Grommets

Are you missing a grommet on some part of your tent set up? Without it, you probably can’t properly pitch your tent, but don’t let that deter you! Simply twist a rock into the tarp and tie it off. The resulting nub should be all you need to secure your camping gear, grommet or not.

16. Keep Your Clothes Dry

Is the weather rainy, damp, or just questionable? There’s no need to risk having soggy gear. Try bagging your clothes in a garbage back before stuffing them in your backpack. This one extra step can keep your clothes dry, even in a storm. Who knows – maybe even the garbage bag will become useful in an emergency.

17. Isolate Your Sleeping Socks

Like wearing socks to sleep for warmth and comfort? Identify one pair of socks and keep them in the toe of your sleeping bag. By doing that, you will have dry, clean socks every night when you go to bed. It may not seem like a necessary step, but when all of your other socks get wet and your feet are cold, you’ll be grateful you thought to do it.

18. Fluff Your Down Sleeping Bag

Looking to dry out your down sleeping bag in a dryer? Whether you’re at home cleaning your gear or stopping at a laundromat to dry out some things, consider adding a few tennis balls to the mix. With the balls spinning around in the machine with the sleeping bag, the bag will be able to maintain its fluffy and soft down quality.

19. Bring Your Own Spices

Want to pack salt and other spices but not sure how? There’s no need to skimp on flavors just because you’re not interested in packing lots of little jars or baggies. Instead, try cutting several sections of plastic straws, sealing the bottom ends over a candle flame. Fill the tube, seal the top over the flame, and label your new spice tube. These waterproof containers are not only tiny and compact, but they’re also capable of being resealed with an open flame or matchstick.

20. Make a Spoon from a Plastic Bottle

Didn’t bring enough silverware to camp with or not sure if you want to pack any? Not a problem. If you need a spoon, simply cut out part of the bottom of a plastic bottle and use that instead. It even has a handle. Furthermore, one bottle is capable of making several spoons. It’s not silverware – or even proper plasticware – but it’s better than nothing, and it shows your creative side!

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